Highwheel Records Compilation Released

Highwheel Records (Chicago's newest independent label) has released their first compilation, "Welcome To the Future." Bands include: Airiel, Arks, The Monster Women, Rhineland Bastards and Walking Bicycles.

Our track featured is "Subtraction." Yah, you know that one. Buy a copy today!


WHPK 88.5 - Pure Hype

We played on Pure Hype, University of Chicago's radio station, WHPK 88.5 FM. It was a short set due to half of us being exhuasted and one of us being sick. Are we getting too old or something?

Download the tracks if you'd like.

Maritime Snakes
Modern Fix
Rot It Out
Cars On Fire
Interview with WHPK 88.5 FM



In the stagnant womb air of the van, it's a simple enough task to let one's mind wander. I look through the pewter gray curtain at the people passing us by. People having arguments about things they won't remember. People singing to songs I can't hear. Dogs in back seats. Tarp-covered mystery cargo in truck beds.

And these incidentals make me think of buying the van in which we're sitting. The van we'll get out of in three hours, in nine hours, in whichever city it is we're supposed to plug into next...

We had looked for a while, being met with (a somewhat expected amount
of) resistance from sellers. While we were not a band -in the
congregational, more than the musical sense - of rough edges, four
males in their late twenties and early thirties wearing various
states of disintegrating denim and corduroy do not inspire the
greatest confidence in extension of financing terms. Not that used
car dealerships are reputed for being the most trusting or
trustworthy lot.

Mat had done a fair amount of research and located what was to be our
van - later dubbed "The Shepherd" for the white-inked name pressed on
the back door's wheel housing - on one web site or another. The van
was perfect: low miles, ample space, and extended cab. And it looked,
inarguably, bad ass. The Shepherd was all black with faintly tinted
windows. This was a band van.

But this was not supposed to be a band van. The man selling it had
recently undergone surgery for a tumor in his brain. The van, he
explained to us through newly labored words, was to be used for
family vacations and camping trips. He walked with his wife as a
guide, down from the enclosed porch, out the mildly chipped sidewalk,
through the perfect fence to the van across the street. We followed
him in slow procession. He assured us the van would be a good one. He
had overhauled it himself for the trips that now would likely not
happen. He did not comment on this reality, but his body was
sufficient clarification: his wife's porcelain skin pressed on the
cloth of his shirt. He could barely stand.

We bought the van. $1950. We had only twenties, so we presented them
with $1960. Mat started to ask if they had a ten, for change, and I
interrupted with a joke about it being a "nice people fee," at which
they chuckled and Mat let it go. And they were. Nice people. But it
was, I knew, a guilt tax. I wanted to just give them all the money
and leave without the van. We were going to use the van to play what
felt, in that moment, to be the most needless music possible, to
standing crowds. The sitting man working through small talk,
apologizing for his stammering, would use the money for hospital

His two boys looked at us from the living room, through the kitchen
that attached to the enclosed porch where we all stood. I held eye
contact with the eldest son - probably around ten or twelve years of
age - for an uncertain moment. I tried smiling, but that was a lie.
He was kind or removed enough to not notice. We said our goodbyes and
went to the van. Our band van.

Mat drove the van. Lanny and I messed around with the seats and with
the television. We settled on a station with decent reception playing
a competition show. In this show, contestants would perform and be
judged on their singing and showmanship, the prize being the title of
lead singer of INXS.

We met Bo at Burger King. We ordered inside and took our food back to
the van. Mat wanted to eat in the van, and I certainly didn't argue.
I love eating in parked cars. We ate in the van, watching the show,
appraising the performers more than the performances.

Sometimes, as I did driving away from the house, I would think about
the man and his family. We were okay, right? Didn't we do a better
thing to give our money to this family than to give it to a used car
dealer? Still, I felt cheap and opportunistic. But only in those
moments where I thought of the man and his family. For the moment, I
was feeling the warm gush of processed meat and cheese product on the
roof of my mouth and watching some unknown twenty-something try to
become a rock star.


Pittsburgh, PA

When I think of Pittsburgh, I don't think of sushi. In the spirit of trying to maintain some kind of healthy diet on the road, we had to have ourselves a good meal. Hell, we have the night off, why not spoil ourselves?

I haven't been to Pittsburgh since Thanksgiving. Tonight, we're staying at an open apartment near my mother's. Tomorrow, we stay with my friend Bill after the show at Brillo Box.

I'm about to hit the sleeping bag. Instead of hanging out in more bars tonight, we opted to stay in and watch Family Guy and Chapelle Show. I'm wiped out from laughing.

Road Mix: Tuesday, April 11

Distance: Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh
Time: 4.5 hrs

1. Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
3. Cursive - Ugly Organ
4. Sliver Jews - American Waters
5. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
6. The Fucking Am - Gold
7. Paul's Mix - Don't You Want to Know How to Keep Starting Fires?
1. M83 - Birds
2. Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage
3. TV On the Radio - The Wrong Way
4. Brainiac - Kiss Me, You Jacked Up Jerk
5. Sonic Youth - Silver Rocket
6. Big Boi - Ghetto Musick

Walking Around DC

The drive to Pittsburgh is a short one, so we took an hour or two to walk around the mall.

Where to point the camera?


The Washington Monument is quite the spectacle...

Paul came across this pretzel. Check out that mustard!


DC, Tuesday Morning

Greg Svitil, Iron Maiden Lover

We stayed the night at our friend Greg's house. Greg is in a great DC band, The Antiques.

After we packed up the van, we headed out for some lunch. The day before was just pure junk, from Long John Silvers to Ben's Chili Bowl in DC (the best turkey dog I've ever had).

Ahhhhh...something not fried!

Glenn finally gets his coffee

The "Original" Jumbo Slice

...and next door was the "Real Original" Jumbo Slice

Velvet Lounge

Len Bias


A Trip To Long John Silvers

Along the way to DC, we had the urge to visit an old favorite...

"Number 10 with extra Hush Puppies and a side of Clam Strips"


"Another Clamel Toe Strip?"

Road Mix: Monday, April 10

Distance: Cincinnati to Washington D.C.
Time: 8.5 hrs

1. Brian Eno - Another Green World
2. Black Mountain - Black Mountain
3. Iron & Wine - Woman King
4. Paul's Beatster Mix
1. Andrew Bird - Fake Pallindrome
2. Super Fury Animals - The Undefeated
3. Bjork - Triumph of a Heart
4. Trans Am - Music for Dogs
5. New Order - Ceremony
6. Ladytron - I'm with the Pilots
7. The Kinks - (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Pin
9. Thurston Moore - Patti Smith Math Scratch
10. Todd Barry - Party Invitation
11. Outkast - Xplosion
12. Beck - Clap Hands
13. The Futureheads - A to B
14. The Kinks - Love Me Til the Sun Shines
15. Pulp - Disco 2000
16. Brainiac - Nothing Ever Changes
17. Starlight Mints - Sugar Blaster
18. The Shins - Fighting In a Sack
19. Low - Monkey
20. Future Bible Heros - I'm a Vampire
21. The Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

5. Lilys - Precollection
6. David Cross - Live in Seattle
7. Jerry Seinfeld - I'm Telling You For the Last Time
8. Bill Hicks - Relentless
9. Pinback Mix

The Nati

We pulled into Cincinnati around 5, rolled up to Paul's friend, Dwight's.

Dwight's loft sported a unique bathroom.

We spent the extra couple of hours we had to walk around and get some burrito's at Comet.

The show at the Northside Tavern went well, though we had to set up the PA ourselves and work our own sound. Dwight was a good sport and stuck around even after I bit into his burrito and whacked him in the nuts with a guitar case.