News / Blog

August 16, 2009

New site, tour, paint, Marys

My dearest friend:

In my new effort not to bury the lede, in response to those SERIOUS indie rock fans (you know the type – work in IT or a record store, like Sentridoh better than Sebadoh, think Pitchfork is important, have XY chromosomes) who have called me (inarticulately) long-winded, circumloquacious and/or crazy, here’s the actual news.

First, several days late and several dollars short, we’ve launched the new website at There are seven more shows on the exhaustive world tour. See those here: Also, our UK/European label is making vinyl.  I will get you info about ordering when I have it.  We’re also on facebook now (, and encourage you to become a fan, because we’ve disabled the forum on the new website. So this will serve as the de facto way for you to vent your frustration at us. Well, me. Joe’s afraid of facebook. And more sensitive than I am.

The west coast shows will feature John Cunningham opening, which is such a don’t miss that I am actually breaking my own no-fly rule to attend San Francisco and L.A.  The Midwest and Toronto show(s) will feature Kate Boothman. The Chicago and Minneapolis shows will also feature me on security and hospitality. (That’s it. You can go now. The other three of you who enjoy seeing the insider machinations of Dorchester’s most dysfunctional indie label this can read on.)

Yeah, we know the new website missed the release date, but it’s August, and Felony, our web guy, is married now and has a job and isn’t the carefree geek he was when we started this venture with him back in 1965.  Plus, I have a JOB, at which I work BILLABLE hours. As much as I’d like to sit around all day answering twitter DMs from Pernice fans (Yes, I AM talking to you two.) there just isn’t enough revenue in that to support Charlie in the manner to which he’s become accustomed. You’ll notice that we’ve carried over most of the content from the old site (because seriously, why would I delete my blog posts?) but, be forewarned. With all the money we made from you pre-ordering the new CD, we bought a FANCY new video camera, and we’re going to use it as soon as we figure out how it works. I expect that you’ll soon not have to settle for the text-based beration between the artist and I you’ve grown accustomed to.  You will actually be able to SEE me rolling my eyes at Joe during our daily conference call.  Also, you might see more of Charlie drinking out of the toilet or licking his winkie. That stuff NEVER gets old.

So, the first four tour dates were fun.  I thought the shows were really good, considering Joe never practiced once (“Get off my back. I could play right now and it would only be a minor trainwreck.”), and it was nice to meet a lot of you. For the most part, you were a pleasant surprise – well-mannered, with good personal hygiene and firm handshakes. With the exception of the one guy in Philadelphia who tried to hug me (Seriously? What on earth would give you the idea THAT would be smart? Did Joe put you up to it? “Oh, no, man, don’t believe that stuff about her skin burning if someone touches it. Urban legend. She likes it. No, really, she NEEDS it actually. You’d be doing her a favor.) the whole human contact thing was relatively painless.  

As expected, the blind date I orchestrated between Joe and the Walsh Brothers was a huge success, and really came back to bite me in the ass as they ganged up. I’m not complaining though, because I had my own room, no matter how hard they knocked, and also, I learned a lot. For instance, cougars do exist, and they really like the younger, softer-headed Walsh Brother. Also, I learned more anatomical names in four days than I did in the whole summer I substitute taught 6th graders in an award-winning pre-life-of-crime program at a school in my neighborhood. Enriching. Jose, on the other hand, could not escape the relentless tree fort mentality as easily as I, and let’s just say that if he finally loses it and murders them all in their sleep, there’s not a jury in the world that would convict him. 

I’ve gotten a few emails recently critical of our decision to let a paint company use “Weakest Shade of Blue” in a television commercial First of all, where were you when that ad first started running, about ten years ago? But more importantly, I hear your objections, and feel badly that you think we sold out. But only for a minute. Because then I remember that we could buy your house with the money we made from that decision (provided your house is a double-wide trailer with a leaky roof somewhere in the northernmost part of Maine or Idaho), and the bad feelings go away. 

So, Joe won’t tell me anything about the next record. Last I heard, it was close to done and we might release it next year, but I have no idea if and when it will come out. As a result of this lack of movement, while he’s screwing around, I will be enlisting all of the Ashmont Records family to help me with MY artistic project, which I’ve been trying to do for years – “Stations of the Cross: The Musical.” I have most of it worked out.  I’m not entirely sure who’ll play the lead yet, but Peyton and James will play the two thieves. Or maybe that should be the Walsh Brothers. The story will start with the betrayal and move into the stations, so Belitsky will play Judas (NO, not because he’s Jewish, smartass. Because he’s swarthy. The traitor is ALWAYS swarthy. Musicals 101.) I’m thinking Menck for John the Baptist and Pat for Simon of Cyrene. And no, I won’t play Mary Magdalene myself. Maybe I would have 15 years ago, when I first wanted to do this, but now I’m too old.  Any of you who’ve ever read anything I’ve written, or saw me in the 8th grade May Procession at St. Brendan’s or have seen me in short sleeves, KNOW I’m a big fan of both the Marys, but I’m just not right for the part. No one’s going to buy a middle-aged, Irish-complexioned Mary Magdalene. Not sure what to do with Bob either, as he is also old. So, anyway, that’s what’s up next for us, available on DVD, CD and as a book. Maybe an HBO special. 

Thanks to all of you who’ve purchased or written about the new record and the book, as well as all of the radio stations that have played it.  We really appreciate the support. It would warm my heart (if I had one.) 

Your faithful servant, 

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Joyce @ 4:10 pm