Blog Archive

Friday, March 20, 2009

Memories of the Carbondale Music Scene...

This is the page on which DNA nicely collects his recollections of the bad old days. Hope they sound as disjointed as they actually were.

In The Beginning....Permanent Historical Record: 9/14/2006

Understand: The DNA Vibrator is a thing. Once created, it had always existed. Its form serves its function. Its form will change, but its function will remain the same. When the DNA Vibrator refers to itself, it does so through a surrogate. Details which will surely implicate all those actually involved in its existence will no doubt reveal the tool through which the DNA Vibrator operates. This in no way diminishes the existence of the DNA Vibrator, even as friends of the tool used by the DNA Vibrator recognizes to whom the DNA Vibrator refers. The DNA Vibrator purposely uses an imperfect host to communicate. Obfuscation, confusion, and distraction are part of its purpose. Its whole purpose has never and will never be revealed.

The DNA Vibrator first fulfilled its function and influenced a group of unsuspecting young punks in the summer of 1988. In a living room, in a college house, on Hays Street, at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, during an unforgiving streak of relentless heat and humidity, The DNA Vibrator enticed a drummer to play meaningless, mindless, noisy, and fulfilling, music by posing as a musician with a 25 pound Peavey bass guitar. Tony played his father's old trap kit. The DNA Vibrator had fallen on hard times. The Peavey was all that it could afford. While the DNA Vibrator forced it to sing, in its hollowness was the memory of a pre-CBS Fender Jazz bass which was sold years before to continue the function of the DNA Vibrator. The thrombosis attracted a guitar playing mosquito from next door. Mosquito because he was unassuming, as a guitarist, and easy to ignore, but if heard, was infectious and virulent in his pursuit of his own function. He was the West Nile carrier of the Carbondale music swamp.

Brian played a Gibson hollowbody which shrieked through an old Randall amp. Imagine a doo-wop era guitar being raped by a Steinberger bass in a German cathedral, or a bag of cats being attacked by a badger, and you can approximate the sound he produced when his distortion switch was on, but he wasn't yet strumming his guitar. It was glorious. These three would form the first avatar of the DNA Vibrator, through which part of its message could be heard. They were referred to as the Nightsoil Coolies.

As the DNA Vibrator would write many years later: "I was born a Nightsoil Coolie, yeah that's no foolie, shoveled shit for money, so I could go to schoolie. With my buddy Tony, and my buddy Brian, we turned into a band without even tryin.' We practiced in the basement of 503 Hays, hassled by the cops for the music we made; and the way we played it, so loud it shook walls---we took it out, told the girls, 'Hold our calls," while we went off, to Beverly, Hills, that is" (extracted from the song, "A Note To My Old Band," from the release, "Twin Rockets are a Go, Baby! by the DNA Vibrators)[Note the plural name 'the DNA Vibrators.' At that time, the DNA Vibrator was linked to two other units of similar function: AfroDJYak, and the Hand of God Attachment; it felt obligated to include complementary machinery into its function---these three units have since ceased their harmonic union, and the DNA Vibrator is again unified in itself].

The Nightsoil Coolies displayed its lack of coherent vision at a bratpack nightclub called Alexander Coles. Among the fraternity brothers and the vacuous semen receptacles were punks, losers, misfits, and one or two intelligent people. They played a set of mostly their own songs, but were not able to recreate the freedom and confusion that existed in the living room. The DNA Vibrator's function had been sabotaged by itself. A faulty LED led the DNA Vibrator to think its Ampeg 410 was on when it was not. No bass except a tinny monitor meant sucking ass and redefining the Coolie's purpose right at that moment. Perhaps this incarnation of the DNA Vibrator was too imperfect to serve its function. Being humbled sets one free, however. No expectations, no disappointment, no care. The next night, the three were drowning themselves in beer and gin on Springer Street, and joined an impromptu jam session in which musical freedom transcended mortal bonds, and the disorder which feeds the DNA Vibrator modulated into a whole other order. Beautiful sonic destruction followed for hours afterward. All present thanked God it was not taped. Tape would have reduced the glory of the moment. A tape of music is not music, no more than a picture of Mt. Saint Helens is a volcano. It is the volcano that the DNA Vibrator is after, not its image.

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The DNA Vibrator is not linear. It will not follow a straight line. It can not even if it wanted to. Like the ghostly visitors of Ebeneezer Scrooge, jump now with it to the present, September 2006. The young son of the tool used by the DNA Vibrator, Carl, has composed and recorded two of his own songs. They bear the unmistakable stamp of The DNA Vibrator. This was not entirely unexpected, although genes are notoriously unreliable. Garageband has enabled technologically disabled tools like his father to write and record music as easily as the idea is distilled through the brain. At 10, Carl has mastered the technology. At some point, as songs are downloaded, and the message is spread, Carl's songs will be made available.

If you have not yet listened to the song, "A Note To My Old Band," it encapsulates the early history of The DNA Vibrator. If you know of Carbondale, Illinois, and you were there at that time, then it is still unlikely that you heard this song played live. The DNA Vibrators (the band, of which the DNA Vibrator was a part) played out once in the summer of 1995, a 4th of July blowout at Pinch Penny Pub, at the outdoor beer garden. Thunderous and magnificent. They were scheduled to play again that winter for the Christmas party of the staff of the local entertainment paper, The Carbondale Nightlife. On the way to the gig, The DNA Vibrator became disengaged from consciousness while driving its Cordoba, crashed, and ended up putting the car on the front steps of the new civic center downtown. After a trip to the hospital and some x-rays, the gig was canceled.

Then, in 2003, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce planned a great street festival, and invited bands from the past to grace the main stages once again. All of the incarnations of The DNA Vibrator were pressed into service for an evening of distortion and mayhem that October. These bands included the Nightsoil Coolies, Monster Truck, Crank, and the DNA Vibrators.

Some new songs were unveiled, to an adoring crowd. However, the purpose of The DNA Vibrator is not to only to amuse, but to confuse. No professional recording of this event survived. An attempt was made to record the show, but the hard drive of the Mac workstation completely crashed after the gig, and the data was unrecoverable. This was an unmistakable sign from the higher order of the universe that it was imperative that the show remain only as a memory. How else can you explain the catastrophic crash of a Mac workstation?

The DNA Vibrator can not force the tool to continue to write any longer. The continued history of the development of the DNA Vibrator must wait until the next time.

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The song "God Made Us Funky" was the first title recorded and produced under the moniker The DNA Vibrators. As posted earlier, at that time, (approximately 1995, although the ideas for most of the songs came from much earlier in the first streams of The DNA Vibrator's existence) The DNA Vibrator had temporarily fused with two other entities, AfroDJYak, and The Hand of God Attachment. AfroDJYak was the very same drummer who sat tapping out senseless little rhythms on Hays Street when The DNA Vibrator first achieved consciousness. The Hand of God Attachment was created after an all night bender, and graced us with its presence on the very day of the first DNA Vibrators recording session. It belonged to Dave, guitarist extraordinaire in his own right, but like Arthur Pendragon, who became the annointed of Fate when he accepted his holy weapon Excalibur, Dave's talent became righteous when he donned the Attachment. This post will recount the history of the song and of the recording session.

As the tool of The DNA Vibrator walked to its mundane job, as would often happen, The DNA Vibrator would introduce certain rhthyms or melodies which moved at the pace of the tool's walk. The tool convinced himself, before he recognized that he was an instrument of the DNA Vibrator, that these little ditties just "came to him." On this day, a pulsing techno beat was kept by the clicking of the tool's teeth, while a crunchy guitar chord lurched as a triplet over the top of it. The tool could be heard singing, "Duh Duh, duh-duh-duh, 1 2 trip-uh-let," which became the basis for the song, "God Made Us Funky". The lyrics for the song were born from the pages of the Milk and Cheese comic books, written by Evan Dorkin. In fact, most of the lyrics of the song were ripped right out of the books.

The DNA Vibrator wrote to Mr. Dorkin, who kindly gave him permission to write all it wanted about his characters, as long as The DNA Vibrator did not claim that this would be an official or endorsed product, and to not make money off of his property. True to this contract, no money has been made off of any song The DNA Vibrator has created! This might dissuade some entities. Not The DNA Vibrator! The DNA Vibrator forges ahead and recycles old crap for the next generation of the uninterested! You, however, should take the time to find and spend your money on the comics produced by Evan.

After a long period of incubation, and through long distances, the trinity of The DNA Vibrator, AfroDJYak, and Dave (The Hand of God Attachment was yet to be created) arranged a date to record. As of the day they went into the studio, AfroDJYak had never actually played the songs with the other two. He had just heard a boombox recording of the tool singing the beat and speaking the lyrics.

On the eve of the recording, DNA and AfroDJYak sat up most of the night drinking all of the booze in the trailer. By about 4 am, only some nasty old gin was left. To enhance or kill the taste, the two combined the gin with anything: onions, black olives (pretty common) to red hot pickled sausages. To this day, a drunken evening is not complete for these two wretches, unless gin and sausage is either referenced or actually drank.

By 9 the next morning, they felt as sick as they looked. A trip to Hardee's nearly resulted in vomit (but that's nothing new). As they drove there, both realized that neither one really should probably be driving. They met Jim at Molehole Studios, a friend, proprietor of said studio, and terrific engineer. Dave was nowhere to be found.

Many guests stopped in and helped as the day began (about noon). Ralph, drummer of Crank, lent his considerable skill to the lead-off track (the aforementioned "God Made Us Funky"). An alternate version exists with AfroDJYak, but the inability to have practiced before the session made it clear that AfroDJYak did not have his mojo working for that song. Jeff came by and beat a hammer on an anvil for a track; Brian came by and played rhythm guitar on another. We had finished up basic tracks, and had began overdubs, when we finally reached Dave.

Dave had been on a booze fueled trip, like DNA and AfroDJYak (minus the sausage) that had yet to wind down. He had been up for the last 72 hours straight, and looked more wired than my Mesa Boogie amplifier. DNA swears that a halo encircles Dave's head as he walked down into Jim's basement. Like a leaky barge full of bourbon chugging up the Mississippi, he left a smoky, woody vapor trail everywhere he went.

Dave got to business. He strapped on the ugliest Washburn guitar he owned. It had been modified by The DNA Vibrator with a new heavy duty bridge. The first song came through Dave's headphones, and through the studio monitors. He needed a take or two to fine tune his sound. He played through a 200 watt vintage ampeg head (recently retubed), and a Marshall 4X12. It shook the whole studio. When the solo began, we knew that something special was happening. It was sick and wrong, and couldn't have been better. With a cigarette dangling from his lips, he played like he was in the Record Plant in LA. We realized at that moment we were watching the creation of something new, from the chaos: The Hand of God Attachment. Even though 10 years have passed since then, all of those who know Dave have heard this title ascribed to him. It was God who moved him in that moment, because not even a wiry veteran of the music scene like Dave should have been able to withstand and produce what he did that day. After Dave finished the first take of the solo, he asked, "Umm, was that okay? Do you want me to do another one?" to which none of us responded for a moment. "No, are you kidding?" He wasn't satisfied. On the track on which Ralph drummed, he did another take, and proved us wrong. It was sicker and more beautiful than the first.

As The DNA Vibrator has noted before, a recording really isn't the music, it is the aural image of the music, the best you can do with present technology. Age has worked on this song, but The Hand of God Attachment sounds as sick now as it did then. Tune in another day for the rest of this story.

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As The DNA Vibrator has said before, different iterations have served as vessels for its music. This is as good a time as any to discuss the imperfect hosts of The DNA Vibrator.

In 1981, as the tool's musical consciousness was opening, he formed a band called The Rage. The Rage played cover tunes by groups like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Devo, The Police, and Joan Jett. They wrote several originals. Some of them were penned by the tool, and had the beginnings of a sound that would continue to fall short of the entirety of The DNA Vibrator. However, the sound is unmistakable. The Rage lasted throughout high school.

Jump to college. Jazz bass in hand, but no band. Way too much drink. Lose scholarship. Sell bass. Hate own guts. Metamorphose. Start a band called The Watch. Suck. But, begin to work with AfroDJYak.

Six months later, after weeks of aborted practices, in one sweltering evening, the three who would become the Nightsoil Coolies came together, although it would be months before they were christened. The Coolies were song engines. That was the name of their first recording. Prolific, diverse, and actually, pretty damn good. However, they lacked direction, business saavy, good equipment, an agent, and at first, a van. The Coolies managed to stay together for three years, added a member, Fish, and recorded four times: Song Engines, Demockery, Idiodyssey, and Tim, Our Leader. A posthumous 4 disc set has been released which included all of the studio recording as well as the remains of a couple of nice live shows. The best part of that band was that all of the units remained in harmony and synchronization. No one left in disharmony. 15 years later, The Coolies still rock when three or four of them get together.

Immediately after the disintegration of the Coolies, The DNA Vibrator formed Satan's Monster Truck, quickly shortened to Monster Truck, because in southern Illinois, in 1991, it was serious business to take the devil's name in vain, or in earnest, for that matter. Monster Truck borrowed heavily from the Coolies vast library of songs. They made two studio recordings and two live recordings in two years. Those recordings included 8 Cylinder Baptism, and Untitled Demo.

In the summer of 1993-1994, Monster Truck imploded and two members recruited two fixtures of the Carbondale music scene to create CRANK. From 1993 to 1997, CRANK produced an untitled demo, a second untitled demo, and finally, the CD Garlic. Although functioning well within the group dynamic, it was clear that the elements that suited The DNA Vibrator were somewhat different than the elements which suited the entity CRANK. In 1995, The DNA Vibrator created its side and final project, The DNA Vibrators. It was created, as the liner notes read, with "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something super double kick-ass!" In order, those things would be: AfroDJYak, brand new songs, a song from the Coolies, and The Hand of God Attachment. The DNA Vibrators created two recordings which survived: Twin Rockets Are A Go, Baby!, and Unnatural Selection.

At present, The DNA Vibrator is working on educational music to help college students learn difficult course material, (so sensible it can't be true---but no bullshit, it is), and several tunes which do not readily fit under any other collaborator's name. Ultimately, there will be a third DNA Vibrator's record. Also, The DNA Vibrator is producing the tool's son's compositions. The tool's son, Carl, is calling himself Spazz, jr. Makes sense.

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An interesting note: All of the Nightsoil Coolies' songs posted on the music download page were actually performed by Monster Truck, which was 3/4 Coolies and 1/4 Ralph, the drummer who with The DNA Vibrator, Fish, and Brian, built Monster Truck. They were recorded in 1992 during a show on Halloween, a holiday for which Carbondale and Southern Illinois University is infamous, at the Hangar 9.

That night, the smell of tear gas was in the air. It was one of the last times that SIU students "took" the Strip (the nickname of the street in town with all the nightclubs and college diners). Monster Truck was in rare form, and the sound off of the mixing board was pretty sweet. The DNA Vibrator is still pleased with how clear these recordings sound. Although the Coolies produced lots of material, somehow, the Coolies never produced a studio recording of these songs that sound as crisp as this live rendition turned out. At that time, Monster Truck was still playing about 50% Coolies music anyway. Besides, The DNA Vibrator penned these tunes (with the notable exception of the song, "Ballad of Minnesota," by Brian). It does not matter which entities rehearsed them.

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Earlier, we discussed the birth of the Nightsoil Coolies, the first band of The DNA Vibrator which witnessed and realized some of The DNA Vibrator's purpose. The Coolies spontaneously emerged in the summer of 1988. By the fall, they were humiliated at Alexander Cole's. Two years later, this experience (and many others) would help The DNA Vibrator create the comic book, "Flaming Guitars." (see Flaming Guitars on the sidebar).

The DNA Vibrator will tell more of the story of the Coolies. In between the time of their first glorious practices, and their first humiliating performance, they adopted the name, the "Nightsoil Coolies." How? Why?

How: Well, the tool's mother, considered by anyone's measure who knew her to be one of the most intelligent people one would ever know, christened the band. One evening, when the as yet unnamed band stopped into the tool's parent's house, on a road trip away from college for a weekend, to her chagrin, she gave them the idea for the name of the band.

Why: Well, as the band and the tool's mom stayed up late talking one night, and the band members discussed such esoteric topics as whether the word "the" should actually be part of a band's name (it's ubiquitous, said the bass player, no it's not, said the drummer, what's ubiquitous, said the guitarist)they began to talk about being a band representing the lowest common demoninator, since they fully expected to suck at the most basic level. They wanted to affiliate themselves with those people performing the worst jobs a person could think of, to be "their" band (in an attempt to be "political," they somehow thought it would be cool to be some kind of symbol for the proletariat). So, many run of the mill kinds of jobs were bandied about. After they exhausted their possibilities, the tool's mom said, "Why don't you call yoursleves the Nightsoil Coolies? Nightsoil coolies have about the worst job you can imagine." The boys were intrigued. The tool's mom explained in short, that nightsoil coolies were oriental shit-collectors, those poorest of the poor in the far East who made their living by collecting full chamberpots (the nightsoil) from people's homes, preparing the human waste and then selling it for fuel or fertilizer for farmer's fields. The band was officially named that night.

The name had its detractors. For the first year or so, some point of each set was spent explaining to some drunk fuck, or some entertainment paper reporter, or some girlfriend of one of the guys in the band, exactly what the name meant. Before long, two shorthand versions of the name, NSC or simply, the Coolies, were how the band was referred to regularly. After the Alexander Cole's show, the group also earned the nickname, the Nightsoil Suckies. Of the two girls which started calling the Coolies the Nightsoil Suckies, one of them became the tool's wife! Thus began her long history of criticizing everything the tool does, and the tool's long history of deserving every word of it!

After the Alexander Cole's debacle, the Coolies played several terrific shows, at venues as diverse as their basement, 611 pizza, Tritos in Champaign, IL, and a frat house at Milliken University in Decatur, IL. At the frat house, they played for over 5 hours. They had to repeat everything they knew twice. Some of the stuff they played was either made up on the spot, or was stuff the other guys faked while Brian, the original Song Engine, strummed out the chords and sang an endless supply of lyrics.

It was at this show that the boys realized their purpose: Play, play music for anyone they could, in any venue that would have them, and relish every minute of it. They didn't think about making money, getting decent equipment, or road managers, booking agents, ratfuck club owners, drugs, drink, sluts, crime, and all of the other great things which would come their way. In the end, making music was what motivated them, enjoying the looks on the faces of people when they played something that people liked was the prize. To this day, no greater purpose has been achieved by The DNA Vibrator then when its bass guitar was shaking the plate glass windows in the Avalon niteclub on Belmont in Chicago more than the passing L trains were. The people who stood between the bass and the glass were hypnotized by the subsonic vibration, transfixed by the undefined fear response that sprang from the primitive gorilla inside all of them when those tones passed through them.

The DNA Vibrator has experienced few of those transcendent moments, but one was enough to convince it that a greater power than itself exists in the universe. This has been and continues to be one of the pursuits of The DNA Vibrator: To seek out its creator.

BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER:

Not long ago, a cousin of The DNA Vibrator died. He was a gifted musician, and like many musicians, was really a jack-of-all-trades. At one time, he ran a nightclub called MR. Bigstuffs in a little town called Mt. Zion. After the Nightsoil Coolies had been playing for a couple of years together, they had the bright (read completely fucking daft) idea of booking all their own shows. The band made many trips from Carbondale to Chicago, so whenever there was a club or bar in between at which they could play, they did. In passing conversation with the cousin, Danny, Danny suggested that the Coolies play his club. "Have you actually heard us, Danny?" asked the tool. "Hey cuz, it don't matter. You want to play? I'll give you a weekend." So, the Coolies took him up on it. As the show dates came closer, Danny had some difficulty with both nights. So they decided on one night, Friday. It was clear that he wanted out of the obligation, but at this point, the Coolies needed the money, and a smaller guarantee for one night was better than no money on both nights. The Coolies, too, if they had had the freedom to cancel the show would have. They were not looking forward to being heckled by rednecks for three hours. Or worse.

That night, Danny welcomed the Coolies into the club like family. They played, and by about the third song, many regulars had left the bar. By song number five, the folks still in the bar were saying, "I wonder what song that was supposed to be?" The call of "You suck!" preceded and followed each of their songs. This is not an exaggeration. Through the second set, silence followed most of the songs. After the second set, although the Coolies were willing to complete their obligation, Danny mercifully stopped the debacle. Unlike many bar owning scumbags, Danny paid the Coolies, and both Danny and the band learned something from the experience: Blood is thicker than water, but no matter what, college alternative rock will not fucking fly in a country cover band bar. The DNA Vibrator misses his cuz.

DNA's EARLY CARBONDALE DAYS:

Early on in their career, the Coolies began playing at Mabel's in Champaign, Illinois, a famous, but long gone, midwestern club (do a search on the internet for Mabel's Champaign, and you will be surprised at how many of the best musicians passed through its doors). As they prepared to load in for their first show at Mabel's, one of the bouncers approached the guys and said, "You in the band? Take your shit up the stairs." Nice. However, future stops in the club were met with more civility by other folks than the no-necked dickhead who greeted the Coolies the first time. That accounts for the "band takes the stairs" bit in the comic.

Later, in the dead of winter, the Coolies braved a horrible snow and ice storm to play a show at the Cubby Bear at Wrigleyville in Chicago, Illinois. At that time, there were no other locations, so they just knew it as the Cubby Bear. The club has ties to SIU. Apparently, the owner/manager was an SIU alumni. So, he was pretty liberal about giving SIU bands a chance to play in the Windy City.

By that time, the Coolies had played out enough that when they could, they attempted to get contracts with clubs in advance, with specific riders spelled out, and negotiated guarantees, etc. This bar contact person [hereafter referred to as slimy cocksucker] promised a guarantee over the phone and explained the ticket system they used. The bar would issue the Coolies tickets to deliver to a variety of outlets, to their friends, etc., and the Coolies would receive something like $4.00 for every ticket turned in. Remember, this was 15 years ago, and the Coolies figured that if they could round up 100 friends, strangers and people wanting to see a free show, then they would have made the trip worthwhile. Besides, slimy cocksucker guaranteed that the band would not make less than $300.00. The DNA Vibrator does not know if the archaic fucked up system of tickets is still what is in use at some clubs, but if so, it feels sorry for all of you youngsters currently getting buttfucked by slimy cocksuckers for the chance to grace their shitholes with your art. But, The DNA Vibrator digresses.

The tickets were supposed to arrive in Carbondale two weeks before the show. They did not. They arrived on the day the band was getting ready to drive up to Chicago. Slimy cocksucker told The DNA Vibrator that the band did not need to worry. They would get a guarantee. This ticket mix-up was all the club's fault. The tickets were given out to every band, and it was just a way for the club to gauge how many people came just for that band. The boys hesitantly bought the explanation, but not without experiencing the first sympathy pains of a royal assfucking to come later on.

The Coolies left early enough to be able to deliver tickets to a variety of music outlets, but on the road up, a terrible snow and ice storm set upon them. Their progress slowed to a crawl. They made it in town in enough time to get some food across the street from the club, and drop off a few tickets at some of the local establishments. The roads were so bad that even the busses weren't running for part of the night. As some of their friends braved the weather and came into the bar, the Cooolies handed them tickets. When slimy cocksucker saw this, he said that wasn't allowed, that the patrons had to get the tickets ahead of time. So, in shifts, different members of the band would stand in the freezing cold and hand tickets out to passers by. When slimy cocksucker realized this, he sent one of his steroid shooting bouncers, referred to from this point on as raisin nuts number 1, out to stop that from happening. So, the band resigned itself to a night of hard drinking. Slimy cocksucker brought the band anything they wanted to drink, which he said, "was the least he could do for SIU alums on such a shitty night." The Coolies were ambivalent. So far, they had been treated like shit, and although they weren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth, they didn't feel particularly comforted by slimy cocksucker's sudden attack of generosity.

They played a kick ass set, and ripped up the place for the few dozen hard core fans who actually came out to see the Coolies play. At the end of the night, The DNA Vibrator went to find slimy cocksucker. However, he was nowhere to be found. Raisin nuts number 1 and his pal, raisin nuts number 2, had the enjoyable duty to settle up with The DNA Vibrator. "Here you go," raisin nuts number 1 said with a smile. It was likely all he could do not to laugh. He handed The DNA Vibrator $18.00. In as polite a tone as the tool could muster, he said, "You have got to be fucking kidding me. I know there were 30 to 40 people here with tickets for the Nightsoil Coolies." "That may be true, said raisin-nuts number 2, "but then you got to subtract all the booze you guys drank from the total." "Hold the fuck on," said the tool, getting a little hot, feeling more than beer flush his cheeks, "[slimy cocksucker] said that was on the house. Where is he?" "Gone home, a long time ago, and he's the one who told me what to give you." "This is a bunch of fucking bullshit! We have a contract. [slimy cocksucker] said that we would get a $300.00 guarantee!" At this point, the raisin nuts boys had heard enough of a guy 1/2 their size getting indignant with them. "Whatever. Time to get the fuck out. Now."

The DNA Vibrator is by nature non-violent, because nature in the end is always violent enough to those less able to survive. The DNA Vibrator knew that time would take its toll on the raisin nuts boys. Over many years, The DNA Vibrator has wondered what sad lives or tragic ends the raisin nuts boys endured, or what horrors they inflicted on their punching bag girlfriends/wives, and what vengeance might be being pursued right now against them by their dysfunctional teenage children for the abuse that they, the pathetic soulless fucks that they are, inflicted on their progeny because of their complete inability to feel the way real human beings do...not that The DNA Vibrator dwells on it or anything.

The tool went back to the rest of the band, and told them about the situation. "$18 damn bucks!! Fuck!" said AfroDJYak. "What was the cover tonight, 2 cents? Fuck!"

The band loaded their stuff out, and sat, morally beaten,in the freezing, still night air. They were each realizing that not only did they not have enough money to split between them to get some decent food, but they did not have enough money to buy gas to get back home. Gone Brian Vaughan, as was his habit, hence his nickname, wandered off down the street, and in a few minutes, was barely visible in the distance talking to some guy he had met hanging out in an alley. Remember, this was at 2 am, on a deserted, frozen Chicago street. It was clear to AfroDJYak and The DNA Vibrator that something was going down between Gone and the man. Gone came back and said, "Guys, I was talking to this dude down there, and he said he would give me $50.00 for my driver's license. So I gave it to him. We got gas money!"

Somehow, it all made sense. This was a special moment for the band. They were in the presence of a higher power, and not for the last time. The night which had before seemed lonely, cold, and uninviting, now seemed full of possibilities. The stars twinkled with an intensity rarely seen through the haze of the city, and the Coolies were right there, right then, witnessing the unfolding of the moment. $18 bucks was a badge. They wore it like a Maori tattoo. They were indivisible. From that moment on, they were ready for whatever would come next.

Their resolve would be tested the very next day as they drove home. But, that is another story.

THE CARBONDALE MUSIC SCENE:

Music scenes come and go, as the old guard passes, graduates from college, or actually, once or twice, "makes it" professionally as musicians. When The DNA Vibrator emerged in the Carbondale, Illinois music scene, in the mid-1980's, it was as the torch was being handed down from one generation to the next. The old guard, October's Child, The Reform, Love Rhino, and Seven Men Vanish were exiting stage left, while the new guard, The Nightsoil Coolies, The Blue Meanies, Diet Christ, Fusebox, 138, Action Man, The Cruces, The Plugs, and dozens of others (don't get offended if you were overlooked by The DNA Vibrator---email or post a comment and see what happens!)were being ushered into the limelight. Many established clubs were still popular venues, but a group of underground house clubs also opened new avenues for exposure. Cafe Flesh, Club Romex, The Lost Cross House, Club Felix, and the venerable House of Voodoo, all flung their innocent-enough-by-day-doors wide open to be pits of sin and sound at night.

It no longer mattered if your band had credentials, or a demo, or experience, or talent! It only mattered that you wanted to play, and were willing to haul your equipment wherever there was a call for a show. In other words, the scene was perfect for the first vehicle of The DNA Vibrator. The music scene exploded with a wide variety of bands exploring old and new ground. The Coolies at once fit and did not within that scene. The DNA Vibrator was an odd duck even then.

Although there were many venues to play, there was one that became home to the underground music scene in Carbondale for the time it was open. 611 Pizza, on 611 S. Illinois Avenue (don't bother searching for it---it has long since closed) was a pizza joint ran by two Chinese immigrants, Sam (not his real name, but the one "assigned" to him as he was processed in San Francisco) and Lin. Their menu consisted of the Chinese interpretation of pizza, and also fried rice and crab rangoon. In other words, the perfect restaurant. Every now and then, they would experiment with something new on the menu, french fries one week, hamburgers the next, but the pizza, the pizza brought the bands back. Not because it was good. No, it honestly sucked. Because it was as much the people's pizza as 611 Pizza's pizza. Maybe some of that old style communism rubbed off on the bands and crowd who frequented there.

It seemed that every month the layout of 611 Pizza would change, but there was always room for a stage, a band and tons of people crowded inside. The regular patrons would be the people Sam would enlist to help change the look of his place. The patrons would be the ones who he hired to work his grill, and to run the door. This is why his place became the scene's place. Beer would flow, original music would shake the walls, and people would keep the place packed until closing time, 2 am.

When Sam got in financial trouble, the local bands played several benefits to keep the club's doors open. When he was closed by the Health Department, the local bands spent the weekend cleaning the place from top to bottom. There were some times that the only way AfroDJYak and the tool of The DNA Vibrator were able to eat was because they played a gig up at 611. Sam always gave the bands free pizza and beer. 611 was about the only way that bands like the Coolies were seen outside of the basement, at least at first. It was like the bar, Cheers, except with a lot more tattoos, leather, black make-up, puking, pot smoking, and hardcore music.

Eventually, people move on. Sam moved on, and after a few of glorious years, 611 pizza finally closed. The new guard prompted the old guard to exit stage left. Sam is still in Carbondale. His family is doing well. If any of you old guard are still in Carbondale, if you see Sam, you will recognize him. Say hello for us all.

Many people are downloading the music of The DNA Vibrator; in the course of trying to determine, if/which songs were being dowloaded the most, The DNA Vibrator discovered an unnerving problem: The song title, "DEVO Was Right," returned many hits. Too many. This phrase has already become part of the colloquial lexicon of the cool, well before The DNA Vibrator had posted this song on the website for download. Could it be that the message of The DNA Vibrator was corrupt, a rehash of someone else's better idea?

No.

The DNA Vibrator was flattered that others had adopted its phrase, but it politely and respectfully claims full ownership of the phrase and all it stands for. All of you geek squad-tragically-hip-subbaculture motherfuckers can back the fuck up off it NOW. Before you get too pissed off because you assume you somehow came up with that phrase all by yourself, know this: The DNA Vibrator wrote the song and the words "DEVO Was Right" back in 1994. Published it in 1995, after which the song found its way onto a nationally syndicated radio show. Before then, the exact phrase "DEVO Was Right" had NEVER BEEN UTTERED BEFORE. EVER. So, the tables have turned, because if you are one of those too-detached-to-be-touched-by-the-mundane, you have already been co-opted by The DNA Vibrator without even knowing it. This is how The DNA Vibrator operates: Creating the impression that its uninspired idea was really your own. The DNA Vibrator is a termite eating away at the floor joists of the house of your consciousness. Collapse may come at any time. Like the Blob, The DNA Vibrator grows with each 60 hertz cycle of power consumption in your home. Only this time, Steve McQueen is dead, baby.

The DNA Vibrator does not seek recognition nor dominion. In fact, now that the world knows the true subversion it is capable of, The DNA Vibrator gives the phrase "DEVO Was Right," to all of the world to use. It is now yours. Use it or not: The function of The DNA Vibrator has already been served by this phrase. It was just another lettuce leaf, scraped off of the plate of The DNA Vibrator's discontent.

SUMMER LOVIN':

It was the summer of 1993. The tool of The DNA Vibrator was on his way to Chicago to watch his friend AfroDJYak get married. He and Annie had a beautiful ceremony in the back yard of Annie's parent's house in Oak Park. He wore shorts, Annie wore a pretty dress, and everybody got to take pictures of the happy couple. We spent the night eating lasagna and pizza, and getting shit-faced drunk. Sometimes weddings are fun.

However, The DNA Vibrator had another, more pragmatic purpose for coming along. It was in the process of creating its new musical vehicle, and it needed a name. The search for a name had been fruitless up to that point, but as The DNA Vibrator quietly polled the wedding guests, one word, which seemed to have it all, sprang forth: "Crank." It had a sexual reference, a mechanical reference, a musical/loudness reference, and a drug reference. Very few words meet the criteria of the perfect rock and roll band name. This was awfully close. The DNA Vibrator developed a list of about a dozen potential names. Crank didn't impress anyone, but it felt right. Think about it. If you saw the band CRANK on a marquis, you would know these boys were not easy listening. So despite other good suggestions, like the Eyelobes, Brainmilk, and the Komodo Drag Queens, Crank became it. After a weekend of mayhem, the tool drove back home, and sprang the name on the other unsuspecting band mates. The guys actually thought it was probably too "rock and roll" to have not been taken already. But, they searched the trade magazines, talked with as many industry people as they knew, and realized that at least in the midwest, no one was named Crank.

A summer later, as they braved the elements to roadtrip across the country to record with indie rock producer Kramer, (yes, THE Kramer, who has worked with the likes of GWAR, Bongwater, White Zombie, Urge Overkill, etc., etc.,)at the infamous Noise New Jersey studios, they nearly crossed paths with an East coast Crank. Later still, a West coast Crank was heard from. Three things each band shared: a good name; great recordings; somewhat less than national appeal.

THE ANATOMY OF AN UNDERGROUND CLUB:

In Carbondale, there have been many party houses and party streets: Cherry Street and Oak Street were infamous for a long time. It has been many years since The DNA Vibrator visited those streets for a party, so it is sure that as times changed, so have the party spots. Some places on those streets were known to throw the best parties or have the best bands play. Some persisted through many tenants. One of the reasons a college student wanted to live in one of those houses was to continue the tradition of that house being known as a party destination. Such is the case with the Lost Cross house.

For at least 20 years, Lost Cross has been a destination for punks in Carbondale, a haven for underground or hardcore bands, a place in which almost every cool Carbondale band played, and hundreds of bands from across the country, big and small, have taken the stage. It has had many tenants, but has always been Lost Cross. Even now, The DNA Vibrator doesn't know the street address, but could walk there blindfolded from about any place in Carbondale. Houses which lead double lives as entertainment venues begin to acquire a certain look, feel, and smell, like an old crutch, or crackpipe might, if you have used it for years. Lost Cross is no different. These kinds of clubs all have a different character, but many share some general features which identify them as underground clubs. If you live in a college town, look around, and it will be easy to see the telltale signs that a house may be an underground club.

Starting about two blocks away in any direction, you begin to see more and more homemade stickers for underground or local bands stuck on every surface, from bicycle seats to air conditioning units to temporarily parked cars. You also see dozens of flyers stapled to every telephone pole.

The house itself is nondescript from the outside, except the porch. There are several pieces of furniture on it, the entire porch lists to the left slightly, and the remains of a barbecue grill extends off of one side. A screen door remains cocked half open, and a front door with the glass painted black greets you as you enter. The front room is clearly the main living space for perhaps three or four semi-permanent residents, and a transient population of as many as 10 more. There may be trash, but it really isn't dirty, per se, just messy. Between the residents, there are about 5000 vinyl records and almost as many CD's stuffed in every possible empty cabinet space, and in homemade milk crate furniture. A stereo, constructed from a mish mash of components from across several decades, works, but even on the best of days, sounds like crap. At one time, each piece was likely some of the best audio equipment student loans could buy.

It has to have a basement. A party house can have bands in a living room, but it won't last. All it takes is one overly loud band, one broken window, and that's it---cops called, people busted, and a pissed off neighbor that will rat you out in a heartbeat if you throw another party.

It must have exposed wiring, and dozens of extension cords running from converted light sockets. Clearly this house was built a long time ago, and the basement was never meant to be more than for storage. This accounts for the slightly too low ceiling beams, the open access to the propane furnace and the water heater, and if you are really lucky, access to a nonfunctioning coal chute and coal room.

It must be painted, by dozens of different artists who have made their mark on the house as they did their time in the party scene. It must be covered with phrases from the vain to the vulgar to the vicious to veritas. It must include stickers, logos, and sayings/lyrics/poetry from anti-establishment types, so that young punks can feel comforted by the very walls of their domicile.

It typically includes several TV's which may or may not work, pieces of mismatched furniture, particularly old couches, and also includes some kind of PA system for bands. Usually, there are several guitars, amps, and other pieces of equipment either left by the last band to perform there, or kept there by the band or bands which practice there. Oh, the circuits must contain at least one short, so that when a band is playing, as the singer goes to the microphone, he gets the shit zapped out of him. This happend one time to The DNA Vibrator, so badly that the tool's lip split open and blood flowed as he began to sing. There is nothing more apropo than blood flying from the singer's lips in an underground club.

Sometimes there is a fridge in the basement; usually there is lots of porn; beer cans, bottles and other liquor is ubiquitous. Everything is coated with a thick film of nicotine and pot smoke. Sometimes there are steps, usually with one broken or loose.

Walk up the basement steps, and into the kitchen area of the house, and the floor is peeled linoleum and wood, worn through to the floor joists in two places, and warped. In fact, the entire house has settled along three different axes, and tilts just enough to make your shoes feel funny as you walk from the kitchen to the hallway. None of the windows seat quite right in their frames. Flyers from local shows, posters from many of the coolest bands you have never seen, and more musical instruments are found on walls, behind furniture, and in the bathroom.

The bathroom. One bathroom for the 14 or so who currently live there; one bathroom, basement, and big backyard for the 500 or so guests who are there almost every Friday and Saturday night. One bathroom that on any given night, is covered with every bodily fluid one can excrete, and a couple that two can excrete. Vomit and urine, countered by comet and bleach. This is the price a resident has to pay for the privilege of living in a landmark. This notoriety is not lost on the residents of Lost Cross house. Like the Viking warriors who left the comfort and safety of their own villages behind for the hardships and camaraderie of the sea, the residents choose to live a less civilized, less encumbered with the demands of everyday independent living, but ultimately, more satisfying, life. A life on display to the rest of us who want to be reminded that we can live that free if we want to, and loose the shackles put on us by culture, at least for a Friday or Saturday night.

So to all the residents of Lost Cross, past, present, and future, THANK YOU, for being the bloody pagan barbarians that you are.

Today, The DNA Vibrator finished a song called "A Brief History of The DNA Vibrator." And then, because DNA had some extra time to kill, the music was adapted as the new welcome mat for this website. This was the first official "new" DNA work in some time, and The DNA Vibrator was so excited about it that it went ahead and posted it even though it is not finished. The entire recording was done in the tool's office where he works, on his kick-ass Mac G5, using a couple of nice mics and Garageband. Even though this recording is tracked and mixed using Garageband, and The DNA Vibrator took advantage of some of the available software instruments (drums in particular) they are not pre-made loops. Each track is written and/or programmed by The DNA Vibrator. This will be the first recording for the upcoming DNA Vibrators release, "The Purple Headed Stranger." Hope you like it, not worried if you don't.

THE DAY AFTER THE NIGHT OF THE CUBBY BEAR SHOW:

Before we continue the story of the Coolies' horrible and wonderful show at the Cubby Bear, we will rewind to the day before the night of the Cubby Bear show. The band had reached a new milestone: AfroDJYak had a new credit card, and it was Christmas for The DNA Vibrator and Gone Brian Vaughan in, well, December.

We found a sufficiently cool music store on the north side of Chicago, and began window shopping. When we went in, we hadn't actually formulated a plan, but in about 10 minutes, and to this day, The DNA Vibrator is not sure who suggested it, but AfroDJYak was more than willing to fork over his credit card to buy new equipment. The DNA Vibrator purchased a GK head and Trace Elliot cabinet. Nice stuff. Gone purchased a Mesa Boogie 50 Caliber. Nicer stuff. It has been so long, The DNA Vibrator doesn't remember what else was bought, but we certainly came close to AfroDJYak's limit. We spent the next year paying the card off in installments. It was some of the best money we spent.

More important than any gear, however, was the trust we had in each other. How many of your friends would drop $2000.00 on their credit card for your stuff? We never betrayed that trust. Of all the bands The DNA Vibrator has been in, the nucleus of the Coolies best embodied why people get together and form a band. We formed a brotherhood, which still manifests itself when we get together, to the aggravation of our wives.

TIP #8: Don't do this. Don't finance your other band member's equipment with a high interest rate charge card, no matter how fucking much you love each other. We were lucky, not smart, that that little shenanigan didn't make us the bitterest of enemies. Don't go into debt: use your gig money to help each band member buy new stuff.

So, later that night, we played the Cubby Bear, got royally fucked by the club, BV sold his license to a random guy he met outside the club, and we made enough money to gas up the van for the return trip home.

We spent the night at one of BV's friend's houses. Throughout the night, a snowstorm developed, and blanketed the city in about 18 inches of snow. In the morning, we were moving slowly, but by about 9 am, we looked ready to try our luck. Driving the van in the city was not bad, because by 9, traffic had already reduced the snow and ice to muddy slush. After about an hour of slow but safe driving, we made it out of the city, and were traveling on I-57 south.

For those of you unfamiliar, I-57 south is one of the major southern routes out of Chicago, and is the most direct route from Chicago back to southern Illinois. Once you are about 25 miles out of the city though, the landscape changes to stark, open farmland. It stays that way until you get south of Mt. Vernon, 300 miles away. As soon as we reached open road, conditions worsened. The temperature continued to drop throughout the morning, and what started as a messy road way, soon became a dangerously slick roadway. BV had started to nap as we left the city, and was comfortably resting as AfroDJYak and The DNA Vibrator were looking at the bleak conditions ahead. Road speed was steadily declining. In about two hours, the band was only just south of Kankakee (look on the map, you can see we weren't moving very fast).

We saw a semi trailer jack-knife. After about another 30 minutes of driving, our speed was down to between 15 to 20 miles an hour. There were fewer and fewer cars on the road. As we were passing under an overpass, as often happens when you are mildly compensating for a wind pushing your vehicle, which quickly abates under the overpass, for which you have to over steer to maintain control, the DNA Vibrator turned the wheel too quickly, and the van started to slide. It slid gracefully, the way a gelatinous walrus looks graceful in water, but cumbersome on land. AfroDJYak noted in that brief moment as life began flashing before his eyes, that The DNA Vibrator had taken one hand off the wheel, and was nipping the edge of his lips with his teeth, a habit The DNA Vibrator would fall into when near fatal accidents were about to occur. He pointed this out after years of research to The DNA Vibrator. The DNA Vibrator had enough time to say, "Hang on," which was not very good advice. Briefly, The DNA Vibrator noted that a cymbal case was poised to fall the reclining body of BV. A full cymbal case can easily weigh 80 pounds. It may not have killed him if it were to fall, but who wants to live with a collapsed lung?

Gently, DNA did the right moves: first foot off the gas, next, steer into the slide, next avoid culverts, metal posts, other cars. Thankfully, no one was near us, and as the van dreamily twisted from one side of the interstate to the other, the cymbal case rocked, but did not fall. At one point, the van was meandering sideways down the road. It actually became fun once it didn't seem like the van was going to flip over.

Finally, the van right itself, and very slowly, we continue on. As the blood started to flow to DNA's knuckles again, and AfroDJYak was beginning to lose the grin plastered on his face (the grin of "holy fuck, we coulda died, but we didn't"). Brian emerged from his sleep. "Hey, what's up guys? I thought I felt something a second ago." We laughed. Fortune favors the brave or foolish. Once again, over that unforgettable weekend, we were united as the Coolies.

TODAY THE INTERNET SERVED ITS PURPOSE:

It just so happened that through this very site, communication, actual communication, occurred between The DNA Vibrator, and an old friend of its, Orpheus Rex. Orpheus goes way back in the Carbondale music scene, was a respected player, and a damn fine writer. His byline appeared in the Carbondale Nightlife many times. He now makes the internet better for us all by being part of the new world order called yahoo!. There is no better way to bring down the man than by to subvert from the inside.

HE'S BRINGING LOTS OF TOYS, FOR ALL THE PUNK GIRLS AND BOYS!

It has always been a desire of The DNA Vibrator to make a Christmas album, mixing standards and new material. This is not a joke. 10 years ago, it started, and wrote, "All I want For Christmas is a Whole Lotta Cash." It wrote another one, called, "Let's Put the X Back in Christmas," but it is not yet recorded. It is in the process of recording its own version of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." The best part of this project is that time is no object. Christmas is likely to be around for awhile. When it is done, you will see it here.

WORKING ON A NEW ALBUM:
(November 2006)

In a flurry throughout the month of November, The DNA Vibrator has written and recorded, or salvaged and remastered 13 songs for a new recording, and its just getting started. It was going to call the new disc "The Return of the Purple-headed Stranger," but it has changed its mind.

It was going to call it that because, no bullshit, 10 years ago, DNA announced to the local entertainment rag that it was going to put out a new album, reeaal soon, called ROTPHS. I guess from a geologic perspective, 10 years is just a drop in the bucket, so DNA felt obligated to call it that. The title was funny enough, sure, in fact a cheap joke at the "vibrator" aspect of the band's name, and although The DNA Vibrator is not above cheap shots at its own expense, the songs didn't fit that title. The songs came from a slightly more mature place than ROTPHS. In fact, the best name DNA could think of for the collection is the same as the title of the home page of this website: "The Shape of Things to Have Come and Gone." [editor's note: the old blog was called "The Shape of Things to Have Come and Gone." The new one, is of course, the much cooler, "Twin Rockets Are A Go, Baby!"] Since many of the songs are about the family DNA has lost and the family DNA is raising, it seemed very apropo.

DNA is not for sure what it is going to do with the CD. It may distribute it through CD Baby a great source for independent musicians to distribute their works nationally, it may sell it through this website, or it may give it away as free downloads to anyone who wants it on this website. DNA is not in it for the money. Its always been for the chicks and the drugs.

THE NEW ALBUM IS EITHER DONE OR ONE HALF A DOUBLE CD:

13 is a magic number. Its the number of songs which seems appropriate for this disc. Its the number that gets you in and out of the CD in under 45 minutes. It gives the best emotional roller coaster while listening. Any more and DNA gets bored. But, there are about 10 more songs that are ready to be recorded, or nearing that point. Based on some input from old friends, like the Hand of God Attachment, DNA will decide soon whether this will be a one disc or a two disc recording. Why not? Sometimes you have to strike while the iron is hot. Something in this feels to DNA like desperation. What if this is the last hurrah? What if after this, there is no more creative juice? If so, then DNA wants to out with a mother fucking BANG.

It will likely be in DNA's best interest to wait until after Christmas break to release anything to the local press. In Carbondale, when the students leave SIU for break, everything kind of retreats back into southern Illinois. Also, DNA is waiting to hear back from HFA (Harry Fox Agency) to secure the mechanical rights to a cover song it wants to put on the record.

BUSTED LIPS, HOSPITAL TRIPS, THAT'S WHAT RECORDING SESSIONS ARE MADE OF:

The DNA Vibrator doesn't like to brag, but during its heyday, it was practically living in the recording studio. When you consider all of its studio ventures were creatively funded (student loans, equipment trades, studio work for others, saved up gig money, money made from house parties, hittin' up the parents cuz of a forgotten college "fee")that feat is pretty amazing, because the studio isn't cheap. If music is the high, if playing out live is the drug, then the studio is the safehouse you can go to to keep from getting busted by the cops. The difference in this analogy is that this particular safehouse charges anywhere from $20.00 to $200.00 an hour for you to stay there. Musicians like The DNA Vibrator would do about anything to keep itself in the studio. Like the song says, "Spent our 20's in and out of half a dozen different bands. Spent our money in the studio like each dollar was a grain of sand." Man, did we ever.

Was it worth it? Of course it was. What else would we have spent it on? Books? Booze? Ass? Music certainly trumps those useful, but not necessary, trifles. In the course of many trips to the studio, we became close friends with Scott Munson, a terrific film-maker, who was spending his time in Carbondale cultivating the atmosphere in which his band, IT, could breathe. He figured that he would be here until he got his big break, or until he finished his master's thesis, a moving piece which incorporated time lapse photography of the area outside of Yellowstone Park which he had shot over many years. If you wanna know more about Scott, he currently works as the sound engineer at the House of Blues in San Diego. His band, IT, is on semi-permanent hiatus, but produced some good music. DNA helped do some studio work on their second unreleased project with Scott and his good friend, Todd Freeman, an amazing guitarist. See how we're all just an inbred happy little family!

Well, while Scott was doing his time in Carbondale, he became a sought after sound engineer. He worked for Soundcore music, run by Carbondale native and music scene fixture, Joe C. The band Crank worked with Scott many times, in live sound situations, and in the studio. We planned for several months what we would need to do to get in the studio, and booked several sessions. The initial recording, brutally loud, frenetic, exploring many techniques that we were both learning on the fly, was completed about this time of year, back in 1993. After we finished, Scott went on his winter break from school and Carbondale, and we played several shows over the holidays. It gave us time to listen to what we had done, and figure ways to improve some tracks that had shortcomings.

We scheduled several more trips into the studio. One early spring night, The Reverend, Ralph, Dave, and The DNA Vibrator all met Scott Munson at Soundcore studio to re-do the vocal tracks on a song titled "Not Like Me." The Reverend and DNA were there with Scott Munson early, working on some stuff, and then were joined by the rest of the crew later. Now, forgive The DNA Vibrator if its memory is fading, but the events of that night have kind of blurred together. At some point, The Reverend had taken a break from laying down new vocal tracks, and was enjoying a beer. We all had taken a break for our favorite recreational drugs,(DNA is not trying to sound cool---for most of us, that was beer), when The Reverend heard something outside, and then noticed some guy by his old beat up Mustang. Then he noticed what the guy was doing. "What the fuck!" the Reverend yelled. Some motherfucker is outside throwing big fucking rocks at my car!" He tossed open the back door of the studio he was looking through, with each of us following up behind. We were not exactly sure if what we heard him say was what we heard him say, so we were not sure what we might find, but we knew The Reverend was shocked about something, and it took quite a bit to get him angry. Sure enough, there was this big motherfucker, hefting up cinder blocks and throwing them up against the side of The Reverend's car and window glass.

Now, before we go further, DNA needs to set this stage a little better. The back door of the studio opens up onto a hard to get to, very small, private parking lot for people at the studio, and believe it or not, for the poor bastards who rented the apartment above the studio. It was only accessible from an alley, and was not even visible from the nearest main crossroad. There was a streetlight on the corner, but large parts of the lot and back of the studio were in darkness. It is not a place you expect to see a linebacker demolishing a car. And this guy, let's call him Craig "I'm a big dumb fucking neanderthal" T.......no, no, you fucker, you don't get the limelight. DNA won't use your real name. For the sake of the story, let's just call him "the big dumb fucking douchebag dick licker," or the BDFDDL for short. Well the BDFDDL actually WAS big, a cornfed backwoods sister-humping frankenstein of a bitch. Knowing absolutely no fear, however, The Reverend came right up on him. The BDFDDL kind of looked surprised, like a bear might if someone stumbled upon it after goring a child. Faced with this uncertain and unplanned for contingency, the BDFDDL slowly backed away from the car as The Reverend shouted, "What the FUCK are you doing to my car!? What the fuck is your problem, man?" The BDFDDL didn't say a word, as The Reverend shouted this refrain right in his grill, but comprehension slowly unfurled across the troglodyte's brow. Clearly he did not think the car belonged to The Reverend. He though he was bashing in someone else's car, someone who he didn't expect to come out that door, someone who would have been intimidated by him. Without uttering a word, the BDFDDL lurched into his truck idling in the alley, and drove away. The Reverend was angrily yelling at him through the closed truck door. The Reverend raised his bottle of beer, as if to throw it at the BDFDDL, and then thought better of it. He would rather drink it than waste it. Then, the BDFDDL drove away. Weird, huh? Well, you ain't heard the half of it. Literally. It's getting late, and DNA has to quit now. It will pick the second half of this story tomorrow or the next day.

But, here is a teaser: The Police mash someone's face up against a police cruiser's door. Someone gets his nose broken. Someone gets his ribs kicked in. Someone qualifies for the State of Illinois' victim's assistance fund. Stay tuned for one of the more fucked up things we lived through as a band.

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As the BDFDDL drove away, we all kind of incredulously replayed what just happened. As we were trying to make sense of his senseless vandalism, the neighbors upstairs, yes the very guys we brutalized with our recording sessions, came down the side stairs and gave us some insight to what just happened.

Apparently,the BDFDDL knew these guys, and (again the details get kind of fuzzy) they were either room mates or something at some point in the past. It doesn't matter. What matters is that the BDFDDL got drunk, and tried to break into his old "friend's" house to settle up a bill. They wouldn't let him in. So, the BDFDDL decided he would show them, and started heaving rocks at the car he thought belonged to one of his "friends." The old room mates upstairs were justifiably upset, as this big hulking fucker tried to break into their place, so before the BDFDDL even started throwing rocks at the Reverend's car, the residents upstairs already called the police. The Reverend asked the neighbors upstairs to please let him know when the cops arrived, because he would add his complaint against the BDFDDL to theirs.

Well, we returned to the studio, laughed off the bizarre events, and decided that since it may take a while before the police show up, we could get some more recording done. As we ambled back into the studio, Ralph, who had been by the back door, said "Hey guys, you are not going to believe this. That guy is back, and he's got a truckload of guys with him."

Scott Munson said, "Close the door. They come in here and they are trespassing on commercial property. That's a felony." None of us knew whether that was bullshit or not, but it sounded pretty good to us. However, we didn't think that the BDFDDL cared about that. His crew jumped out of the back of the truck, looking pissed off. He stormed around the front of his truck and in a few bounds was at the back door. He grabbed the door and jerked it open.

As Scott Munson began to protest, the BDFDDL roared, "Which one of you fuckers threw the bottle at my truck!?"

Forgive me reader, If the DNA Vibrator digresses for a moment. At this exact moment, each of us in Crank, and Scott Munson, all by nature nonviolent, as DNA has said before, were face to face with a cunt whose philosophy of life was in direct conflict with ours. In that moment, being reasonable people, living in our safe worlds, none of us acted. We suffered from the curse of too much college education: we analyzed. We each thought, "I wonder why he is so angry," or "Oh, I see. This is some big mistake. He thinks The Reverend threw a bottle at his truck when he raised it up," or "Y'know, if we could just talk to the guy, he would understand," BUT, DNA is telling you now, as we were all thinking these things, we all saw the ugly hate in his eyes. He didn't care if The Reverend threw a bottle at his truck or not. That was just pretext. He was looking to kick somebody's ass, or asses, and went back to gather up his homies to spill some blood, pump up some testosterone, and prove who the men were around here.

The bottom line was, we didn't want to fight, and he did. Now, a little known fact about the Reverend, was that he was trained in martial arts, and DNA doesn't mean that he fake kicked along with Saturday morning cartoons. Again, DNA is hazy about the details, because The Reverend rarely talked about it, but he was quite skilled in whatever art it was that he was associated with. DNA brings this up now, because you need to know that at any time the Reverend could have beaten this guy into submission. But the Reverend is like few men DNA has had the pleasure to know. He's the guy you want next to you in the foxhole. He's the guy you can count on when shit is about to go down. And true to form for those people who are inwardly and outwardly strong, he would rather walk away from a fight than end one.

The BDFDDL was seething. He reached across the four intervening people, to point a meaty finger at The Reverend. "You, you ain't so fucking big now, are you? You and I are going to step outside and settle this."

Imagine you are now watching this scene unfold. The back door of the studio is connected to a narrow hallway about 10 feet long, before it opens onto the main mixing room. As you are looking in, Scott Munson is standing closest to the door on the left. DNA is standing next to him. Ralph is standing next to DNA. Dave is on the right side, bumping shoulder to shoulder with the BDFDDL. In the center of the hallway, between Ralph and Dave, is The Reverend. We were cramped tighter than a football huddle. So ,when BDFDDL reached out for The Reverend, he was literally only a foot or two away. DNA said, "Hey why don't we all just step back a second and take it easy. [The Reverend] didn't throw the bottle at your truck. It's right there on the table. If he," "Unless you want your teeth knocked out, you little faggot, you better shut the fuck up," BDFDDL said, as he thumped DNA in the chest.

Up to this point, everything had been yelling and pointing, but right then, BDFDDL put his hand on DNA. Everyone knew from this moment on, that this was going to end badly. Not because DNA is a badass. To DNA's shame at the time, the opposite is true. No, things were going to end badly, because we now knew the BDFDDL had no problem putting his hands on us, because he thought he had no need to fear us.

Frankly, DNA did not want to get beat on by this lummox, and if it could have backed away, it would have but it couldn't. The BDFDDL turned his attention quickly back to the Reverend. With a sharp jab, the BDFDDL punched the Reverend squarely in the nose. Blood flowed almost immediately. Scott Munson began to shout, "Get the fuck out!" over and over again, while the other band members closed ranks in front of the Reverend, but not before BDFDDL connected solidly with the Reverend's face again, breaking his glasses, and cutting his brow deeply. A huge hamfist brushed the nose of the DNA Vibrator, and connected solidly with Ralph's jaw. Dave was furiously attempting to restrain the BDFDDL, hold back one his his big arms, and also reach for the guitar hanging on the wall behind him. All of us were pushing him back as he was trying to claw his way in. While this was occurring, the BDFDDL began kicking Scott Munson. A solid kick to the stomach dropped him to the floor. He was kicked several more times, in the stomach and head. Scott never stopped yelling, and we continued to push the BDFDDL out of the building.

DNA has seen many things, but it is here to say that you did not want to see the look in the Reverend's eyes. He had taken the hardest shots this cocksucker could dish out, completely unprepared, and not only was he still standing, the one the BDFDDL wanted to exact his revenge against, the one who he had hurt the most, was now ready to fight.

You might be wondering what happened to the testosterone brigade who had hoppped out of the truck right behind the BDFDDL when he stormed in the back of the building. Although they initially seemed pretty supportive, as they saw and heard what transpired, they all kind of slunk back to the truck. We could see this through the back door. On one hand, DNA gives them credit, because they at least had some rational fucking sense, but on the other hand, DNA has always thought of them as the best example of what is really wrong with most people in our country. They were gutless, spineless wretches, not a fucking backbone in the lot of them, not a one willing to step up to their maniacal "friend" and try to stand up for what was right. Instead, they were willing to let the violence play out, something they had probably seen before from the big dumb cocksucker. Alas. What could they do? Feel bad, DNA guesses, was their answer, and be glad it isn't them on the receiving end of the BDFDDL's big right hand.

So, as the spineless gang were quietly retreating, as the BDFDDL was kicking and punching us at will, as Scott Munson was crawling along the floor trying to get away from the savage kicks, a miracle happened, an unlooked for event, a little detail that in the fury of the moment, we had all forgotten about. A police unit, responding to the complaint called in the the neighbors upstairs, had turned up the alley, and was slowly looking for the studio. Munson saw the car, which actually seemed at first to have missed the address and was going to drive on by. Munson screamed, "Police!" and found the strength to make it out of the building. He ran, hands waving, to the police cruiser. Just like out of the movies, he said, "Arrest that man! Arrest him!" He pointed in the direction of the BDFDDL. When the BDFDDL realized a police cruiser was stopped, he stopped, as if NOTHING HAD EVEN HAPPENED, and started to walk back to his truck. The spineless fuckers were already in the back and in the cab, trying to look as if just momments ago, they had not been the audience, with tacit acceptance of, this fucking maniac's rage.

The police initially did not know exactly to which camp it should be listening, but they were certainly looking at Scott Munson, who obviously had been kicked in the face, and looking at the big guy he was pointing to. At first, the BDFDDL tried to BLEND IN the crowd by his truck, but then he approached the police cruiser where Scott Munson stood. INCREDIBLY, the BDFDDL started to CRY, (DNA could NOT make this shit up) and wailed about how he was attacked by these guys here who threw a bottle at his truck as he happened to drive by. He had obviously been through this drill before, so convincing his act was, and the police at first didn't know what to do. They had been called there to investigate a possible break in, if you remember, not to mediate a disagreement or arrest a fuckhead for an unprovoked attack.

By this time, Ralph and DNA were already outside. The BDFDDL was crying by the police car, and a couple of the spineless fucks were talking to DNA and Ralph. "Dudes, he (BDFDDL) told us that six guys jumped him, and we were just here to help out a buddy." DNA said, "Thanks a fucking lot. Really appreciate all you did." The spineless fuck looked sheepish. He should have. They all were sheep. Back at the police car, Scott Munson was practically hysterical, because he couldn't believe that the BDFDDL was about to cry his way out of an arrest. That was, until the Reverend came out of the building.

Dave was walking with the Reverend, who had gathered himself up, and walked with a purpose to meet the BDFDDL. Before the Reverend realized the police were there, DNA believes his purpose was to beat the BDFDDL into the ground. There is no doubt, no matter how big this cocksucker was, the Reverend now had the frame of mind we all needed about three minutes previous. Kill. Pound this guy until he no longer moves, by any means necessary. However, as he strode out of the building, everyone stopped what they were doing. The BDFDDL stopped his crying. The police man stopped his conflict resolution training. The police saw the Reverend's face. Blood had soaked his shirt and hair. Blood was pouring freely from his nose, mouth, eye, and brow. He was bruised and swollen. Besides the Reverend's blood, the BDFDDL was unmarked. Yet, it was the Reverend who walked with poise and strength. The police looked at the Reverend and said, "Who did this?" the Reverend said calmly, "Him," and pointed to the BDFDDL. The BDFDDL had started to slink away from the policeman at this time. However, from the other side of the car, another officer, a former Mr. SIU bodybuilder, a man of truly epic proportion, quickly walked around the car. "You, stop." The BDFDDL froze, and for a moment, you could see the look in his eye, the look that any who has ever been a victim of random violence wants to see. You could see fear in his face, fear from realizing here was a man to whom the BDFDDL's physical size and temper would mean nothing, and if he truly wanted, could beat the BDFDDL into submission without breaking a sweat. For a moment,the BDFDDL acted out of desperation, and tried to get away. In seconds, he was pushed hard against the door of the police cruiser, and put into a submission hold.

Carbondale is a small world. It so happened that the former Mr. SIU knew Scott Munson, and knew of the Reverend. There was no more need for conflict resolution, just what charges were going to be pressed. The BDFDDL was handcuffed, his pussy friends were questioned, and an ambulance was called to take the Reverend to the hospital. The Reverend spent the night in the hospital, Scott Munson was treated and released, while the rest of us licked our wounds and spent a sleepless night pondering what ifs. What if the neighbors hadn't called the cops? What if the BDFDDL had greviously injured the Reverend permanently? Why didn't we drop that cocksucker as soon as he got up in our house and talked shit?

This event changed each of us in different ways. DNA for one, came to understand the limitations civilization puts on us when we trust it to take care of us. We all assume that everyone else will follow the same rules. But, everyone doesn't. At any time, someone may have a screw loose and want to use your face to put it back in its place. You may be just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or, perhaps you may look like an easy target. Perhaps you get mistaken for someone else. In the end, it doesn't matter. DNA resolved never to be caught in that situation again. Even if it meant getting the fuck beat out of it, DNA would never be a victim and watch while the tool and his friends were hurt. We learned to protect each other. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I am the baddest motherfucker in the valley."

DNA does not look like the type, but it would take whatever steps were necessary if you threatened the tool, his family, or his friends.

MY VERY SPECIAL-EST, MUSICAL-ICKINEST INFLUENCES FROM MY KINDERHOOD:

DNA has found that since it has been working on a new album, and the work just keeps fucking coming, that there are many musical influences which are expressing themselves, influences which DNA realizes are very deep. If you were to ask DNA, or if you happen to know DNA, you would see that old school influences on the The DNA Vibrator include DEVO, The Police, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Fugazi, Bad Brains, The Ramones, Blondie, etc. Not so old school influences would include Rollins Band, Alice In Chains, Matthew Sweet, old Van Halen, Primus, Ween, Cake, etc. New school influences would include everything from Fiona Apple to Rob Zombie to Gnarls Barkley. However, the really, REALLY old school, the remedial musical education DNA got while listening to records while he was just a sweet lil toddler, included terrific Americana like Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Doc Watson, and Patsy Cline, to name a few. Oh, there was one strange trip to Wisconsin in which Dad was so excited about the new car he bought with an installed 8-track, that we listened to the two eight track tapes he got as a "bonus" when he bought the car. One was great: "Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison," the other, not so much: Neil Diamond's Hits, yes, plural, which included "My Baby Does The Hanky-Panky," (scandalous) and "Sweet Caroline." So DNA was exposed to the best and worst of music early in its current existence. Also, it grew up in the midwest, which meant that the nearest high power radio station was almost 300 miles away, WLS, in Chicago. WLS was a great rock and roll education.

So, there are several covers that have worked their way into this project. The first was a cover of "Folsom Prison." Three years ago, DNA had the idea of turning "Folsom Prison" into its bitch, which it has certainly done. However, you will have to wait to hear it until after Warner Unichappell agrees to allow DNA the mechanical rights to put the song out. Next, "Ghost Riders in the Sky" was completed, and it is also the shit, if The DNA Vibrator says so itself. The song, "Sandman," by America, will also make an appearance, along with the song, "16 Tons." If it gets the time, DNA will also finish its rendition of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." As far as DNA is concerned, every album should have a Christmas song on it. Fuck it, why not?

DNA is also considering doing a cover of "Jerking Back and Forth," and or "Mr. B's Ballroom," by DEVO, "No One Lives Forever," by Oingo Boingo, and just maybe "Justify," by Madonna. Do you want to be part of the DNA vibrators musical experience? If so, email me with your request. If it is something DNA can twist its stubby little fingers around, it will certainly attempt to throttle it.

RE-UNIFICATION:

Yesterday was a banner day. Through careful scheduling and luck, The Hand of God Attachment was able to drop by the studio and create some Christmas magic with The DNA Vibrator. No, you sick fuckers, not gay Christmas magic, rock and roll Christmas magic. He laid down a raunchy guitar part to the song, "The Three Deaths of Juan Belmonte." It was originally an instrumental, but will likely evolve into a song with some lyrics. The chorus music was based on a chant the guys in CRANK did years ago: "Three deaths, of Juan Bel-mon-te" over and over again. No, we did not know what it meant, exactly, except that it was taken from a Time-Life book article entitled, "The Three Deaths of Juan Belmonte." Who was Juan Belmonte? Friend of Ernest Hemmingway, yes, famous Spanish Torreador who reinvented the stance and attitude of bullfighters, sure, exited the world by way of the self-inflicted shotgun blast to the face, like his pal, Hemmingway, of course, but who was he, really? That's what the song tries to answer.

Also, in true Christmas spirit, Ralph, one of the collaborators of The DNA Vibrator, sent DNA an email of some song lyrics. Ralph said that he had DNA in mind when he wrote them. The song is entitled, "You Say Christmas, I Say Fuck It," and although DNA will not be able to get the song done by Christmas, as soon as the tool read the lyrics, DNA had written the music. It captures the dissatisfaction most of us have experienced with Christmas commercialism, bad family get togethers and the general un-christian attitude so many so called christians take, say, when having to fight over a parking spot in the Wal Mart parking lot. The song lyrics were the best Christmas present DNA has gotten in a long time. Thanks, Ralph.

The Reverend made an appearance at his old stomping grounds today, that is, Carbondale, IL, but because the tool had the day off of work, DNA and The Reverend missed each other. That's okay. The Reverend will just have to hug on The Hand of God Attachment to get a little HIT of that DNA Vibrator smell.

Also, as The Hand of God Attachment and DNA were talking music yesterday, DNA mentioned that the CRANK studio assault experience was the topic of DNA's blog posts over the last few days. The Hand of God Attachment pointed out (and when The Hand of God Attachment points, watch yer fucking eyes and anything else that could be smote) that he wasn't actually there. To which, DNA said, " You know, DNA is not going to let the facts stand in the way of you being there. DNA remembered that you couldn't make it that night. But, you WERE there in spirit. Fuck it. The story, the TRUTH of the experience, feels better with you there." The Hand of God Attachment replied, "People need to know that I wasn't there. I was too busy arranging to have the BDFDDL give The Reverend the beating he deserved"(for those of you who haven't read the previous posts, that acronym stands for Big Dumb Fucking Douchebag Dick Licker---the guy who beat us up). You can't argue with The Hand of God Attachment. The Hand of God Attachment is not bound by our morality or law. It is its own law. DNA pays homage and respect to The Hand of God Attachment. If DNA didn't, who else would play the kick ass guitar solos for its music? Okay, lots of people could, but who else would do it for FREE? So, in the spirit of accuracy, at the expense of drama, you need to know that Dave was not reaching to get a guitar off of the wall while The Reverend was getting punched in the face, oh, those many years ago. However, The Hand of God Attachment, yet to be recognized in its physical form, WAS present that night, and in the memory of the tool, was like our defense's 12th man. Of course, it was a 12th man who should have stayed at the JuCo instead of transferring to a Division 1 school, but IT WAS THERE NONETHELESS. There is no disputing that fact.

THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP:

In the last post, DNA said that it would explain how it learned some of the life lessons of being in a band, particularly the ones about how to treat your sound man. The time was 1989. The DNA Vibrator was in the Nightsoil Coolies. We had just started playing clubs like the Hangar 9 in Carbondale regularly. This meant that we were now introduced to the journeymen and pros who had been doing sound in Carbondale long before the Coolies were there and likely long after we would be gone. Looking back, we were no more or less "professional" than they were, but the onus to be professional was on them, frankly, because for the sound companies, this gig WAS their profession, while for most bands, this gig was at best an experiment in how bad you could suck and still make a few dollars at the door.

So, no one expected bands to be professional---they are full of musicians, for Christ's sake! Sure, during the show, at that time, bands have more grandiose dreams, but in reality, clubs like the Hangar are just part of the lumps you have to take at the rock and roll school of hard knocks. Don't get DNA wrong---DNA loves the Hangar: Sally, Richard, the whole crew. They certainly gave many local bands an opportunity to play. But, the Hangar is not the place where the next great band will be discovered; it may be the place where the next great band gets to make enough money to survive to the next show, and to hone their craft in a relatively safe environment. So, the bands were full of punk kids being punk kids, and unfortunately, too often, the sound companies also employed punk kids to do sound for them (DNA should know---DNA moonlighted with Robco Audio for a couple of years).

The point is, bands weren't invested in the sound companies, and sound companies weren't invested in the bands. DNA knows this situation is not unique to Carbondale: it's true in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Davenport, anywhere you have a local club at which bands play. It was the same old thing, show after show. As a band, you would be up at the club you were going to play at, and do a sound check. Invariably, the kick drum was all clicky on the top end as the gate closed on the signal, and all fat and definitionless on the bottom as the sound guy pumped full power to the crown amplifier which powered the subs. The guitars sounded like buzzsaws---all distortion and no tone. God forbid that a bass guitar would be miked from the cabinet, or that the bassist might actually be treated as a part of the band, and not an afterthought, as if the second best guitarist in the line up was forced to play it. As a bassist, DNA always questioned why the fuck it spent thousands of dollars on great equipment only to have the sound guy hook a direct box in line to its bass. Not to get too technical for you non-music gear heads, but basically, a direct box takes the signal from the guitar, "dumbs it down" for the mixing board to manipulate, and allows the sound guy to use the mixing board to control the level and sound quality of the instrument. When you have a bass and bass rig like DNA had, this had the effect of taking a great bass sound and making it sound like every other bass in a live club---indistinct, or tinny, depending on who you got on the soundboard.

After you got the same lame mix, you would step down from the stage for awhile, negotiate your drinks, and maybe say a couple of words in passing to the sound guy. To the sound guy's credit, what he did at the club worked in its fashion, and it is never easy running live sound, even on the best of days. Rarely would a band have actually listened to the sound guy's first word of advice to them if he had the chance to say it anyway---to bring the stage volume down. This implied giving up control over your sound, and that is very hard to do. Particularly when you don't have faith that the sound guy is on your side.

The basic communication just didn't happen. Usually. On this particular night, after a particularly decent first set, the band had really started to loosen up. So was the sound guy. So much so, that he was interested in experimenting with some of the vocal effects. After the second or third time some unexpected effect was placed on the vocals, or a different sounding gated reverb was placed on the snare drum, DNA had enough. Once the song we were playing was finished, and there actually was some applause, DNA stared through the haze of cigarette smoke, made eye contact with the sound guy, and with force, said, "STOP FUCKING WITH THE EFFECTS. THANK YOU." DNA couldn't have said it with more venom or contempt. Still, it was only a small rebuke. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Wrong. DNA just picked a prime time moment to call out this guy who in all likelihood thought he was helping the sound song cooler---which his work very well may have. DNA took its private aggravation and made it public, and embarrassed this guy in front of patrons, but also in front of his peers and the club owners. (As DNA said before, guys in bands can get a little too righteous about the "importance" of their music, or their gig, etc., and sound guys can get a little uninvolved in what is actually happening right then for that band to know or care what the band is going for artistically. Instead of talking to each other, both sides tend to let each other do their own thing.) What ended up happening is that for the next two years, a sound guy who did really great work, who really did "get" it, and who really was trying his best to make the bands sound good, thought we (meaning every band DNA was in---but particularly, the DNA Vibrator itself) hated his guts, thought he was stupid, and called him names on the playground. It was only after a battle of the bands show in which this guy was doing sound did we have a chance to talk to each other before and after the shows. The sound guy told DNA after one set that he was surprised that he heard we asked for him. To which DNA responded, "Why?" and then the sound guy recounted the tale above. At that time, DNA had all but forgotten that encounter, but was quick to make amends, told the sound guy that everybody knew that DNA was a thoughtless dick, and that DNA didn't mean anything by its comments, and that DNA was sorry it handled the event two years back in such a childish and unprofessional way.

From there on, our live shows were not to be missed. The sound was great, our performances were usually right on, and instead of being two distinct parts of the puzzle, we worked with our sound guys like they were in the band. We talked to them, we understood the limits of their machinery, they understood the limits of our talent! We purposely sought this sound guy out, because from that moment on, we had a personal stake in each other's success, and we understood that. That sound guy was Scott Munson, our pal, the guy who got his ribs kicked in on our behalf, and one of the best people I know. Read December's archive if you want to know some more about Scott.

GOD, ARE YOU THERE? IT'S ME, DNA:

God was here today, or at least The Hand of God Attachment was. We finished overdubs on the album, which included re-doing a couple of vocal tracks, and putting down some nice solos. The track listing, not that it matters to you until you hear the songs, are as follows:

Hey Kids

Well

Plate Tectonic King

I Wish I would Have Listened To Him More

Folsom Prison

Hard Science

A Brief History of The DNA Vibrator

The Three Deaths of Juan Belmonte

Victim of Vicious Love

Less Than 1%

Pretty Ugly

Medicine Bag

Ghost Rider In The Sky

One More Time

Remember

So, it turns out that 15 is the magic number. 15 is actually the number at which DNA had to stop if it were going to put anything out this year. There are 15 more waiting in the wings, a Christmas album, and the top secret educational project a in line, and then other fun stuff to do after that. It is possible that The DNA Vibrators will play out live to support this shit, too. It all depends whether AfroDJYak can hook a brother up with a gig up in Chicago.

Total running time of the album: about 56 minutes. Yeah, DNA knows, an hour is a pretty long commitment, but as it has said before, it is in it for the music.

Are there any dogs on this record? Any songs that are on there cuz the artist gets them even if you don't? In other words, filler? Well...DNA hates to admit it, but yes...and no. The song Hard Science just wasn't ready for prime time, but when DNA submitted the album for distribution, it had planned on getting that song done, so one way or another, it was going on the disk. Not to get technical, but it would have cost some money to change the album, art, etc., so DNA said fuck it. Not that the song sucks---it has its moments; but, it is too simplistic in structure, and narrator/singer of the "song" is a little too trite or self-aware. It is, in a word, artificial, whereas most of DNA's stuff on this album, although still artfully constructed, hopefully does not seem artfully constructed. So, there are some sophomoric slips in the voice of the character singing and in the handling of the emotion attempted to be conveyed in the song. Still, it has its moments. As always, DNA is its own harshest critic. Who knows? It may be your favorite. There are some good lines: "I never thought my degree in Paleontology would come in quite so handily. I like your Geology." Okay, that's pretty stupid, now that DNA sees it in print. Oh well.

Another song, "Remember," will not seem to fit. It is a lullaby. "Um, is that like, your gay side coming through?" you might wonder. Yes, that's it exactly, dickbreath. "Every album has to have one of 'those' kinds of songs. Ecchhhh," you might say. Whatever, Jerry Springer. You don't know me. You got no right comin' up here and talkin' s$&%% like that. Where's Steve? DNA wants to rub Steve's bald head!

There are six autobiographical songs on this record: "Hey Kids," written to the tool's kids. "I Wish I Would Have listened to Him More," written about Dad. "A Brief History of The DNA Vibrator," written about The DNA Vibrator. "Victim of Vicious Love," written about some family members. "One More Time," written about Mom, and "Remember," written to the tool's unborn son as a present to his wife, several years ago. In this respect, "Remember" fits very well. There are two covers, and then 7 other songs which are classic DNA---weird little slices of life, or weird ways to look at things.

DNA struggled with the schizophrenic nature of the record. It thought for some time to produce a triple album, with one disk being personal stuff, one being classic DNA, and one being covers of stuff. But time was not on DNA's side for this, once certain processes started. So, DNA said fuck it, and put anything and everything on the record it had the chance to work on. Damn the theme, damn the concept album. The skill in art is knowing when to make compromises, or when compromises actually improve what you are trying to do.

No more 'splainin' to do. You will hear them soon enough if you care to. There will plenty of others out there to be critics. Just remember, DNA has beat you to the punch.

JUST BECAUSE I HATE YOU DOESN'T MAKE ME INTOLERANT:
(or, if it looks like a tribal sun, and smells like a tribal sun, you must be a hippie)

DNA got a another post to its guestbook. Unlike most guestbooks, DNA keeps this one private, and shares when it feels like it. So far, there haven't been many comments worth sharing, but recently, AfroDJYak sent me a submission. It's as follows: Nice new guitars, hippie.

The guitars AfroDJYak are referring to are DNA's new Michael Kelly archtop Tribal Sun guitar and DNA's Traben Tribal Sun Bass.

The tribal sun design doesn't make DNA a hippie, does it? DNA was willing to accept that owning a matching guitar and bass makes it a twinkie, but is the tribal sun really synonymous with hemp and free love? Is the tribal sun an icon that has went the way of the rainbow and the fish, co-opted by a group and twisted into the logo for their own twisted message? Short answer: Yes. BUT, the kokopelli guy is the hippie symbol, AfroDJYak. The tribal sun is for wannabees who think they are in touch with their primitive selves, so they get that symbol tattooed on their ankles, y'know, the way the ancients used to, or they go out and get things branded with that symbol to demonstrate to all who see their SUV's or surf boards how much more closely to nature they live than you. Of course, the most pretentious fucks buy matching guitars and require all of those who play music with them to adopt the tribal sun motif---in their haircuts, drum heads, basketballs, anything you can stick a picture of a chrome tribal sun on. The Hopi indians were the sole producers of chrome in the 1940's, before the Dutch began commercial mining in Zambia. The real turquoise jewelry, the real stuff made by native americans, not koreans, that stuff is made with 100% pure chrome, not silver.

What motivated DNA to buy that guitar? It was not the tribal sun, it can tell you. As usual, DNA is fairly dense about possible meanings that other people may ascribe to things, or the way other people might interpret something, like buying matching guitars. DNA looked at about 200 guitars over the course of three months, and kept coming back to several guitars that were within the price range, and the quality that DNA was after. The Michael Kelly archtop just kept showing up. The one DNA wanted first was Les Paul blem/b-stock guitar, but by the time DNA finally got to buying it, it was no longer available at the price, so it went with the tribal sun. The tribal sun design looks nice, too, regardless of how many other pathetic losers are now wrapped up in that symbol. Now, getting a bass to match, well, that was pretty queer. No apologies. Actually, it sounds great, and has been worth every penny DNA paid for it.

At some point, the DNA Vibrators will probably play out live again, and yes, DNA has tried to visualize what it will look like onstage if it actually brings both the tribal sun bass and guitar out. What would DNA think if it were out watching a show, at random, and this band gets up on stage, and the bass player and the guitar player have matching guitars? What would it think?

"Hey, is this the Hanson reunion?"

"Hey, is this that Hanson tribute band?"

"Do you think they went shopping together?"

"It was fate that stepped in, when Roland and Paul showed up at the audition with the same guitar."

"Does this tribal sun go with my nails? Of course it does, silly!"

"I'm glad they are not ashamed of who they are."

"I wonder what tribe they are?"

"If I'd have known, I would have brought my tribal sun guitar, too!""

"Hey, wouldn't it be cool, if they had a girl keyboard player, and like, she had a moon hanging off her keyboard, and then a horn section all had stars dangling from the bells of their horns....oh, you're right, that would suck dick."

"A tribal sun? Two tribal suns! That's my fucking schtick, man. How dare they!!"

So, DNA is aware of potentially how pretentious, and really lame it will be to have matching guitars on stage, ala Poison or some shit like that. The only solution will be to be so awesome when we play out, that people will go with it.

So, AfroDJYak, and Hand of God Attachment, DNA has thrown down the gauntlet. We will have matching guitars. We will also wear matching purple outfits, yes, outfits, not suits or clothes, OUTFITS, and we will rock so fucking hard that when people see us, they'll want tribal sun guitars and purple outfits, too. And if we don't, won't that be fun?

MEET THE BIGWIGS:

Today, DNA got to pitch his double ultra top secret educational musical project to the people at the Office of Research and Development at the University. It actually went well. DNA wasn't nervous. DNA believes in this project. DNA finally began to understand some basic rules about being successful that it needed some perspective to see.

When the tool of The DNA Vibrator was a young lad, a college student, in the band Crank, he and several other like minded punks from other bands got together and decided that what Carbondale needed was a real all ages club which had community support. Crank and other bands had long played underground clubs to reach younger audiences, but felt that as they were maturing, they should find a way to more effectively work within the system than continue to eke out shit as outsiders.

This is that point, philosophically in life, at which you determine that you can do more good working from the inside to subvert the message of the dominant culture, than from being excluded from those avenues of power, and remaining subordinate. So, a group of us formed a record label, Diamond Drill Music. We attempted to enlist community organizations to help us further our goals. One goal was to use a beautiful new venue in Marion, Illinois, as an all ages showcase. We made our pitch to the stodgy old folks who were in charge of the hundreds of thousands of donated dollars which had restored the old theater, and although they liked our "fire," they were not willing to take the risk that an all ages show might entail. We were still learning how to do this kind of thing. We didn't know how to answer some of their valid questions, and frankly, were too young to have the biggest credential they needed: experience. So, when they asked us basic questions, like, who will provide security? Who will provide insurance? What will you do if a patron brings an illegal substance or a weapon to the venue, we were nervous, and had no idea how to answer them. Well, not true, but the answers revealed our naivety. The old farts already had the answers to those questions. They already had the experience promoting events, but, since we didn't have those answers, the event never happened.

The tool was the primary speaker for the group, years ago. Why did he fail? He believed in the concept. However, at that time, he was still "playing" at trying to do a real thing. This was not something that meant more to him than breathing, and so, others could sense that, and why should they invest in the risk if they didn't think we had thought out the risk? As a side note, the restored theater burend down to the ground about a year later. Apparently, the old farts didn't have the experience they needed, either.

Which, is why, years later, as DNA stood in front of an august panel of learned scholars and people with the power to make decisions worth a LOT of money, he was comfortable. This time, the idea was something the tool could and did believe in, an idea that was bigger than he was, an idea that would be successful whether or not these folks agreed with him. This was something he could do, at this time, at this place, perhaps better than anyone else. So, again, not knowing exactly what to expect, he simply described what he had in mind, and why it was a worthwhile idea. He thought he did pretty well for himself. He will know in a week of so if they agreed.

Later this week, DNA will be traveling to Pittsburgh, PA, for an international conference at which he will talk to groups of learned educators about his super cool double secret kick ass educational idea. Will it still be secret? Sure. He's just telling teachers. Nobody listens to them.

Also, CDBaby! has the DNA Vibrators' disc, The Shape Of Things To Have Come And Gone. They asked to give them a week or so to scan everything in, etc., and then it will be ready to sell. A press kit has went to the local entertainment rag, one will be going to the University's newspaper, and then radio kits will be going out to a half dozen local, college, and cable stations. Cross your fingers. DNA might sell a copy or two of the disc. And who knows, you might hear a DNA song on the radio in southern Illinois. Perhaps a gig is on the horizon sooner than one might think?

I'M WAITING:

For those of you who check the blog and website regularly, you may have noticed that this is the longest that DNA has gone with blogging, since it started this website, 17 years ago. Not that there haven't been updates: DNA is always tinkering around. For example, two Coolies' songs were added just a couple of days ago.

Either way, DNA is going on without you. It's not like time is material, here. Time exists on the internet the way way it does at the quantum level. So, even if you are not back when DNA continues, you are back when DNA continues. Of course, you are not back when DNA actually continues. You were not here when DNA actually continued. So any way you look at it, the contrivance of time and conversation on the internet is like watching a video of a car crash. Maybe its the first time you are seeing it, and maybe you think it just happened. For you, your perception of the pain the people inside the car is going through is real now. So too, the pain of DNA is real for you now.

Now that that little rant is over, and you folks are actually, in reality, now ALL back from listening to the songs, what did DNA tell you? If only the Coolies had had as much business sense as they had talent 17 years ago, they just might have just become the corporate assbags that as teenagers, they dreamed of becoming. Instead, they remained "artists." Whoopeefuckingdoo. Art don't pay the bills.

Which brings me to the title of this post: "I'm Waiting...." A couple of weeks back, DNA was under the impression that last week or this week, the record review/article was going to be in the Carbondale Nightlife but it looks like that it hasn't happened yet. So, DNA was waiting, and just didn't have the spark to write, cuz it was hoping to have a cool record review to cut and paste onto the blog page. See what happens when you wait? NOTHING. So, tomorrow, after DNA archives the blog for the month of February, if there is no record review, DNA is going to write its own. Also, this week, DNA had to travel to Chicago for work, and got to spend some time with AfroDJYak. AfroDJYak reminded DNA of why for a time, DNA's nickname was "Crash." Also, at the conference DNA attended, DNA heard some "advice" from a motivational speaker which it will paraphrase to show exactly what is wrong with motivational speakers. The month of march is stacking up to be exciting for any lonely or pitiable blog readers out there.

In cooler news, the new CD, "The Shape Of Things To Have Come And Gone" has already sold nearly 2000 copies!!!! At least, when looking at the big picture, from a geologic scale, the actual number of sales, say for comparative purposes, is much closer to 2000 than to 2,000,000,000,000. In fact when comparing a number like 2 times 10 to the third, to 2 times ten to the twelfth, DNA can say with confidence that its total number of sales is so much closer to 2 times ten to the third than 2 times ten to the twelfth, that in science, the small difference between what DNA has actually sold (almost 2) compared to 2 times ten to the third would easily be assumed to be statistically insignificant. Comparatively. Exciting, huh?

YOU DON'T CALL HIM CRASH BECAUSE HE LIKES ZILDJIANS:

DNA has always been the "driver" in the band. DNA is a control freak, but, more importantly, gets a little carsick unless its behind the wheel. So, while others look on driving as a chore, DNA welcomes the chance because the other alternative is getting a headache and feeling like throwing up. Sure, that's fun for a while, but only if its preceded by a bottle of Southern Comfort and a half a dozen shots of Wild Turkey. DNA has had its share of close calls on the road, but is actually a safe driver. DNA has driven thousands of miles, to and from shows. So, statistically, it has probably had fewer accidents than you, but in actual numbers, DNA has probably had more accidents than you. Let's just talk about the ones that happened while driving to or from shows.

DNA doesn't think it could reconstruct a timeline, but the first one happened in the Ford Econoline Van the Nightsoil Coolies had purchased together. It was 1990, it was an outdoor show in Decatur. The band members drove up separately, and the tool and his girlfriend (later wife) had possession of the van. Right before the interchange in Decatur where 48 and 51 cross, DNA went to change lanes. It was sure the rearview mirrors were clear. They were. But any van driver knows there is a fairly large blind spot that blocks the immediate right and left of the van. DNA glided into the right lane and felt the unexpected crunch of Buick against the side door. For a brief moment, DNA hoped that maybe there was a large metal garbage can that it had simply missed seeing that had somehow blown onto the highway, but quickly realized that it had crunched a car. We pulled over, made sure the other driver was okay (she was, she was actually more scared of what she was going to say to her husband, which kind of creeped us out). We exchanged insurance information, because although DNA could not find a scratch on the van, the side of her car looked like a beat down pinata. NO COPS, NO BLOOD, NO BIG DEAL. We went on did the show, and DNA earned the nickname, "Crash."

Next, in the band Monster Truck, DNA owned a Chevy conversion van. At one time, it was the shit---moon roof, nice stereo, carpet from floor to ceiling. But when DNA finally owned it, large plates of the floorboard were missing, the heater didn't work, and it leaked around all the glass. DNA hit a stationary dumpster with that van, while it was backing up to get some band equipment. Again, NO COPS, NO BLOOD, NO BIG DEAL. No one could even tell where the crease in the back door started.

While in Crank, DNA had this awesome car, a 1982 Chrylser Cordoba. Mink, was the official color of the car. Nice rims, killer stereo, comfy seats, and although it was a car, it was the travel vehicle for the band. We would rent a U-Haul trailer for out of town shows, or sometimes would caravan several cars with equipment. It was big enough that 5 people could sit comfortably in it. We did a show in Chicago. It rocked. Like most of our memorable Chicago shows, it was 20 below zero, and treacherous on the roadways. Traffic had quickly turned ice into several inch thick corrugated ruts of slippery death after the sun went down. We survived that pretty easily. The next day, the weather had taken a turn for the better, and most of the ice had turned to grey slush that was overflowing the curbs. DNA is no big city boy, and although DNA had driven the streets of Chicago many times, it didn't (and still really doesn't)understand how busses slip in and out of traffic, grazing mirrors and pedestrians, to get to the designated stops. DNA was behind one of those big Grumman flexible middle busses, when, as DNA saw the 90/94 exit ahead, and had gotten into the appropriate lane, the bus in front slammed on its brakes. DNA means it, its part of the Chicago bus driving necessity, to drive like a bat out of hell, and then as fast as possible, decelerate into the bus stop. DNA applied the brakes to the Cordoba, but instantly recognized this equation: Braking Distance Necessary > Ability of car to decelerate mass of vehicle + people + fully loaded U-Haul trailer. In other words, we were fucked. DNA looked in the rearview to the folks in the back seat, and said "Hold on!" just as the Cordoba hit the bus. DNA remembers the tool hitting his head on the metal frame in which the windshield is seated. He remembered hearing a rush in his ears, and seeing (don't be grossed out) blood and hair in the chrome strip around the inside of the glass where his head hit. He rubbed his head and there was some blood on his hand. He asked the guys, and girl (Angie, our drummer's wife) if everyone was okay. Everyone else was. He remembers getting out of the car, and getting a handful of snow to rub on his head. He looked at the bumper of the car, where it had hit the bus. He thought he should see if anyone on the bus was hurt (now you know DNA hit his head pretty damn hard if he thought his car was going to cause anyone to even flinch on that bus!). As the tool approached the front of the bus, an irate bus driver practically launched herself at the tool. "Fool," she yelled, "What is wrong with you? Don't you know this is a bus stop? Why you goin to do somethin like run into My bus, to day of all days..." and she continued as she walked back to the back of the bus with the tool. Everything was moving in slow motion. The tool attempted to answer her questions: "Well, Ma'am, I think I hit my head, and I feel funny. No Ma'am, I didn't know this was a bus stop. I thought this was the lane for the 90/94 turn off" (which it was---it also happened to be the bus stop---and for those of you who have seen this---it IS NOT clearly marked---it is something that city people assume, and country fucks like DNA crash into busses because of). And finally, he responded, "I didn't mean to run into your bus. Sorry. Are you okay?" By the time he had begun to answer her first question, she had already finished the last and was shaking her head while looking at the back of the bus. "Oh, I don't know about this. I'm goin have to call this one in." Looking back, the tool thought she expected him to freak out, as if maybe the dumb white kid would simply pay the bus driver some money to forget the whole thing, but the dumb white kid was a little too, oh, CONCUSSED, to worry. "Okay," he said, like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters when Egon wants a sample of his brain tissue. This did not sit well with the bus driver. She made a show of parading back up to her seat, and commanded the tool to follow her. She called her dispatcher. While she was doing that, the tool addressed the people in the bus. "Sorry about that." Then he realized, that half didn't understand what he had said, and the other half was pissed off that he had lengthened by one minute the time they had to stay on the bus. So, the tool simply shut up. Nobody noticed that several handfuls of snow had melted down his shirt and coat to form a pinkish ring of wetness around his neck. The tool listened to the driver. "No, the bus is still drivable. No, there doesn't appear to be any damage. Fine. No, that's fine, it will get me outta here quicker." Then, as if the tool just didn't hear this, she said, "I ain't got time to wait for the police to file an accident report. So, I just need your insurance information and then when they take the bus back to the shop, they will call your insurance and make any claims they need to." "What claims?" the tool asked. "You said yourself that there was no damage to the bus." "MMM-hmmm. No visible damage. But who knows what happened to the structural integrity of the bus when you hit it? They will check it out, yes they will." That was said with a hint of threat in it. Like, regardless of what they find, they will find something that the insurance company will pay for. "I would be surprised if something that caused no damage to my little Cordoba might damage your great big city bus." She smiled. "I wouldn't." The tool asked about her insurance information. She laughed. "You can tell your insurance company to expect a call from the CTA. That's all you need to know." The tool didn't even know what CTA stood for at the time.

The bus left. Bandmates asked if DNA was okay. Ralph and Angie were watching DNA carefully. The blood looked yucky, but it was a surface wound. It had already stopped bleeding. However, DNA's headache had not stopped. DNA thought he had a concussion, but knew he had to be back at work that evening in Carbondale. Unless the tool passed out, there was no stopping. "Are you okay to drive? Is your vision blurry? Do you feel tired?" In the tool's head, it said, "No, yes, yes," but outside, it said, "Yes, no, no." We checked the vehicle, and DNA is proud of this car to this day, it had a feature called low impact bumpers which are bumpers built on airbags which are designed to take a small shock in accidents like these. They worked perfectly. The only damage to the car was that the bumper was pushed into the airbag cylinders during the impact. From the outside, unless you knew what to look for, you didn't see any damage (the bumper looked pushed into its housing on one side a little). The bus suffered absolutely no damage, not even a smudge of the salty grime built up on the rubber where the vehicles touched. NO COPS, ONLY A LITTLE BLOOD, NO BIG DEAL, right? WRONG.

DNA drove home, went to work, and laughed over the whole stupid event after the headache subsided. When DNA got home, it called the insurance company, and explained the whole accident. The insurance man said not to worry, but that he would mail down an accident report for the tool to fill out (our insurance was through a family friend in Springfield, even though we lived in Carondale). All routine, don't worry, that's what we're here for, etc. About three weeks later, DNA received a bill from the CTA for a replacement bumper on the Grumman or Metro, DNA doesn't recall which bus manufacturer, for about $1800.00 for the part alone. For all the financial geeks, that's in 1993 dollars. DNA contacted the insurance guy again, and he said that he has dealt with this kind of thing before. DNA's jaw hit the ground, as DNA thought, "Really? You have heard the one about the guy who hit a Chicago bus, didn't even scratch his car, but caused the bus two grand in damage?" but it guessed that insurance guys who have been in business for awhile probably do hear everything. Apparently, this was not the first time that a claim of outlandish proportions had been made in which someone was attempting to get the money for a new bumper which we knew wasn't going to be replaced. Amazingly, the insurance guy took care of it. We didn't pay a dime. Our rates didn't go up. This is why, (shameless plug here) we have and always will, insure our vehicles with Allstate. That may be a shameless plug, but note, DNA did not link to them. DNA is no whore.

Lastly, on the way to the second DNA Vibrators gig, a Christmas party at the offices of the Carbondale Nightlife, the winter of 1996, DNA was driving up to meet everyone else there. Traveling down the Strip, DNA approached the intersection of 51 and 13. The light was green. As DNA entered the intersection, there was a blur, a horn, a desperate attempt to turn and brake, a terrific crash, the feeling of the tool's head busting out the window glass, and then the aftermath, as the car gently rolled to a stop on the newly finished sidewalk of the downtown convention center. DNA felt oddly calm. The kids in the other car appeared to be fine, but one young man jumped out screaming, "Oh no, you fucking didn't!" over and over again. For a minute, the tool thought that he was going to get his ass beat for getting smashed in an intersection. The absurdity of it made him smile a little. As the tool got out of the car, the door, at first hesitant, dropped unnaturally down in a way the hinge just shouldn't move. The world wobbled a bit, and DNA realized that the Cordoba, the car that earlier that month, the tool and the wife decided that they would keep and instead of buying a new car, really "fix up," was totalled. Destroyed. Even so, with its lifeblood spilling out on the pavement, with its radiator having a hole punched through its middle by the fan blade, its beautiful 318 powerplant was still humming along smoothly. DNA reached back in and turned the car off. The steering wheel was bent.

DNA made his way slowly over to the curb and sat down. This time, the blow to the head was a little too strong to ignore. As he lay down and looked at the beautiful stars in the sky, he vaguely heard some commotion about calling an ambulance. It didn't seem like it took too long before some nice people in official looking winter coats came up to DNA and started asking lots of questions. "Sir, what is your name? Did you hit your head? Do you know what happened?" DNA tried to answer, but felt compelled to ask, "Is anyone hurt?" The look on the EMT's face was, "Yes, moron, you," but she said, "You let us worry about that." They put the tool in a neck brace, loaded him up, and took him to the hospital.

Don't worry reader, DNA was okay. Just another blow to the head, which the tool hadn't used for awhile, anyway. But, put yourself in the shoes of the wife, for a second. She gets a call about 15 minutes after DNA leaves. Sherriff: "Is this Mrs. So and so?" Wife: "Yes?" Sheriff: "This is officer Brown with the Carbondale Police Department. Your husband was involved in an accident." What follows was a stream of almost hysterical how bad, is he dead, what happened, and the officer could only say, "I do not have the details. He has been taken to the emergency room at Carbondale Memorial. Have a nice day." (Okay, DNA added the last part---cops don't really say that. It was however, printed on doors of all the police cruisers in Carbondale).

To paraphrase Morgan Freeman from the Shawshank Redemption, "Oh, Lara---that was the longest night of your life." You see, this day was not only a momentous occasion because The DNA Vibrators were playing. It was also the birthday celebration of the tool's one year old son, Carl, and of the tool's birthday too. AfroDJYak and his family, and many other friends were at the birthday party held at the tool's trailer. It was this party that the tool had left a few minutes ago. So, in a period of a few minutes, she went from joyous celebration of the life of their son and her husband, party with best friends, to contemplating being a widow with a young child to raise by herself. Life can punch you right in the uterus like that.

When she came through the emergency room doors, the tool tried to smile, and she was crying for 10 different reasons, but mainly because DNA looked okay. "You nearly lost me tonight," the tool said, trying to sound nonchalant. "Oh, shut up," she said back. Everybody had lots of questions, which DNA tried to answer. A nice policeman came while she was there. He asked some preliminary questions about the accident scene. He asked, "Were you wearing your seatbelt?" "No, I don't think so." "Are you sure?" he asked again. "Umm, nope. Not wearing it." "Listen," he said. "I appreciate your honesty, really, but when a police officer gives you an option to recall if your seat belt was on, you should consider if your seat belt was on. Now, was your seatbelt on?" The tool was more than a little addled. "Thanks, officer. Nope, my seat belt was not..." The tool's wife said, "I don't think he heard you correctly, right?" She eyed the tool, and then nodded affirmatively. "Yes," the tool said. "I did have my seat belt on." "Good," said the police officer. "Otherwise I would have had to ticket you." LIFE LESSON LEARNED: When a cop asks you to lie, it's okay to lie. It's like the priest telling the altar boy God wants him to show the boy why masturbation is so very, very wrong. Like the altar boy, DNA felt kind of dirty about the whole thing, but what was it supposed to do? Tell the truth? Which is why the whole event has bothered DNA to this day. The other people involved in the accident claimed to have a green light. DNA thought it had a green light. Clearly we both could not have had a green light. The police officer asked DNA details about the accident. "Are you sure the light was green?" DNA's response: "I thought so." "What do you mean?" "Well, I was for sure the light was green, but if they were for sure the light was green, maybe I made a mistake." DNA was willing to concede that after a day of great emotion, practice, cake and anticipation of blowing the doors off the Christmas party at the Nightlife, that maybe its head wasn't in the right place while it was driving. Apparently there are no grey areas of reality between a red light and a green light. The police officer asked again. "Was the light red or green?" Lara looked at the tool, the police officer gave him the same look as he did a few moments before...and the tool said, "Green?" "Good enough for me," said the cop. COPS, SOME BLOOD, SOME X-RAYS, A COUPLE OF DESTROYED CARS, BUT THANKFULLY, NO ONE PERMANENTLY HURT. Notice a pattern? One wreck in each band, the shit continuing to get worse, and more morally ambiguous with each accident---for this reason, The DNA Vibrators will be the last band DNA is in.

DNA still doesn't know, for sure, if the light was red or green. That has never sat well with an entity like DNA which believes that underneath all perceptions lie fundamental actions. DNA will never know the fundamental action of that moment. In how many other moments is the fundamental action missed? DNA is just glad it doesn't have to crash another car to find out.

WHAT'S IN A NAME:

DNA just received this comment from AfroDJYak apparently after AfroDJYak read the last post about how DNA named the band the DNA Vibrators:

Name you wish to be referred to: afro dj yak - soon to be changed

URL or email: xxxxxxxxx.com (email changed to protect the completely WRONG)

Comment: I came up with The Name and you know it. I come up with all the good stuff. And you always claim it. You're a bastard. That's why I love you. And I'd like to change my name to Mr. Kamikaze.

Thank you, Mr. Kamikaze

Well,(be back in a minute---making dinner....)Ahh, DNA made Quizno's. It was MMMM MMMM MMMM MMMM MMMM...toasty!

Dear AfroDJYak,

Remember that movie Working Girl, with Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver? Remember how Tess (Melanie) worked her ass off, exploited a little white lie, and then got her shot to really show what she could do? Remember how Katherine (Sigourney) used Tess' good ideas and tried to pass them off as her own, and in the end, when she had to try to tell the big business owner how she came up with the idea, and she couldn't? Remember that scene where Tess is in her underwear? Well, that is DNA! DNA is Tess McGill!! Prove that you are not Katherine Parker, the snarky evil one that takes all the credit for the ideas that are not hers. DNA has the origin story, its DNA's namesake, for Christ's sake! Next, you'll be telling DNA that you came up with the nicknames for AfroDJYak and the Hand of God Attachment, too. DNA shouldn't have said that. As sure as DNA has wrote it, it knows that now, you think that you came up with those names, even though DNA absofuckinglutely KNOWS for crystal clear unequivocal fact that you did not. But if it makes you feel better to think that you did, go ahead and be wrong. The pursuit of Truth is its own reward, and DNA got a plenty big reward waiting for it, while you got a city bus sized box of scorn waiting for you! DNA does not have to convince anyone ANYTHING, expecially those who wish they had the cool nicknaming ability of DNA. Does DNA have to remind you that it nicknamed the girl from the dorms "Snoopy," and it stuck forever, that he nicknamed the wife, "Hun," as in short for "Lara the Hun," Attilla's really mean sister?

Technically, DNA is not a bastard. It was created ex nihilo. Nothingness was its father, the Void its mother. Chaos was its brother. Disorder was its sister. Really Cloudy and Humid was its cousin. And,...wait for it...AfroDJYak was its bestest ever friend. Ahhhh, how gay!

So, You want to make up YOUR OWN nickname, instead of having DNA come up with it instead? Who writes the blog in this band anyway? Mr. Kamikaze? No. Mr. DNA does, that's who. Mr. Kamikaze. What kind of dumb old name is that? Mr. DNA can only imagine the exchange between us the next time we see each other:

"Mr. Kamikaze?" DNA inquires.

"Mr. DNA," you curtly reply. Then you look to your left, where the Hand of God Attachment is standing, point to DNA, and say: "He's an altruistic pervert."

The Hand of God Attachment is shocked to hear the hurtful tone in your voice, and rebukes you: "Mr. Kamikaze!"

But DNA doesn't deny it, and The Hand of God Attachment, friends with DNA for many years, questions your conclusion and says incredulously, "Mr. DNA?"

You respond matter-of-factly before DNA can: "He's here to spread some genes."

Its such hard concept for The Hand of God Attachment to wrap his mind around, the whole scene repeats: "Mr. Kamikaze." "Mr. DNA." "He's an altruistic pervert?" "Mr. Kamikaze!" "Mr. DNA, he's here to spread some genes now."

Then, The Hand of God Attachment says, "Wait a minute, something's wrong. He's the man from the past," pointing at DNA. "He's here to do us a favor, a little human sacrifice. It's just supply and demand!"

And so on. Finally, DNA has enough, and pulls Mr. Kamikaze aside: "This monkey wants a word with you!"

DNA is so pleased with you, Mr. Kamikaze. You have achieved a new level, grasshopper. AfroDJYak is officially no longer AfroDJYak. AfroDJYak is now Mr. Kamikaze. DNA is so pleased, that when we play this bitch out, the DNA Vibrators MUST play Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA by DEVO.

Also, via email, The Hand of God Attachment directed a lightning filled finger at DNA today. In reference to itself, it called itself HOG (Hand of God). Rightfully so. The attachment is actually the guitar. HOG is what plays it. So, from this moment on, AfroDJYak will be forever known as Mr. Kamikaze, baptized, as called for by the ritual, in the lyrics of the river DEVO, and The Hand of God Attachment is now HOG, sanctifying this change through its own divine will.

HOG, Mr. Kamikaze, welcome aboard.

HERE WE GO AGAIN:

Today, DNA had to go into work to get some work done, even though it was a Saturday. While it was there, it recorded the basic tracks for the first new song on the next project. It's called "Love Machine." No, it's not some metal parody or rip off. As soon as DNA gets a finished product, probably on Monday or so, DNA will link a snippet of it up on the website. There are about six other new songs waiting in the wings, so it is simply a matter of time to get them recorded.

For those of you who know DNA, and really, anybody who reads this blog knows DNA, (DNA is a fairly transparent entity), perhaps YOU can help DNA title the new release. Return of the Purple-Headed Stranger is still certainly high on the list, particularly if DNA does some more traditional country covers on the record. Email DNA, or post a comment in the Guestbook if you have a suggestion for a name for the new record.

Also, DNA is working on some stickers for the band. DNA will likely use the old, old logo (vibrators twisted into a helix with batteries connecting them), and the new green color and clean font for the band name. Help DNA out. If you are of an artistic bent, and you can draw, paint, or use a program like Illustrator, send DNA your artwork. If it's good, DNA might use it.

Some of you might be wondering, "Why in the hell are you working on a new album now? The old one is still brand new." The internet, digital recording, and the low price associated with doing this alone means that DNA does not have to adhere to any previously accepted paradigm for record releases. DNA is reminded of Aimee Mann, a terrific independent artist, who had a major label deal, lost it, and now does all of her stuff on her own. She records whenever she wants, and puts it our for sale, essentially, on demand (DNA follows a similar model, but on a much smaller scale).

Two or three years from now, will anyone who might actually be buying any of DNA's stuff even care if two records were released in one year? 10 years from now, will anyone care if DNA released 8 records in 3 years? Simple answer: NO.

Bottom line for DNA: Don't care what the paradigm is. Ain't doing this for no paradigm. DNA is doing this for the fun of it. If not now, when? If not DNA, then who? DNA sleeps about three hours a night. It feels an overwhelming urge to do this now, while it still has the faculty, the spark, the interest, and the physical ability to do it. Life is short, fragile, and unpredictable. Stability is an illusion. Don't count on things being the same tomorrow as they are today. Count on things changing. In fact, every day that things do not change surely increases the odds that today is the day they will. Tell your kids you love them again today. Do something special for the one you love. Call up your mom or dad and tell them you love them. Every minute lost is worth your life to have back if you have less than 60 seconds to live. That little bit of dimestore philosphy sounds kind of like that terrific Steven Wright line: "I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous."

DNA hopes that when the tool is dead and gone, (let's hope a long time from now!) some little spark of its existence will continue in its children. Perhaps a song it writes today will be the vehicle needed for its own children, or for any of you crazy kids out there, to pursue a little of the music that sits in your own dna, waiting to be created.

SUPER DOUBLE KICK ASS TOP SECRET MUSIC PROJECT:

As always seems to happen, there will be little to note, and then, BAM!, a ton of shit comes down to talk about. For example, more sales of the CD, hooray, we finalized the date and the line up for the Hangar 9 show, hooray, DNA switched web browsers and is now using Sea Monkey, hooray, the website is getting lots of traffic, and some of it isn't DNA, hooray, the DNA Vibrators CD Baby! webpage has a new, short, but nice review of the CD, hooray, and DNA has discovered a terrific website called Lucid TV, which has one of the funniest comic strips DNA has read in a long time. Take 20 minutes of your time after you read the most current two or three panels, and read every single one from the beginning. Genius.

More importantly than that, in its real job, DNA had a meeting with the people at the University's Office of Research and Development, which sounds important, until you say the acronym: ORDA. Sounds like the Star Trek alien that digested rocks, and the occasional red-shirted away team member. DNA met with the folks at ORDA because DNA has been working on a super double top secret....okay, screw it, it don't need to be no secret no longer! Basically, DNA has been writing music to help college students learn their course material. Yes, DNA knows, it is sick and wrong. It hurts to admit, but it is liberating, too. DNA no longer has to hide. There is no secret shame. DNA wrote some music with an actual purpose. Music that is meant to educate. That sounds about as fun as being beat with socks full of nickels, but DNA doesn't care who knows anymore. DNA is old. It left its pride at the door 20 years ago when any kid off the street could do it longer, harder, faster, better, smarter, slicker, and look good the whole time. Being beat with nickels is something that perhaps DNA can do well. DNA has survived for years on the carefully cultivated impression that it wants people to think that it thinks it is still relevant and cool. DNA thinks writing educational music sucks balls. However, writing good music that might also be educational, without becoming a parody of itself, now that's the trick. That's what DNA is trying to do. So far, when people hear the idea for the project, they seem polite in their responses: "Oh, that sounds interesting." But they fully expect the music to suck, because, you see, they know DNA as Mr. "so and so," NOT as the DNA Vibrator. Every time DNA has played the stuff for someone, it has been very gratifying to see the expression on the person's face, register surprise that the song is actually "good."

So, DNA met with the folks at ORDA, and they let him know that the University is excited about the project, but that it does not have an interest in helping DNA develop it, which is a good and bad thing. On the one hand, it is good, because even though this project was developed in part at work (think about that sweet gig--being paid to write and record your own music---DNA couldn't ask for a better situation), the intellectual property is all DNA's. So, DNA is free to do with this stuff what it wills. Right on. On the other hand, it would have been great to have some University resources to help this little business venture get off the ground. However, having complete artistic control is worth the pain of going it alone.

So, the idea is "secret" no longer. Honestly, it never was "secret;" it's not like there is some proprietary device that DNA developed and was protecting. It was just a good idea that was being guarded until the time was right. Frankly, the idea is so good, it doesn't matter who knows about it, or if lots of people know about it. The idea is as follows: Create songs based on college course curriculum, and use that material as additional study guides or memory aids. In essence, it is School House Rock for college courses. The reason why it doesn't matter who knows about the idea is because the songs based on course content are being written by DNA. Anybody could write songs about the rock cycle, for example, but DNA hasn't heard them yet. Or for the educational music DNA has heard, it is directed at 7 year-olds. So go ahead, write better songs than DNA can about the properties of minerals if you want. What, no takers? Didn't think so. DNA welcomes a table full of competition, because DNA's shit rocks, literally and figuratively, and other people's attempts to steal this thunder will only make it sound more impressive. So, has DNA whet your appetite for a rock and roll primer on volcanoes and earthquakes? Bet you wish you were in college right now, don't you?

DNA works its real job in a program for students with learning disabilities. Some of these students are bright, genius level bright, but have specific learning disabilities like dyslexia, or dysgraphia, or attention deficit disorder. About 5 years ago, DNA was working with a student who was having difficulty memorizing terms for an Anthropolgy final. DNA noticed, like most people, that the student could remember songs lyrics verbatim. DNA suggested that it take the student's paper study guide and make it a song. DNA made this first musical study guide set to an instrumental version of "Firestarter" by The Prodigy. DNA just rhymed a bunch of words that ended in "ology." Wasn't hard. But the student loved it. Did it make a difference? The student thought so.

Since that time, off and on, DNA has worked on some songs for the introduction to Geology class, GEOL 111, at SIUC. Work on the album is what spurred DNA to write a new DNA Vibrators album. So, really, we are right here right now because of this educational project. Fucked up, huh? Well, about two years ago, DNA started work in earnest, and finished up most of the recording back in August of 2006. DNA developed 10 songs, and has about 10 more waiting since then, but mostly, DNA has been waiting on this project until it heard back from ORDA. Some songs, you have already heard, if you bought the DNA record: "Plate Tectonic King" is a sample of the educational project. The music for "Less Than 1%" is also the music for a song called "Rock Cycle." Frankly, DNA likes "Rock Cycle's" lyrics better, but didn't want to clobber people over the head with this Geology stuff on the current DNA Vibrators record. It was the continuing work on this educational project which inspired the song, "Hard Science" on the current DNA record.

Now, DNA has a direction. It is excited to talk to the folks over at the Geology department, in hopes of getting them interested in endorsing it as a helpful product for their students. DNA is excited about getting in contact with folks from the school of Music and the sound engineers over at the RT department on campus. This first project is the tip of the iceberg, DNA hopes. Ultimately, this whole website has been research and development to help facilitate a smooth launch for the educational project. DNA looks forward to very soon releasing the educational project, developing the website for it, creating new song books for other classes, and seeing it, like the DNA Vibrator's record, being bought on iTunes.

Potential "brand" names for the project: "Music Notes." "Musicology." "Music Ed." "Your Musical Study Guide." "Songcapades." "The Singing Songtacular Learn-o-rama." Please help DNA with your suggestions for a good name for this project.

Also, DNA has a name for the band which performs this material. Sure it's the same people DNA works with now, (it, itself, and It)but we can't very well convince some parent to buy a record made by guys named The DNA Vibrator, the HOG, and Mr. Kamikaze, can we? So, DNA is going to call the new band The Akkademics, and have as principle singer and songwriter, Dr. No, principle guitarist, Dr. Zhivago, principle, keyboardist, Dr. Zaius, principle bassist, Dr. Faust, and principle drummer, Dr. Feelgood. DNA will welcome your feedback about this as well, oh nameless internet lurker.

PLAYING THE MOAT HOUSE:

Back in 1987, DNA was in a band with Mr. Kamikaze called The Watch. This is pre-Nightsoil Coolies, pre-Monster Truck, pre-Crank, pre-DNA Vibrators. This was the first actual organized band that DNA was involved in in college. It was this band, before it was named, that included Matt on guitar/vocals, Chris on drums (a hometown friend of DNA), and DNA on bass. We sucked. We tried to play Sammy Hagar songs like Rock Candy. Matt was intuitively gifted, but had no formal training, and musically, was kind of rigid, a tough trait to have if you ever intend to play out live. Chris was, well Chris was a terrific guy, but was a drummer in need of rhythm. We floundered, but DNA would come home after practicing, and talk with Mr. Kamikaze, who DNA knew was a good drummer, and their views about how to make songs work just clicked. After a short while, DNA talked with Matt, and suggested that Mr. Kamikaze become the drummer. Mr. Kamikaze came out to where we practiced one day (at Chris' house), and played drums with us (on Chris' drums). This was before Mr. Kamikaze had a drum set of his own down here. DNA can't tell you how awkward this was. This was a bit like going over to your friend's house when your friend wasn't home, seeing his girlfriend, and requesting that the new guy you brought over could bang her while everybody else watched, and she said "Sure, as long as Chris doesn't find out." Well, Chris found out. Chris kind of showed up while Mr. Kamikaze was playing with us. At first, we were bitches, and tried to play it off, like, "Oh Mr. Kamikaze just wanted to hang out, and while we were all here, we said what the hell, and started playing." Chris, however, was smarter than that, and frankly, was better than that, and read the writing on the wall. Shortly after that, Chris was officially out, and Mr. Kamikaze was officially in. Mr. Kamikaze was able to secure a drum set from a mutual friend, Mad Brad, a chrome set of Slingerlands, with HUGE mounted and floor toms, which sounded awesome, and soon became Mr. Kamikaze's trademark. It was at this time that DNA bought on payments Matt's old Peavey T-40 bass. We were officially a band. Because DNA was not up to the task of singing 70's and 80's rock classics, we began to audition lead singers. Out first audition was for a guy named Joey, whose voice soared like Getty Lee's, but who also was a bit of a pillow biter. Not that we had anything against pillow biters, but we were decidedly hetero, and he was very ambiguous. We couldn't find a good middle ground. After a few weeks, we listened to a guy named Mike, who could carry a tune, and more importantly, could play guitar and keyboard, and had his own equipment. At that point, our line up was set. We worked on covers, the aforementioned Rock Candy, The Tubes' White Punks On Dope, and wrote some of our own songs, too. The stuff which was influenced more by Matt and Mike sounded like 80's hair band or bluesy rock and roll, while the stuff influenced more by DNA and Mr. Kamikaze sounded more like the Sex Pistols or DEVO. In other words, we were headed for a break up. But until then, things were fun.

We can all agree from the beginning, that The Watch was a super gay name. It violated a couple of the basic rules about naming a band, (including "the" in the name), and we never really identified with the name. Were we the Watch? A timepiece? Security guards? Something worth watching? The answer, my friends, was not blowing in the wind. The answer was NO, to all of those questions. As bad as The Watch was as a name, it was better than Red Telephone, which was also in the running for awhile. At least Red Telephone had some background meaning for us. Matt was friends with the Royal Crescent (RC) Mob, a terrific whiteboy funk band from Ohio (shouldn't say that---their drummer, Carlton, was black). In particular, he grew up with Happy, their bass player, who was pretty damned fun to listen to. Well, RC Mob had a cool song called Red Telephone. We all liked the song. But, liking a song is no reason to name your band the song's title, unless you plan to be a tribute band for a group for whom that particular song title would be immediately recognizable. For example, if you went to see a band called Detroit Rock City, they better be a KISS tribute band. If not, you should be able to slash the tires on their van after the show, lying little fuckers.

So, for lack of a better name, we were The Watch. Out first big gig, (really our ONLY big gig), was a Springfest party at the Moat House. If you live in Carbondale, you know about the Moat House. If you were a student, you would eventually hear about the Moat House. The Moat House was a house built by an SIU professor, but quickly changed hands and became a sought out student rental property. It was surrounded by a moat, an actual medieval, pond surrounding your house, moat. Southern plantation style two and a half story tall columns in the front, six bedroom, mansion. It kind of had an upscale Animal House feel to it. It was the kind of place that you had to be invited to or know someone who lived there to go there, and was the kind of place that DNA would never have been invited to or would have known someone who lived there. So, it was surreal, through Mike, kind of our frat boy connection, that we were booked to play an all day huge blow out at the Moat House, at which we were going to get paid. We were on the bill with Fusebox. As the Coolies, DNA and Mr. Kamikaze would go on to play with Fusebox many times. Ralph, later the drummer for Crank, was the drummer for Fusebox. See how inbred we are? Bands are like sharks, and will eat each other in a frenzy if a little bit of talent is swimming free in the pool.

We're talking 50 kegs, lots of drugs, huge P.A. system, hot chicks everywhere, a guarantee of $500.00. At once loathing and loving it, DNA was pretty comfortable on the lawn where we would play. DNA had played in bands out live several times. Matt, Mike, and Mr. Kamikaze were less prepared. In fact, they were performance virgins. Matt said he though he was going to throw up. Mike looked like a deer in headlights, and Mr. Kamikaze was shaking like someone just forced him to do meth. There were several hundred people on the lawn in front of us, and when the time came, we sucked. At least, at first. Some of the stuff, particularly our own stuff, sounded pretty good. A song called "Death by Barbecue" was good, as well as a couple of covers, including "Crucial Barbecue" by Murphy's Law. Why did we have multiple songs in our small repertoire featuring "barbecue?" Years later, the band Crank would find that food was probably the best reason to go play out. We would get to go eat at new buffets where ever we went to play. Much later than that, the other guys in Crank besides DNA, plus some other Carbondale natives, would form the Carbondale Pork District, a professional barbecue team. Barbecue forms the bookends of DNA's musical heritage.

The Watch played out a few more times, but over the summer of 1988, we lost Mike, (it was horrible---climbing K-2, the sherpa had fallen in a crevasse, the wind was howling, things went white, and then nothing---or, actually, he just went home for the summer, and kind of called it quits) and Matt started to go a different direction than us. DNA and Mr. Kamikaze met Gone Brian Vaughan, and then, the rest is history. If you want that story, go read through the archives from the beginning. In one of DNA's first posts, it said that it wasn't going to post this Carbondale musical history in sequential order. Sorry.

After that first gig, Mr. Kamikaze and DNA have never been separated, musically. Unless you count the last 16 years, and several bands. Oh, and the fact that Mr. Kamikaze actually didn't play on the last DNA record. Or the next one. Strange, how that works, isn't it?

Were you there, at that Moat House show? If so, drop DNA a line about what you remember and it will bestow a gift upon you.

PLAYING THE AVALON:

A while back, DNA talked about a transcendent event, which happened to it while it was part of the band the Nightsoil Coolies. DNA just kind of knew there was a God that night. It said that this would not be the last time it felt that way. It wasn't. A couple of years after that, in 1990, the Coolies played a show at the Avalon Niteclub on Belmont in Chicago. We had played there several times by this point, and now when we were booked, we got good nights to play, and generally made good money. This particular show occurred during the SIUC Christmas holiday break, and many SIU students home for the holidays came out to see us. We were playing with a terrific Chicago band called Grind, and everything was clicking.

If YOU haven't been to the Avalon (DNA guesses it is still there. It shouldn't. Bars do not have long lives. Even if it is still there, it probably has been completely remodeled. But, for the purpose of this remembrance, assume that it looks the same now as it did 17 years ago) it is a large, unassuming building on a corner, right next to the "L" train tracks. There is a lower level, and an upper level. The lower level has two separate dance floors, one which overpowers you upon entrance with techno beats and thunderous bass, black lights, and a writhing mass of skinny fashionable people. Down a long hall, another dancefloor and bar open up, with a band setting up, local, a second tier act. Amazingly, the sound from the first dancefloor is muffled to a hardly noticeable vibration in your chest, as the new set of sounds being pumped through the PA here fills your head. Radio-friendly metal---Bon Jovi, Motley Crue induce some righteous head banging amongst the group of college aged, but not college bound, kids, who are drinking and smoking and sexing each other up in the impossibly large number of dark corners this place affords.

Once you've seen enough of the local contractor's secretary getting pushed up on by a guy in a red bandana, you look upstairs, and discover your reason for being here. The place is large, an open penthouse or loft, with structural poles in the middle of the room. There are two large, well stocked bars at either end of the room, and across from a strangely beautiful view through large plate glass windows, is a stage which commands the attention of the patrons. Not because it is gaudy, but because it is the central feature of the room. A lot of clubs add stages when a manager thinks, "Hey, you know what would bring kids in here on Thursdays? Live music! Let's put a riser over there." This was obviously designed to be a venue for live music first. Patrons at either bar could see the band. You could get close enough to touch the band, but felt a gentle distance between the band and the crowd because of the geometry of the stage. It was not too high, but rose in multiple levels, but not so that if you were in the band, you would trip or didn't have full access to your area. It was like a gently rising hill, with the drummer featured in the back at the top, and the other players featured in different areas. From the front of the stage, you could see through the floor to ceiling windows, out onto the street below, across from the "L" platform and tracks. When the band wasn't playing, or the PA not booming, the rattle of the "L" trains added to the metropolitan atmosphere of the place.

An eclectic mix of college students, artists, musicians, oddballs, skaters, eccentrics, prefessionals, drunks, and hardcore motherfuckers filtered into the room throughout the night. Every once in a awhile, one of the Motely Crue room folks would venture upstairs, for a moment, and probably felt as out of place as you when you looked in on his little world, earlier.

Since you are in the band, after you get your drink tickets, you enjoy the down time. Earlier in the day, you had dropped off your stuff, set up for sound check, and then checked out the local music shops, and bought a leather jacket just down the street for $99.00! Grabbed a bite, and then meandered back up to the club. You sat down, shot the shit with a few of the recognizable faces, had one or two people who saw you the last time you were here comment that you rocked, and they were excited about tonight's show.

The first band was good, but you were more interested in the overall sound of the place. Things were simply cooking tonight. You had clarity, punch, volume, and no feedback. The light show was good, too. Simple, not distracting, but focusing on the right players at the right times. When the first band, Grind, is done, you help them back their stuff off stage. You have had a couple of beers, but over an hour have not felt even a tingle from it. You power up your rig, tune, and let the first few notes sing across the stage. It is kind of a contest, to see who can "suit up" the fastest, and get a nice sounding note out. Tonight, you win, though you don't think the other guys are competing. When you strap on the bass, and step up to the mic, you hear a rich, clean signal from the monitors, and know you are going to get a good mix from the mains. You can't help but smile. You are wearing your traditional "gig" clothes---a pair of cut-off overalls, with a NASA insignia on the front pocket, and one of a variety of cool t-shirts. Even though it is winter, you are not cold. This particular night, you are wearing the Salvador Dali t-shirt, with a print of a photo Dali made: the shape of a human skull fashioned from several posed nude women. This night would be the inspiration for your friend Gone Brian Vaughan to write the tune "Salvador Dali Print." The first line is: "Walking with your Salvador Dali print on your new t-shirt, dreaming about dead rock and roll stars, and why they never ever fade away...Hey!"

Gone must have seen it in your eyes, but it wasn't a dream. People begin to pack the place. The press of your friends is right to that invisible barrier which separates the band from the crowd. Even those you don't know have given themselves over to you, at least for that moment. You hold within your hand the power to keep them or drive them away. The first song we play is one we have worked up especially for tonight. You step up to the mic and say, "We are the Nightsoil Coolies, from Carbondale!" A roar and applause greets you back. Four clicks, and Mr. Kamikaze leads us into Led Zepplin's "The Ocean," which we play to completely twist up people's perceptions, particularly those who know that we rarely play covers, and rarer still that vintage, and as we chug through the bouncing train which is that soulful little song, we transform it into the introduction to our own song also titled "The Ocean," a ska influenced poem to mother earth, a song that many people there recognize. They were with you now, all the way, if you didn't drop the ball.

Some nights, it is hard to keep the momentum going, but tonight, so many people were already on the train, that although it was sometimes careening wildly, the motion and energy never stopped. About a third of the way through the first set, you notice it. You smile, you look around, and you feel detached, as though everything you are doing is right, in slow motion, and you realize that if you wanted, right now, you could do so much more, and with the briefest flicker of thought, you rip into the most tasteful little riff that fits perfectly with the fill that Mr. Kamikaze just laid down. People are smiling, moving in unison, some are singing along with you, and for a moment, you feel what they call the unbearable lightness of being. You know that you are simply in tune with the moment, and like David Blaine, could rise off the stage at any time. In fact, at one point you think that you really could levitate, but if you did, that might freak everybody out, and you don't want to stop what you are doing. If you could, you would do this, exactly what you are doing right now, forever. As you feel the sound, you see it ripple against the plate glass, reverberating circles of force like the "bullet-time" camera work from the original Matrix movie 9 years later.

Perhaps the Wachowski Brothers were there that night, too. That is exactly what you saw that night, and as disparate elements all clicked together for a few moments, once again, you were shown a transcendent power that made you believe in God, and doubt all religion----that made you believe in love, but doubt human motives.

All too quickly, the moment passed, and the gig was over. You mention to your bandmates that something special happened to you up there. "What? Did you fart?" "No. Nevermind." Those moments on stage are few and far between. You will never forget it.

WHAT WILL OUR INTREPID HEROES DO?
(June 2007)

With little more than two weeks to go before the show that would change the universe, H.O.G. becomes lost somewhere in Florida, having to fight through hordes of costumed freaks with his martial arts skills. What if he breaks the bones in his hand fending off a crazed Disney employee in a Goofy suit?

Mr. Kamikaze fears the reaper, even though DNA tells him not to. DNA made the drum parts to all the new songs especially easy just for Mr. Kamikaze. But, Mr. Kamikaze doesn't want to hear this. He only sees the destruction that will result if he fails...good luck, Mr. Kamikaze. We are all counting on you. Get it? Counting? You see, he's a drummer, and uh, he counts, and so that was like, a joke?

DNA hurts his arm in a lawn dart accident, and loses feeling in two of the fingers of his left hand. He has muscle spasms in his shoulder. One of the bands on the bill, Triple Whip, can't make the show because a sweatshop owner who keeps the band in indentured servitude is requiring them to play a birthday party for his 5 year old niece---FOR THREE DAYS STRAIGHT!!! The Hangar show is ready to fly apart at the seams---What Will Our Intrepid Heroes Do Now?

DNA is waiting for God to give him a sign, any kind of sign, about whether or not he should be worried.

Never fear, gentle readers, out of adversity is born greatness, at least one percent of the time. A one in one hundred shot of not sucking. Some may consider those long odds, but not DNA. Hell, you have as great a chance of getting pregnant while on the pill. DNA bets that just made some of you shit eggrolls. Now our chances of shaking the pillars of heaven don't sound so bad, do they? And if you personally knew, I mean, really knew, how fucking awesome H.O.G. is on guitar, and how fucking rock and roll Mr. Kamikaze is on drums, then, like DNA, you would have been lip syncing your own songs and playing air guitar over your own bass lines for the last three months solid, too. Suck? Not even close. So mind-blowing that you will want to change religion to whatever DNA believes? Now you're in the ballpark, baby.

JUST SEVEN DAYS:

Years ago, DNA wrote a song called God Created Evolution. In the background, one of the vocals goes like this: In just 7 days, if you give a damn, just 7 days, if you give a damn. Another vocal goes like this: There might be a deeper meaning behind 7 days. In this case, there is not. There are just 7 days left before the show, and DNA couldn't be more excited.

A couple of days ago, a reporter from the local entertainment paper called DNA for a story about the show. DNA's wife, who listened to this end of the conversation, later said that DNA was cheesy on the phone, and probably the biggest dork she had ever heard. DNA has said before, there is nothing like music to make you feel like a kid.

It just so happens that the interviewer was the son of a good friend of DNA from many years ago, unbeknownst to the interviewer. Even though his dad and DNA never played together, they often talked about doing DEVO's song, Smart Patrol, Mr. DNA. Yes, the very same song from which Mr. Kamikaze found his name. DNA told the interviewer this fact during the interview. The interviewer said that that DEVO album was in his CD player right then. Last week DNA asked for a sign from God about the show. DNA couldn't have asked for a more positive one than that.

AND THE MOONBUGGY KIDS MAKE THREE:

Tonight, after a few long days of waiting to hear back from some very talented local musicians, The Moonbuggy Kids gave DNA a call as he was checking his email. They were able to step in and do the show. DNA thanks them from the infinity of its existence.

DNA is looking forward to meeting them, but also is a bit amused at the fact that probably everybody in the DNA Vibrators is old enough to be the fathers of everybody in the Moonbuggy Kids. It is the natural progression of things.

In music, unlike in almost every other profession, it is always the young who teach the old, the young who reinvent, the young who establish the paradigm. The old fade away. A few become venerated, but most are simply happy to play a guitar every now and then. DNA feels like it has at least one more motherfucking, make you sit up and take notice, shake your head and say, "What the fuck was that!" left in it. DNA hopes we make the young guys proud that the old guys can still do it.

Like Beowulf,who knew that the only path to immortality was to tempt Fate, the Wyrd of the World, DNA invites you once again to witness the glory, or the carnage, that the 23rd of June will bring to the Hangar 9 in Carbondale.

As always, your pretentious allusions to Old English literature are welcome.

THE PRACTICE, OR, THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME:

June 22nd, Friday:

Starting that afternoon, DNA loaded his equipment up, from home and from his office. Packing and loading equipment is a ritual, that DNA has practiced since it first became a musician, many years ago. The ritual is much like the ritual a skydiver will go through to pack his own parachute, or a soldier will go through to clean her own weapon. DNA invests that much energy into the process. Like those others, DNA visualizes how he will use the Big Muff Pie distortion (yes, an original, with germanium capacitors, that bleeds signal like a wino�s gums bleeds, well, blood) as he carefully packs it in his milk crate. He carefully winds his cords, unscrewing the ends to check the solder joints, and then wraps them with neon green duct tape. He changes out the batteries on his stage tuners, his pedals, and a signal splitter. He packs his tool box, and all of the other musical necessities away (guitar slide, picks, extra strings, etc.).

Then DNA checks his guitars. DNA has been kind of bitch about having a guitar stand and strap for each guitar. They are not that expensive, and mean you have to do a whole lot less fucking around on stage if you have to change guitars. DNA checks the batteries on each of the basses, checks the strings on all the guitars, and packs away the guitars in their respective cases. DNA closes the flight case for the pre amp and amp, and then loads up the stuff.

DNA built his own basses for several years. Along with that, DNA built his own speaker enclosures, too. At the time, the only money he spent was on musical equipment, and so DNA bought the best: An EVM 18" and 4 EVM 10"s. DNA built two 2 x10 cabinets and 1 18 cabinet. This was the rig DNA used at the height of playing out, when sometimes the clubs he would play were huge, and needed more bass, or was so small, the PA had no subs and really couldn't deliver bass. Either way, DNA was ready to deliver.

The 2 x 10 cabinets were eventually chucked in favor of a custom built 4 x10 enclosure which DNA still has. DNA has had the same speakers for 17 years. They will probably last another 17. Seriously, EV doesn't make the "M" series anymore, because they were too expensive and frankly overpowered for everything except the biggest applications. A rough measure of a speaker is the mass of the magnet. Each of those EVM 10's weighed approximately 40 pounds. Fuck is right.

The 18 cab, well it has had a history. DNA traded it to Mr. Kamikaze for a drum set. At that time, Mr. Kamikaze was learning to play bass in a band called Taylor. He was pretty good. I have yet to actually unpack the drums I got. 13 years have passed since then. Well, Mr. Kamikaze still has the 18 cab, and the bass player in his other band, Nonagon, uses it. Mr. Kamikaze promised to bring the cabinet with him, to reunite the 4 x 10's with the 18 cab. (Mr. Kamikaze indeed did bring it. The day after the show, DNA received a very nice email from an old friend, who said whatever I had up there sounded "tits.") DNA likes tits.

DNA met the Hand of God at the practice space, which thankfully, was air-conditioned and sound-proofed. Besides DNA's own monstrous bass rig, H.O.G. had a 200 watt all tube ampeg head and a Marshall 4 x 12. The problem with such a stadium filling rig is that it doesn't really start to kick ass until it's turned half way up, and we wouldn't be able to turn it up past 1, other wise it would simply be too loud.

About the time we had finished loading equipment into the practice space, DNA got a call from Mr. Kamikaze asking for directions. He and long time pal The Song Engine came down from Chi-town. On the way in, the guys bought some liquid refreshment, and by 6 pm we were set up and ready to practice.

For some vocals, DNA brought his Mesa Boogie combo in. This is the same Mesa Boogie that the song Engine used to own. It's the same model that Neil Young played through for many years (maybe still does). Mine still works awfully well.

Do we have high expectations? Well, yes. To quote somebody famous, "I know, it's only rock and roll, but I like it." We are competent musicians, and H.O.G., well, he's from another planet, a planet where the best musicians on earth go to shine the shoes of the lowest of the low there in hopes of hearing an alien play even a single note on a dimestore kazoo while they are bored at the shoe shine stand. And these aliens are the dregs, the loser aliens who by alien standards can't even play a kazoo. H.O.G. is good THERE. He just happens to be HERE. DNA lives eats and breathes this shit, and Mr. Kamikaze is truly the shit on drums, so it was surprised when practice quickly started to sound like a blind man beating a bag of cats: badly punctuated screeches, lots of fits and starts, and a lot of extra motion to get the simplest shit done. DNA began to lose a little confidence after two hours and several beers did not improve the situation.

Let's get one thing straight: Nobody was mad or anything. Fuck, it would be kind of funny in a karmic way if after all the hype and crap about the show, if we old guys totally sucked and couldn't make it come together. In old-style mythology, the hero generally dies at the end in a great flourish. Our flourishes have already come and gone. In the new American mythology, the hero keeps coming back again and again for the sequel. People don't stay dead. However, in real life, when people try to emulate that crap, eventually they get too old to live up to the hype, and they fail, either publicly or privately, but only then do they learn the lesson that there comes a point after which you give up the games of youth to the young. Was this our moment? It seemed like it.

After 10 pm, we seriously started axing songs that sucked. Some were simple, some were the good ones, the ones that were musically challenging. What we were left with was a core of somewhat shaky songs, DNA with a somewhat shaky voice (after singing for several hours), and also having his left arm hurting (after an accident from a couple of weeks back left a couple of his fingers numb---like carpal tunnel numb, nothing too serious). The guitar sounded lame, cuz we couldn't get a good tone out of the underdriven ampeg.

After 11, we all agreed that no further damage could be done. We discussed renting a Marshall head for H.O.G., and the boys decided to grab some food. DNA had to drive an hour home, say goodnight to the wife, see what the boy was doing etc., so instead of food, he went home. Reuniting with the guys was great. The playing was a little underwhelming, but at the very end of the night, we all realized, that for Mr. Kamikaze, this was actually the first time he practiced this stuff on his actual drums, and not just while listening to it in the car, and for one song, DNA knows this is hard to believe, but for Folsom Prison Blues, Mr. Kamikaze had never ever heard it before, not even the original. H.O.G. played one of DNA's guitars because his own had corroded and rusted so badly from disuse that we couldn't string it. Meaning that H.O.G. had not picked up an electric guitar, except for those times over the last couple of months in which DNA wrassled him into the studio, for OVER A YEAR. With those starting conditions, our practice didn't seem so bad. But we would have to get a lot better if we weren't going to suck ass on stage on Saturday.

Did DNA pack his parachute correctly, or had he forgotten some important but elusive element in his ritual? Was H.O.G. really from earth, after all? Was it true that Mr. Kamikaze played the drums only because he had some?

The proof would be in the pudding, or more specifically, in the Quatro's Pizza the guys gorged on after DNA left.

LATER THAT NIGHT:

DNA left the guys, to calls of being a pussy, being whipped, of them knowing who wears the pants in his family. Okay, fine. DNA had to drive. DNA's throat hurt. Sleep would be better than partying, and in the end, it was DNA's ASS hanging out if we fucked up DNA's songs tomorrow at the Hangar. So, the rest of DNA's story Friday night is short. DNA drove home, silently thinking through the songs it wanted to play out tomorrow, and made it safely home (about an hour's drive through wooded back country). Once home, Lara asked how everything went. DNA said, "Let's just say it sucked, but not as bad as it could have sucked." "Really?" she asked, somewhat surprised. "Yeah. Mr. Kamikaze wasn't kidding when he said he sucked. DNA is not worried though," DNA said as he began to get ready for bed. But, DNA was worried. A little.

DNA left at 11:00 pm. Here was the scene at 11:03: "Okay, now that douchebag is gone, let's get some food. I am fucking starving. We haven't ate since noon!" The 'we' here is Mr. Kamikaze and the Song Engine. Yes, plenty of beer had been drunk, and several shots of tequila were downed, but no food. H.O.G., said that he was up for anything, because unlike DNA, he sets the rules around his house. Mr. Kamikaze and the Song Engine both said, "Quatros, then." (Damn, DNA ought to be gettin' paid for this free advertisement and shit. DNA will take it in pizza, if you reading this, Quatro's man. Don't wonder why your website is gettin' hella big hits. It's all DNA!)

Up at Quatros, they devoured a large deep pan pepperoni, and after the second slice, each felt bloated. Like weebles, they tottered from Quatros, party warriors, pizza spartans not ready to surrender themselves to the embrace of sleep. Down the street they wobbled, walking past the Hangar, the DQ, the old Varsity theater, and Booby's, until finally, they located a source of a subharmonic thump which had been tugging at subconscious minds of the three pizza killers. PK's was the source.

PK's, back in the day, was a biker bar. The kind of biker bar that had a certain reputation. If you didn't have a bike, don't go in. It wasn't a poseur bar, it was the real deal. And the patrons, nice folks, were just as happy as not letting Bif the Fraternity Dick keep on thinking that. However, fairly recently, probably thanks to Dave from the Dammit Boys booking some of the bands, the bar had taken on a more punk rock feel. Again, not poseur, Avril Lavigne punk, but the "I got enough money for my medicine, or this guitar, so fuck it, I'm buying the guitar" punk.

PK�s would not disappoint the three Italian pie-eating argonauts. Besides the Dammit Boys playing, the headlining act, The Oscars, ripped it up, and played like they were gonna die tomorrow. After the cheap beer out of the tap at PK's, the Song Engine, H.O.G. and Mr. Kamikaze also felt like they too might die tomorrow.

Bloated, slow, sick. Like the men of Odysseus caught between the Scylla and Charibdys, they now felt like we had sounded like a few hours before. There was only one way to save themselves from the siren's song: HEAVE!

The boys were proudly carrying on a tradition of staying up way too late and getting bent, that began years ago, on the night before the first DNA Vibrator's recording, in which Mr. Kamikaze and DNA proceeded to drink themselves into oblivion. While DNA finished checking his email one last time before shutting down the computer and going to bed, he hoped the boys were doing something like he later heard they were doing. The trip through the underworld before a show was the last step of the ritual that the DNA Vibrators needed to follow, so that just like the first time they recorded, the night before was hell and death, but the next day would be magic and rebirth.

THE DAY OF THE SHOW:

After a good night's sleep, DNA woke up at approximately 10 am the next morning. First thing on the agenda was to contact Mike at Mike's Music and see if he would rent a Marshall head to power H.O.G's Marshall cabinet. The short answer was yes. After DNA talked to Mike, he talked to H.O.G. who was able to go pick up the unit.

DNA's voice felt pretty good, his arms felt good, so when he called Mr. Kamikaze in the morning, he faked like his voice was roached, just to freak everybody out. That put DNA in a much better mood. Believe it or not, DNA doesn't want to admit it, but it is a vain little entity. It spent way too much time picking out clothes for the show. It used to be that DNA would always wear a pair of cut off overall shorts, (he called them overshorts) with a NASA patch on the front. This was the uniform. DNA still has a pair of overshorts, but they just didn't feel right. So, a pair of shorts, a shirt with a ufo on it, and the word, "PREPARE" and some cool old high tops, and DNA was ready to go. Then, DNA did its nails, eye shadow and lip gloss. DNA is a fashion whore.

As DNA drove up to Carbondale, Lara agreed to meet DNA at the hotel that they reserved so that besides having hot monkey sex after the show, they could rest in C-Dale without the prospect of having to drive home later that night (Lara wouldn't let me write that we had hot monkey sex after the show if we had actually had hot monkey sex after the show). She would meet up sometime after 6 or so, to have some food and then hang out at the Hangar. On the trip up, DNA called Mr. Kamikaze, H.O.G., and the Song Engine. H.O.G. couldn't meet up, but the guys went to the local record store, and then to Mike's Music, where DNA picked out some picks, and everybody shot the shit for awhile with Mike, who would later come up to the show and ROCK OUT LOUD.

When we got to the practice space, things were much cooler all the way around. We got some honey tea, some Coca-Cola, and were ready to go again. This time, we had already culled the un-do-able shit, and everything else sounded pretty good. The Marshall head and cab made H.O.G. sound extraterrestrial again, and within a relatively short while, the world was right with us. We shut it down, loaded up, went through the load up ritual, and at about 5 or so, were up at the Hangar, loading shit in. About the time we were done loading, we met the Moon Buggy Kids, who were all young and digging just being there, and after their shit was in, we were called by the rest of Nonagon, and then before we knew it, their shit was in too. And not a moment too soon, because a pop-up evening shower had quickly rushed in to soak the ground.

Like most summer showers in Carbondale, it didn't last long. We were checked into the hotel, and back on the Strip eating sandwiches at Booby's Beer Garden by 6 pm. Within an hour, we were back up at the Hangar, with the Song Engine, Lara, and DNA's old pals Big Mike and Susan. As we got ready for sound check, DNA met the sound guy, Gary, the recording guy, Mike, the bar owner, Sally, set up the video camera, and got the beer tickets.

Beer tickets are part of the economy of a show in a bar, one DNA now realizes that the general public may not be too aware of. It's a throwback to a simpler time, when you bartered for goods and services. Drink tickets were issued for X number of drinks out of whatever is on tap in the bar that night. There were never enough drink tickets for everyone. Bar owners have learned from long experience that supplying bands with too many drink tickets means the bands are fucked up band by showtime, or means that the bar may actually lose money that night, depending on how advanced the alcoholism was among the various bands.

DNA took his share of drink tickets, and over the course of the night, bought several more rounds. The Moon Buggy Kids started promptly at 10pm, and despite some feedback issues, sounded terrific. Because neither Nonagon or The DNA Vibrators were really equipped to play longer than necessary, we didn't encourage the Moon buggy Kids to speed up or stop playing. In fact, we just kind of enjoyed the show. Then, without even trying, the Moon Buggy Kids did us a favor. After they finished, they started to break down their equipment on stage. As bands move upward and onward to bigger gigs, this is kind of frowned upon, because the next band wants their 15 minutes of fame just like you do, so you can break your drums and case your guitars offstage, if you please. In our case, however, speed was not of the essence, and gave the crowd at the Hangar, of which there actually was one, something to watch before Nonagon hit the stage.

Nonagon rocked. From start to end, the band is frenetic noise, melodic thrashing, and terrific bass counterpoints to a buzzsaw guitar. That, and Mr. Kamikaze was fucking awesome on drums. Which begged the question, "Why did he suck so much during our practices if he was this fucking great on stuff that was 10 times harder and faster than what the DNA Vibrators played?" It was funny, kind of, because during both practices, we had to keep on telling Mr. Kamikaze to slow down, relax, and let the beat flow. If the DNA Vibrators' songs were too fast, they would fail miserably. So, like Ray Charles always said to his drummers, "Slow the fuck down! I'm blind, not deaf, you broke mother fucker!"

After Nonagon finished, Big Mike got the video rolling, and H.O.G., DNA and Mr. Kamikaze got set up and ready to play by about 12:15. It was late, DNA had a little too much to drink, and at that point, wasn't sure if he could sing, play, or really, stand all too well. Showtime!

GET TO THE POINT:

Right. DNA can be long winded. So here we go. The first song was an instrumental, with a couple of little hitches in it which make it cool. DNA really was feeling a little tipsy, and wasn't sure how strong his voice was. We went through a brief introduction, and then began. Sound was good, but by the first break in the song, about 10 seconds in, DNA could tell that Mr. Kamikaze was a little tight. Things got sloppy quickly. A couple of basic cues were missed. It started to feel ugly. Just then, at the next pause, DNA could hear the Song Engine screaming at the top of his lungs, timed with the stops and starts of the song. That made DNA feel better, because people feed off of that kind of energy. The second song began right after the first one, with a distorted bass line. That one was sloppy too, and right away would test the limits of DNA's voice. Quickly, those limits were surpassed, but, song 2 was better than song one. Still, way too many missed cues. The third song, "A Note To My Old Band," actually had a groove, and as soon as we started, things finally clicked. It rocked. People started dancing, some were even singing the chorus. The next song, better, and even though there were some dips here and there, everything was good. H.O.G. played some sick, sick shit, and Mr. Kamikaze found his happy place. DNA let it hang out from the get go, and by the end of the night, we had rocked. Guests came up and sang on stage, everybody drank to excess, and by the time we were through, we converted the youngsters, and made the old folks stay up past their bed times. DNA, Mr. Kamikaze, and H.O.G. all agreed that they should do this again, sooner rather than later.

After we settled the money, we agreed that we should find an after hours party, which we did, just a few blocks away. To our surprise, we found the Moon Buggy Kids there. Some guy was climbing a tree, someone else was playing with a lit tiki torch, and two guys were playing acoustic guitars and screaming into a hurting little peavey combo. In other words, a typical college party. As we were walking around, someone yelled, "Hey, that's the DNA Vibrator!" Notoriety felt pretty good. The same someone then offered DNA the last swig of a plastic jug full of Canadian Mist. DNA faked like he drank it, and gave it back to the drunk person. Either it, the drunk person, or both, smelled like paint thinner.

Although the party was fun, we felt a generation removed from the sophomoric fun most of the revelers were having, so we decided to walk over to Lost Cross house. Something is always going on over at Lost Cross. Because most of us had been fixtures in the Carbondale music scene for many years, we recognized some of the folks there, and vice versa. Inside Lost Cross is like a underground music museum. Posters, flyers, handbills, for shows going back dozens of years adorn every surface. Old bands DNA was in were enshrined in here. New bands that have hardly played out have flyers here. It was nice to show the guys from Nonagon the house, but by this time, it was about 3 am, and time to get to sleep. We walked back to our cars, and drove to the hotel.

Lara and DNA had their own room. Right on, baby! But, discretion was the better part of valor, and as soon as we could, we were laying down and falling asleep.

The next morning, some of us (the Song Engine, Mr. Kamikaze, DNA, Lara, Big Mike, Susan) got together and had us some breakfast at Harbaugh's Cafe (a relatively new, but terrific, Carbondale tradition). Then we parted company, tired, sore, but better for the experience. Rock and roll is pretty cool, sometimes.

THE RESULT OF CONTINUOUS EXPOSURE TO RADIATION:

DNA was able to wrangle the Hand Of God into the studio last week, which resulted in solo work and the final mixes for the songs "Big Black Cadillac" and "I Can't Be Your Robot." You can download both of them, shit, all of them, right here, from this page, for free, then listen to the differences between the demo versions of songs and the final album versions once the album is out and for sale. Or, fuck buying the album. That's what DNA would do. Fuck all them money grubbing artist types---that's all they are after, your cold hard-earned cash. Dirty bastards :D

The new record is titled, "The Result Of Continuous Exposure To Radiation." The title was inspired by the fact that to produce it, DNA has had to stare into the glow of its computer monitor for countless hours. There are 13 songs on the record. DNA began producing this one before the last one, "The Shape Of Things To Have Come And Gone," was finished.

Each song has a story. DNA will give you the brief version today. Chance And Opportunity: Inspired by DNA's mom. Big Black Cadillac: Inspired by DNA's dad and DNA's big Cadillac. Paradox: Inspired by the differences between DNA and his wife. Strange Love: Inspired by the true story of how DNA met his wife. Sixteen Tons: Written by Merle Travis, and DNA can guess what inspired Merle, but DNA covered it because it was one of his dad's favorite songs. Get Up Off Your Ass: Inspired by college activists who aren't very active. Bad Thing: Inspired by the feelings of doubt, regret, and acceptance we all go through. When The Aliens Attacked: Inspired by that time the aliens attacked, and also by feeling trapped in a bad relationship. Suppertime: Inspired by what DNA, and by proxy, all men, hungers for. I Can't Be Your Robot: Inspired by a marital aide. Only Wussies Fail In Love: Inspired by knowing that sometimes the right thing is hard to do. I Think It's Time To Go: Inspired by needing an appropriately titled song to end a show with. Chestnuts: Mel Torme wrote one hell of a Christmas song. DNA covered it because it made a promise to include a Christmas song on every DNA Vibrators record it makes.

The artwork is done on the record, but DNA will have to post that another day. The proposed release date for the record is at the end of September, but that will depend on how often DNA and the Hand Of God can get back together, when it gets notification of the mechanical licenses for the cover songs, etc.

THE INTERNET IS A DOUBLE-EDGED TURD:

Which means that unlike a double edged sword, which cuts both ways, the internet stinks no matter which way you slice it. We've already covered this rant before, about 11 months ago, twice, so DNA is not going to rehash the argument that the internet has effectively disneyfied communication. By disneyfied, DNA means that the internet appears to be a source of information, but actually leaves you with less substance than you could have gotten from any other source, kind of like Disney, which is good at presenting the illusion of things instead of the things themselves.

So, why is the internet a double-edged turd for DNA today? Well, yesterday, DNA asked for readers to respond via the guestbook to a challenge to throw out topics for songs. Some people responded. The whole reason for throwing out the challenge is for people to engage here, and to come up with shit that is, well, "challenging" to DNA. DNA is sorry it asked. Here are some of the responses:

Toad Licking. (Why?)

Write a song about getting locked in a porta-potty. (No.)

Why don't you write a song about your hairy white ass? (this one was especially weird, because DNA already wrote a song about his hairy white ass 20 years ago).

How about a song about DNA or vibrators, or does that violate some kind of band name "rule?" (Is that a snippy tone DNA senses? how about a big fuck no.)

You could write a song about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (From someone who knows DNA is a big Buffy fan. This such a completely fanboy GAY suggestion that DNA is seriously thinking about it...but no, Buffy already has a great theme song.)

You see DNA's point? C'mon people, give me your best shot! DNA knows there are some twisted bastards who read this page every now and then. Let me hear you.

The other side of the double-edged turd is that by encouraging communication between the world and DNA, unencouraged and unwanted bullshit emails have been flooding DNA's site. The amount of spam that is hitting the website via the guestbook and the email addresses is growing like a tumor on the balls of the internet. DNA is ready to neuter the internet. Crap, crap, crap.

But, if even one of you out there smile a little bit when you hear a DNA song, or nod in agreement when you read a blog post, then it is all worthwhile....DNA is waiting....no smiles.....no nods..........no, wait, there's a nod........wait, that guy was falling asleep. Still, it counts.

Wake up, DNA wants comments from people who are not selling viagra or the Adobe Suite software.

HIDDEN GEMS:

As DNA was saying the other day, Chris had dropped some old 4 track recordings in DNA's lap. Today, DNA got a chance to load some of them on the computer. They really took DNA back, way back to the last time, and one of the last times, that the Nightsoil Coolies played. (There were a couple of different shows that were recorded. One was Springfest, 1991, and one was, DNA believes, the very last time the Coolies played out, in May of 1991. Some of the songs are passable, in overall recorded quality, but DNA was really surprised that there were some songs that we played that DNA had absolutely no recollection of whatsoever. DNA means as if they never happened, and a couple of them are really good. That's scary, because DNA thought he remembered them all. (which means about 120 or so in the Coolies' back catalog)

DNA was so excited when he heard a totally forgotten but really good song written and sung by Fish, who was terrific at both, but didn't sing so many of our tunes. Also, there are a couple of unique versions of songs that we did at the very end of the band's life, most notably "Lonely Sister." Those were special for DNA to hear again. As DNA's real job is heating up right now, it is unlikely that it will get to the recordings again in the next couple of weeks, but when it does, it will post all of the stuff right here.

Again, thank you Chris. What a wonderful surprise.

Hearing our commentary between songs, it is clear why we put a microphone back by Mr. Kamikaze. The weirdest shit came out of his mouth, spontaneously, like drummer's tourette's. DNA is looking forward to mixing down some songs just to preserve that shit. Talk about hidden gems....in the opening seconds of the first recording, the Song Engine yells "Springfest, Carbondale!" and Mr. Kamikaze screeches, "Spring fu..." with the "ck" implied.

THE SUPER DOUBLE KICK ASS BLOG-TACULAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO HAVE COME AND GONE:

It’s…..the…..ONE YEAR BLOG-TACULAR ANNIVERSARY of The Shape Of Things To Have Come And Gone! Exactly one year ago today, the DNA Vibrator went “live,” and began to infiltrate every aspect of your life. Look at your poptarts. DNA is there. Look in your wife’s face. DNA is there. Look in your toilet. Didn’t you just think about what you might have left in your toilet? SEE? DNA is everywhere. For a few of you, DNA might actually be an mp3 in your computer or CD player.* Over this last year, the DNA Vibrator has invisibly, imperceptibly subverted your thought processes from beneath your consciousness. In other words, you are no longer mindless puppets, you are DNA’s puppets. DNA has spread through your computers like a digital Rico Fuckin’ Suave-AYYY with a nasty case of herpes, but there ain't no electronic Valtrex to keep your avatar’s genitals safe. We are all The DNA Vibrator (respectful nod to DEVO here). So, if you all could loan me a dollar, it would really just be me giving myself a dollar a few million times over, and that would really be awesome of all of me to do that for me. Thanks.

In the last year, a few milestones have been reached. Let DNA recap them for you: Since September 14, 2006, not counting this current post, DNA has written over 113,000 words in the blog alone. Last time DNA checked that was like... a lot or something. DNA wrote the word “fuck” or a derivative of ‘fuck” almost 1000 times in the blog. Fuckity fuckle mcfuckerstein. Surprisingly, since DNA is known for his effluvial prosidy, and a vocabulary that you bitches could only opine over in a languid absinthian stupor, until this post right now, DNA never included the words, “intifada,” “scurrilous,” or “cuntflaps” in this blog, even though DNA could have. DNA just didn’t want to alienate any terrorist douchebags with large labia.

Since September of 2006, DNA has posted 127 times. Three of those posts were actually funny.

Since September of 2006, DNA has released the album, “The Shape Of Things To Have Come And Gone,” and has recorded two soon to be released albums: “The Result Of Continuous Exposure To Radiation,” and “The Akkademiks………ROCK!” Two other albums, the Nightsoil Coolies’ post-post swansong, “Libertini,” and another DNA record, as yet unnamed, which will include some live tracks from the show the band did this summer.

Since September of 2006, the band played out live. That is pretty fucking awesome, if you realized how old, out of shape, and generally bad we are at actually playing.

Since then, the DNA Vibrators myspace page went live, this site has gotten thousands of hits, has had thousands of megs of music downloaded, has sold records all over the U.S., Europe and Asia through iTunes and other digital retailers, has sold records through CD Baby and has generally loved every minute of his musical life.

DNA wishes to take a second to publicly thank Mr. Kamikaze and H.O.G. and their respective families for indulging a selfish prick like DNA. Also, DNA must thank his own family who realizes this delusion about it being "important" for DNA to make this music will soon pass. For all of you who have been here with DNA for a year: Well, sorry about that. Didn’t expect it to last this long. But, you knew DNA was long-winded.

*THANKS FOR LISTENING!

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED:

Well, since our last little visit, DNA has finished the album, "The Result Of Continuous Exposure To Radiation." It is on its way to CD Baby and the rest of the world. Next week, DNA will drop it off at several local places that might give DNA some press.

If you check out DNA's myspace page, you may have noticed that DNA hasn't logged in for a few days. That's because some internet thingy is broken and it won't let me log in. Their service people claim to be working on it. We'll see. For the money DNA pays to keep that site running, it better get fucking fixed.

Also, since the last post, DNA had to appear before a committee to interview to become a Ph.D. student in the Special Education department at SIU. After a few days, DNA received the news that indeed he has been invited to become a Ph.D. student. That will probably start in the spring.

This is turning into an actual blog right now, like, "Dear Blog, today I got my period" kind of blog. It's not really living up to its promise or premise of being an insider's view of the Carbondale music scene, or the place in which DNA rants on topics philosophic, scientific, or religific. Sorry about that. You do not need to know nor should you care about the mundane life details of the tool of the DNA Vibrator. "My myspace page is broken...I'm gettin' muh Ph.D!" ---So fucking what, loser. Tell me something I give two shits about--- Suffice it to say that everyday sucks for the tool, and when he lets go his conscious self and allows the DNA Vibrator to speak, he feels a moment of peace.

The Akkademiks record is nearly complete. One song is missing, a piece about glaciation and global warming, and once it is done, DNA gots the green light to get that project out the door. DNA had hoped to have had some feedback from the Geology dept. at SIU before he went global with the shit, but its too late now. As soon as it hits the streets, DNA will let you know.

Also, DNA has begun work on the next album in earnest. No, "In Earnest" is not the title. That would likely be a very different album than DNA would go for. All hetero here. The next album will be called "Demandatory" cuz DNA promised H.O.G. that he would call it that.

DNA has several new articles planned for the blog, but right now, time is tight, which is why DNA just wrote "what happened" since last week.

OCTOBER PARTIES:

Carbondale is known for October parties. From the 1970’s through the early ‘90’s, Carbondale was infamous for its Halloween Celebration. At its height, about 20,000 of our closest friends would descend on Carbondale (a town of about 25,000), Along with about 20,000 students, on every Halloween, there occurred a convergence of humanity in Carbondale which felt like Mardi Gras (in fact, it was sometimes referred to as “little Mardi Gras”) but without all of the social responsibility normally found at Mardi Gras.

Through bad management, a deteriorating city-university relationship, and generally unrestrained idiocy on the part of the party-people, the event was shut down. Over the years, there were mass arrests, thousands in property damage, burned and overturned cars, unrestrained violence---y’know, fun. People attempted to “take the Strip,” (a stretch of downtown near the university filled with shops and bars) for many years after the celebration was officially “over,” some years more successfully than others, but eventually, only a ghost of this Halloween celebration remained.

Long before the event was shut down, getting drunk in a throng of anonymous bodies had lost its appeal to DNA. For most of his time in Carbondale, DNA either played shows on Halloween, stayed home, or attended house parties. As the fervor over Halloween died down, DNA was reminded what was great about this town: Not its notorious claim to fame, but the regular atmosphere every weekend. If you wanted to go to a party, you could, but more importantly, if you wanted to see a band or play out, you could.

Some of the best shows DNA can remember happened in October. DNA thinks this is because, in Carbondale, it is still warm enough in October to run around in shorts during the day, but cool enough that a few shots of hard liquor are needed to warm you up at night.

DNA will set the stage for one of the better parties he can remember. It was late in October, 1994, at a house on Oakland (for those of you current or former Salukis who know where that is). The house was a Henry house. Henry Fisher owned home Rentals Corp., and was a fairly despicable slum lord. He was convicted and jailed not long ago for a sex crime against a minor. Everyone who lived in rental housing (and in a college town, that’s a lot of people) knew that being in a Henry house meant something. It meant years later, you would look back on your experience in one, and be proud you simply survived. You felt like you cheated death, or tempted fate, and only by the brass content of your balls did you pass through the gauntlet unscathed.

So, it was a Henry house: two stories, four bedroom, eight people living there, full basement, (excavated after the house was built). The basement was exactly tall enough that if you were taller than DNA, you would hit your head on the floor joists of the first floor. DNA is about 5’8” of awesome, if you didn’t know.

It was raining most of the evening, a light mist which you could ignore for a few minutes, but would result in a soaking down to your skin before you realized it. People were mulling about, spending as much time outside as in, despite the cold and messy weather. CRANK, DNA’s band at that time, was scheduled to play. We were the only entertainment for the night, so we had better fucking rock. DNA heard several folks say things to that effect, coupled with vague acknowledgements that we were a loud band, which was as close to a compliment as we normally got. DNA felt that often, that he was not “hip,” or “cool,” like it looked like the other guys in the band were, or how other bands in town were. DNA had no other purpose than to rock, and gave two shits whether he pleased anybody else, so DNA supposes, the feeling of mutual disdain, if it existed anywhere outside of his own head, was mutual. This is the paradox of a working band, however. DNA played like he was the only bassist in town, and all the people there were pissing all over his personal playing time, but he really did want everybody to dig what we were doing.

Enough of DNA’s insecurities. We packed our stuff in, and set up on the short wall of a rectangular basement. Drop cords hung like spider webs, and a nasty hum, probably from the neon on the same circuit as us buzzed through every instrument. At the time, DNA packed a home-built 18” cabinet, and two 2-10” cabinets, through a 2400 watt bi-amped rig. H.O.G. played through a 200 watt Ampeg head and a Marshall half-stack, while the Reverend played through Peavey’s rendition of a Fender Twin. As usual for a basement party, the drums weren't miked, and as usual for Ralph, they didn't need to be. The house supplied the P.A. which actually was pretty loud. Loud was the word for the show. Brutal. Everything in that basement bounced around and pummeled anyone without earplugs into tapioca. As we started the show, everything clicked. That doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, even during a good show, the special moment, whatever it might be, doesn’t occur. But that night, right away, it did. The basement was packed, shoulder to shoulder, the cool air countered by body heat. Literally, steam hung in the air from from the rain and from the people. The bodies close to the speakers soaked up the sound pressure like worms in tequila, while the folks in the back of the room undulated like the tail end of that worm right before it was pickled.

The Reverend had his rock and roll ON, and was doing everything a guitar slinging front man should do: boring holes of lust with his eyes through anyone who would look at him; exuding confidence and sexuality that came with overt symbolism of his powerful guitar; spooging right in the eyes of all the girls in the room while they asked him for his autograph (okay, that last part was a slight exaggeration---there were no autographs); in other words, he was every bit the rock deity he had the right to be. As we began the song, “Motivation,” DNA knew things were good, because as two notes a half-step off are held at the beginning of the song, if the bass is good, meaning, it would make your stomach upset, then the distortion caused by those two notes (an “e” and an “e-flat”) would cause his pant legs to flap against his legs, and cause window glass to visibly shake. The pants were flapping, and the glass was shaking, “my mind was ache-ing, and we were faking it YOU---SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG!” That’s what ACDC was talking about in that song, not fucking.

Several songs into the set, we started a song called “Staring.” “Staring” has a certain cadence to which it is easy to bounce up and down to, or to stomp your feet to. About a minute into it, right in the middle of the basement floor, as DNA watched in surprise, a large section of the crowd dropped out of sight. Yes, dropped out of sight.The concrete floor gave way beneath them and opened up into a sinkhole about 15 feet in diameter. The people who fell only dropped about a foot down or so, but, the issue isn’t how far they fell. The issue is THAT THEY FELL THROUGH A FUCKING CONCRETE FLOOR!!! Here is the best part---we didn’t stop playing, and nobody left the basement. People just kind acknowledged the fact, reasoned that the rest of the house would have caved in already if it were going to, and kept on dancing.

This incident led to a small amount of notoriety and our own inflated opinion of what we were capable of. “Yeah,” DNA would say later, “So many people were there, the floor caved in,” or “We were so loud we broke the foundation of the house.” For anyone who ever saw CRANK play, though, this was as good a description of our music as any.

We finished the show, and it was clear as people left, it was the lack of adequate drainage close to the foundation of this old house which had, over the course of years, allowed water to leach out soil from underneath a too thin layer of concrete on the floor. The hole itself was a few feet deep in places. For a long time, folks had probably been walking on this shell, not realizing how thin the ice was beneath their feet. It was nice that CRANK broke the ice.

October in Carbondale, and music loud enough to break floors: those things go together like Cap’n Crunch and beer, and remind DNA what is so fun about this town.

Happy Halloween! What Carbondale parties do you remember?

THE AKKADEMIKS....ROCK!

For those of you who don't know, the only reason the DNA Vibrator got back on this carousel called alt rock was because he started an educational musical project approximately 5 years ago. It started small, but the idea never went away. It was first developed in a business plan competition. The business was called "Music Notes," and the concept was to apply the model of "Schoolhouse Rock" to college subjects. After a frenetic period of writing, which netted 10 songs for the educational project, and about 30 for DNA's own personal projects, the circle is nearly complete. Number 11 has been sitting in DNA's head for some time. Finally, DNA has knocked out the last song for the educational album: Climate Change.

Yeah, it's a song about climate change, as you might have guessed from the title. Remember, this little project is educational, and the first album focuses on Geology.

DNa had been trying to squeeze a couple of hours in to knock out a rough demo, and was exicted that this afternoon, it happened. Which means, that if H.O.G. can get roped, tied and dragged back into the studio, this song will be done pretty shortly. Also, the canned drums have to be re-done, but that part is easy---tedious to get right, but easy to do.

Hope you have yerself some lernin' this Thanksgiving.

DNA forgot the cranberries!

FOR EVERYTHING, A SEASON:

For DNA, the Christmas season is a special time of year. In December, it's his birthday (well, the current tool of the DNA Vibrator's birthday, but you get DNA's drift), all of DNA's kids are born in December (that sounds like a lot---it's only three, but by Chinese standards, makes DNA a rutting pig), several relatives' birthdays, yadda, yadda, yadda.

It is a time of creative birth, as well. Musically, DNA's first new project in years, "The Shape Of Things To Have Come And Gone," was unofficially done last December (final mix done in January, sent to distribution in February, became the new national anthem of Douchebagistan in March), and his latest two projects, The Akkademiks' first record, "The Akkademiks....ROCK!" and the newly mixed old recordings of the Nightsoil Coolies, entitled "Libertini," were finished this month. The very second DNA record, from 112 years ago, "Unnatural Selection," was done one December, too. The Coolies' first and second studio releases, "Demockery" and "Idiodyssey," respectively, were completed in December, and Monster Truck's second studio recording, "Untitled Demo" was completed over the twang of Sagittarius' arrows. Some of CRANK's soundcore demo was completed in December, as was the rough mix of the CD "Garlic" as well. Though not all are included here, DNA counts about 15 recordings he has finished in December.

It is a good bet that next week, DNA is gonna write some music. DNA has about 15 turds ready to polish, the first one already sitting, brown and smelly, on the front page of this website.

Maybe this is a special time in DNA's life cycle, in which the stars align, his body's rhythm's are in sync with his universal energies, his....

Nah, fuck that. This just happens to be Christmas break. When DNA was a student, this was the only time he could go to the studio. Now that he works like a bitch for the man, this is the only time the burgeois whip is off his back long enough to remember what it was like to dream.

For everything, a season. What's that? Sounds like the man getting his whip back out. Aw, fuck.

Be sure to check the music download page over the next few days. All of the album "Libertini" and its artwork will be available for free for download.

Merry Christmas! Special prize to anyone who can decipher the intent of the new Coolies' record's title. It, of course, follows a general pattern of previous Coolies' records' titles.

MY GIRL IS THE AWESOME-EST:

Want Proof? During this nice holiday break, knowing that the kids are hellions, knowing that we kept Spazz jr. off his meds, knowing that the day would likely be a 12 hour shouting match, she let me saunter off to Carbondale for the day to work on a song.

You just don't get chicks like that in your life very often. DNA is glad he married this one before she knew his horrible secret, and that she is honorable enough to keep her marriage vow even after she learned the truth.

Okay, DNA has no horrible secrets. He's just a likable loser. Okay, okay. Just a loser.

You can go back to front page to check out the new demo, or you wait a moment, read the story behind the song, and then click the link that follows. The song is called "There's Something On Your Back." It was inspired by the true story of Mr. Kamikaze's irrational fear of bugs. One day, last summer, as Mr. Kamikaze and his family were visiting DNA's humble household, we were out late. We packed up the families and went to the drive-in. When we got home, Mr. Kamikaze and DNA were outside DNA's front door. As often happens in buggy southern Illinois, lots of flying bugs were attracted to the porch light.

This happens everywhere, right? Sure, but southern Illinois is special. It has bugs like a malaria laden swamp, bugs that use the Everglades as their training ground in the winter for what they plan on doing in southern Illinois over the summer. In fact, southern Illinois has bugs like a malaria laden swamp because it is one of the few places in America where there are malaria laden swamps. Yes, malaria. It's like when you cross interstate 64, you drop back in time a hundred years, and drop a couple of dozen IQ points while you're at it. Malaria. What the fuck, are we in Peru? Do the natives have access to quinine?

Fun Fact: Outside of the subtropical south, southern Illinois has one of the few cypress swamps in the country. Weird, huh?

Anyway, bugs, bugs, everywhere, all looking at you like food or transportation. One bug found a nice place in the middle of DNA's back to rest. Instead of flicking it off DNA's back, or calmly letting DNA know that a bug was on his back, Mr. Kamikaze about popped a blood vessel shouting, "Oh my God, it's on your back!"

DNA asked, "What's on my back?"

Mr. Kamikaze was nearly frozen in place, despite the heat and the sweat dripping from his face. "I don't know," he said, as he stifled the crack of horror in his voice.

"Well, knock it off or something." DNA didn't like having "something" on his back, but knew he needed to stay calm, particularly if the "something" could sting or bite him. Also, the fact that Mr. Kamikaze was nearly doubled over in a spasm of terror, a grown man, reacting like someone just shoved a stick of dynamite up his ass and lit the fuse, was too funny not to try to prolong.

"Are you fucking crazy??!!" Mr. Kamikaze screeched. I'm not gonna touch it!"

"Well," DNA said, with nearly British aplomb, "It's nice to know just what defines our friendship. Bug on your back? Looks like it could sting you? Sorry, fucker, you're on your own."

"Dude," Mr. Kamikaze pleaded for understanding, which he really, really wanted, no, needed, because he was so rattled by this miniature monster digging into my spine that he called DNA 'dude,' "I'm sorry, I just can't. I mean, if you could only look at it---fuck, it's huge!"

"Hey, man, it's okay. Nobody can do more than they can do. It's been nice knowing you. You might want to step back...." and with that, DNA grabbed the seams on the shoulders of his shirt, and gave a quick jerk. The cicada which had landed on his back flopped to the ground, and with its devilish siren, shrieked skyward to join its brothers for their 17-year coming out party.

Now, DNA could say a million times, "You should have seen his face," but, you should have seen his face! We laughed for a long time afterwards, playing through goofier and goofier scenarios in which we each approached that line in the sand. On this side of the line, you do anything for your friend. On that side, you say, "Fuck, I hope he makes it."

Soon after that, DNA had the idea for this song. It just took a little while to get the time to record it.
There's Something On Your Back

Finishing the demo of this song is about the best Christmas present DNA could ask for.
ANOTHER SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE....DNA PLAYS AGAIN:

Next week, DNA has to go to Chicago for a week for conventions, presentations, speaking engagements, etc., and as usual, when he does these things, he always looks up Mr. Kamikaze so DNA can commiserate with him about the good old days.

This time, when DNA called, Mr. Kamikaze said that BV, the honorary fourth member of the DNA Vibrators (you didn't know there was an honorary fourth member---tsk, tsk. And you call yourself a fan). Well, BV, of the Nightsoil Coolies, of Monster Truck, and of many great bands, is getting a band together to play a show up in Chicago this coming Wednesday night. It's a special show, a to-play-you-have-to-be-invited kind of gig, and BV goes way back with the man who is putting it on. So, Mr. Kamikaze and BV wanted DNA to join them at Schuba's in Chicago on Belmont and Southport for a night of Streisand versus Violence. Yes, you heard it. Each of the bands that play will play a song by Babs and a song about violence, and we all will be better for it. So, if you were a fan of the original Nightsoil Coolies, or if you remember us from back when you were in college, or if you like Barbara Streisand or violence, please come out and enjoy the show. DNA guarantees it will rock. And when was the last time you got a guarantee of rocking on a Wednesday night that didn't cost you $50 bucks and a bad smell on your breath the next morning?

SCHUBA'S HOOT NUGHT WAS COOLER THAN US!

This week, on February 27th, DNA and his pals Mr. Kamikaze and Gone Brian Vaughan, also known as BV, played a two song set at Schuba's in Chicago. Last week, DNA was bold enough to brag that we would rock. In fact, Mr. Kamikaze and DNA were so sure of our godlike gifts, that we agreed that when we got onstage, we were going to call ourselves the Super Awesome Punk Rock Rocker Motherfuckers, (said with a straight face) and tell everybody right before we played that "We hope you brought your cocks tonight, because you are going to rock out with them." However, from the moment we were all at the club, it was apparent, despite our nearly 45 minutes of practice, that we were not rocking cocks, socks, jocks, or anything else that rhymes with "rocks." However, the night was still fun, full of a lot of good music, even if ours wasn't. DNA thinks it would be fair to say that we didn't completely SUCK, and that we were goofy, sloppy and obviously having fun in spite of technical glitches, and not having drunk nearly enough beer to be well oiled yet.

Schuba's: If you haven't been there, it has every element of a classic Chicago corner bar---lots of old woodwork, splashes of neon, mirrored glass behind ornate, but well-worn bars, and then because it is also known for its great musical history, you'd also expect a corner or side of the bar to be a stage for bands. On this one point, DNA was glad the bar was not like so many other Chicago nightclubs.

Instead, Schuba's has a separate music theater, replete with stage, seats, lights, and a nice sound system (but not overpowering). A small, separate bar keeps the bear flowing.

The Hoot Night was everything we expected---inventive, strange, full of surprises and generally funny moments. The re-union of the Coolies also went exactly as expected: Sloppy and enjoyable. Those who were expecting filet mignon were probably disappointed by The Coolies' pulled pork barbecue.

On Tuesday, we were able to get together and practice our two selections, "Police and Thieves," by the Clash, and "Sing (Sing A Song), made famous by the Carpenters. Take a moment to listen to our practice renditions. Now, don't judge----we practiced a whole 20 minutes on each of them before we made the recordings. In this respect, our preparations were also a lot like how it used to be when we were in the Coolies. Despite, obvious errors, off key singing, etc., these recordings represent the potential of how cool things could have been.

(go check them out on the music download page)

Many, many thanks to John of Nonagon, and his lovely wife, and their awesome dog, who made DNA feel right at home. John gave his time to record and duplicate practice. Why audiotape a practice? Perhaps this email between DNA and Mr. Kamikaze will illuminate:

To: BV and Mr. Kamikaze:
From: DNA:

Did you get the (music)charts? Also, is there a time scheduled for us to play? Some of our old college buddies might be there (Ken, Jeremy, Vince, John) and maybe a couple of others. Real quick---will someone be recording this, or do you think we can get a recording off of the board?

Talk to you later,

DNA

To: DNA
From: Mr. Kamikaze:

Got them-- but you know they mean pretty much nothing to me, right?! I understand what they are-- and I can appreciate that-- but seriously. I don't reallly have to sing or anything, do I?

The schedule thing is more a BV question-- I'm not sure if there is any kind of schedule until we get there. My recollection of how these work - and BV can help with my horrible memory - is that Tom (the guy) will make a list of artists in the order of how he thinks it should go. But I don't think he does that until that night. BV?

I'm assuming that since DNA will be way the hell out in St. Charles that evening, we won't be going on until late(r)....

And I'm really not sure if anyone will record this. I know Tom's got some recordings of a few "acts" in the past-- maybe he'll record it since this is a pretty special night for him as he's been living in Ireland for the past few years and hasn't done this in awhile...? Also not sure how recording would happen.. DNA- don't get the idea that this is going to be a super-organized affair. If memory serves, it's usually a clusterfudge.

But really--will this be worth recording? Scratch that. DNA records himself taking a dump if it's got a cool beat.

To: Mr. Kamikaze:
From: DNA:

Okay Mr. Kamikaze,

Yes, motherfucker, you will have to sing on the song Sing. Get it, got it, good. At the end, when the lead is doing the verse, and I'll be harmonizing, there has got to be the really annoying kid's chorus going "la la la la la, la la la la la la ....." and, that would be YOU!

I know a B's the same as a Q to you but what was I going to do? Your email was already on the "to:" line in the note I sent out.

I'm cool with it not being organized. But we better be lock step, jackboot hitlerian in our approach :D That works for everybody, right?

I'll bet its recorded. Ker splash, plop plop. And thanks for recognizing that I know a cool beat when I hear one.

DNA

On Wednesday morning, DNA did his scholarly duty, and presented to the world at the Learning Disabilities Association of America's international conference a session which demonstrated how his band the Akkademiks started. It was well-received. Actually, DNA would say it was inspiring. Afterwards, DNA quickly changed presentation materials, and drove an hour away to another work-related function. That went well, too. After the "official" presentation was over and materials were packed back in the car, DNA sped back to Chicago, navigating an accident, a detour, and a lot of traffic. On the upside, DNA's parallel parking skills were well practiced throughout the whole trip. He found a spot a hundred feet away from Schuba's that Twiggy couldn't have squeezed into. Okay, that allusion was from the 1960's. How about, "that Callista Flockheart couldn't have squeezed into." No, still too fucking out of touch. Paris Hilton, or Nicole Ritchie? Too obvious. How about "that a really skinny person couldn't have squeezed into." Don't worry, folks, DNA redeems his metaphoric language in just a minute.

Because time was at a premium, on the sidewalk of a downtown Chicago thoroughfare, at 9 pm at night, at about 18 degrees above Zero, DNA changed out of his "work" clothes and into his "play" clothes. However, this was barely noticed next to the crack whore blowing a guy dressed up like a nun in the alley.

Outside of the club, enjoying a smoke, was Vinnie, former room-mate and continued friend of DNA. He ushered DNA into the club, and back to the venue. One thing DNA noticed by its absence, was smoke. The club, like all venues in Illinois, is smoke-free. DNA has to tell you, at first, a while ago, when it heard a smoking ban would include bars, it was against that draconian measure. But smoke-free bars mean smoke-free hair, smoke-free clothes, and a smoke-free guitar case, and despite what bars lost in ambience, the actual atmosphere was better for it (See? right there folks: smooth, articulate, metaphorically rich prosidy----almost poetic, one might say, if one were flexing his writerly muscles. An English degree (well, two of them, actually) is good for sumthin after all).

From there, it was great to see Vinnie, John D., Annie, Paul, John H., and many other old friends. DNA had time to slug one beer back, and grab another before we were on. It got out its bass, the super queer tribal sun Traben (look on the Basses DNA Has Loved And Lost page to see it).

Immediately, there were problems. There was a ground loop hum in the bass which would not go away. It was loud. It sucked. And, there was no plan "B" for this kind of shit. DNA was willing to wait a minute or two to figure it out, but the MC needed things to move quickly. DNA has to say, none of the other dozen or so bass players there were too quick to fucking help, that's for sure. Thanks. So, DNA fiddled with his shit until the hum was less noticeable. It had the tonal quality of a porcupine fucking a cat. Some people out in the crowd saw me messing around with the amp on stage and probably actually thought that "porcupine fucking a cat" was the sound DNA was going for. As we got squared away to start, as BV brought his hand down for his first strum of his tuned guitar, he broke a string. It looked like kind of an important string to have in one piece, as far as DNA was concerned, but at this point, we already wasted too much time, and were committed. The song started, and before we were past the intro, we pretty much fucked it up. However, we plowed along, had some fun, lost the beat in the middle, but pretty much ended together. About three dudes in the back knew who the Clash were, and seemed appreciative.

Then, BV took a breather, and talked to Tom, the MC, and the crowd a little, and DNA realized that he only looked at Mr. Kamikaze once the whole song. That was not a good sign. We needed to look at each other, so we wouldn't spaz out about the train wreck that just happened, or the next one we were about to engineer.

Unfortunately, DNA had backing vocals for most of the next song, and couldn't spare too many looks back.

"Sing" was silly, goofy, and a lot more fun to sing and play. People seemed to like it, though again, it really wasn't how we practiced it, and we buttsexed the ending.

What happened next, as we quickly grabbed our shit and left the stage, was a moment that everyone in a band has experienced. When you get off stage, you know that some people are gonna say "Dude, that was awesome," but they also say that about mold on cheese, about the size of the log they left in the toilet, and about the amount of snot stuck to their fingers after booger mining. Some band members buy that shit, but there are always those around you who will tell you like it is if you are willing to listen. For us, that was Vinnie and John D. When we walked back to where they were congregated, guitars and drumsticks in hand, their looks said it all: "Guys, it was fun and all to see you up there, but you really kind of sucked. I remember you guys used to be better than that." Annie also was appropriately honest: "You were fun, sloppy, and silly." BV was always the optimist: "That was a blast!" As Mr. Kamikaze walked off stage, he said, "Sorry" to the MC.

Who was right? We all were! We are all so much the sum of our parts. Vinnie and John didn't really care if we were good, but remembered at one time we were. Wouldn't it have been awesome if without practice, and without lubrication (beer) we could have gotten up there and made statues of the Madonna cry? Annie was on target, so was Mr. Kamikaze, and so too, was BV. What did DNA think of the whole thing?

He remembered something he thought was important from a long time ago, when it comes to bands: If we would have wanted to be perfect, we would have replaced ourselves with much better musicians a long time ago. We did what we did, fucked up what we fucked up, and enjoyed every minute of it. Enough people who DNA didn't know and didn't need came up to him afterward said, "I loved what you guys did." They had no reason to say that---they weren't being kind or following the band code to give props to other musicians---they just kind of liked what we did, warts and all.

DNA was still hearing comments an hour later, when the club was shutting down.

So, it turns out, people think dogshit is cool. Who'd a thunk it? Actually, people think being heartfelt is cool. And that, BV, Mr. Kamikaze, and DNA has in spades.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT:

You've heard of the Butterfly Effect, right? Totally awesome movie with Ashton Kutcher? Yeah, DNA knows, that movie doesn't exist. There is, however, a suck ass movie with Ashton Kutcher in it with that title. This, however, is not what DNA is referring to. DNA is referring to the idea of sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

In science, the method is to observe, hypothesize, experiment, report, repeat. Every once in awhile, no matter how tight the control, sometimes things go apeshit. When things go apeshit, and a normally repeatable experiment produces an unpredictable result, most of the time, scientists chalk that shit up to experimental error, or some anomaly. Although science can be described as a means to define universal laws, it does so through a method of averages. You essentially blindly test, and through a process of elimination, "weed" out noisy or unpredictable experiments, and narrow in on only those results which seem to make sense, which fit best approximations.

This is not a bad method. It has gotten us to the moon. It has gotten us inside an atom. But, unfortunately, except for the most obvious of cases, except for the most simplified "versions" of the real world, the method really doesn't work. The philosophy does, clumsily, as any philosophy based on best guesses would work. The problem is that we have few other options to try to figure out the world. Nobody left the instruction manual. Thanks, God.

However, one science, born out of the study of turbulent fluids, and how matter behaves in those regions at which it changes states, (but also in the study of weather, economics, well really, in everything) the study of chaos, comes to a closer approximation of how the world and the universe probably actually works.

DNA isn't preaching to you, and can't write it up well enough anyway. Go read James Gleick's seminal layman's handbook (DNA has been waiting 10 years to be able to write "seminal layman")about chaos called CHAOS. You will digg it. Once you do, you will see chaos in the simplest of systems. In fact, any system with more than two variables will inevitably behave unpredictably. Hence, the Butterfly Effect: A butterfly flaps its wings in China and ultimately causes a hurricane in Florida. Or, a tiny change in initial conditions, something most scientists would tend to ignore or average out, might lead to huge changes down the road. This is why, no matter how advanced our weather prediction equipment gets, once you get more than a week to two weeks out, no one can accurately predict whether you get rain or shine. Even the simplest systems, like a pendulum, or the "random" flipping of a coin will display unpredictable fluctuations.

The problem is that they happen so rarely in our life experience, and that as a species, we are good at lumping things together and ignoring things that don't lump, we tend to forget or not even see the basic chaotic structure of the universe. Yeah, DNA knows, "chaotic structure." Here's and example: All oak trees look like oak trees yet no two are exactly alike. All leaves on all oak trees are identifiable as oak leaves yet no two have exactly the same venous brachiation. How is that shit possible? If you tried to model or map every single variation with a computer, well, you couldn't. It is a ubiquitous, but nontheless hidden complexity that lives right down inside us. It's why we see beauty when something isn't perfect. It's why we "ooh" and "ahhh" over computer graphics when they approximate reality well. We know inherently, that perfection is easy. It's the countless fuck-ups and variations in nature that are mind-blowingly difficult to replicate.

Here is DNA's brush with the butterfly. After the show at Schuba's, Mr. Kamikaze and DNA talked about wanting to play another show. Just talk, really. No big deal. The Hoot Night experience was fun, too, but no big deal either. However, the effect had begun, and within a short while, all the guys in the band had birthed a fucking great idea for a show. It looks like that show will happen in July. More on that in the next few weeks.

Brush number two: The year has barreled by. Before DNA even knew it, March 13th had arrived. On this day, 17 years ago, DNA was still single. The next day, March 14th, he was married. Best decision he ever made. Well, the butterfly moved a while back, and unbeknownst to wifey, DNA bought sumthin' real purty for her. He can't wait until morning.

DNA's definition of the butterfly effect: No way would you have predicted that a moron who stared at this hot punk chick in the cafeteria where he worked (that would be DNA staring at his future wife) would end up marrying her, staying happily married for the next 17 years, and feeling luckier every day. Nor would have DNA predicted that about 13 years after DNA quit playing in bands that he would be in the most successful band he has ever been in, writing more music than he did when he was a kid, and planning the most awesome show ever. Yet, here we are.

Chaos is cool.

APRIL'S SHOWERS BRING MAY'S SUPER DOUBLE KICK ASS ROCK!

In April, we had snow, ice, floods, and 90 degree weather, thunderstorms, high winds, tornado watches, and also some absolutely beautiful Tahiti island days. Yaaayyyyyy! global warming! so, this year, it wasn't just April showers hard at work reminding Hades to release Persephone on the world, letting loose the coiled energy of vernal verdigris...oh, fuck all that....it's Spring! Spring has sprung! And like a junkie who is sprung, Spring is shakin' and bakin,' quakin' and undertakin' (almost).

In keeping with the title of the post, most of DNA's news this month will have to do with musical goings-on. That's novel, isn't it? A music blog focusing on music.

For DNA's own reference, DNA will list the topics he would like cover this month:

1. Music news, including 4, count em, 4 songs now done for the new record, and several more new ones on the way;

2. Music news, including a long overdue primer for you Mac nuts on how to get the most out of Garageband. Considering DNA has recorded about 75 original recordings using ONLY Garageband drums, you'd think he'd have figured it out by now, but just LAST WEEK he discovered a new trick which really improved the sound he was getting;

3. Music news, including the tragic story of MR. Kamikaze, and why he WON'T be playing drums if the DNA Vibrators play out this summer...

4. Music news, including reviews of some bands that if you haven't listened to, you should, because DNA knows what is good for you. These bands include: The Near Death Experience, Unclefucker, The Supersuckers, Moonbuggy Kids, Nonagon, and Polysics;

5. Music news, including, hopefully, the confirmation of a DNA show this summer;

6. DNA's choking incident...yes, that sounds serious;

7. Pictures from the nature hike, along with the end of the first chapter of the story of Suresh (you might remember Suresh from the FREE SURESH campaign DNA was part of a few months back);

8. Various and sundry other shit DNA promised to do last month but didn't :D

DNA is struggling with the title for the new record. DNA has called it "3," even though this will actually be the DNA Vibrator's 6th album, and "De-Mandatory," cuz H.O.G. told DNA a funny story from somebody who used that term as a real word--- but, neither of those are quite right. DNA is leaning towards a title in the same vein as the titles of the previous two records. Here's his first try: "The Inconspicuous Intersection Of The Gross And Sublime." Too pretentious? Probably. It's the word "sublime." Nobody calls his own stuff sublime, unless he is a pretty big douchebag. But hey, if the douchebag fits,....insert it??? Or, maybe DNA could substitute the word "obvious" instead "sublime?" That might work, too.

IT'S A HAPPY SONG:

You know why you hear a thousand songs about being angry to every one song about being happy? DNA could leave you to your own designs, but, fuck it, it's a rhetorical question anyway. The reason is because it is a lot harder to write a song about generally feeling content and happy. The reason it is harder is because a happy song generally doesn't have the dramatic tension that a bad relationship song, or a dirty love song, or a hate your guts song, or poor misunderstood teenager song comes loaded with. It is hard not to make a happy song sound like sissies sucking lollypops wrote it, or make it sound like a greeting card set to muzak.

The Coolies wrote a couple of happy songs, (most notably, "Happy" ) without sounding too much like we wore Power Puff Girls underwear (even though we did). Angst, betrayal, jealousy, lust, these baser emotions still bear lyrical fruit even in the clumsiest of hands.

So, DNA isn't trying to brag, but after writing a kick-ass song about regret and remorse, addiction and loss, it wanted to try its hand at a song about being content. DNA stayed with its plan, and picked a person he knew to use as his template, and literally, in the next 10 minutes, it was done. It took a few more hours after that to finish the tracks, but once the lyrics were done, everything else was secondary.

Without further ado, check out The Simple Pleasures on the music download page.

DNA is already hard at work on the next song, inspired by DEVO

IMPORTANT NEWS!!!

In the last week or so, a local Carbondale girl, a person DNA has known since before she was born, Rosie, was mauled by a dog. She very nearly died, but has survived, and is doing very well. For those interested, please check out Reach Out To Rosie.

A recent article regarding her experience and her recovery is here.

The good folks and Thomas Publishing and the Carbondale Nightlife are also putting on a benefit concert for Rosie, at the Hangar 9 in Carbondale, IL, on Saturday, August 9th. Among the Carbondale music scene luminaries, it will be the honor of the DNA Vibrator and the Hand of God Attachment, and possibly, drum majorette, Taz, to play a few songs and express our love for Rosie and the Gordon family. We hope to see you there. DNA guarantees an unusual musical evening will be had, which will include laughing, crying, gnashing of teeth, funky dancing, children singing, computers, and maybe even robots.

Oh, DNA will probably end up with about 15 songs on the new record, one of which will be a little song for Rosie.

HARD WORK:

You may have noticed, that DNA is not posting as much, nor isn't nearly as funny as he used to be. Others have lamented this to DNA, but DNA says that it's all relative. When it comes to funny, when it comes to frequency, it just depends on your point of view. For example, this is the first internet. If this were the 30th or 40th internet, then you might have a basis for your argument about the incidence of funny or frequency of posts, depending on the behaviors of users of the previous internets. What if the last internet only published stories about slicing people's tongues with paper or getting poked in the eyes with razor blades? See? There is nothing funny about that, ever. What if the last internet only allowed 4 posts for your entire life (they generally were [for guys] 1. First boner story, 2. First time you touched a girl who wasn't related to you story, 3. How you could be the ruler of the universe if you just really wanted to, and 4. Is this all there is? Fuck)? Well, then, DNA has posted lifetimes worth of funny, funny, shit on the internet by those standards.

As DNA has said previously, school and work are really taking a toll on his internet time. But classes for the Ph.D. go well, and work has been hectic, but rewarding. In fact, the only aspect of DNA's life which is like a lodestone is this fucking blog....

Not really. DNA loves it too!

Although school and work have been hard, DNA has also been hard at work preparing for some songs he will play for the Rock out for Rosie benefit. He just finished a remake of "All I Want For Christmas Is A Whole Lotta Cash" which will definitely be on the new record once H.O.G. can work his magic on it. Also, DNA wrote a song just for Rosie, called "The Future Is Rosie," and will hopefully put the finishing touches on a song called "I Got What I Got [and I'm Gonna Get It On]" as well. H.O.G. seems up for the challenge of also doing "Whole Lotta Rosie" by AC/DC, and if we can sneak Spazz, jr. into the club, we'll do a song by the Gorillaz, too.

Like DNA said, Hard Work, but, worth it.

What if this is the 40th version of the internet and we just didn't know it?

By the end of July, DNA's summer therapy sessions led to an explosion of new music. The new record is shaping up to have 15 or 18 songs on it. Several of them might be good. DNA is getting really excited about playing on August 9th up at the Hangar. Expect lots of good photos and video from the event.

SCHOOL'S OUT:

DNA survived a brutal but worthwhile summer class schedule. He has a much better understanding and appreciation for what good teachers do to make lesson plans for their students. Think about that for a second. Every day, every minute of a school child's day is planned for by the teacher, and good ones take advantage of every second they have to get as much learned in ways that inspire their students. That is a heavy charge we give to teachers, and it is amazing that some of them actually meet this challenge or exceed it for their students. My professional hat is off to them.

In last month's blog, DNA spent some time talking about a local Carbondale girl, a person DNA has known since before she was born, Rosie, who was mauled by a dog. She very nearly died, but has survived, and is doing very well. For those interested, please check out Reach Out To Rosie.

She has continued to make great strides, and DNA hopes that you will take a moment or two from your busy life to think about Rosie.

The good folks and Thomas Publishing and the Carbondale Nightlife are also putting on a benefit concert for Rosie, at the Hangar 9 in Carbondale, IL, on Saturday, August 9th. Among the Carbondale music scene luminaries, it will be the honor of the DNA Vibrator, the Hand of God Attachment, Mac Daddy, AMICO, and Carlito, to play a few songs and express our love for Rosie and the Gordon family. We hope to see you there. DNA guarantees an unusual musical evening will be had, which will include laughing, crying, gnashing of teeth, funky dancing, children singing, computers, and maybe even robots.

PRE-SHOW....JITTERS???

Yesterday, as DNA was practicing for the upcoming show, something happened to him which never happens. He got a funny, butterflies in the stomach kind of feeling. He thought maybe his blood sugar was low or something, but then realized, he was experiencing pre-show jitters!!!

Maybe you would expect this to happen, but DNA means it when he says this just doesn't happen to him. Then DNA started to realize why: This is the first time in nearly 25 years that he has played a show without a real live (and really good) drummer. It's a weird feeling. Who can DNA blame for fucking up the song? When the tempo gets all wonky, who will look like the drums are playing him? Will people think they are watching karaoke (to quote George Carlin: as exciting as watching old people fuck)? Will they wonder if we are lip-syncing? What if the computer fucks up? If there is a hiccup in the song cuz the processor gets bogged down? What if the sound guy never gets the mix in the monitor right, and we never hear good drum sound on stage? What if we're a beat off? (drum roll and crash for the old music joke---we're all beat offs :D ).

That has been too much shit to worry about. And, on top of that, DNA has been fighting a cold (and sore throat) for about two weeks, and will probably have to go to the doctor if it doesn't clear up. So, DNA has been babying his throat, and has been worrying way too much about how solid vocally he will be tomorrow.

So, internet confessor, DNA has spilled his guts, and let his cares spew out like eviscerated intestines on the floor. Tomorrow will be weird, there is no doubt. DNA may forget the lyrics. The computer may fuck up. DNA may lose his voice. But there is no doubt that every second will be worth it if it helps bring a few dollars more to the Gordon family.

Ah, DNA feels better now.

THE AFTERMATH:

DNA hates, math, particularly aftermath. Usually. In this case, though, describing what happened at the Rock Out For Rosie Benefit before, during and after is not like math at all.

On Saturday, we introduced three new members of the DNA Vibrators: Mac Daddy, AMICO, and Carlito. Carlito stole the show. DNA thinks we should vote him out of the band.

Click HERE for a video of his debut performance. But give it a moment or two to load, because it is a big file.

In the next couple of days, DNA will have some pictures to add to the blog. In the previous post, DNA discussed the pre-show jitters, the stuff about the show being little more than karaoke, but those nerves faded as H.O.G., DNA and Carlito loaded our gear up to the Hangar. Even though we were there early, there were already a lot of people there. Families. Those of you who know the Hangar, and spent many hours getting looped in those dark confines, think about kids romping through the place like it was a dank-smelling Chuck E. Cheese. It was a little surreal. There were dozens of raffle items, dozens of silent auction and live auction items, there was a web station set up to take credit card donations for Rosie, there was food from Hunan. It was, in a word, terrific.

We showed up early so that we could soundcheck the computer set up. Despite our planning, the sound guy was uninterested/unwilling to accommodate DNA. Now, if you have read this blog for any length of time, you know DNA strongly believes you should treat your sound guy right, because he controls how much you suck, no matter how good you might actually be. So, when the sound guy patronizingly said that he had been doing this for a long time, and if the computer tracks sounded good on the computer, they'll sound good tonight, DNA accepted that although the sound guy was trying to be reassuring in a self-improtant dick kind of way, the sound guy simply didn't realize what a sound check is for. The sound check IS FOR THE MUSICIAN, not the sound guy. It is the musician who needs to know what his stuff sounds like in the club, not vice versa. Any good sound guy already knows what his stuff is capable of.

DNA was not interested in teaching this guy this valuable lesson however, generally because lessons like that are wasted on sound guys who think they know everything about sound, and because being a dick himself wouldn't make the sound check happen anyway. As a rule of thumb, if the sound guy is telling you, "Don't worry about it," what they think they are doing is reassuring you, but what they are actually doing is telling how little they are there to work for you. It so happened that this is exactly how the evening unfolded, too. For example, before we went on, and we were soundchecking the computer, the sound guy said, "So, I'll need mikes for three up front, bass, guitar, computer, and drums?" and DNA said, "No, the drums and all of the other additional tracks are on the computer. This is why I would have liked a sound check, so I could see if the levels were good. I'd like to take whatever time we need so I can hear the drums through the mains." The sound guy patted my shoulder in a way that made me wish my should was covered in poison needles. "Don't worry," he said. "I have done this before. Everything will sound great." DNA wanted to say, "I have done this before....YOU WERE BORN, ya fucking' douchebag!" while he grabbed the patronizing hand and bent it back until it cracked, but instead said, "Okay, thanks alot!" Again, why antagonize the guy who controls sound output? DNa would rather appease the little sonic Napolean rather than draw the battle lines right on the stage. If you do that, you always lose.

This incident, however, was a welcome distraction. DNA was glad to see that some things never change.

Before this happened, the first bands played, and sounded fine, and after DNA bid on a couple of items (a nice guitar donated by Mike of Mike's Music) he left and chilled out at the hotel that he and the fam booked for the night. DNA made his way back to the bar with Carlito and wifey about 10 pm, and realized that everything had moved forward very quickly, and that all of the bands were ahead of schedule. If you're in a band, you know this never happens. Now, here DNA was, ready to axe a couple of songs out of the setlist, when one of the show organizers came up and said, "Hey, everything is running early, so you guys can play more if you want," to which DNA responded, "No, we can't," and then explained that we only had so many songs sequenced.

Well H.O.G. was also nowhere to be found, because he was expecting for us to start at about 11:30, which usually means 12:00, but in this case meant 10:30. See how this aftermath works? It screws you up.

DNA was able to get in touch with H.O.G., and we were ready as the Moonbuggy Kids finished a terrific set. We took our time to set up, went through the sound guy shenanigans described above, and then were ready to go.

AMiCO was excited, and maybe a little nervous, but was A-1 on top of her game, and was ready to press the buttons on Mac Daddy, even when DNA changed he setlist at the last moment. DNA decided that the Beatles medley and "It Could Have Been Worse" were just not going to fit, regardless of what time we had to play. We started with "Plate Tectonic King," which went well, but was way too loud, onstage and out of the mains. But hey, that's what you get when you don't fucking check the computer drums in advance, but what the fuck does DNA know, right?

We prepared the crowd for the karaoke death machine party we were bringing, and even talked everybody through what would happen if the computer fucked up, which it did on our second song, "Well." Mac Daddy is great, but sometimes, it gets bogged down with too many "live" tracks to render on the fly. In the middle of the break in the song, the computer simply stopped. AMiCO was freaked out by the message "Not all of the tracks can be displayed," but kept her cool and clicked "okay" and it started right back up again. H.O.G. and DNA didn't skip a beat. We kept singing and playing, and then amazingly picked back up where the computer left off. Thank goodness it was in the break part, because that part of the song was easiest to pick back up into. This would be the only computer glitch of the night, thankfully, and it actually relieved a lot of tension now that the worst had happened.

The next song was the bomb track by Carlito. He really did steal the show. After we left the stage, a talent scout from LA who happened to be in the audience asked for his contact information, no bullshit. That was weird and cool, and frankly, we (DNA and wifey) weren't sure how to handle that. We respectfully declined at that moment, but are willing to keep our options open. If he's got that kind of talent, he'll still have it next year, y'know? He's only 12. We're thinking we need to let him live like a 12 year old. Well, a 12 year old that hangs out in bars, and rips it up on stage.

The highlights of the evening for DNA included "God Made Us Funky," which sounded really good, and "The Future Is Rosie," which was well received by the crowd, and meant a lot for DNA to sing. DNA has included the rough version of that song on the front page.

After the show, the fam chilled out, went to Denny's for the after show feast, and then made it back up to the Hangar at closing time to catch the last few songs by Jackhead, who rocked. Then, we loaded up the equipment, headed back to the hotel, and DNA and Carlito stayed up and played Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

DNA knows he is reaching the end of the line. He is getting too old for schlepping gear in and out of clubs at 2 am. But, as we were loading gear out, H.O.G. said that he was looking forward to the next time, the next time we could do some of the new stuff with Mr. Kamikaze. DNA would like to see that happen, too.

A BANNER DAY:

Started the Monday after the show and lasted until the Thursday after the show. First, as DNA was walking up to work that Monday morning, some fellow was sitting at the benches in the small garden between our buildings having a smoke. As DNA walked up and acknowledged him and said, "Hello," he said, "Hey, weren't you in CRANK?" This stopped DNA up short, cuz the last time someone said that was probably when DNA was still in the band CRANK, circa 1995. "Yeah," DNA said. "Man, that was a long time ago." The fellow responded, "I remember seeing you guys play. You were good. How's Dave?" At which point, we kind of meandered about in a very nice conversation about how awesome a player Dave is.

Then, throughout the week, many folks, friends and strangers, came up and said that they either dug the show or wished they would have been there. That was cool.

Finally, the 96 hour day ended on Thursday, when the Carbondale Nightlife and the Carbondale Times both did articles which featured the DNA Vibrators. Those articles will shortly appear in the blog and be archived in the article-y part of the website.

A banner day...and a great event for Rosie Gordon.

THE HAND OF GOD ATTACHMENT WAS OTHERWISE OCCUPIED:

Well, this week, DNA had to face the unpleasant truth that other people need the help of the Hand Of God more than DNA does. H.O.G. had to avert a world disaster, and via email, gave me his blessing to rock the fuck out all by myself.

DNA did his best, and though it is a pale reflection of the glory of the H.O.G., since it was done in reverence, it is good. And, more importantly, the record is DONE.

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that DNA has had a hard time titling this record. A new title would come down the pike every week. A couple of weeks back, the "final" title was "The Chimerical Odyssey From Obscurity To Ubiquity of the DNA Vibrators." This is no longer the title.

What, you say? That totally awesome title is no longer the title? What, did you find a string of syllables that were even more inflated and propped up by their self-importance? No, you couldn't, could you?

This is why the title was abandoned. The new title is simpler, more to the point, and more accurate: "From Obscurity To Global Domination In Three EASY Steps"

16 songs. A couple are actually good. They'll be in the mail to CDBaby! this week, and hopefully bringing DNA in the big bucks off of iTunes by the end of January.

How does DNA know that H.O.G. was averting world disaster? Simple. Was there a world disaster today? No? Ergo, H.O.G. averted disaster.

What are the three EASY steps for a band to go from obscurity to global domination? Write DNA with your answer, and if it is right, you will get a FREE copy of the new CD.

THIS THE SEASON:

To make some kick ass rock and roll music. The new record is nearly done. DNA has 16 songs ready to go, but would really like to try to get two more done. He has no deadline, other than his own----the world can spin to hell and back, and DNA won't care. But, he would like to get the record done before the New Year. It is still possible. Everything is possible with the H.O.G. at your side.

DNA thinks that the final title of the record will be "The Unlikely Ascendence From Obscurity To Ubiquity of The DNA Vibrators."

THE LINKS ARE UP:

The new record is done. It is entitled "From Obscurity To Global Domination In Three EASY Steps" by the DNA Vibrators. Earlier, DNA threatened that if the Hand of God attachment was not able to come by the studio, DNA would have to slop through the final overdubs and guitar solos himself because DNA waits for no man. In a later email, H.O.G. reminded DNA that he is no man. Regardless, the recording must go on, and DNA had to do the overdubs and solos by himself. It shows, but, it is also finished. Take a look, and listen, and if you like-y, then buy-y.

Take a moment to make a comment or two on the CD Baby webpage, and look for the record to appear in all the usual online places. And, as always, thank you for listening.

THE BABY WAS DELIVERED WITH NO COMPLICATIONS:

Well, Musicians Friend came through again. The bass DNA had been eyeing for some time, an Ibanez ATK came in. It has the flexibility of a Musicman, the heft and style of an old Precision, and the quality of a bass costing a hell of a lot more than DNA paid for it.

Along with the bass, DNA bought a little 100 watt combo, an Acoustic brand 15 cab. No, it is not the Acoustic brand from the 60's, but it is a well-engineered little cab, with lots of power, great tone, and some nice features to dial in the sound DNA is looking for.

You should come over and check it out sometime. Now, for the first time in a long time, DNA gets to let out some steam at home.

2 comments:

H.O.G. said...

On the cdbaby page for the new record. I have my mouse hovering over the buy button. Judgement day is nigh...

The DNA Vibrator said...

Don't buy it, I'll give you a copy. Or buy it, and I'll give you a copy anyway. I have come to the conclusion that although I like selling my music, I like much more just making it.