Thursday, July 16, 2009

City Slicker Coconuts by Charly "the city mouse" Fasano

My life is full of a lot of coconuts. They are ideas, people, parades, history, songs, poems, social issues, meals and pulp happenstance I can’t break open with my bare hands. They pose the questions: what were they thinking, how did they do that and who do they think they are? "City Slicker Coconuts" is a weekly search and examination through stories and instant photos of life as it happens inside and outside of my coconut.

Click on play on the player and listen to the "City Slicker Coconut" theme tune by woMANgione while you read. We all need a soundtrack!

<a href="">City Slicker Coconuts Theme Song by City Slicker Coconuts</a>

Coconut #1

Ever try to open a coconut? I went to the grocery store and just when I thought I grabbed everything I needed for the week, I saw a pile of coconuts.

“Wow! A fresh coconut that should be swell.”

When I got home I realized that I didn’t know how to break open a coconut. I turned on the television and watched a guy on a re-run of Hawaii 5-0 whack at a coconut with a machete, pop off the top with one even swing and tilt it back for a soothing swallow of coconut milk.

“Oh, shit. That looks easy,” I said to myself, “I don’t even need to put my pants on to do something like that.”

Whoops . . . I don’t have a machete.

I went outside and grabbed a piece of the porch steps that broke off during the flexing temperatures of the Chicago pre-spring thaw.

I took the small but sharp piece of concrete and hacked at the coconut. Through all of my curses, a bloody finger and the violent scene I made in front of the neighbors (and the mail lady), I only made a couple of dents.

I gave up and went inside. While I tended to the small wound on my knuckle, I heard my neighbor walk into his apartment and slam the door. I heard his back-pack hit the floor. He started pacing around and screaming about something. I imagined that he may have been going through the same thing as me. He had his own coconuts to deal with. . .

a man and the last 2 cans in the kitchen

chicken broth and kidney beans

he doesn’t have a can opener

his bare hands and a couple of metal coconuts

he grabs his tools

he’s going to break into dinner with a hammer, screw driver and Kung Fu action grip.

11 minutes of stab and smash

it’s calm now

a pot boils

he stirs kidney beans and chicken flavored water with a plastic spork

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What do ya get when you throw 9 sweaty friends into a van in California?

A fuckin' good time!!!

On the road with some of our most favorite buddies to rock this earth - In The Red (Carpinteria, CA) and Anchor Down (PDX, OR).

From San Jose to Yuba City, to Sacramento to Martinez, and finally San Francisco. Penske moving trucks and vans, farm houses and California's biggest Oak tree, sunrises and bloody marys, Walmarts and ninja shoes, Kevin Seconds and zombie painted alleys, beers all day and whore baths in sprinklers, late night drives and In 'n out Burgers, sleeping bags and snore'chestras, homemade breakfast and "East Bound And Down", to San Francisco Mission burritos and g'byes.
We had one of the best weekends with our friends and I am having one helluva time adjusting back to "normal" life.

These guys have another week and some change on the road and you should definitely check them out. Buy 'em a beer so they can sleep soundly and buy some of their merch so they can fill up their gas tank. They're also on tour with The Bastards of Young (Sacramento, CA) who bring the rock as well. Get down.

Vanesas Jean

7/16/2009 Portland, OR @ Ash st. Saloon
7/17/2009 Seattle, WA @ Squid and Ink
7/18/2009 Bellingham, WA @ The Ground Floor
7/19/2009 Seattle, WA @ The Bit Lounge
7/20/2009 Spokane, WA @ Cretin Hop
7/21/2009 Missoula, MT @ Palace Lounge
7/22/2009 Boise, ID @ Gusto’s
7/23/2009 Salt Lake City, UT @ Taylorsville House
7/24/2009 Colorado Springs, CO @ Triple Nickel Tavern
7/25/2009 Denver, CO @ Thrifty Stick Stage at Denver Post Underground Music Showcase

Anchor Down.

Mike Hale and Kevin Seconds.

Mike, Matt and Lubricated Zine's Pat lovin' on the biggest Oak tree in California

Mike, Vanessa Jean, and Arman sweatin' it out.

Matt Glasgow... the world's tallest drummer.

City Slicker Coconuts by Charly "the city mouse" Fasano

Welcome to the second installment of "City Slicker Coconuts".

Click play on the player below and listen to the "City Slicker Coconuts" theme tune, by our good friends woMANgione while you read.

<a href="">City Slicker Coconuts Theme Song by City Slicker Coconuts</a>

Coconut #2

Writer’s Block

Sometimes I get writer’s block. Folks tell me it’s going around this summer. When this happens to me – which has lately – it feels like I forget how to spell or even hold a pen.

When I get the writer’s block, I want to give the block back to the writer. It’s not mine.

When I get the block I watch hours and hours of television. Out of all the drive-through psychologists, faith healers and fitness gurus nobody has a cure.

I sent a text to jesus and asked him to heal me. He answered, “Writer’s block? What’s writer’s block? I am the Son of God, I’ve never had writer’s block.”

Wadding up paper and snapping pencils in half doesn’t help; neither does wearing black berets, lighting cigarettes with wood matches or writing in public. Never write in public. The first step to recovery is understanding that nobody cares.

Drinking makes things worse. Whiskey won’t cure clap and it won’t take care of writer’s block.

Smoking grass always leaves me covered in crumbs and reading the backs of cereal boxes.

Then all of a sudden, I hear something that sounds like a twig snap inside my head. It's so quiet I can hear new sunlight crawl through the curtains. I can feel the thud of the morning newspapers against door on the block.

Something happens during the nothing and I start writing again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lubricated's New Favorite Band... The Takers

Hailing from NW 4th Street down in Gainesville, Florida, The Takers have one of the few old school country western sounds coming out of a new band these days. There aren't a lot of bands out there doing what these fellas are doing and executing it so well. Not only does their frontman, Devon Vlasin write killer songs, but the six man band ties their sound together delivering a complete package of shit hot southern outlaw rock. Their griddy and smokey songs are drinking anthems for the working folk. It's a bold honky tonk sound that gets your boots tapping and liver salivating for some more whiskey. It's like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson drank a bunch of whiskey together, smoked every hobo cigarette in sight, and gave birth to a fat Southern rock 'n roll baby. I just cannot get enough of these guys and can easily say that I am just as stoked on these dudes as I was when I first heard Drag the River. Hook. Line. And sinker.

We are really excited to be interviewing The Takers frontman, Devon Vlasin for Issue No. 3 of Lubricated. Devon is one of those few people you come across in life when your paths cross you hit the ground running and just know that you're going to be buddies for life... especially boozin' buddies. Devon was kind enough to answer a few questions for me as a teaser as to what's to come in our interview together in Issue No. 3 of Lubricated.

Lubricated Zine: How did The Takers form?
Devon Vlasin: I was playing around town singer/songwriter style and found myself with the opportunity to open up for Willie Heath Neal, a kick ass outlaw country/western swing guy, in October of 2007. I was living with Chad at the time and asked him if he was interested in accompanying me on guitar since he was familiar with my songs and overall what I was about. He suggested that we call up a bass player and a drummer. Our first call was to Jon and he was busy with his other band, Towers of Hanoi, that night. I reached back to recall some late night after parties I spent shooting the breeze with Ronnie about country music, whiskey and women and mentioned in passing that he and I should work on some tunes, so we called him up and he was down. He brought it to our attention that Jerome had started playing bass for Savage Brewtality, and since at the time our only requirement was to have your own gear, we called up our hardcore bassist friend and asked him to play country music. Jake Crown, drummer for Rehasher and Savage Brewtality, said he was into it, so we all headed out to Chad's warehouse and, with Chad's help arranging, I taught them three of my songs and three covers. This was all a day before the show. Later on, but before we had a name, Jake and Jon swapped places. Our dear friend Mike Collins bought a pedal steel and asked if he could sit in with us at practice to get a feel for his new instrument and gradually became a member. It just so happened that we all lived on NW 4th Avenue here in Gainesville. So, I guess you could say we evolved out of convenience, or whoever answered the phone first.

LZ: What's the meaning behind the name, The Takers?
D: I'm not to sure of what other names we were milling around. I think we kicked around quite a few names actually. 'The Taker' is a song written by Kris Kristofferson, but made popular by Waylon Jennings. If you know me at all, you'd know that I'm probably one the biggest Waylon fans around. He is the Godfather of the outlaw movement, and people tend to say that our music lends itself to that genre. As far as music in Gainesville goes, we definitely push against the grain a little. All that being said, it's only fitting. My dad asked me what we are taking, and I said, anything we can get. That might explain the name somewhat too.

Releases: Taker Easy, Curse of A Drunk 7", Austin Lucas with The Takers 7"
Listening Recommendations: throw on this record when you're throwing 'em back all night into the wee morning hours. PBR and Jameson in the night time, and in the morning when ya come to, a man-mosa of PBR and Orange Juice. Get down.

"Taker easy",
Vanessa Jean

all photos by Jana Miller

Monday, July 13, 2009

Suburban Home's 14th Anniversary Weekend

dispatch from our good buddy, Virgil over at Suburban Home...

The following Suburban Home artists have committed to performing: Joey Cape, Jon Snodgrass, Chad Price, maybe Drag the River, Austin Lucas, Two Cow Garage, Mike Hale, Jr. Juggernaut, The Takers, Tim Barry, Ninja Gun, Look Mexico, and the Revenge. We are still working on a few of our acts, but we will be announcing a few more shortly.

Mark the following dates on your calendar:

Thursday, September 10th – Suburban Home Anniversary warm-up show (either in Ft Collins or Colorado Springs)

Friday, September 11th – Suburban Home 14th Anniversary show #1 at 3 Kings Tavern (60 South Broadway)

Saturday, September 12th – Daytime- Garage Sale/Flea Market, Nighttime- Suburban Home 14th Anniversary show #2 at 3 Kings Tavern (60 South Broadway)

Sunday, September 13th – Suburban Home 14th Anniversary BBQ and Washers Tournament at Washington Park

There will also be an art gallery set up in the basement of 3 kings where our good friend Vanessa “Jean” Speckman and some other great artists will be showing their art. Know of a great artist who would like to show their art? Let us know.

And we have a group of hotels reserved for the weekend. Follow this
link to get a room at Towne Place Suites (a Marriott owned hotel) for $59 a night. The rooms are really nice and are only around 8 blocks from where all the shows are being held.

Tickets should go on sale this weekend for the entire weekend, we will post a link tomorrow with ticket information. Out of towners, come on out. Denver is lovely in September and you can see a majority of our bands and drink with your friends through music. It is gonna be a hell of a party.

I'm extremely flattered to be showing some of my artwork out in Denver that weekend in such good company of our friends. I'll be in tow with all new work and am very excited about what I have and will be working on. I'll also have old and new Lubricated goodies with me. Hope to see y'all there!
Stay well friends,
Vanessa Jean