So, I tried to be a normal grown-up and maybe wait until later this week to post this since I already posted once today, but I CAN’T WAIT YOU GUYS BECAUSE OMG JONNY CRAIG’S NEW BAND SLAVES FINALLY RELEASED A SINGLE AFTER TEASING US RELENTLESSLY!
I actually kept refreshing their Facebook page last night before I went to bed until they finally announced that the song was available on iTunes so of course I screamed real loud like a typical 34-year-old MOM does when her favorite fantasy boyfriend releases new music and I kept trying to get Henry to listen to it on my phone but he actually rolled away from me and tried to put his pillow over his head.
My love affair with Jonny is so confusing, even to myself. I want to hate him! But…then I hear his dumb voice and I get all googly eyed and it’s 2008 again. I have to admit though, I wasn’t 100% in love with his solo stuff. I liked it, but in my heart, I believe that Jonny belongs in front of a band. And hopefully, Slaves will be the one that sticks. Maybe this is the fresh start that Jonny needs, you guys. MAYBE HE IS DONE BEING A D-BAG!
Anyway, Hands Like Houses announced their first US headlining tour, which starts next month, and Slaves is one of the supporting bands. I am DYING TO SEE THEM but the closest they’re coming is 4 hours away, which is not that far, but Henry is making me jump through all sorts of hoops before he will agree to take me. If it were in Pittsburgh, I’d go alone. But I dislike driving more than 2 hours away by myself. Years of back-n-forth to Cincinnati was enough. Besides, laughing at Henry’s frowns and extreme discomfort at seeing Jonny on a stage is part of the process.
2014 has ejaculated unto us a ridiculous amount of amazing music and tours so far, and the year isn’t even half over. I bow down to you, 2014. (And you too, Henry, if you take me to Allentown, goddammit.)
Considering that Emarosa is done recording their new album and have already announced tour dates, it’s safe to say that I won’t be jinxing anything by posting this video of their new singer’s old band, Squid the Whale. When it first leaked that Bradley Walden was going to FINALLY fill the spot that Jonny Craig left in…2011—has it really been that long since Emarosa was royally fucked?—I was so fucking excited but also incredibly wary because rumors are always flying when it comes to this shit. But ironically, it was Jonny Craig himself who let it slip that Bradley was taking the reins as the new Emarosa frontman.
You guys. Bradley is an incredible vocalist and my mind has been spinning out with a million ideas of how he is going to sound with Emarosa behind him. I LOVE EMAROSA SO MUCH IT HURTS, so I have so much faith in them, and the fact that this upcoming album (which Rise Records keeps teasing us about on Facebook, those fuckers) is going to be magnificent, a fucking diamond in the post-hardcore rough.
Bradley’s tone reminds me a little of Lorene Drive-era Daniel Murillo and Matt Geise of Lower Definition, so I’m on board. I am so much on the fucking board. I MIGHT actually have a heart attack when I get to hear it for the first time. Be prepared to send a medic to my house.
In related news, Chiodos released another new song yesterday and I sat at my desk crying and then texted Henry about it, begging him to care. His response? “Lol.”
It’s not easy being a 34-year-old scene kid.
ETA: Henry just told me he doesn’t like Bradley Walden. Probably because he feels threatened already.
I was watching Emarosa videos on YouTube last night, which is practically all I ever do according to Henry, when I saw one of those typical “IF YOU LIKE EMAROSA, COME LISTEN TO MY BAND!!!!” comments. I don’t know what made me click over, because I usually don’t, but THIS TIME I DID and thank god because this is basically my new favorite band now.
Too bad they have a new singer now, I guess? Figures.
I will hopefully be back later today to write about my day at a winery with Corey, but you know how I get when I hear a song that makes me internally weep—I can’t help but share it, and even if only one person listens, that’s all that matters!
In other news, I’m working an earlier shift today so I get to leave at 6 and I’m so happy about that! Because I have A LOT of bossing Henry around to do tonight. And Jonny Craig got his bitchass fiancee’s initials tattooed on his stomach, like HUGE, and then she left him again, according to Instagram. And I want to be all, “HAHAHAHA” but instead I’m all, “POOR JONNY! COME TO PITTSBURGH AND I WILL HOLD YOU!” I thought I was done loving him you guys, but I guess TRU LUV really is 4Lyfe.
I hope all of my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Me: “Jonny Craig played here last night and I didn’t go on purpose.”
Chooch: “That’s good. You shouldn’t.”
Even still, I’m obsessed with his new solo album, OMG.
Ugh, I’d still let him put a ring on my finger, though.
Meanwhile, Chooch is in the middle of a quarrel with Henry and he just yelled, “I WISH CHRISTOFER DREW WAS MY DAD! HE WOULD TEACH ME MUSIC!!” (That would be pretty awkward for me if Chooch’s dad was Christofer Drew considering he’s only like…22 I think? So he’d have been some unmentionable age at the time of Chooch’s conception OMG vomit.)
Prior to Chooch’s outburst, Henry was only used to having someone scream, “I WISH [insert scene guy's name] WAS MY BOYFRIEND AND NOT YOU”! Chooch is adding a whole new layer to Henry’s complex.
Christ. The names that get dropped in this house are so fucked up.
OK. I know that I mention Jonny Craig A LOT A LOT A LOT on my blog, on Facebook, in real life, in my dreams, while Henry is trying to get busy, but I feel like I have been doing kind of good with not spamming you guys with Jonny Craig videos.
My boy Captain Midnite posted this one a little while ago on his Facebook and I’ve held off as long as I can and now I need to post it here because it’s a fucking compulsion, OK. A motherfucking compulsion.
Anyone wanna be my date to his show in Pittsburgh this October? Because Henry’s being a bitch about it.
Is our skin to keep the world out or our bodies in?
OK, I tried to hold out as long as I could, but I have to post about this song because it has been coursing through my brain for the last 2 weeks.
I first heard about Hands Like Houses two winters ago, when it was announced that Jonny Craig had recorded guest vocals on a song from their upcoming album. I mean, magic words: JONNY CRAIG. Of course I ran off to listen to it and I promptly had a music orgasm. I remember thinking that the singer sounded a bit like Brendan Urie (Panic! At the Disco), and then when I found out the band is from Canberra, Australia, I was officially on board. Have to give love to the Canberrians! That’s where I saw the Cure perform in 2000 and the people in that city were so unbelievably nice to me—one of the radio stations there kept playing my story over and over, so when I would go to various places around town, people would say, “Are you that American?!” So bizarre. But I have had affectations for that city ever since, so I definitely wanted to support Hands Like Houses.
Their debut album was released a year later in the States. I liked it enough, but it wasn’t like, “HOLY SHIT YES.” It didn’t have that instantaneous effect on me that some music does. But for some reason, I started listening to it a lot more over the last year, really listening to it, hearing the nuances that have that heart-tugging quality that I missed the first time around. And finally one day, I realized that this band was starting to fill the void that Emarosa left in my heart. (Fun fact: I tweeted that a few weeks ago and Emarosa replied to me, promising that new music is on the way! DYING. Bradley Walden from Squid the Whale has replaced Jonny. I’m pretty stoked to hear the outcome.)
Anyway, Hands Like Houses released their sophomore album a few weeks ago and I was smitten at first listen. The song that I shared at the beginning of this post was my instant favorite—I was editing Warped Tour photos when it first came on and it made me stop dead. I love it when music has that ability.
These guys killed it at Warped Tour. Henry even bought me a Hands Like Houses tank, and he never buys me SHIT at Warped Tour. I think he’s just happy because it’s a band that has no screaming and no Jonny Craig (except that one song). I’m already crying for them to come back to Pittsburgh.
Spring made a sneak peek this weekend, and I could not wait to get the fuck out of the house. The one good thing about the way my job has been going lately is that it makes me savor every last motherfucking second of the weekend. I cling to it like you would not believe, and then feel crippling sadness on Sunday evenings. (It doesn’t help that The Walking Dead depresses me so badly this season! I feel more emotionally connected to every character now more than ever.)
So anyway, all I could think about when I woke up on Saturday was eating a hot dog. And not some stupid veggie dog that I explode in the microwave, but a veggie hot dog made by godlike hands and gilded with insane toppings. I was allowing myself one splurge over the weekend, and a Station Street hot dog was it.
“I don’t like hot dogs!” Chooch pouted.
“Yeah, because usually they’re made in the microwave by me,” I pointed out. Kevin Sousa, the best chef in Pittsburgh (I have a sickening chef-crush on him) not only owns the joint, but he was there that day, grilling up the hot dogs himself like it was no big thang. I almost died.
“I can’t believe no one is bothering him!” I hissed to Henry, who was not as impressed as me, but that is only because he hasn’t experienced the edible sex this man can serve on a plate*. I mean, really.
*(Kara, Janna and I are doing a reprise of the infamous Vegetarian Beer Dinner next Monday night and I guarantee it will be the only thing that gets me through the work week.)
“No one here probably even knows who he is,” Henry said with that typical “you’re so lame” smirk. And that made me start judging everyone in the hot dog shop, eating their bun-hugged meat logs unbeknownst that they’re smearing their lips & chin with mustard and siracha in the presence of culinary greatness.
I got the veggie Devil Dog, which comes with a large plop of egg salad and a potato chip helmet and was so fucking worth it even though I panicked for the rest of the day about gaining all of my weight back. While eating inside and staring dreamily at my chef-crush was tempting, we wanted to take advantage of the pretty weather so we drove a few minutes to one of my favorite places — Homewood Cemetery.
Chooch ended up really liking his hot dog and actually ate the whole thing which was a small miracle because that kid never eats the whole thing of anything that isn’t made with ice cream and/or Cheez-Its.
Sometimes I wonder what kind of effect this will have on Chooch when he’s an adult, this whole cemetery thing. It’s really normal for us and we spend a ton of time at graveyards, and Chooch doesn’t really know any different. I’m not saying it’s going to ruin him or anything, but I can only hope it’s molding him into the next great horror film director.
Henry was teaching us about frogs and turtles. SNORE. (Don’t you just want to push them in? Or maybe you want to push ME in. It’s OK. I know Henry is the favorite.)
Ugh, it just felt so good to be out there! I turned on the Sucre Spotify station on my phone and then we pissed in the mausoleum. Chooch made me pretend to pray after that. It was uncomfortable.
And then fox took an unfortunate spill and perished.
OH NO, FOX!
Poor Fox. I told you you should have waited in the car. Dumbass.
On our way back to the car, some young jogging woman ran over to two elder-yuppies and panted, “Can you tell me where the entrance is!? I have been stuck in here for hours!”
She was all harried about it, but to me that sounds like A Good Time.
Later that night, Janna came over to watch the Pens game. The official plan was that Henry and I were goingt o make pendants at the same time, but Henry was being a big bitch baby about that and sat in front of the computer alone most of the night because he sucks.
Meanwhile, Chooch was playing Minecraft on his Kindle.
“I’m not wasting a diamond on a hoe!” he midlessly exclaimed at one point, not realizing the golden double entendre he had masterfully woven.
“That’s what Henry says when people ask him why he won’t propose,” I blurted in a very frantic “That’s what she said!” fashion, like I was in some sort of punchline race.
And then! This is the worst part of the whole weekend. I just happened to check my Instagram feed during a commercial (Janna was too busy mentoring Chooch in Minecraft to entertain me) when I saw the WORST THING EVER. Jonny Craig posted a picture of a Jonny Craig doll in his tour van. THE SAME JONNY CRAIG DOLL I HAD MAYA MAKE ME LAST YEAR! Turns out Christina’s Native American doppelganger found it on my blog and ordered one from Maya and then FUCKING GAVE IT TO JONNY because she’s some cuntwiping sycophant. Now that means when I see Jonny at the end of the month, I can’t show him my doll because he HAS HIS OWN.
You guys, I was so upset about this that I started storming about the house. Finally, I had to drink a glass of wine to calm down. Janna and Henry just laughed about it.
“He’ll have that doll shooting silk in no time,” Henry commented on Facebook. (God forbid he should just say it to my face — I was sitting right there!)
When I read that, I started laughing so hard. “I didn’t know silk was slang for heroin!” I cried, the wine settling in at this point. “Is that what you guys called it in THE SERVICE!?”
“What? No. I meant silk as in silk,” Henry explained. ”Because he’s a doll?” he elaborated, upon seeing the question marks undulating above my head. “Never mind. People who sew would get it.”
“No, I get it. It was just funnier when I thought you and your SERVICE buddies did ‘silk’ in the 80s.”
I wondered why Henry was being so weird about me buying tickets to the upcoming Jonny Craig show in March. Every time I’d say, “I’m buying those tickets tomorrow,” he would snap, “No!!” I thought it was because he was writing checks behind my back again and we actually had no money.
But then he forwarded me the email ticket confirmation because I guess he was afraid I was going to start putting myself up for auction on fetishist websites again in order to buy the tickets myself.
So I guess I’m supposed to consider this my Valentine’s Day present (“I bought the tickets and I’M GOING WITH YOU, TOO. That says a lot!” Henry fought for his cause), and that’s sweet and all, but we all know I was getting these tickets one way or another.
Therefore, he still has to do something for me for Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’ll have him clean out the car or chase down a Mexican fruit cart. We shall see.
(What the fuck is up with that sinister Johan up there, anyway?)
In other V-day news, I passed out my serial killer cards (and some of Chooch’s zombie ones as a safe bet for the people I wasn’t sure about). They were mostly well-received! However, I gave an Albert Fish to one of my co-workers, even though I don’t know her very well. Later, she came over to my office and, with a horrified look on her face, said, “I wiki’d the guy on the card you gave me and that was the most disturbing Wikipedia page I’ve ever seen!” And then, almost as an afterthought, she added, “Thanks for the Valentine.” I think she liked it!
I was telling Barb about it later and she was all, “OMG you gave her one of those cards? She’s so sweet and innocent! Good job, Erin!”
Hey, here’s a shocker: Jonny Craig got kicked out of Dance Gavin Dance last summer. I think that’s something like 3 bands in 5 years. But you know what? I still bought tickets to the Rock Yourself to Sleep Tour without even knowing who was going to be singing for Dance Gavin Dance, because I wanted to show my support for me, and also because A Lot Like Birds was also on the tour.
Fun Fact (for probably no one but kids like me, and if you’re a kid like me, you already know this anyway): The singer for A Lot Like Birds is Kurt Travis, who was Jonny’s first replacement in Dance Gavin Dance, and also the guy who got the boot when everyone decided to invite Jonny back in during the summer of 2010. But it would seem everyone is on good terms. Kurt even played guitar during some of Jonny’s post-rehab solo shows last year.
A few weeks ago, Jonny had a petulant little tweet about how he hoped everyone enjoyed the Dance Gavin Dance shows, because they were supposedly refusing to perform any of the stuff Jonny did with them. (Admittedly, the two albums they wrote with Kurt aren’t my favorites, but considering Jonny refused to sing any of Kurt’s songs when he came back to DGD, it would be nice to finally hear some stuff from that era again. Plus, one of my favorite Dance Gavin Dance songs is a Kurt Travis/Nic Newsham joint, so I thought maybe, oh just maybe, we might get treated to a Kurt cameo that night.)
Guys, you should know by now that I have a textbook love/hate relationship inside my heart with Jonny Craig. I think he’s a total prat as a person (spend 30 seconds reading his tweets) but when he sings? It’s like aural honey.
Like feeling the breath of hot, naked angels on your neck.
Like a naked group hug with Bradley Cooper and Ryan Lochte.
OK, OK. His voice makes me feel super awesome, let’s just leave it at that.
I knew that I would be all whiny and wistful about this, so I decided that I was going to drink, because sometimes that actually has a reverse effect on me at shows and it curtails my crazy emotions. (Seriously, I cry a lot at shows.)
Other bands in the night’s lineup:
[Never did catch the opening band's name. I'm pretty sure they played the same song for their entire set.]
Hail the Sun – I really, really liked them. Prog-rock-esque, and the drummer is the singer so I gotta give some hearty props to that, or I’m not a Phil Collins lover. I think Henry secretly liked them because they had the same style as his — as in, nondescript.
I The Mighty – Pretty much a paint-by-numbers example of Music Erin Will Like. Being on Equal Vision Records was the first indication. [Watch a video here.] I was thoroughly entertained by their set, but admittedly growing restless because I really, really wanted to see A Lot Like Birds.
A Lot Like Birds – Woooo! They stole my heart! Henry was not impressed, but I think that’s probably because he didn’t understand it. Kurt Travis can SANG, y’all. Good lord. I wanted Henry to buy me all of their hoodies but then he reminded me that I had drunk my merch fund through a red-and-white swizzle.
Henry’s Faux-Frown. Seriously, the man was not hating his life as much as he wants the Internet to believe. I think he was just mostly amused by how quickly I get drunk now in my old, boring age.
I was pretty stupid. Even crashed into the singer from the Orphan the Poet after shadow-dancing with him at the bottom of the steps during my stumbling journey to the restroom.
Somehow, I manage to crash into singers a lot at shows, just never the right ones.
I fell in love so hard with A Lot Like Birds that night. Henry’s opinion did not change.
Um. Great turn out, guys.
The last time we saw Dance Gavin Dance at the Altar Bar was March 2011, and the floor was packed almost as soon as the doors opened, all because of a little someone named Jonny Craig.
After ousting Jonny for the second time, DGD enlisted the aid of official Jonny Craig fill-in Tilian Pearson (ex-Tides of Man) to take the helm. The last time Henry and I went to see Emarosa, Jonny had left the tour THAT DAY to fly to California for detox, so Tilian was a last minute stand-in then too. I like the guy, and I think he did a better job with DGD than he did with Emarosa (though to be fair, the night we saw him with Emarosa was his first time singing with them, and it literally was a game time decision-type thing so he didn’t have much time to prepare), but there is something about his voice that gets to me after awhile. Maybe it’s just too Geddy Lee, I don’t know, but there were times where I found myself cringing.
He kind of reminds me of Craig Owens, too.
Anyway, a major upside to a Jonny-less DGD meant that the band could actually play from their entire catalogue (turns out was Jonny was wrong!), something that they took full advantage of. It was really fun to hear Self Titled and Happiness-era tracks again, especially NASA and my favorite non-Jonny DGD song of all time: “Uneasy Hearts Weigh the Most.”
Have you ever HEARD that song?!
Nic Newsham (ex-Gatsby’s American Dream) is on it, too, and it was my fucking jam during the summer of 2008.
I really, really, really thought for sure that Kurt would come out and sing it with Tilian, but they pulled up Donovan from Hail the Sun instead. Still, it was pretty cool to hear that song live again. The last time for me was 2009.
At one point, Henry pointed to (screamer) Jon Mess and yelled over the music, “What’s his name again?” OMG why do you care, Henry? Unless you really do like them? WHICH HE ADMITTED TO AFTERWARD IN THE CAR! (He still hates Jonny though, and clarified that he liked Dance Gavin Dance the best that night when Tilian left the stage and they played a song from their side project:
I mostly did OK with the changes, except when they closed down the show with “Lemon Meringue Tie.” Without Jonny, that song is kind of…just a song. So I did cry a little bit then. That was the first Dance Gavin Dance song I ever heard in 2007, planting the seed for this intervention-worthy Jonny Craig love affair.
I better get used to the changes, because they announced that Tilian, once a vagabond singer without a band, is now a perma-member of Dance Gavin Dance, and they’re writing a new album together. Whatever it takes to keep some life in that band, I’m down.
It’s my birthday! I had an action-packed birthday weekend! I just ate a raspberry lemonade cupcake! Now I’m going to let Barb fawn over me at work!
You know what I want for today? I mean, other than a bedside serenade from Jonny Craig? I just want you guys to share my blog with your friends. Having people read this thing would make me happy on my birthday.
I mean, you don’t have to do anything, but IT IS MY BIRTHDAY.