Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Post-Christmas Blues.

Merry Christmas!

Really, it's two days after Christmas, but I figured no one would mind.  I usually try to keep the spirit alive until Valentine's Day, and even then, I like to pretend that it's Santa Claus's older cousin who's handing out cutesy cards and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.

Unfortunately, Christmas this year didn't/doesn't sit right with me.  I feel like I've dropped the ball somehow, with no continual posting about the greatest and most favoritest holiday.  My place should have been covered in tinsel, my nights should have been spent drinking cup after cup of hot chocolate, watching "Christmas Vacation" on repeat while wrapping fancy cheese balls and scented candles.

Well, they were, but it wasn't enough.  It just didn't feel like ENOUGH.  I've shamed myself.

Post-Christmas Blues?  Post-Christmas Blues.

And because of it, I'm depressed and really don't give a shit about X-mas right now.  It would be like eating too much gingerbread cookies and coffee drenched biscotti, then finding out you would never do that again for another eleven months.  I know there's an analogy in there somewhere, but I'm hoping you get what I mean without the endless explanation of why I currently hate everything red and green and Jesus-in-a-manger-y.  In a way, I feel like I want to start revolting.  Hell, I think I'm rebelling right now, man.  I don't care about you, St. Nick.  You can sit on it.  You can take your big bag of toys and shove it.  After sitting on it.  Or is it the other way around?

SO SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT UNTIL NEXT WEEK.  Time will have passed, wounds will have been mended, the hurtful things we've said will be forgiven, etc.  Plus, I ain't passing on a Christmas Haul Recap.  The holidays and the gifts received are meant to be rubbed in the face of everyone else.  You're supposed to flaunt that brand new, top of the line iPad like you're the nephew of Steve Jobs. 


In high school, my friends and I were really into comic books.  Even more so, we were into making our own.  Anything to keep our minds off of homework and the daily bullshit of class was heralded and applauded.  We'd literally just sit in class and doodle.  I seriously can't remember anything from high school -- I have no idea how I graduated.

One of the better ideas was start a comic strip of your own, then give it to a friend to complete.  Say, Friend A would start their mini-adventure in first period, pass it off to Friend B, which they would finish with their own special brand of high school lunacy.  Pass back to Friend A to enjoy, which would then be given to Friend C and Friend D to enjoy on a "my friend's are a bunch of idiots" level.  This is what we did.  This is all we did.

Recently, I dug up a bunch of these comics.  It was in the process of pulling out the snowflake window clingers and plush Santa dolls (used as holiday movie viewing pillows) that I stumbled upon these raggedy, torn up pieces of paper like a dirty treasure map leading to fortune and glory.  Sadly, they lead to my professional and artistic demise.  They're that weird.

Even more sadly, none of them are of my own, but they're still fun to look at.  I figure the other guys have my work, and I have theirs, which I've decided to post for all the world to see.  Not only have I beat them to it, but can take no blame for anything you're about to see.  Just be sure to take none of these to heart.  There was no rhyme or reason to anything we drew and wrote, because always remember -- we were morons.  I can't stress that enough.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Comes Early at the Calabrese Manor!

Well, hey, check this out!

Nestled ever so sweetly behind the counter of the post office lied a package for the Calabrese Bros, which was quickly brought back to the manor and savagely torn open.  Full of goodies and fun and exotic smelling soaps, Christmas had come seven days early! 

I spy with my little eye a Pokémon dish towel, oversized comic books and personalized mini-coffins for eraser tops and GI Joe weaponry storage (that's the plan, anyway)  If there's one thing Bobby Calabrese loves, it's a total immersion in gift-giving randominity. 

Sent from our pal, Carissa from Minneapolis, we knew we struck gold when the box actually smelled something fierce.  Sight was fancied, the sense of smell was tickled, what other senses would be stimulated?  Let's find out:

Soaps.  Homemade soaps.  Spider-sense tingling.  What did this mean?  Immediately I questioned my hygiene, wondered if I started a chain of events stemming from playing a sweaty show and hugging an unsuspecting fan.  They'd begin a descent into madness, forging together the finest cleaning products into chunks of soap-rock, sprinkled with blood and poison (one of the soaps actually says "poison!") maniacally sending it off our way in hopes of us using it and having our skin melt off and...oh, I just read the letter.  It's because she's nice and it's Christmas and not to worry, although we do smell like shit, these soaps are actually really good and good for you.  Well, cool! 

Pizza smell would have been fun, but I figure the process would have been too greasy.  Instead, we have patchouli. 

My, oh my.  Patchouli.

I often joke about how much I hate patchouli, patchouli users, patchouli cultuer, etc., and in any roundabout, bad juju scenario that ever existed on Earth....we get a big ol', stinkin' pile o' patchouli.  I think something got lost in translation, because Carissa mentioned that I was a fan.  Yeah not totally.

I can't complain, because this is a gift from the heart, and I'd be an asshole to not be gracious.  And all the soaps are vegan friendly and good for your skin and all that jazz, so thank you, Carissa from Minneapolis.  We love you. 

Buuuut if my grandma gave me socks on Christmas morning, I'd smile, give her a hug and stealthily dump the pack into another sibling's present pile.  Looks like Jimmy will be walking away with not one, but three bars of soap!  Merry Christmas!

Also included is a Pokémon towel (for Davey) and GIGANTIC "Star Wars" and Batman comic books.  I've already called dibs, so even if they weren't meant for just me, they're all totally mine now.  I'm blatantly disregarding the obvious (there are three of them) which can easily be distributed among us, but this is Christmastime, pal.  There are no rules and social graces during Christmas.  Oh, didn't know the holiday rule of "no rules?"  Because it's a rule.  Or is it?  I thought I said there are no rules?  JUST DO WHAT I SAY AND QUIT TRYING TO CONFUSE ME.

"Bobby," "Davey" and "Immy."  She didn't forget the "J," I just forgot to photograph it.  "Immy" sounds more fun, anyway.

These will be used for guitar picks.  Maybe even as a carrying case for interesting articles and pictures I find in any of the thousands of magazines and catalogs I somehow get sent to my mailbox.  The scenarios run deep with a coffin the size of a cell phone.  WAIT.  Hold the phone.  Stick with me here, but...what about a cell phone casket for when your phone dies?  You can bury it in the backyard and say a few words in internet slang, too.

u will be missed u were a gr8 phone, c u on the other side ttyl:(

Oh, sweet baby Jesus on Christmas morn, this idea is gonna make me a millionaire.

Thanks again, Carissa!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Quick and Crappy Coffee House Reviews: Cartel Coffee.

There's a spot in Tempe, Arizona where I like to go.  A strip of road that holds the three best establishments that currently drain my pockets and suck my wallet dry.

The far end of the street is occupied by Casey Moore's, a bar/restaurant that has hosted many drunk nights, and the beginning holds Ash Avenue Comics, which has, like, a lot of comics.  I like that.  And snuggled in between the two is Cartel Coffee Lab.  Small, quaint and always bringing to mind more than just coffee.  Walking by, I've always asked the questions, "What makes it a lab?" and "is there some sort of science going on in there?"  Some kind of coffee craziness only reserved for those in the know?  These are the questions at hand, and today we answer them.

First off, the place is wild.  Well, as wild as a coffee shop can get.

A while back, on certain nights of the week, they'd play episodes of Twin Peaks while you worked your way through a cup of coffee and a slice of pie.  The place has a gnarly atmosphere with great service and a lot of charm, and holy shit, anything even remotely involving "Twin Peaks" is so very awesome by me.

I've only been here once, and right off the bat, I've noticed that there's a certain presence to the place.  Very hip.  Very indie.  It's almost overwhelming, and almost of a turn off.  You almost feel like you don't belong, and if there were rules implanted that one had to be hip and or indie to order drinks, I would certainly be out of place.  Unless "indie" was an Indiana Jones reference, then I might be able to apply.  I have a souvenir bullwhip and I've seen the movie, like, a million times.

Great place, though.  I remember they had it modeled to look like a metal shop or something, with metal-y fixtures and chairs or something.  This could very well constitute as laboratory fare, completing the mystery of the shop's name.  It looked classy and cool and fun.

But what do I mean by "remembered?"

Well, this is where it gets kind of...tricky.  As mentioned, I've only been here once.  And it was at least over a year ago.  At this point, I still wanna write about it, but don't want to go back for specific details and solid information.  I think it's a fine place with great Joe (I think) but I'm already halfway through this post and when I attempted to make a re-visit, I vaguely remembered that it was cash only.  I didn't have any cash on me and didn't wanna stop at an ATM.  I still don't even know if this is true or not, but I didn't want to take the gamble.  I'd have to walk up, order, find out it's cash only, look sheepish then quickly make my way to the exit, excusing myself and apologizing profusely.  Even the possibility of such a minor blip on the Socially Awkward Moments Scale is terrifying to me.

So this TRULY is one of the crappiest reviews I've done.  But here's a tasteful image of coffee clip-art, if it helps at all:

Here's what I remember about the night in question:

I ordered.  And this is where we do the science!  Or at least where we get to choose some stuff and feel all cool and sophisticated, because you get to pick what kind of beans you want to be ground up and used for your beverage.  I was intrigued, but the last time I was here, I ordered a cappuccino.  Apparently, you can only get a cappuccino if you're planning on staying (maybe they don't have the right take-out cappuccino cups?) so I doubled back and stuck with a small coffee.  Don't remember what kind of beans I got, but I'm thinking they were really tiny and brown.  Just the kind I like!

And it was delicious.  I ain't no snob, so my opinion means nothing.  I could have been served dishwater with a scoop of instant coffee and I would have sung it's praises.  Not to take away from Cartel Coffee's services, though, because the place really is rad with great coffee.  And because I'm scared they might read this, find out who I am and make it even more embarrassing the next time I actually do go in (read the last entry for the full, sad and creepy details of what I'm talking about).

So a 10 out of 10.  As high and mighty as one can get.  Bravo!

And that has nothing at all to do with tipping the Socially Awkward Moments Scale.

I swear.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Guitars.

Someone recently asked me about what kind of guitar I play.  I get this a lot, and I never really delved deep into the dynamics of this question.  I've never bothered with guitars on any level other than making sure it sounds loud and doesn't look too douche-y.  So why do I play what I play?  And what the hell do I play, anyway?

I'm the kind of guy who doesn't care about the technical stuff.  I seriously have zero interest in what's shoved inside an amp or what those weird wires and metal-y things are wrapped up in a guitar.  I'd rather play the damn thing than study it, ya know?  It's a mixture of laziness and a controlled ignorance.  If I even bothered with any of that shit for a second, I'd save so much dough on hefty repair bills and overpriced tune ups.  Oh well.

Now, recently, the two guitars I've been playing for ten long years were stolen.  It was always a black, Gibson Studio and a Les Paul Jr.  So yeah, I would have answered this question way differently if it was two months ago.  But since then, I've had the task of replacing them, which has brought me to this here subject.  I immediately wanted to get the same gear, but thought to myself...should I?

Neither guitars were THAT expensive, but it would make sense to avoid the same route and to start fresh.  Because now I'm a new man.  Now that I'm in the position to start from scratch, I've decided to keep it cheap.  SUPER cheap.  I've taken years of inexperience and incompetence, thrown it out the window and have decided to construct together decent guitars for minimal amounts of cash.  I think it's better this way.  I think it's better for rock and roll.

I know I know nothing about anything, but my only requirement is that the guitar has to be black.  Or white.  I'll even settle for that aged-looking "cream" color.  Maybe a "tobacco burst," too.  Chicks dig that.

I ended up with this:

I bought it off a buddy looking for extra dough, and here we are.  Thank God for that, because we immediately had shows after the Great New York Guitar Heist, and I would have been totally screwed.  It's a Mexican made Telecaster with the pickups switched out with I-have-no-idea-what-these-pickups-are.  But it sounds like a monster, and although I've been rocking a Gibson for a full decade, Teles really do have a great feel to 'em.  At least to me, anyhow.  And a solid pair of pickups really do make a difference.  I've been playing around with a few variations for a while now, mixing and matching and testing and cranking, coming up on some gnarly tones I wouldn't have imagined coming from a used Mexican Tele (but what do I know?  Nothing!)  Yeah, I actually went in to my guitar and did some science/welding/crazy shit.  I feel like a champion!

So, yeah.  The answer to the question, "What kind of guitar do you play?"

Anything cheap, loud and bitchin'.

And not, like, colored green or something lame.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bacon Waffle.

The bacon waffle.  The bacon WAFFLE.  The BACON waffle.  The bacon waffle.

However you annunciate it, a hefty waffle with chopped up pieces of bacon and smothered in maple syrup is the best.  The best in ANTHING.  It's a total "last meal" kinda deal, too, where the only appropriate thing to follow up after eating one of these is to die.  And if not actually dying, you'll definitely feel like death.  "Portion control" is not a term I adhere to.

This was at a diner called Harlow's Cafe in Tempe, AZ.  I mentioned this place a while ago, and although it's no big deal to mention it again, I now understand the power of which I hold.  It's a weird kind of power.  Kind of an awkward power, really.  Let me explain:

A few months ago we played Rapture Con, a horror convention in Mesa that prided itself on zombie walks, zombie defense soldiers and Jake Busey.  It was pretty fun.  But like any other day, I craved some coffee.  So we headed off to Lo-Fi Coffee down the street.  Now, I mentioned this place before on my blog.  That's a vital piece of information in this story.

I got a cup of coffee.  The owner knew who I was.  How did he know who I was?  Not that I was in a band that sung about skeletons and stabbing people in the face, but he recognized me for having a blog.  A blog that mentioned my really-boring-adventure into his very own establishment, Lo-Fi Coffee, and the semi-review I gave the whole experience.  Half the time, I have no idea what I'm writing, how I write it or altogether what the hell I just wrote.  I quickly scanned my brain for information.  Did I write something shitty about Lo-Fi Coffee?  Did I say something dumb and immature, as per usual?  Did I say one of the girls working there was super cute, and would now be slapped with some kind of lawsuit?

Thankfully, none of the above.  In fact, the dude loved what I wrote and even took some advice from it.  I kinda went off on the "tipping system," which gave you an option to tip on their iPad after using any kind of card.  I complained that they held the thing in front of you, glaring, watching, waiting.  It's quite a mess for a neurotic guy like me.  Never in my life have I feigned an optic disease more than at that point.  Whoops, forgot my glasses!  Didn't see the tip option!  Sorry, bro!

Anyway, he said they did away with that.  Or at least respectfully turned their backs to wash some mugs or something.  I dunno.  It's awesome that I could influence any one's business, and that businesses are even reading this damn thing, but still.  Totally wild.

"With great power comes great responsibility."

But back to Harlow's Cafe (hello, Harlow's!  Are you reading this?) and their massive bacon waffle.  It's beyond good.  I hate when people merge food for the sake of being extreme or inventive in a culinary way, but this joint union is something I can get behind.  It's just a waffle.  And a side of bacon.  But now in an easy to eat package.  If they could throw some hash browns and eggs in the mix we'd all be better off as a human race.

I know I should have quit halfway in, but ya know when some thing's really good, and it's almost impossible to quit?  Near the end, you're eating for taste alone.  Your stomach hurts, you start breaking out in a cold sweat and you can actually feel the food sitting in your esophagus.  You know that feeling, right?  Isn't it great? 

So I spent the next four hours on the floor in front of the TV watching movies, trying to keep my body from falling apart or just melting into the floor altogether.  The evolution of man, man. 

Saturdays rule.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Calabrese Cartoon.

Ever since we started the band, we dreamed of being immortalized in animated form.  Consumed in comic books, action figures and a hell of a lot of Saturday morning cartoons, it's become a natural and obvious goal to pursue.  I figure most bands try to be the next Led Zeppelin.  We're trying to be the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

So we've been pushing the cause for about ten years now, give or take those three formative years in the beginning where Davey was learning how to play drums and I was learning how to not sing like Cher.  But once we conquered them hurdles, it was on to the Dream Stage.  And, boy, we dream big.

Unfortunately, money plays a huge factor in it.  Hell, in everything you wanna do.  If we really cared, I mean, if we really, really wanted an animated music video done...we could totally get it done.  It would just cost, like, ten thousand dollars.

Yeah no.

First and foremost, being animated would be awesome.  You can't argue that.  Secondly, aside from the occasional suggestion and casual; nitpickery, we literally don't have to do anything.  In an animated video, there is no set pieces to construct, no assembling the appropriate wardrobe, no worrying about getting a huge zit on your forehead the night before.  Everything we could ever dream of is now possible.  We want to ride hover boards.  We want to battle a massive beast that has nine arms and spits blood.  We want to surf down a wave of human bones and carcasses.  IT'S POSSIBL AND IT SHALL BE DONE.

Well, we came close.

Found a dude willing to do it.  He was our knight in shining armor.  Sadly, the black knight must have killed him in a Medieval Times jousting match and was promptly dragged off into the backstage area, never to be seen again. 

It was a weird situation, really.  See: it all just fell a part.  Sucks, yeah, but now we know the game for next time.  We know what to expect.  Or something.

But hey, at least we have a bunch of cool sketches and character designs to show off.

We went through a lot of phases with this thing.  It was going to be a "Dusk 'Til Dawn" kinda deal, which slowly went into a more Universal Monsters-esque idea, then morphed into a bad-ass "Evil Dead 2" rip-off.  Man, an "Evil Dead 2" rip-off would have been SICK. 

Anyway, here are those sketches and such.  One day we'll exact our revenge on the video world.  One day. people!  ONE DAY!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Last time I brought up food I was living high on a diet of chicken salad sandwiches.  They remain delicious, but like with anything, the  new must replace the old.  Since then, I dabbled in pasta.  Plain pasta, pasta covered in a green-ish sauce, pasta paired with sausage or peppers or both.  It became my "thing."  Easy to make, simple to store, a definite choice to fill you up. 

But it's been three weeks now.  I'm a little burnt out on it.  What once brought me joy has now brought me contempt and heartburn.  So I've moved on.  Enter, The Chronicles of Baconia:

Bacon, lettuce and tomato, folks.  I like to add on some avocado, too, for the extra kick to the face. 

Now, to be blunt, I hate the "bacon" fad going on these days.  It's like the zombie craze, but for weird, ironic hipsters.  Sure, it was cute when your buddy got a bar of soap that smelled like burnt pig, or the YouTube video of a guy eating his weight in it, but we're good now.  We're done.  It's great, it's fine, we get it.

Because really...why bacon?  Admittedly, it's good.  Damn good.  But why not something better?  If I had my choice in food obsession, I'd most likely pick ice cream.  Say, with those mint chocolate chunks thrown in.  Or even a big bucket of Spumoni.  Have you ever tried Spumoni?  Now that's the kind of food that needs it's own line of shower curtains.

Yeah, I say all that about bacon right after I post a picture of a paper-towel-sack crammed full of the stuff.  Unfortunately, it really is the most delicious meat product ever.  What can you do?

So that's all I've been eating these days.  I'm like a horse.  Just fill up my trough with the same shit, day in, day out, and I'll eat it.  You'll get no complainst from me.  Especially if that trough is full of BLTs.

Oh, to dream. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The First Calabrese Show Ever!

Happy Thanksgiving!


I missed it?  Well, that seems appropriate and understandable, for I was in a sick-coma for the last week and a half.  Hell, I'm STILL fighting this snot-beast off as I type.  There's no reprieve, no end in sight, THERE IS NO GOD.

Any other time would have been fine.  Thanksgiving is too good a holiday to simply waste away on the floor in a coma-burrito.  In fact, any other time for this alien entity to enter my system would have been welcome.  I'll readily admit the "pros" of being sick.  Most people tend to concentrate on the "cons," which makes sense when your head is dripping multicolored goo, but I like to look on the brighter side of things.

1. You Can Absolutely Not Give a Fuck

One of the nicer things about coming down with something is the opportunity to drop everything and declare complete "I don't give a fuck-ness" by proceeding to disregard any and all responsibilities.  If you can ignore the crippling symptoms of your foreign disease, you're living high on the hog, set up in bed like a rich king.  It's quite the freeing experience.  The best is if you can get a cold, but, like, a mild cold.  Something that will prove to your friends that it ain't bullshit, but not enough to totally take you out of the game.  Why?  Because you have lots to do, my friend.

2. You Can Watch, Like, a Million Movies

If you're too sick (or, ya know, actually sick) then playing video games and surfing the Internet won't be too much fun.  Both those are way heavy on the hand-eye coordination, which might make ya puke.  But you might as well do something while you're doing nothing, right?  That's why there are couches.  In front of televisions.  The greatest act of Sickness Defiance (remember Rule #1?) is to do nothing.  Be nothing.  FEEL NOTHING.  That's why you watch movies.  And a lot of them.

Thank God for Netflix.  Without it, you'd be stuck watching your favorite films on DVD, which is fun, but that's not fun at all.  No, sir.

As a rule, I like to watch a movie only one time.  Twice, max.  If I really like it, sure, yeah, a couple more viewings will suffice.  I have this weird idea that if I'm spending too much time watching the same stuff more than once, I'm missing out on other stuff that I could be watching.  Like I'm on an infinite hunt to watch it all, every damn movie ever, crammed into my head for lightening awkward social gatherings and dishing out perfectly timed movie quotes.  Everyone loves movie quotes!

It's been about a week and half, but I'd say I clocked in a little over fifteen films.  The worst/laziest days, I hit three movies in a twelve-hour period.  The rest of that time was spent looking at Internet pornrndjfhsppoppp POPSICLE RECIPES because my throat is sore.  The rest of my cocoon vacation was spent, well, sleeping!

3. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

It's an odd mixture of pain, comfort and delusion when you've put in a solid eleven hours of sleep.  You're often told to get as much sleep as you can when you're sick, so it's only natural to ignore your bladder and keep your eyes shut.  It's for the good of the cause.  I like sleeping, so this is one of my favorite activities while broken down.  Yeah, you wake up sore, groggy and confused.  It's only part of the plan that you feel like turd soup.  But feel worse.  But you're getting better, right?  Probably.

The best part?  Four episodes of "Roseanne" and two glasses of orange juice later, you'll once again feel disgustingly tired and won't be able to wait to get back into bed!

So yeah, go get sick.  It's awesome.


Our first show ever.  I remember I was gonna mention this.  So now I'm going to mention this:

Modified Arts in downtown Phoenix, AZ.  I'm thinking it was a weeknight.  Headlining band was a band called Bad Wizard, who were pretty cool and genuinely nice guys.  I have no idea who invited us to play.  It's crazy to even think we did play!  Just weird how the ball got rolling right then, right there.  So in honor of this, I've decided to take you on a trip to the past.  Recently, old photos have been dug up.  Actually, snooping around on the web, leading me to an old archive of a photographer's work who may or may not be photographing still have been dug up.  This is from the first Calabrese show ever.

Be prepared.  We look like babies.

Davey and Jimmy, deep in a groove.  Out of the gate, we wanted to be theatrical, in some way or another.  The dream was to have White Zombie's fantastic stage setup (giant pillars made of skeletons, pyrotechnics, robots attacking the audience) but we settled on a TV, a Boglin and a creepy Christmas Elf.

We had the TV running a VHS mash-up of our favorite horror movie scenes, which included everything from "Dead Alive" to that fucked up monkey in "Monkey Shines."  It wasn't as high scale as we wanted, but I know a lot of people dug it.

Me and my shrunken head!  If there was one thing we could all agree on back then, it was shrunken heads.  Somehow it became our mascot/muse for a while, helping us evoke creepy guitar sounds and drum beats.  So we had our TV, Coffin Cases propped up, plastic headstones, the works.  Over the years, we learned to downsize, but I'd like to think the "silly and fun" vibe still remains the same.  Eventually, we learned to roll up our shirtsleeves, too, which helped ease our way into not looking like complete dorks.   

We wanted to be The Ramones.  It's my only excuse for the blue jeans.  I'm sorry.  It'll never happen again.

Hope ya enjoyed the trip!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Infection.

Back in high school, I was in a few different bands. It was always the same group of guys, but it would constantly keep changing, evolving or completely start over because the drummer would come up with an even better band name than the one we already had.  We possessed a certain musical skill, yes, but it wasn't really that good.  We SO TOTALLY wanted to be The Ramones, with simplistic chord structure and goofy lyrics about junk food and girls.  I hate using the term "pop-punk," and abhor whatever connection you're making in your head about the music we played and bands that live under the banner of "pop-punk." but I suppose it's the best description.  Because most it what you think of "pop-punk" sucks.  Except, like, the bands that didn't suck.  It's quite impossible to justify any of this.

One such incarnation of the band, The Infection, was attempting to play a high school battle of the bands, a rare chance to show off to all the cute girls that didn't involve lifting weights in front of people or generally just looking attractive.   And I have no idea where we came of with "The Infection."  We wanted something tough and chick magnet-y, but it ended up sounding gross and pus-filled.  Which I suppose was pretty cool with me.

We had to turn in a demo to see if we were worthy enough to play the show (a clever ploy to see if you swore too much or sang about punching Jesus) so we gave them a cassette tape, complete with hand drawn cover art.  This is that cover art:

I wrapped it up just right and shoved into a cassette box.  Cassette tape holder?  The thing that holds/protects the cassette tape.  What are they even called again?

A mummy, an alien, a squid-thing, a planetary landscape and a beatnik guy jamming to his record player.  I'm sure I couldn't remember if I tried, but I'm guessing that even back then, there was no rhyme or reason to my artistic interpretation of the band.  I really liked drawing space creatures and guitars.

Two songs were featured.  "Forever" and "Jessica's Song."  Please kill me now.

Unfortunately/fortunately, nothing ever came of our lil' band.  It mostly consisted of two other guys (plus a few stragglers, here and there) where we played a few shows and thought we were awesome and gonna be millionaires in no time.  We're all still friends, if only because Facebook tells us we are.  Peeking into their lives via updates and personal postings, I've found that one dude is gallivanting around New York as a musician/recording engineer and the other is a full-blown dad with a bald head and a desk job.

Weird, man.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Black Blood!

Oh, hello there, doghouse-sized box of mystery.

Our good friend, San VonZombie, reminded us of how much a good friend she is by sending us eight thousand pounds of Starbucks coffee.  We judge friendships on material goods and presents.  Is that so wrong?

Look at that haul.  Take it all in.  Out of a kindness only reserved for other caffeine junkies, she took the liberty of sending us an insane amount of coffee beans.  She works at Starbucks.  She's got the in, man.

Now, it's too far away from December 25th to be a Christmas present, and no one in their right mind exchanges gifts for Thanksgiving (the ultimate holiday to get drunk and not give a shit) so I can only assume it was meant for someone else.  Or these were all infested with worms and ticks down at the local Starbucks and were sent out to be disposed of.  I dunno, I'm fishin' here.  I think it's because she's just awesome.

Do you like Starbucks coffee?  I do.  Admittedly, I used to hate it, but it's kind of like when you first try coffee.  Pretty disgusting, right?  Then you eventually get used to it and start loving it.  THEN you try Starbucks brew, and...pretty disgusting, right?  It's a required taste after a required taste.  I think I've required this specific taste, and much prefer it over a lot of brands these days.  Go figure.

Along with a few pins, mug decals and a handful of coupons for a free cup o' Joe, we even got a real life, employee's apron, too!  Now we can frantically rush into a Starbucks, declare that we're "sorry for being late," then hop on to an espresso machine, ready for a solid day of hard work!

Dreams really do come true!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ramble ramble ramble.

There's so much I wanna mention, talk over and brag about.  Everything I post isn't the "next great American novel," but even I have a few standards I adhere to.  Right now, I can't pinpoint what exactly I want to say, but I know there's something.  Not enough for a full blown post, but enough to quickly write a few thoughts and ideas and weird shit I've been thinking about for the last week.  It'll be a buffet of words, a bouquet of bullshit.  Excited?  I am!

To make it even more confusing, I'm going to proceed to do it in one, massive paragraph, with zero regard for any rules and regulations.  I want you to feel dizzy and disoriented by the end of it, reaching for the nearest empty popcorn bag to dry heave into.  No easing into any subject, not a transition in sight.  This will be a good cleansing process for the both of us.  For you and me, baby.



Christmas is coming up, and I'm stoked.  Yeah, I completely skipped over Thanksgiving, but what can you do?  Believe me, I'm a fan of Turkey Day, but it ain't no Christmas.  If you're taken aback and are comically gasping into your computer screen, I understand what you're thinking: "I thought you liked Halloween!" and "I thought you were a prince of unholy terror, a vampire of the night!" and of course, "HOW CAN WE TASTE YOUR DARKNESS IF YOU LIKE CHRISTMAS?"  I know, I know, but my conviction is strong with this one.  Halloween comes in a bitingly close, CLOSE second, if that helps ease the pain at all.  Just think about it, though.  The twinkling lights, the dreadful music, the presents.  I love the dark and I live in a constant world of cinematic psychopaths and monsters from hell, but when have you ever received a SNES for Halloween?  My nose is constantly stuffed.  Through a series of tests, I've found that there's no snot residing within these nasal walls, leading me to think that my nose is, naturally, completely fucked.  Is it allergies?  A wild stew of disease brewing inside my head, waiting to emerge at the worst possible moment?    It's been a few weeks now, and the only relief comes from a stock bottle of nasal spray.  I've never used nasal spray before, but under the guidance of a friend in Indianapolis during our last tour, I gave it a shot.  It worked.  Until twenty-four hours later, where my whole head resumed to feel like poop.  I soon began squirting fluid into my brain every twelve hours, and now it's whittled down to once every six hours.  Before you know it I'll be wearing a pocket protector and a sweater vest.  I'll have a cowlick and you can shove me into my locker in between class.  There's something wrong with this.  What's wrong with this?  I've been thinking about starting a new band recently.  Not out of anger or hate towards my current band mates, nor a desire to shoot my musical load all over the universe, but out of an interest to do something so fucking gnarly it'll make your head spin.  Ya see, I want Calabrese to have an alternate "evil Calabrese."  It'll be our Bizarro-version of the band.  My idea is to whip up a few music videos featuring us and our demonic counterparts, battling and fighting and snarling at one another.  I'd like it if Bad Calabrese tried to take over Good Calabrese, out of an unknown jealousy, which can be explored at a later date.  Maybe they're from the future, too.  Maybe they're our kids, all grown up and trying to take over the world, because the only way to take over the world is to go into the past to KILL.  The best part is that if they did killed us, they would, as expected, cease to exist.  It's so stupid it just might work.  We'd release an album as this fraudulent, corrupt band, complete with new name, costumes, whatever.  I'm thinking Zorro masks, or nerdy glasses.  If they were truly evil, they'd be wearing hip, thick rimmed glasses only hip assholes who don't have eye prescriptions wear.  It's another idea I'm playing around with.  I've been drinking a lot of wine lately.  Red wine, with dinner.  I want a red and white checkered table cloth, too, but I don't want to get too involved.  Chianti.  Oh, Chianti.  I feel like such a classy bastard and I get a good buzz, generating the greatest run of sleepy-time of my life.  I can only assume that the "glass of red wine is good for your heart" mantra really just means "every thing's better when you're drunk."  Especially passing out in a warm bed.  You can't beat that logic.  I'm reading a lot more books recently.  It's cheaper than video games and safer than skateboarding.  I need more hobbies that don't involve scraped knees and a possible smashed hand.  All I ever do is write music and listen to music and go to bars with music blasting into my skull.  You can't say I'm not dedicated.  I'm reading the "John Dies at the End" books, and they're great.  It sucks that they're turning it into a movie because there's nothing better than reading a book that not a whole lot of people have read.  Now everyone will read this book.  It's kind of sad that a main driving point for me to read is to feel superior to others.  Kind of being in a class of your own.  An elite group of readers.  That read books.  I've been getting into cooking, too.  It's one of those things where the outcome is better than the journey, but I suppose that can be applied to anything.  I hate cracking eggs but I love eating omelettes.  I'm trying to eat better.  Not healthier, but better.  Better food all around.  Last night I made an arugula topped, penne and sausage pasta, and it was fucking mind-blowing.  I then proceeded to eat some top tier chocolate, trailed by a glass of that irresistible wine.  I think it would be cool to have a cooking show, where we'd film in other people's houses all across the US while on tour.  It would center around eating great food while on the road.  No fast food, no Doritos and Mountain Dew from the gas station.  Just whatever good ingredients any random person currently had in their pantry, cooked up to a warm, blissful meal.  Maybe I'll start my own YouTube series.  Probably not.  How often do you clean your toilet?  Like, actually get down into it with that brush and bleach.  I have a habit of doing it at least once a week.  Vacuuming, too.  I think I'm a addicted to cleaning, but to some weird guidelines only dished out to me.  Like, I don't give a shit if your place looks like a dump, or any other location that isn't my apartment, for that matter.  I like having the immediate area surrounding my existence to be clean and proper, even if it still looks like a bomb went off inside a comic book shop.  It makes me feel good.  It's kind of weird.  The reason I bring up the toilet issue is because I feel that if the toilet is clean, everything feels clean.  There's psychology behind this.  Maybe I fell into a toilet when I was kid and almost drowned, and am now irreversibly scarred, damned to forever spit-shine my shitter until the constant flow of low sobbing stops.  I dunno.


The end.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Secret Admirer.

One of the best things about being in a band is getting stuff from fans.  Yeah, there's the self gratification and flourishing personal growth of creating music, sure, yeah, whatever.  But it's truly all about the free shit.  Of course, it's an honor, and totally appreciated on every level.  We write a few songs, act like a bunch of gorillas on stage and we're sent packages of cookies, coffee and the occasional love letter.  Well, I'm sent the occasional love letter.  The other guys don't have secret admirers, which is good and bad.  I can continually rub this into their faces for years to come, but at least they don't have to worry about someone shooting them in a a dark alley.

Speaking of such love letters and horrible violence:

My secret admirer sent me another package!  

If I'm sounding insincere and rude, it's absolutely unintended.  I just find it quite funny that after years of whining about and wanting a legitimate "stalker," I finally hit pay dirt and am now the proud owner of a potential murderer stalking me in the shadows.  Cool!

She sent me a knife.  A creepy, person-shaped knife.  My secret admirer rules!

Actually, this gal is really nice and goes to every single show we play in and around Phoenix, AZ.  I feel no embarrassment in writing this about her because she mentioned she didn't have Internet access, and I can only hope that she never stumbles across this blog.  Man, that would be weird.

I'm not making fun, Not-So-Secret Secret Admirer, I'm just pointing out how awesome this all is.  For one thing, it's fantastic to even have a secret admirer, and secondly, who wouldn't want various weaponry and tools of destruction bought in their name?  Along with the note (which is quite sweet and endearing) it was pointed out that the jab-stick was from Athens, Greece.  International shit right here, folks.  There's love in the air.  You can cut it with oh I'll shut up now.

Yes, it might get weird if photos of myself sleeping in my bed were sent with the knife, or a detailed layout of what I've eaten in the last three months, but for the time being, we're totally kosher.  Thank you, Secret Admirer.

Thank you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

"The Dead Don't Rise!"

Well, here it is! Spread the word, tell your friends, watch it until your eyes bleed all sorts of weird liquids. A total labor of love, we hope you enjoy it as much as we hated filming it. I stood in the sun for, oh, twelve hours straight. You can't blame me for the negativity.

Honestly, though, it was really fun to screw around in a western town dressed up as a bright green vampire, complete with cape and custom fangs. Actually, it was more fun to walk around gas stations as that ugly creature for a few pitstops on the way up to the location.  People thought I was a fucking madman.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Here! It's Finally Here! Halloween!

This is my carved pumpkin:

I used one of those "cut-out kits" you get from the corner store to achieve what you see above.  It's supposed to be the side profile of a vampire, but I accidentally sawed off the part of his face that represented the mouth, had to delicately use toothpicks to hold it in place, made continual stink-face, yeah yeah yeah.  I did it as quickly as possible, if I'm being at all honest.  The idea of carving pumpkins is delightful, and always puts me in a Halloween mood, but as soon as my hands touch the shitty mess inside, it's game over.

Ultimately, my creation is not that good, and I'm fine with it.

These are infinitely better, anyhow:

Thanks for the great pumpkin-tributes to Calabrese, guys.  I feel so warm and spooky and filled with happiness inside just looking at 'em all.  I feel too much of those pretzel M&Ms inside, too.  I'm a beaten man.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

S.L.U.G. Zombies!

Halloween is, like, NEXT WEEK.

Am I prepared?  No idea.  Fine, not at all.  

I've procrastinated long enough -- it's time to get my Halloween on.  Yeah, I'm gonna carve a pumpkin.  It's essential.  I'm gonna hastily decorate the front door for the two kids in the area who'll actually be trick-or-treating this year.  I will absolutely consume an entire bag of fun-sized Twix, instantly regret this act of Halloween gluttony and curl up on the couch in sugar-shame.

There will be movie marathons, there will be pumpkin flavored beer, there will be trips to the costume shops to by fake mustaches, cowboy hats and over sized spiders.

Of course, every store now is loaded with Halloween junk, all of which I've yet to fully investigate.  I've heard CVS has some swank product, and even Wal-Mart rolled out a fine stock of wares.  Target, of course, never lets me down, and this year is no different.  Firmly tucked away from the actual "Halloween section," (hey, close enough) I found these:

S.L.U.G. Zombies, man.  I doubt they were created to spark Halloween cheer into the hearts of all, but that's exactly what they did to me.  These are perfect.  THESE ARE HALLOWEEN.

Thankfully, people know how much of a loser I am.  A swell fellow online gave me the heads up on these things, which quickly turned into curiosity, jealousy then a full-blown obsession.  All based on a few photos on the Internet.  From what I could conjure up, these were M.U.S.C.L.E., Guts!, and Monster in My Pocket, all smashed up and spit out into a charming three-pack.  But wait!  They even have "mystery packs."  Giant sized packs.  A fucking carrying case for these things.  It's everything I've ever loved, past and present, here and now.  There's an obscure, hidden equation for time travel in that revelation.  It's your job to figure it out.

Yeah, they're pretty much a total rip of all the above mentioned, but that's why they're so great.  This time around, instead of army brats and half naked wrestlers, we're offered ghoulish, zombie-fied parodies of...well, whoever.  Andre Agassi, Rambo, Hulk Hogan.  Chefs, actors, historical figures, movie characters.  But they're rotting and dead and can fit in your mouth.  They're S.L.U.G.s.

"Scary Little Ugly Guys."  Get it?

I only intended to pick up one, maybe two packs of these guys.  But nope.  For whatever reason, I could only find the whole of "Series 2," which is a total of sixteen freaks.  Which I just had to have.  This is why I don't have friends, guys.

I'm unsure as to what the significance is with one being salmon-pink in each case, but I like to think it's a reference to M.U.S.C.L.E's awkward decision to make a brunt of their action figures...well, salmon-pink.  It's a comforting thought.  Thanks, guys!

Anyway, I dig them all.  But if I had to pick, my favorite would be "Mash-Up Mike."  He truly looks grotesque, with a classic "grappling" type pose.  I feel like I can easily direct scenarios of violence with him, with his hands out for perfect, punching power.  He also has a mohawk and a tiny bone-necklace.  It's all about the details.

I really like how each three-pack comes with a designated three.  Like, they could have mixed and matched each pack until the variations became random and endless, causing you to buy-buy-buy until you were broke-broke-broke, but they helped you out by keeping it consistent.  Thanks again, guys!

I guess that's it.  What more can be said?  I'm off to do some more Halloween-y things, and you should, too.  Only tonight and tomorrow to stuff in as much candy, Troma films and seasonal window clings into your life.

Well, more than you/we usually do.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bruce Springsteen...or Peter Fonda from "Easy Rider?"

It figures. You go through the trouble of buying fitted, road-worn blue jeans, a red bandanna in a chaotic, Halloween store and a belt that looks exactly like the one Bruce Springsteen is wearing on "Born in the USA," and people just think you're Peter Fonda from "Easy Rider."

I'm never dressing up for Halloween again.

Actually, it was a lot of fun.  Usually, my go-to plan revolves around wearing a creepy monster mask that's either covered in blood or fur, so it was a nice change of pace know, actually do something other than the Goat-Man.   Or a space creature with goofy teeth.  Or an ugly, fuzzy gorilla.  Fuck, I should have went as the ugly, fuzzy gorilla.

I honestly thought the American flag was the obvious climax of the costume, the "piece de resistance" that tied it all together.  I THOUGHT WRONG.  I even dabbled in the idea of actually carrying a damn Bruce Springsteen record under my arm, but surely that would have been overkill, right?  If only I had some motorcycle gloves and tinted sunglasses, I could have worn a two-for-one super-slam of a Halloween costume.  Actually, as far as anyone is concerned, I was both musical celebrity and motorcyclin' bad-boy.  And that's why this costume is better than yours!  Complete costume 180!

 Bobby Calabrese for the Halloween, 2012 win!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Dayglo Necros" Tour Recap, 2012!

...and wouldn't ya know it, we're already back. Pretty quick run through the US, now that I think about it. Started off pretty slow, but once things started picking up, my body and soul adjusted itself to nothing but Belvita, six hours of disjointed sleep and cheap beer. Have you seen these Belvita things? No, it's not related nor is it literally Velveeta cheese, but a pack of four Nabisco "breakfast cookies."  Without actually posting images, it's the only way to describe these biscuit-things. They're simply cookies you eat in the morning and there's no way around it.  It's glorious.

I dunk them in coffee. I munch on them during the day, before and after shows and in the middle of the night. Are they good for you? I have no idea, but I doubt that eating sugary wafers the first thing after waking up is the best idea.  Not the worst, though, because I said so and that's that.

We hit up St. Louis and worked our way all the way up to Brooklyn, NY.  Every stop of the way was a blast, where we met old friends and rocked new faces.  Ed Dexter, the dude who took the bottom half of these photos, described our show as "kinda like going back to summer camp."  I really like the idea of playing a gig and making out with the slutty, older counselor and pulling pranks on the assholes in the other camp across the lake.  They're assholes because they just are.  I said so and that's that.

Now that I'm back and have time to reflect, I realize that you get used to traveling.  You begin to like it.  You yearn for it.  But hey, at least I get to watch terrible movies on the daily now.  Man, I missed watching terrible movies.


BBQ in Columbus, OH at Ray Ray's Hog Pit.  Clean underwear.  "John Dies at the End" by David Wong.  Cans of Tecate with lime.  Family making it out to various shows.  The Arkhams in Providence, RI.  Speedwolf on blast while cruising through the country.  My "clone" in Indianapolis.  Getting cookies from fans at nearly every turn.  "Poo-Pourrie" bathroom spray.  The carnie/circus theme of the Red Palace in Washington, DC.  Spaceman/Astro-Bob.  The first shower of the tour.  Dunkin' Donuts everywhere.

The Exact Opposite of Highlights:

Various gear and all of my guitars stolen in Brooklyn, NY.

One minute we're eating in a cafe/bar across the street, the next minute I'm wondering why we left the passenger window open.  Yeah, it sucks.  Sadly, we had to cancel the show, and soon after we left the city with our tails firmly placed between our legs.  Surprising, I'm already past the grieving process, but man, was I ever bummed. I felt like a loved one had died.  My guitars hold a certain sentimental value, which is infinitely more shitty than just thinking about losing two planks of expensive wood.  But like I said, I'm over it.  I have to be over it.  I have to think of my guitars as dumb lumber.  I REFUSE TO LET THE ROCK AND ROLL SPIRIT DIE.

Plus, Halloween is right around the corner and I really don't wanna be a sourpuss.

So, yes!  Pictures!  If you've ever read this blog, you know I'm always messing with Google statistics and all that impossibly weird, Matrix-y shit.  The more photos I post = the better the chance people will see our faces when they search "Calabrese," and not a hot salami or a fat dude eating a crucifix.  Or something.  These are the best of the best I've seen in the last twenty-four check 'em out below!

Oh, and if you live in the Brooklyn area, keep your eyes peeled for those two guitars.  Pawn shops, I guess. It would be awesome to get my babies back, but I kinda like the idea of eventually seeing photos of another band live, and dead-center is my sweat stained, duct-taped guitar being played by some random jack-off.  Just sometime down the line.  I couldn't be mad at that point, just curious and analytical.  It would be really weird.


CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!