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.