News / Blog

June 15, 2010

Will they tour? Also, pirates.

My dearest friend:

Happy release day, everyone! Thanks to EVERYONE who ordered the CD. We are VERY grateful for your support. I hope you’re enjoying your CDs and books. Thanks as well to everyone who ordered extra things, especially the Charlie Ashmont t-shirts. As promised $1 from the sale of each of those is donated to Bad Rap and Underdog Resq, and I just sent them each $100. I rounded up a little, but not a lot, so thanks.

Of course, the store is still open, though you’ll no longer get a free book with your order. Maybe that’s a plus? Visit the store.

Record release days are always weirdly anticlimactic for us for a bunch of reasons. First, we’ve been listening to that record for over a year now. If you’re me, and the record was made in your house, you’ve heard every note a million times, while you were trying to watch Oprah. You also have bad associations, because of the band members wandering downstairs every now and again, trying to change the channel on the TV, leaving the toilet seat up, and complaining about the fact that there’s never anything but dog food and half and half in the fridge.

Plus there’s that pesky matter of illegal downloading, which, now that everyone and their grandmother is into social networking, has reached epidemic proportions. It used to be that indie releases were sacrosanct. The pirates fancied themselves Robin Hood, stealing from the big record companies, who, with their obscene excesses and employment of people not fit to work in other industries (present company included), were about as sympathetic as BP and Wall Street combined. But now, all pretence to stealing only from the rich has gone right out the window. I will say that the theft seems to originate in other countries – Serbia, Russia, Colombia and Brazil seem the biggest culprits – but by my decidedly unscientific and incomplete count this record has already been downloaded twice as many times as the number of the last record’s total sales in the United States. So much for the argument that people who download buy more. I especially love those web sites that encourage you to buy the music once you’ve stolen it. It’s like we’re being kissed as our pockets are being picked. I also love the pages that say they don’t host the files, and therefore aren’t responsible for any illegal content they’re leading people to. Good for you! You’re not a thief. You’re just a thieving conduit!

Anyway, after spending the last month playing a hopeless game of Whac-a-Mole, sending out take down notices every time a new file popped up, dirtying my poor little laptop with all manner of disgusting viruses and STDs, and realizing that people who were stealing the album were hearing it before you, our friends, I broke our own “street date.” All packages for everything ordered by the June 1 deadline were mailed and should have arrived by now, if my long-standing love/hate relationship with the post office didn’t “disappear” a few tubs of mail that might be someday found in Boston Harbor. I hope you’re enjoying the stuff. We are VERY grateful to you for ordering it.

Now, on to the most FA’dQ: Are there any tour plans? You are old enough now to understand that life is complicated. I am asked daily about touring, and I do my best to answer without answering the question to which I don’t have an answer. I think you’ve reached a level of maturity that allows us to share a peek behind the curtain, so that you too might understand that which is both understandable and incomprehensible. To that end, I have transcribed, word for word, the band meeting we had last weekend on the subject of touring. I hope it clears up any confusion.

Subject: Touring
Present: Joe Pernice, Other Pernice, James Walbourne, Ric Menck, Charlie Ashmont, Joyce Linehan
Location: Ashmont HQ rec room

JL: Do you want to tour or not?

JP: I am willing to tour, but I can’t be away from home for more than two weeks, and rehearsal would have to be included in the two weeks. I also won’t play outside, or during the day.

RM: Menck just wants to rock.

JW: Crikey, as one of the rock world’s most sought-after young hotshot guitar players, my schedule is quite full, and I’ve also just spent close to 3000 quid on a season’s ticket for the world’s most boring game, but other than that I’m up for anything.

JP: We make any money if we tour for two weeks?

JL: You mean ten days, if rehearsals are included.

JP: Yes.

JL: No.

JP: Well then why would we do it?

RM: Because Menck wants to rock.

JL: Theoretically, the tour is just one piece of the things you do if you want to sell records.

JP: We don’t sell enough records at shows to justify that. Especially if YOU work the merch table, because people are scared of you.

JL: Theoretically, it’s not just the stuff you sell at the show, it’s the review that you get in the local paper, the placement you get in the local record store, none of which happens if you don’t play a show in that city.

JP: So you think we should tour?

JL: The extent of the fuck I do not give about whether you tour can’t really be measured.

RM: Doesn’t anyone care that Menck just wants to rock?

JP: Then why are you arguing with me?

JL: You asked me a question. I’m using the wisdom I have acquired in my 25 years as a music industry bottom feeder to answer you.

JW: Can we talk about those publicity photos?

JL and JP: No.

JW: By George, I can’t believe we’re using that picture where I’m wearing quick wanks jacket- it’s ill-fitting AND has a badge on it. I’m not a train spotter like quick….

JL: I don’t even know what you just said. Speak English.

JP: If we do ten days, it has to be major markets. I’m not playing to 15 people in (city name redacted so the three fans who live there don’t get all offended and write to me) again. That’s bullshit.

JL: Fine – pick a coast, east or west. Not Gulf.

JP: And you also have to check the Sox schedule before you book anything.

JL: Why?

JP: I can’t miss any games.

JL: OK, then let’s look at November.

JP: Good work, genius. You just made sure the Sox won’t be in the World Series by assuming they’d be playing in October.

JL: Great, then let’s look at October.

JP: Will we make any money if we do ten dates in big cities on the east or west coast in the fall?

JL: No.

JP: Will we lose any money?

JL: Only if you refuse to stay in some well-meaning fan’s mother’s spare room where the litter box is kept, require more than $10 a
day each for food, and want to make more of a salary than you’d make emptying bedpans at a nursing home 15 hours a week.

JP: How much will we lose?

JL: A considerable amount. And I just remembered. We sold the van. You don’t even have a vehicle to tour in.

JP: So, you buy yourself a new car and we’ll take your lezmobile.

JL: We can’t afford to buy me a car.

JP: Not we. You buy your own car, and we’ll take yours.

JW: Blimey, who would play bass?

OP: Too bad we can’t teach Joyce to play. That would save some money.

JL: No it wouldn’t. I would need my own hotel room.

JP: Why would you get your own room?

JL: Because I’m a girl.

JP: Bullshit. You can’t go throwing all that women’s lib stuff around and then get your own room. You want equal treatment, I’ll give you equal treatment. You can’t cherry-pick your equality. You can share a room with James. He’s single.

JW: Oh, come on. That’s like sharing a room with me Mum. But, she COULD drive me to the Irish pub at dawn to watch the football games.

OP: That would put a crimp in James’ style with the ladies.

JP: James’ style? What about hers? She’d get more action on the road than any of us. Lesbians love her.

OP: Maybe we should get Jose to play bass?

JP: Joser’s a bigger dumpster slut than James and Joyce combined. The three of them can share a room. It’d be like goddam Sodom and Gomorrah.

JL: I see one problem with this.

OP: What?

JL: I’d rather make out with Glenn Beck than go on tour with you guys.

CA, sitting in the middle of the circle: (slurp, slurp, grunt, slurp)

JW: What is he doing?

JL: He’s licking his winkie.

JW: Why?

JL: Because he can.

JP: Wrong, Joyce. Because he can’t make a fist with that tiny little paw.

JL: So, are you going to tour?

JP: Would we make any money?

RM: Menck just wants to rock.

JW: I could just murder a cheeseburger. Can we go eat?

RM: Menck just wants to rock. And eat a cheeseburger.

Now you know.

Tune in next episode when I answer the question: Why aren’t the lyrics included?

Yours in indie rock,

Dorchester, MA

P.S. Some of us hang out at sometimes.

Joyce @ 10:13 am