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August 21, 2007

Counting down the days

Yes, we're still technically homeless. We don't feel comfortable getting a place based on pictures alone because you never know what you're really in for (check out, for instance, Collin's myspace versus what he looks like in real life).

So we're staying at the UCLA Guest House for 5 nights when we get there and hopefully in that time will find another place to live.

Weili Lin, the owner of the house in the Pacific Palisades, really did flake out on me. She told me I was approved for the house. Then when I just asked one clarifying question about the lease, she wouldn't answer me. The I wrote and said regardless, I'd be signing the lease, and she wrote and said, "Oh great!"

So I spent $20 on getting a certified check and sent it and the signed lease back to her. Then I said nothing more and THEN she comes back and says no rental (because I dared to ask a question about the lease!).

But, when she sent the lease to us it wasn't signed. I'm really perturbed though, but it's probably a blessing. When I wrote her back and tried to call her to tell her that we lived on the East Coast and she was really putting us in a horribly difficult situation, she wouldn't answer the phone or reply to my emails.

Then when I finally threw in the towel and told her yes, we agree, renting from her wouldn't be the best idea, she writes back IMMEDIATELY to say she got the lease and is mailing it and the check back. Weili Lin plays strange mind games!

Weili Lin would not make a good landlord, and it would have been miserable living in a house owned by her anyway.

So yes, she has left us homeless for the time being.

Things are so surreal, saying goodbye to people, and watching Darby and the kids having to do the same thing. It's really difficult, packing up a house we love, leaving people we love, putting a band I love on hold... spending a ton of money, changing life dramatically for Darby and the kids. Sometimes you have to wonder, is it worth it? But you have to take the chances that come your way, and if you fail, you fail. But at least you tried.

Posted by jason on 10:19 AM | Comments (8)

August 15, 2007

Homeless in LA

Wow. Just wow.

As I shared, we found a home in the Pacific Palisades. We applied for it, got approved. She sent the lease.

When I read it, it had some terms I hadn't seen before. For instance, it said that we had to pay for any repair under $150. That seemed odd to me, because it wasn't our house and if we didn't break it, it didn't seem like we should have to fix it. I politely emailed the owner just asking for clarification. (It was written in legalese, and I thought it might have gotten me confused).

She never wrote back. Finally, as a day went back I thought knowing where we were going to live and having that settled is more important, so we just signed the lease, sent a check for the deposit and last month's rent, and thought it was done. I emailed the owner to let her know we had signed it. She responded that was good, she thought we were going to back out over the $150 clause.

Then, 2 days later she said actually she didn't want to rent the house to us. She would return the signed lease and check. It was because I had questioned the lease.

Argh! Now we're flying out on 8/29... and we have no where to live.

Posted by jason on 01:23 PM | Comments (7)

August 08, 2007

The Best Live Bands Out There

I had the great pleasure of seeing the band Muse last night in NYC, at Madison Square Garden. If you ever have the chance to see them, do it. In fact, make that chance. It's worth it. They will blow you away. This tour in particular they have really increased the visual aspect of their concert. The lights and the video are just fantastic. Not at the level of a "zoo tv," but aspiring towards that.

Plus, the lead singer/guitarist/pianist/most freakishly talent man in the universe Matt Bellamy played the Grand Piano for about 4-5 songs and then acoustic numbers on the guitar for another 2. Best show I've seen by them (and this was the 6th one.)

(They're playing this Friday at Penn's Landing in Philly).

It made me think, what other bands can really blow me away live?

I can think of 3 others right now.

U2 – I used to say they were the definite top, but I have to say they have some very strong competition now. So this list is in "no particular order." Every time I see U2, I cannot believe the music they are able to make, and the passion they are able to summon. They are constantly re-inventing their live show, but musically and visually. I've seen every one of their tours since the Joshua Tree, and I'll keep doing that until they break up or stop releasing albums.

Boy Sets Fire – Well, you've missed out if you haven't seen them (though we'll have some awesome DVDs for you to watch...), but I had an even deeper respect for their show after following their tour in Europe. These guys bring it every night, each with their own personalities. There aren't many bands who could capture my attention for 10+ straight nights. They did it. Nathan is just an excellent showman. And honestly, I've probably never seen a more devoted, crazy obsessed crowd. One other nice thing about BSF that is unique, they let just about anybody hang out on the stage with them. Seriously, at their last show at the Troc, there must have been 50 people on the stage. It was like the old time gospel hour meeting time.

Barenaked Ladies I know they are kind of "not as hot" anymore, but I have to give credit where it's due. These guys are so creative, making up songs spontaneously at the moment, rapping, singing, covering songs, telling stories, doing dances. There is a thrill of "what's coming next" at a barenaked ladies show, because it's never the same from one night to the next. They'll change a lyric, they'll compose a new song about something ridiculous. And they are very good at doing it too. I think they got dropped from their major label, and you probably haven't bought one of their albums since "One Week," but I know you'd enjoy their live show.

So, what are your top 4? And what bands didn't impress you, even though you thought you'd like them? I have to say I actually have liked most bands I've seen live. Whether it's Thrice, Ned's Automic Dustbin, One Win Choice, the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Tori Amos, REM, Ben Folds, the Fray... over the years I've seen a lot of concerts and really enjoyed most of them. But back in college I was obsessed with Live, and saw them – really looking forward to it – and for one reason or another, even though technically they were incredible, I just didn't enjoy it. And I listened to their albums less and less after that.

Posted by jason on 12:17 AM | Comments (6)

August 02, 2007

The brilliant plan works

Many of you may remember the way we decided to deal with the serious problem of bandwidth leeching, which we personally thought was quite clever and hilarious.

Well, the seed has grown and born fruit.

I guess you can consider this a fan letter or perhaps more along the lines of keep doing what you're doing.

Someone sent me a link to a picture of a squirrel and somehow I got a picture of your album cover and gave the address to your website. I was curious and went to your website and read the lyrics. The lyrics to Simpler Than It Seems describes how I feel perfectly to my boyfriend. I'm glad to know that you guys are so humble and you create your music for yourselves and in the end hope that other people will like it. I listened to the songs and you all are talented musicians. I plan on buying this CD and hopefully seeing you guys in concert.


Good luck with everything,
Michelle Ferrigno

Score one for the Look Machine.

Posted by jason on 10:58 AM | Comments (6)