Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

After a brief week off we hit the road again, this time to grace a stage adorned with half-hearted props on the Winter Wonderslam Tour. The tour was great in that we mostly played weekends and got to have some weekdays off. In your face, Warped Tour! I used one of the breaks to fly down to Playa del Carmen where Sarah’s sister got married, Speidi-style, on a beautiful beach in Mexican wonderland. It was picturesque, romantic, and unfortunately, Montezuma’s-Revenge-inducing for the unlucky groom. After saying goodbye to family, friends, and the small tree monkeys that make appearances in the afternoons, I boarded a plane to rejoin the Wonderslam tour.


The rest of the tour I spent taking pictures for my nephew’s Flat Stanley project. His classroom read the book and was assigned to assign family members homework by having them take pictures of the flat kids in different parts of the country/world. His favorite picture (and mine) was the one I took of him on the set of The Tonight Show, which we played later that month. If I’d have been on my A game that day I would also have taken a picture of the flat kid with Tom Wilson, who was kind enough to both play acoustic guitar with us on our version of “Sleigh Ride”, and also to graciously answer all the myriad questions we had for him about Back to the Future and Freaks and Geeks.



Christmas was again spent in Chilly MN. We stayed at Diane and Andy’s and were surprised to find a gift already waiting for us there. Before writing about their gift to us, I must needs explain that it was a reciprocation that far outshone our initial gift to them. When Diane and Andy moved into their new house a year and a half ago, Sarah and I wanted to get them a gift of warmth and welcome that would create an inviting atmosphere in their new home. Naturally we decided to go to T.J. Maxx. We must have come at the right time, because that one-of-a-kind item, the one that seemed to jump off the shelf and into our hearts, was sitting all alone, basked in a golden glow, on a forlorn shelf.

Picture in your mind a small, unassuming black box. Now imagine a plaster-white hand, beautifully formed, fingers splayed as in the throes of divine revery, perched gently upon its pedestal. Rising out of the blackness as if to caress the wings of angels, the hand beckons you, seeking to make you all that you can be.

We knew at once that this was the housewarming gift that Diane and Andy deserved. Bought and paid for, we took it to their house and gave it into their care. For many months they kept it near their front window, maybe as a sign of welcome to friends and warning to ne’er-do-wells. They had to finally take it down when a neighbor admitted being kind of creeped out by it. She just doesn’t understand.

So back to this Christmas. Diane and Andy are not ones to be outdone (especially Andy, as you well know if you’ve ever gotten into a kindness war with him [you won’t win {don’t even try!}]), and so they scoured the city and eventually found the hand sculpture’s counterpart. After saying the obligatory oh-you-shouldn’t-have’s, Sarah and I removed the gift from its wrappings, that familiar heavenly glow shining forth from this our very own new, creepy sculpture.

Same black box, same sepulchral white plaster. But what to our speechless awe should appear but a sorrowful face. Just the front part of the head, mind you, like a very thick mask. Eyelids drooping, lips puckered, it mesmerizes you in a curious blend of attraction and horror. Below the face and at right angles to it horizontally, a single hand rises outstretched. Cupped in its palm rests a single votive candle (white, of course) in a direct line from the blowing mouth. Out of what diabolical mind this misguided idea for a sculpture came, I know not. But the effect is disconcerting wherever you choose to place the monstrosity. I absolutely love it.

to be continued…

Listening to "West Coast"
from the album Nighttiming
by Coconut Records

I always start these posts off by saying, gosh, it’s been a while since I last posted, but since the dust is at points inches thick on my blog, I shall now give a few stats to amaze you in this, the first of three getting-back-up-to-speed posts. Since my last post:

  • The earth has spun 255 times on its axis, and has traveled 407 million miles.
  • The Detroit Lions went 0-16, a first in the NFL.
  • 38 plant and animal species are now gone.
  • A black man became president.
  • Swine have begun the attempt to rid the planet of humans with their flu strain.
  • Michael Phelps won 48 gold medals and, swimming, circumscribed the globe twice (though some claim he cheated by using the Panama canal).

I just blew your mind. Sorry.

Picking up where I left off, Relient K finished Warped Tour without a hitch, and with aplomb. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us and say hi! After Warped I tried to lay low for a few weeks. Tinkering with my time machine prototype consumed the majority of my time, though with a plethora of video games readily accesible and a camping trip to the mountains where the temperatures approximated those in the Arctic circle, it was a battle of the wills.


Unrelated: history remains unchanged… for now.

In the Fall both my brother and Sarah’s sister devised a nefarious plan whereby their separate weddings circumvented the proper and logical way of getting married; by this I mean, of course, holding their ceremonies in THIS country. The scene for my brother’s wedding was the faraway land of New Brunswick, home to St. Stephen’s University and heaping doses of Maritime pride. I kind of fell in love with the place. There’s a great community of artists and thinkers up there that begs the question: why do they not have a neighborhood coffee shop? Canucks…

His wedding was beautiful. It was held in a church whose stones and timbers were pulled from the very bones of the earth, it is told. The music was simple and heart-wrenching. And the way my brother and his wife stared deeply into each other’s eyes during the ceremony, it felt as though we were intruding on their privacy. It was one of my life’s finest honors to stand beside him that day.


Directly after the festivities Relient K went into the studio to add three more songs to the ever-bloating compendium which is our Christmas album . The songs are great, and I’d definitely suggest you line our pockets by purchasing said songs for the next holiday season. I keed, I keed.


Our Fall tour was called The Uncle Fest Tour. A whole lot less people ended up knowing that the name was a reference to Uncle Fester from the Addams Family, or for that matter even knew what The Addams Family is, than we had expected. But everyone seem to come around once we played the theme song. You know, the one with the snaps. It was amazing getting to tour with our buddies House of Heroes again, and great to get to know This Providence and Ludo.


Highlight of the tour for me? It happened in this wise:

In Pittsburgh, PA, a drunken cougar expectantly approached me, seeing from afar that I wore a black, button-up shirt and purple tie. In disappointed tones, her breath rich with the scent of far-away tobacco fields, she stammered, “Oh, I thought you were that guy…”

Prey: “What guy?”

Cougar: “Zach Efron!”

to be continued…

Listening to "I'm Expanding My Mind"
from the album Head Trip In Every Key
by Superdrag

…happens a lot of times in a row at the time this is posted (MST).

08/08/08 at 08:08:08

Now that’s Mathemagic!

Listening to "Number One"
from the album Don't Back Down
by The Queers

Wow, I can’t believe Warped is half over. It really has flown by. When we were getting ready for this tour I  braced myself, remembering last time when the gear pushes were loooong, the noonday heat unrelenting, and the showers hard to come by. This year’s Warped has been way easier on us seeing as how our gear is now on the production truck, and most especially because we have a freaking shower on our bus! Oh the joy of it all.

A bunch of us have also gotten bikes to provide an escape from the craziness for an afternoon or evening. Hoopes has been gracious enough to let me ride his spare cruiser now that he’s got a fixed-gear for which he’s already gotten flack. Apparently you can’t become a mild-mannered fixie enthusiast; it’s either go big or go home. One of this sort happened to walk by Hoopes on his bike and berated him for having a front brake. That, my friends, is an unforgivable, fixed-gear transgression.

The first week of tour we spent in California, a few days of which we had off in San Clemente. Ethan recommended it to us as the town was his old stomping grounds. It was great! A bunch of us got to go surfing (it was my first time), and I think the ocean was thrilled to toss our sorry butts about mercilessly. It was awesome, but man is it hard work the first time! Here’s a picture of me before I became the sea’s ragdoll:

Gnar! What with the sun I’m not used to and the inevitable board rash, my skin took a beating that day and ended up feeling very… reptilian. But all’s back to normal.

Other highlights so far this tour have been hanging out in Durango for my birthday, seeing my wife and all my friends in Denver, playing Wii Fit with the Dunhams, watching the bats and fireworks in Austin (we’ll have a podcast up soon!), hanging out with the Douglas’s, riding in the Montreal rain trying to find a good cup of coffee with the boys, and of course playing our set each day. The best is yet to come, though, since wifey gets into town today!

Listening to "Oh John"
from the album The Missing Link
by Jeremy Enigk

Last Wednesday night I went to hang out with my good buddy and bandmate Ethan. His other band Demon Hunter came to town as well as the rest of the bands on their “Stronger Than Hell” tour.

As an added bonus my friend Alec from Nashville also happened to be there. He’s teching for DH, and boy, let me tell you, when he’s on stage checking those instruments and there are haunting metal melodies playing over the PA, he looks like about the toughest dude you’d never want to come across in a dark alley. But I get ahead of myself.

Reese came down and we hung out for a bit. Since 3/5 of Guerilla Rodeo was there we thought we’d go ahead and take a trip down Memory Lane by listening to that three-song demo we did all those years ago. Mandy came a little later, and then it was time to enter the cavern of metal. We missed the first three bands, having really only come to see Living Sacrifice and Demon Hunter.

Living Sac was awesome! Ethan had told me that even though they hadn’t toured in six years, on this tour they didn’t miss a beat. And right he was. My old band Ace Troubleshooter toured with LS back in the day (you tell me how that makes any sense!), and each night I was consistently blown away by them. So getting to watch them play a lot of the same songs eight years later was like a stroll down Memory Blvd.  They were incredible.

After a short break Ethan and the boys descended on the stage in metal majesty and scared everybody witless. They were fantastic. Ethan prepped me for the times he’d do a little shredding. Apparently it is the custom when said riffing occurs for metal fans to throw their right hands up in the air and wiggle their fingers as if to attract catfish from the banks of a hot, muddy Louisiana river. DH were tough, but they showed their softer sides as well with some heartfelt ballads about the wonders of love, I think. All in all, a fun night.

Let’s see… lately my buddy Justin has been teaching me how to ride his crotch-rocket. I think he prefers calling it a “performance bike” or some other equally brochure-type term, but we both know what it really is. Man is that thing quick! The only other time I had been on a motorcycle was when my friend Legs let me try out his old Yamaha. No kidding, in two seconds flat I had it on the ground. Needless to say I was a bit apprehensive about learning to ride on this pricey “gentleman’s sport bike” with much, much more power. But Justin is a great teacher, however foolish he may be to let me on the thing. In a few short lessons I was riding the streets around my place, terrorizing the geriatrics and hassling shopkeepers. Here’s a shot of me riding the thing:

Taking a Turn

Ok so really that’s my face PhotoShopped onto Justin’s body, but I’m sure I look just as awesome going 30 all shakily in my old t-shirt and shorts. For reals.

Other than that I really haven’t been too busy. I recently finished designing a website for my dad’s ministry that will soon be up at Right now it just redirects to his old site which looks like Windows 95 got sick and threw up onto the internet (sorry Dad!). Also I made a wallpaper for our upcoming album “The Bird And The Bee Sides”. I followed a great tutorial from PSDTuts.

The Bird And The Bee Sides

In a few days I’ll be leaving town for Nashville where we’ll meet up to rehearse for Warped Tour. It’s been three years since Relient K has graced those stages, so taking in the sights, the sounds, and especially the smells will be like taking a trip down Memory Terrace.