Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Meade-Bellinger short films: "TEXAS BARBECUE TOUR 2009" and "INFRASTRUCTURE at CHURCH of BOSTON"

Both released last night.



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Sunday, February 21, 2010



Things are different now, and they will stay this way. Ebb and flow, change and more change. Stasis still equals death.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Moving closer to INFRATOUR...

Everyone in the band is 1000% committed. We need to pick dates, get the EP tracks mixed and mastered, get the press kit together, and start booking. Tattoo opportunities will abound.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010


First show of the year, two weeks from tomorrow. If you haven't seen us in a while, you really should. If you still haven't seen us, what's wrong with you?

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

INFRATOUR: Will it happen this summer?

FACT: The band will have by next month 11 original songs.
FACT: The live show rocks.
FACT: Dan Meade and Rob Bellinger are professional roadtrippers.
FACT: We know people all over America.
FACT: We want to play American music for them.
FACT: We can afford to do so.

So what's to stop us?

Do you have any suggestions for additions or deletions to the map...or venues where our sound would go over well? Please comment below.

View INFRAtour `10 in a larger map

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Sunday, January 03, 2010


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks again!

You may have heard the tall tales by now, but INFRASTRUCTURE's New York debut was a success on more levels than we could have imagined. We owe many people thanks for making it so.

Saturday night, it was a few degrees above freezing, with driving rain and thunder. Based on our most recent Boston show experience, we feared that only ten or so people would show up. We set up our equipment in the basement of the National Underground and got excited as friends and family we hadn't seen in months or years showed up. Almost as soon as we started our set in the crowded basement, the management informed us that we had too many people to fit in the basement. They threw the cover band off the upstairs stage and moved us there!

All told, well over 70 people turned out to see us play our first New York show. The set was a ton of fun to play, and the highlights reel is coming together quickly.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

We will play in New York again on 2/27 at R Bar.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Please come see INFRASTRUCTURE in New York this weekend!

It's a rather important show for us, and we want to play for our NY friends.

Saturday night, 10pm set at National Underground, 159 E. Houston St.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Describing Infrastructure as "the opposite of Vampire Weekend"

is probably the nicest thing you could say to us.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009


I now own this:

Handmade in Quebec, being shipped in from rural Ohio. It will be onstage at Church 12/18.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Created last night. Filmed by Dan, edited by Rob.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Boston Gray

Stifling, suffocating entrapment, or aesthetically pleasing backdrop to the right music, depending on how your life is going when the rain rolls in.

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Just finished watching the video of our show at Tritone Friday night--what a fun set! A lot of people asked about the meanings behind the songs. Here's the set we played:

Hatred: A tricky, instrumental blues that we usually open with.
$ (pronounced "cash"): A southern rock tune about the miserable northeast.
Moorpark: A country-punk-Beatles song mostly about downward social comparison.
Climber: The first Infrastructure song, Climber is about how people do things they think they should want to do but don't actually want to do, in order to get ahead, from pre-school to the workplace.
Republic: A folk-funk homage to a mostly abandoned mining town Meade and I visited on UP08.
Danny U-Haul: Tribute to our documentarian roadie...Dan Meade.
Misery: The closest we come to a song about feelings.
Cul-de-Sac: entirely about entitlement in America.
Teardown Kings: New tune about people who actively try to derail you.
The Old World: Essentially a song about 116th Street in College Point, Queens. Everybody loves this tune.

Must sleep. I'm excited about more roadshows!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CPCCPCIV Postponed.

Note to all Manic-CPCCPC (College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl) participants: we need to postpone this year's event. INFRASTRUCTURE (Chris, Erich, and myself, plus Micah the drummer) is playing a 9:30pm set at Tritone in Philly on Saturday Friday night (details here), and Rob Gestone's band, Postcard Secrets, is playing at The Bitter End in Manhattan on Saturday night (details here).

We'll try to bring back the CPC over Christmas, even though INFRASTRUCTURE is making its New York debut on 12/26. Stay tuned.

And, oh yeah, Austin in TWO WEEKS. Manic to the max!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mega-Manic Fall

It's 3:33 p.m., and the sun has already clocked out here in Boston. In dark times, you have to make your own weather. This is what I'm working on:

11/16-19 NY for work
11/19-21 Boston for life and rehearsal.
11/22-23 Toronto for work (looking forward to this, as I've never been to the city before).
11/24-29 NY and Philly for Thanksgiving.

And then:
12/11-12/14: ABBQII in Austin! With a crew of at least 5!
12/18 INFRASTRUCTURE at Church in Boston
12/26 INFRASTRUCTURE at National Underground in Manhattan.

Doing stuff is awesome.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

INFRASTRUCTURE: All Asia Highlight Reel

From Saturday's show:

Shot by Meade, edited by yours truly.

As for the band, we should have a Philly show during Thanksgiving confirmed within the next few days and are working on a NY show for Christmas weekend. Next Boston gig is Dec. 18 @ Church in the Fenway.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009


Jut came in the mail, printed by The quality is disturbingly high.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Rise of Infrastructure!

The band is in the 10pm slot at All Asia in Central Square Saturday night! We just scored a show at Church in Boston on Fri, Dec 18. Plus, I'm working on a show in Philly over Thanksgiving. Stay tuned! We're doing exactly what we promised we'd do, and we're very grateful for your support.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Some Infrastructure Videos

Howdy. Here's the band at Harper's Ferry a few weeks ago. We have show coming up this Saturday, 11/7, at All Asia in Central Square, Cambridge. We're working hard to make it a great one! Hope to see you there.

Here, we debut our Steely Dan meets Beatles meats country punk tune, "Moorpark."

Here, we tear through the breakdown on "Old World."

This is the first time I've had video on the blog.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And extra special thanks to...

Dan Meade.

Dan shot over 500 photos and hours of video of the band this weekend, and wrote up his experience here.

Check it out.

It's so awesome to have these allies, supporters, friends.

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Thank you!

Thanks to all who made it to the show last night! Even more thanks to those who helped us hand out demos, took photos and videos, and bought us drinks. Playing your band's second show ever in a cavernous and legendary club can feel humbling yet strangely natural at the same time.

We pulled off a pretty good set. Most impressive were the comments we received from other musicians. Everyone always calls our band "fun to watch," which makes me want to go on tour. Now.

Next show is 11/7 at All Asia in Cambridge.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meade describes INFRASTRUCURE as:

"The Beach Boys on heroin."

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Friday, October 09, 2009


  • Just got Telecaster out of shop. Dude told me I lucked out and "probably had a better guitar than most Americans," as my tele is a Mexican.
  • Just bought MAN-CAM (hd camcorder) for MAN-AM VLOGGING
  • Erich coming in tomorrow to start final rehearsals for the Harper's Ferry gig.
  • Meade also coming in for photo/video documentation, Man Am site construction
  • Just saw "It Might Get Loud" which confirms that I think the right thoughts.

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Monday, October 05, 2009


INFRASTRUCTURE at Harper's Ferry....8 days!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's official: What was formerly the last German restaurant in College Point is now hosting original music.

Check out this article from one of the local community weeklies. College Point, by the way, is the "working class factory town" in Queens where I'm from.

The Five Corners Restaurant is dead, there's nowhere to get German food in or near College Point, and the Germans themselves will all die or move to Long Island (or Boston). But we might now have a venue for Infrastructure to perform in during the FOURTH ANNUAL COLLEGE POINT PUB CRAWL.

Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Infrastructure will be performing an all-original opening set at Harper's Ferry in Allston Rock City. 8:30 p.m. sharp.

It's early, so please come on down. The show is getting TIGHT. We'll also debut some new songs, including my favorite Infratune to date, "$"

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Monday, September 28, 2009

" let me tell you mo__erf__kers who you're f__kin' with."

(For soundbyte, go here, and fast forward to 4:43)

Past 72 hours:
  • Infastructure booked at Harper's Ferry
  • 5-hour Infrastructure Practice
  • James McMurtry show at Johnny D's
  • server configured
  • Camcorders and video software researched
  • Learned WordPress implementation
  • Infrastructure booked at All Asia, again
  • ABBQII (Austin weekend roadtrip) dates blocked out and Austin Motel booked
Next up:
  • Infra-rehearsal tomorrow
  • manicamerican template designing
  • Attempting to book Infra-shows in NY, including CPC show at potential ex-German, now Jewish-Irish rock bar
This is what my my allies and I do on nights and weekends. And now I'm going to watch Season 3 of "The Shield" instead of sleeping.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

This morning, I will smash into the door-blockers at the Harvard T Station with a renewed zeal.

I'm psyched because INFRASTRUCTURE just confirmed its next show, and it's at a time that should work for nearly everyone. We'll be playing at Harper's Ferry, the venerable Boston music club, at 8:30 p.m. on Tues, Oct. 13, the Tuesday after Columbus Day. We get to perform our tunes on the same stage that's been graced by Maceo Parker, B. B. King, and every one-hit wonder of the 90s.

This is awesome! We're on a mission to deliver the greatest soul-punk-blues-rock show we can, and we will.

This morning, when I attempt get off the T at Harvard on my way to the 66 bus and our studio in Allston, I know what I'll find. Dozens of tourists and assorted ignorami will be standing in front of the train doors, deliberately not looking at the people attempting to get off the train. Today, I will smash into them not with rage but with elation, as my guitar, my equipment bag, and I literally clear a path for the show to go on.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How My Bandmates Describe Infrastructure:

"Early Elvis Costello meets ZZ Top"

"The Stooges, but more soulful."

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Momentary Update.

I'm tired. That's probably because, in addition to doing my job and biking everywhere, my band played its first gig in Cambridge and is actively trying to book two more, in Boston and New York. Dates are set for CPCCPCIV1 and ABBQII2. The Labor Day beach week in NC turned out to be a huge success for photos and stories. Meade and I are inching toward launching our road stories website, MANICAMERICAN.COM. It'll be an exhilarating fall.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I've managed not to mention on this here blog that the first gig of my blues-rock-soul-punk group, INFRASTRUCTURE, will happen later this week in Cambridge. We'll be at All Asia on Thursday night. Facebook event page (public) is here. Come out and say hello.

I am happy that I can now tag myself "local music."

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Thursday, July 09, 2009


looks like a gigantic Hot Topic on Ellis Island. Any neighborhood that so completely and continuously lives up to its stereotypes is a winner in my book.

And so: Infrastructure will be renting a practice space in Rock City. Much interestingness will come of this.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wogie's and stuff

We will be holding court at Wogie's on Tuesday, then going to a show at Pianos, in case you want to come.

We've found a drummer for Infrastructure and are now rehearsing on weekends in Boston. Shows in a few months, I hope.

More Deep South photos and stories to come.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Many posts here

are actually Infrastructure songs.

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

And then, after that last post,

Erich and I consumed a box of Johnnie Foodmaster's fishsticks. I did not know you could eat fishsticks with hotsauce. Most excellent.

Now I've got to reserve a rehearsal room. We're playing with a drummer today...


Sunday, February 08, 2009

When Things Become More Real

The progress behind the making of Infrastructure, our real music band, had been slowing until this weekend. Erich came up from NY with a ton of recording gear, and the plan was to finish trying/try finishing vocals for our EP, Pattern Recognition. By chance, we were joined by a phenomenal, Boston-based female singer Erich knew. We turned my apartment into a studio by flipping the bed against a wall and setting up stools with mics. Everything was run into Erich's recording rig, which we set up on my dresser.

We got a lot done over two full days of sessions, and my upstairs neighbors probably hate me even more now. Erich will take some time to mix the songs and then they will go to our MySpace page (imagine that). It is weird to think that my voice will be holding down the leads on all the tracks--something I never thought could happen. Big thanks to Erich for his production work, Rebecca for the gorgeous harmonies, and CMike for the basslines and arrangement advice.

Soon, we start playing shows. For real.

P.S. My new, old Martin acoustic guitar is an amazing instrument and allows me to cover even more sonic territory I never thought possible. We're going to keep writing, writing, writing. Writing music is far more fun than writing fiction, sometimes more fun than photography, and always more fun than blogging. I am pretty much on the way to having my dream job. My next major life goal is to go on tour with this music, even if it means playing a show here one weekend and there the next. I've been criscrossing the continent for five years doing my job and my photography, and it's almost time for Infrastructure to claim some of that travel time.

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is coming together. Our three best songs need to be mixed and we're good.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Infrastructure Problem

We write solid music but don't have much time to record or practice it. We can't promote it if it's not recorded.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

A Word about Quincy

This week, I was working on an essay when I got stuck, wrote a post called "Go Back to the Suburbs and Die," and unwittingly initiated an internet shitstorm here in Bostonia (thanks to, also a locus of shit-flingin'). In my post I mention a conversation I had with a girl at a bar in Quincy.

Apparently that's enough to get you an STD. The funniest thing about the many vitriolic comments on my post is that all the references to Quincy, as city or suburb, are incredibly negative.

Quincy is a bizarre place. The more urban parts have the feel of my native Queens, but without the benefit of being part of a much larger municipality. That allows the deeply entrenched cronyism, corruption, and racism of New England--which may or may not be dying out in other cities--to seep in.

In Quincy, the 'poorer' residents are quarantined in the Germantown projects on a peninsula off another peninsula out in the ocean. The community college, the only city-operated community college in the state, occasionally loses accreditation, spends scholarship money on the president's vacations, and owes the city thousands in back rent. You have to love it. It's like the cover stories from the Herald happen there every day.

In a bizarre similarity to Queens, Downtown Quincy shows similar Asian influences as Downtown Flushing, though new buildings funded by Asian developers do not dominate the skyline. I've overheard white residents bitching about the ballots being printed in Mandarin and Vietnamese. And I've actually seen trucks from Flushing making deliveries in Quincy. I also believe that Fung Wah's Boston headquarters are in Quincy--another strange linkage to New York.

Quincy has cool industrial shit, like the giant animal fat refinery and the Mass. Water Resource Authority pelletizer plant. That's where your shit gets turned into fertilizer! I like these places because their existence is required in order for our society to function. You will never see infrastructure like that in the deep suburbs.

What am I trying to say? Quincy needs to be Quincy. A lot of bad happens there, and a lot of necessary happens there, and that's all I know about the city. Certain parts are very photogenic to me, and I get there when I get there.

We may not all want to live in Quincy, but we couldn't live without it.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The New Year

As I sit here preparing to head off to a gathering of friends, I feel the need to play out 2008 with a few more UP images. These desolate places really provided a lot of inspiration and momentum, not only for Meade and me but for others who heard about and saw them later. Infrastructure is kicking (we wrote a song about Republic, pictured above). The photo thing is going well, and I have some new equipment to help me further both efforts. I'm always kicking around ideas for writing projects that I don't start. No time for shit. I am unmarried, have no children, and I don't own a home or car, yet I don't have a spare minute. I'm supposed to be on vacation, but I feel insanely stressed. I am inhaling a Lean Cuisine® Thai-Style Chicken frozen dinner and downing a Harpoon IPA. My blood pressure must be incredibly high. Happy new year.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

4:37 a.m.

All of New York City is a drunken circus right now. Tourist couples in too-tight clothing are arguing on the steamy, desolate streets of Midtown. The cops are responding to a scene of apparent violence at a club in Astoria, trademark red and white lights everywhere. Yellow cabs and livery cabs are ferrying drunks in any possible direction in all boroughs. Lights are still on in many homes. Even our usually quiet one-way street is jammed with pairs of headlights competing for asphalt. Everyone is awake or outside because they can be.

Amid these many chaotic scenes, the INFRASTRCTURE boys return home via the upper deck of the Queensborough Bridge. We have completed a marathon 12-hour recording and arranging session in a fancy Manhattan studio 400 feet above the hoochie-laden streets. When you play for that long, which I don't usually do, awakeness goes away and all that remains is muscle memory and punch drunkenness. You lock into your fellow musicians and the equipment you are using and you try to make something good.

Tonight, we made several very good things. A lot of remixing is required before we can share, and we didn't record vocals, but we're very proud of what we achieved. We need some serious sleep, though, before we can appreciate it.

It was also nice to find freshly baked brownies when E. dropped C. and me off at home. Things are finally beginning to work.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Next Episodes

I'm crazy busy with work and the next few projects that you'll see here. More specifically:

Untitled EP. An incarnation of INFRASTRUCTURE will be getting together in NY this weekend to start recording an EP. The oversimplified track titles, according to recording priority, are "Climber," "Busted," "Cul-de-Sac People," "Misery," and "Home." The personnel will be Erich Rastetter on keys and rhythm guitar, C. Bellinger on bass, Greg Caputo on drums, and myself on lead guitar. All of the personnel are angry young men from Queens. The band will sound like a combination of early Elvis Costello, early ZZ Top, and Wilco. What can I say? We're white people.

UP. Very soon, the blog switches completely over to a chronological retelling of the trip Dan Meade and I took to the Upper Peninsula this past June. Photos will serve as the main narrative element, with text filling in only where necessary. Any posts I've already put up will be re-posted to fit the narrative/chronological order of the trip. There are some really good photos in this set.

The Fall Excursions. If art-traveling is fun, why do it only in June? I have to clear the days off, but it looks like I'll be meeting up with some friends in SoCal, hosting the third annual College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl in Queens, and putting together ABBQI, the first open-invite barbecue roadtrip to the Hill Country of Texas.

Read on (or listen, or view), or join me on one of these trips.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fulfillment in Wallyworld

Beyond the ghastly railroad suburbs* of southeastern Connecticut lies a place where people focus on their lives and not their careers, a place without ties to Boston and New York, a place where every other building isn't 30% parking garage and you're never more than 5 miles from a commuter train. That place is central Connecticut, and it's where a few of my good friends live and have lived.

It's also the home of Barnowl Studios, a rehearsal studio located in a sprawling, formerly industrial complex in Wallingford. In the dimly hit hallways of Building 14A is a community that blurs the lines between music and business, art and artistry. Having only found the place on MySpace and Craigslist, Erich and I thought we'd give it a shot.

Entering a "cheap" rehearsal studio means truly entering rock world. Empty beer cans, cigarette smoke, very low lighting, improvised sound dampening devices like old carpeting and foam blocks. It is in these environs that songs are written and performed. As indie rock and death metal and whatever else (often Latin music in Boston and NY) scream out from behind closed doors, I chuckle at how uncomfortable certain people I know would be in rock world.

Whenever you enter a studio, you wonder about what kind of room you'll get. Will the bass drum be destroyed and the cymbals ripped apart? Will the room smell like piss or weed? Will giant rats run up and down the brick walls as we play? I've seen and smelled it all.

At Barnowl, it's only $6 per hour to practice in a shared space (i.e. a space used by other bands at other times). Said space had a fully equipped drum set, a huge ass bass amp, plus some stuff we pilfered from another band, like a tiny Fender tube amp and a cheap old organ hooked up to a huge Fender amp.

We settled in fast and began casually working on a few songs and arrangements. As we played, people came and went, including a huge metal dude who wanted to try my Ampeg bass. Suddenly some young dudes who had heard us playing came in. One asked if he could play drums with us. We did a few of our tracks with me on electric, Erich on his newly wired acoustic, and this dude Jesse on drums. Shit sounded awesome. We got some serious compliments from the bystanders on these unfinished songs and then blasted out a crazy rock organ trio jam.

When we finally stopped playing, we realized we had been in the studio for four hours. Ryan, the owner, loved our story of meeting halfway at his place, and he wasn't even going to charge us for the session. We made a donation anyway.

This wasn't a show. Our arrangements and lyrics for the songs we worked on weren't even done. No one sang. But it was great to try some tunes out on other musicians, even with one other musician.

We're planning a rental car return trip to Wallyworld with CMike on bass and we'll see if we can get our new friend to sit in on drums again. Things felt good on the long ride back to Boston; the glacier continues to move.


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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Infrastructure as Dual Citizen

While doing some planning for the three-musician songwriting summit to occur this weekend, it struck me that INFRASTRUCTURE could only be a New York and Boston band. It only makes sense; it's where the three of us are from. It's make or break time. No giving up and waiting for an easier opportunity.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Music and Blog Update

Music first. Erich and I wrote four new songs this weekend. They're mellower than the blues-punk-rock tunes I've been writing with my brother, but they still rock. Our plan is now to try and merge the groups next weekend, and then find a drummer. If we can get Erich and CMike working together, we will still achieve my goal of having "no p**sy songs." By my latest estimation, the new group has ready frameworks written for 17 songs. Most just need lyrics and fills.

Blog is going to feature a lot of nonfiction and photos about this summer's two major trips: NCBBQII (Eastern NC barbecue run) and UP08 (Upper Peninsula of Michigan).

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Music Update!

  1. CMike and I have a recording device that will allow us to record practice sessions.
  2. Three INFRASTRUCTURE songs are complete: "Climber," "The Old World," and "Cul-de-Sac People."
  3. A reverse guitar chord finder exists at It's the coolest fucking thing ever and means I don't have to try to think in music theory as much.
  4. Erich and I are working on covers to cover this weekend.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Infrastructure Update

New song, "Graduate School," will be done this week. It's the finest in double-edged swords...

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Monday, April 21, 2008

cul-de-sac people

are not really trying
not really trying at all

from the debut INFRASTRUCTURE album, The Price You Pay
Fall 2008!!!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Large Northeastern City Takes Valuable Harborfront Property and Uses it to Expand Port

And it's Boston. This is awesome!

In the Northeast, we never get new industrial stuff to photograph. But as usual, the private development on public land is being run by at least one ex-state official, just like the MBTA commuter rail. And the Globe illogically uses the words "cement" and "concrete" interchangeably in its article.

I know that's why you come to my blog. To read about the difference between cement and concrete.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Another Reason to Combat Sprawl

A solid Globe article reveals that some common bird species have experienced population declines of 70-99% due to suburban and agricultural sprawl. The author wisely points out that it's not just the suburbs spreading over the earth, but the agricultural infrastructure needed to feed the exploding population and fuel its automobiles.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Alternatively-Fueled Home Delivery Vehicles by Fleet

USPS: 37,000
UPS: 1500
FedEx: 240

I'm going to stick with the Post Office for most of my shipping needs.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Secret LNG terminal being constructed off of Boston?

There sure has been a lot of offshore construction activity northeast of Boston Harbor recently. Could it be that one of the two natural gas (LNG) terminals proposed for that area has been approved? Has construction started? The media is silent--well, most of it. In the past, when it came to covering LNG battles between fishermen, self-appointed human representatives of mammalian ocean-dwellers, other citizens, and giant energy companies, The Globe was always there.

Obviously something is being built off of Gloucester right now. So when I use Google News to search for "gloucester lng," why does the only relevant article come from the Norman, Oklahoma Transcript?

It contains Salem Daily News content. The Globe archives are suddenly silent. I also received word that the marine industry trade magazine MarineLink published a press release showing that a Boston company had won a 20-year contract to support LNG vessels at the secret Gloucester terminal--and had commissioned two multimillion dollar new tugs for the project.

We almost definitely need more than the four LNG terminals the country now has. And we're almost definitely getting a new one (three more LNG terminals are proposed for Massachusetts alone).

Shouldn't the media educate us about this relatively clean and safe form of energy and our own need for it? Shouldn't the media do more than cover epic battles against infrastructure? Or stop inciting fear about the extant LNG terminal in Everett?

To talk about infrastructure--the reality that supports our reality--gets you branded a weirdo or a terrorist. But I think that there are still people who are genuinely curious about how the mechanical side of our society functions.

I'm one of them. Please keep me in the loop.

Furthermore, if people are to make educated decisions about needed infrastructure being built "in their backyards," the media should help educate them (us) about our needs.

Silence implies that we are either too stupid to understand or that our opinions don't matter anyway.

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