Monday, January 28, 2008

Another career milestone!

A quote from my act has been immortalized in t-shirt form, woo!

front row L to R: Roger, Rachel V.; back
row L to R: Rachel D, Leah, Mary, Me and Sarah

Saturday night I emceed a battle of the bands at Wartburg College in Iowa and some of the nice folks in the music department made up t-shirts with a line from my Pachelbel
Rant: "Punk music is a joke, it's really just baroque." And if that
weren't impressive enough, the back of each shirt bore the name
"Johann", a reference to another line in the rant.

I was quite
flattered by the gesture, and having gotten the t-shirt before the show
from the bassist in a couple of the bands, I knew it was going to be a
fun night. I love it when there's a big crew of music people in the

Thanks Wartburg! You warmed my heart (which wasn't easy because it was like 2 degrees all week).

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

I am so goth

This is what rock stars do on their days off on the road: they find the nearest claim to fame and take their picture in front of it.

Here I am in Eldon, Iowa in front of what's called the "American Gothic House," so named because it is the house in the background of Grant Wood's famous painting American Gothic, seen below:

Um, that's about it. That's all I got.

Oh, I went to a Quizno's too. They have that here in Iowa.

Honestly though, I'm having a blast. The shows have been fun, and tonight on my night off I sang Crazy Train at live band karaoke here in Des Moines. It was a freakin' blast. I highly recommend doing live band karaoke before you die.

The American Gothic House on the other hand, not really necessary.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Which Mount Will be more Pleasant?

Next week starts off with a show at Iowa Weslyan, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and I just booked a show for next month at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Which of course leads me to wonder which Mount Pleasant will actually be more pleasant?

How does one quantify pleasantness? Are there different areas of pleasantness, such as pleasant to live in, pleasant to look at, pleasant sounding?

I'd better get my study proposal together this weekend if I want to get any grant money for this.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nebraskan Language

To begin my touring in '08 I find myself in Nebraska, home of corn, cows, and the hometown of comedy legend Johnny Carson, which is Norfolk, NE, where I had my show last night.

Norfolk. Spelled like the Norfolk in Virginia, so one would think to pronounce it "Norfoke," or "Norf#&k" as the genteel folk in Virginia do.

Nope. It's pronounced "Nor-Fork" with a definite 'R' sound instead of an 'L' sound before the K. Of course I didn't find this out until after my show, so everytime I asked the crowd "Are you ready to rock, Norfoke?" I was making even more of an ass of myself than I usually intend.

Turns out they do that a lot here in Nebraska, it's their fun little way of instantly identifying outsiders. Me saying "Norfoke" instantly makes me sound like a snob, a carpet-bagger, someone with too much fancy phonics learnin' from shows like Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

They continue the trend elsewhere in the state where the town Beatrice is pronounced "Be-YAT-trice" in an apparent homage to Snoop Dogg. I wonder if the radio stations say things like "That was 'Love Me Do' by the BeeYATles."

But the shows have been fun so far, and tonight I'm at Doane College in Crete. Which I'm sure is pronounced "crate" or "cruton" or something. I'll remember to ask before I go on stage.