So you're twenty now . . . hmm?

Happy Birthday Five:

So it's my neice's 20th birthday this week and of course to celebrate I think she deserves a little "Welcome To Your 20's" advice five.

I do this because there is obviously so much I know about being a 20 year old girl.

1. Pick Good Friends
This is the time you will meet almost all of the friends you will take with you forever. They should be able to make you laugh and have good hygiene. They should have diverse musical tastes and should have seen a play at one time or another. Make sure they're not prettier than you.
Ugly = No Direct Sexual Competition = Besties.

2. Read Everything
Fiction, Non Fiction, Fan fiction, owners manuals, everything. Its what cool people do. And how cool people identify each other at the kinds of parties that you will eventually be going to. I know you think its easy to do that now, what with all the Dr. Who T-Shirts that are out there (ironic or otherwise), but that zeitgeist was so Reddit 2012, and should be a little embarrassing by now. John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, Danielle Steele, and all the adult novels that will eventually be written by Stephanie Meyers, should give you the street cred you most certainly need.

3. Listen to your inner "Dude"
Jiminy Cricket may have been loud in that ridiculous hat of his, but nowhere near as loud as the thundering hormones that have been racing around your partially formed cerebral cortex. We all had a good laugh, but now begins the time when choices have repercussions. You shouldn't drive a vehicle after four whole marijuanas and if the top of the boy's hair hasn't been washed, there's a good chance that the rest of him hasn't been either. Ask yourself "What is the worst that could possible happen?" and if the answer involves your mother or cheap hotel bathrooms, then it might be time to see what's on Netflix.

4. Time to get domestic
Learn to cook, wash your own clothes, empty the dishwasher. Mow the lawn, take out the trash. Vacuum, dust, and scrub a toilet. I know, I know, I know, that you will need none of these skills as you are destined for raging rock stardom, but its good to have some connection with the little people.

5. Listen to your uncles
They're like inner dudes that can bail you out of a drunk tank before mommy gets back from a Dave Matthews concert. Now go ahead and reread 1 through 4.

Happy Whatever.

Joan Who?

I've never thought of myself as the kind of person that plays well with others. I think that's why I gravitate toward solo endeavors and leadership roles. If I'm alone, there's no one to judge and if I'm the boss, I only have to listen to your opinion if I think its a good one.

But living on one's little island has all kinds of flaws.

I won't list them, but melody is much better with a little rhythm and procreation is much better with a partner.

To name the important ones.

So, suffice it to say, I need a band if I'm gonna go the direction I wanna go.

The solo singer/songwriter doesn't sell T-Shirts and has to take single responsibility for lugging his/her own crap around. I'm gonna need roadies and groupies, and for that, I'm gonna need a drummer.

But don't think for a second that I've been idle.

I've been recruiting all kinds of cool folks. Young folks, old folks, red folks, blue folks. My list of criteria as very small. First you have to be cool enough to spend time with. Understand most pop culture references beginning from Patrick Swayze to the second to last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You have to have owned a Joan Jett album sometime in your life and you have to know which end of the instrument to blow in.

You have to be okay with not showing up to rehearsal stoned.

Actually, I'm pretty flexible with any of those except for the Joan Jett clause.

That's a deal breaker.

I will however accept a greatest hits CD.

Or for bonus points, a VHS copy of "Light of Day."

I played my first show with a little accoustic jam band a few nights ago.

I was surprised by how much we didn't suck.

I mean, there has to be a little suckage. The amplification alone is bound to cause all kinds of non-sense problems. The space was too small, the audience too small, we only had two full rehearsals and I think, but I can't swear to it, that it might have been the first time I've performed with a group since 1996.

Yet we ran through a sorta sloppy first set, and then reran a totally less than sloppy second set, and finished off almost, but not quite, in the pocket.

I was pretty proud of us.

And by extension, myself.

We all want to hit the ground running, but in this case, which is appropriate, we had a nice soft landing and I don't think I could be more pleased.

In honest conclusion, everything is working out well. I thought I'd feel more fear by now ditching a solid professional life for the quicksand nature of the arts, but really there are only those awkward moments when I tell people that I've quit my job to go be a rockstar and they laugh because they don't believe me and then they feel embarrassed for laughing and then they back slowly out of the conversation until they're no longer in earshot and drive away, squealing tires and all.

My wife says I need to start telling people that I'm pursuing a career in the arts. Or spending time to promote my second album. Or taking a year off to write a book and spend more time with the family.

Sounds more hoity toity, and by extension, a little less ridiculous.

But it's more fun my way.

Especially when I tell them that health insurance through ASCAP is cheaper than through Kaiser.

We have unions to thank for that.

A union which includes Joan Jett.

So put another dime in the juke box baby.
Come on take your time and dance with me.

Four Non Blogs

Hey all y'all. 

Wait . . . Dad? Is going to take a little break.

Tune in next week for more exciting adventures!

A Snot Nosed Five

Aw yeah.

Its official.

Gots me a little cold.

Which wouldn't be that bad. I've had them before and lived to tell the tale; I absolutely love baths and soup, my Netflix cue is filled to the brim, and the little one is at nonnie's house.

But here's the rub. "Wait . . . Dad?" has gone live on iTunes as of 2:00pm yesterday afternoon. I've got hours of updates to do for websites and Facepages and YouToobs. Disks need to be sent to radio stations, magazine critics and friends of friends who might have friends who know people. I've got an entire acoustic set to rehearse for, blogs to write, and a real job that needs me fast and on my feet and awake at 4:00am. Everything hurts and I haven't gotten more than five hours sleep in a week.

I'm gonna make it all happen, but a head full of snot won't exactly grease the skids.

So heres to the Top Five worse times to get a cold:

1. Wedding Day
Self explanatory, I know, but DayQuill and Cabernet mixed, can be lethal. I'll have the Chicken Ricola.

2. Olympic Finals
Imagine trying to hold in a sneeze on the parallel bars.

3. Any day the temperature is over 86
Hot and sticky squared.

4. Leaving on a jet plane.
Wanna be hated more than you've ever been hated? Ask for a window seat, turn your head, and cough. Even the mom with the cranky baby is gonna sneer.

5. Anytime, anywhere where there's not a beautiful wife to bring you orange juice and cook you chicken soup.
Mom's can do that too I guess. And concerned neighbors and friends or whatever. But if there's a choice . . . well . . . you get the idea.

And that, my friend, is greasing the skids.

Stand in the place were you live

Saturday night.

The inaugural performance to kick into full scale promotion mode.

It was as terrible and as fantastic as anyone could have hoped.

I won't bore you with the terrible stuff, cause the only way to get good at something is to be bad at it first. Nobody clocks out from their day job and then walks onto the stage that night a rockstar. And anyone who reads this regularly knows that failure is my best friend.

and wine.

wine's my second best friend.

And Joann.

She's like best friend 1.4

Cause she's always there for me when failure calls it quits for the night, and, most importantly,  she's nice enough to point out when he hasn't left the room yet.

It's inspiring to crash a little bit.

If crashing wasn't the key metric of success then NASCAR wouldn't have any fans and skateboarding would be an acceptable mode of transportation past the age of fourteen.

But what was really amazing was the volumes I learned about myself, my music, my ability, and my shtick.

No, I wasn't perfect, or even all that great, but it's like doing sit ups for the first time after years of double cheese burgers and IPAs. Can't see my toes quite yet, but I know they're there, and I know we'll meet again.

Halfway through the show, Joann who freely admits to being unskilled in the social media sphere, posted a picture on her Facebook, and got "Likes" for the first time. Couple more of those and she's gonna be such a crack addict.

I think we got some video footage of one of the songs off the new album which I'll post on the website if it doesn't make me look too bald and pasty.

Speaking of bald and pasty, it did occur to me that if I'm gonna make a go of this, I got to work on my look a little more feverishly. Fashion has never been an area of which I have had any real interest except to sneeringly mock for its frivolity.

Oh how tables turn.

I've always been a vain man, but I've never given the cut of my shirt or the color of my hair or the size of my second chin more than an inkling of my attention. When I started playing in my teens, it was the grunge age, style was unstyle, boys were lumber jacks and girls dressed like troll dolls. It was all flannel and army surplus jackets. When I was an actor, (and I really don't mean to make this sound the way its going to sound), but I had other people for the hair, costuming and make-up. And when I wasn't performing it was a T-Shirt and jeans, or a T-Shirt and sweat pants. And in my working life, I wear an apron nine hours a day. Nobody cares about my hair unless they find it in their food.

But now I have to care.

I have to start looking like the kind of person that radiates professional showmanship.

My wife suggested that I wear jeans, and undershirt and an open button up shirt, so I put something like that on and then walked out into the living room:

"Too gay, or not gay enough?" I said.

"Too gay." she replied. "Just put on something comfortable."

See, that's the problem right there. I got comfortable clothes. Cotton shorts and a grey Tshirt and I'm set for the weekend. But when I'm forced to think about it, I have no idea what Wait . . . Dad? is supposed to look like.

Somebody mentioned wearing a hat, but it makes my balls sweat just thinking about how uncomfortably damp hats are.

And do I wear a ball cap like a sports guy? Could I get away with an ironic trucker hat like the guy from 30 Rock, or an actual trucker hat like those skaters dudes or actual truckers? Fedoras are out of the question unless I'm Indiana Jones or a reporter, or really anyone in a trench coat. And those mini fedora like hats are reserved exclusively for the kind of douche-bags who can either embrace the ridiculous image (Bruno Mars anyone) or totally unaware of their douche bag status.

(Side note: My best friend wears these on occasion, and absolutely PULLS IT OFF, so he doesn't in any way fit this joke, but he is the only one, ever)

I'm too short for a top hat, too Californian for a cabbie, too secular for a yamaka, too straight for a beret.

So I'm pretty sure hats are out.

But the pasty balding guy thing isn't that sexy.

Unless . . .

One could go for that late nineties Michael Stipe or death-bed Steve Jobs look, but that means eating a lot of lettuce and i don't think they make faux turtle necks anymore.

Then there's the rough Bruce Willis - Jason Statham look. But I would need a million mile stare, and frankly no one wants to see those two break out in song.

Sting is a possibility. Military short, clean lines, always that healthy glow as if he has only just returned from hot yoga or tantric sex.

Gonna need to blacken my wardrobe a bit. Splash some water on my face. Discover a fondness for tofu and kelp, but its definitely doable.

However the look turns, I'm gonna have to get me one of those.

And I better get to it before Joann discovers Instagram.

Inking the Friday Five

Had a good laugh at dinner tonight cause my sister mentioned that my niece just got a tattoo. 

It's a mermaid. 

On her calf. 

I've heard it's very pretty.


Now I would never actively discourage any teenage girl from doing anything she had her mind set on, cause once she's had her mind set on something, because not only will she tell you to go fuck yourself, she will also run out of the house crying, and proceed to do something that is twice as dangerous than the thing you were trying to council her not to do.  You just have to forget about logic and hope to god that you're around when she's forty so you can laugh at her face for being so ridiculous.

I have boys. 

God loves me and wants me to be happy. 

So I'm too late to add some advice to the mermaid calf tattoo, but I can boast the five reasons I will never nor never had a tattoo inked on my skin. 

My mom would be pretty pissed. Her rule was that if I ever wanted a tattoo I'd have to put a picture of it on my wall for at least a year before I etched it on my epidermis. And, frankly, I piss off my mother enough as it is. 

Don't like pain. Tattoos hurt. 

Don't like spending money. Tattoos cost a lot. Like cases of good wine. 

Don't like explaining my decisions. Everyone who sees it is gonna ask. Or worse, they're gonna glare. Or super worse, they're gonna wanna show me theirs. 

I'm not sentimental. Tattoo people are sentimental  people. Each tattoo is a commemoration of something in their lives for which they want to last forever. They want to wear their hearts on their sleeves. They want a physical representation of what they are and what they've done and how they've felt and people they've loved or pets they've raised or wars they've fought or children they're proud of or themes they believe in or gods they worship or images they want to be associated with or bad decisions they've made. 

I, however, am a mystery. 

And I prefer it that way. 

Cause I'm cheap. 

And I have enough pain in my life. 

And I dont want to disappoint my mother. 

Feeling Good

Today intentionally wasted.

Wasted, I say.

I've got writing work to do,
I've got music work to do,
I've got work work to do,

And I will do none of it.

None of it.

Cause I don't have to and you can't make me.

I will water the garden.

Only because I'm not a monster.

Fifteen Minute Five


Race is on.

I've got fifteen minutes to write, post, and distribute today's Friday Five before my wife drags me out to do some food shopping.

Family Time.

So in honor of my quick turn around, here is Five things one could do in fifteen minutes. (Note: this list will not include all the dirty stuff you just thought of.):

Number One: Empty your email box.
For some, this could take moments. For others this could take years. I usually knock this out in about fifteen unless Guitar Center is having its biggest weekly sale of the century.

Number Two: Make Mac n Cheese
Boil water. Add Pasta. Wait till pasta is soft. Add powder and butter and tuna and maybe some leftover broccoli and viola.

Number Three: Listen to the B Side.
My uncle posted a pole for the Best A Side of an album of all time. I love his poles, but I couldn't play cause I'm only thirty seven and I've never owned a record player. Shush you vinyl heads, I'm cool, but I'm not analogue cool

Number Four: Groom a boy
Trim nails. Brush teeth. Mat down hair. Clip a few grey whiskers. Add a pinch of Old Spice.

Number Five: Get an eight year old out of the house and into the car.
Oh he will kick, he will scream, he will whine, he will beg, he will forget you ever asked him anything and he doesn't know where his shoes are. he will forget his sword, he will forget his Nintendo DS, he will still not be able to find his shoes, but this time he needs a drink of water. And he has to pee. Which he does right on his shoes.

Fifteen Minute Five:

In five
two . . .