Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Filthy Mittens, indeed!
You're looking at the Look Machine's new public enemy #1



This is filthymittens, who will go down in history for giving the Look Machine their first negative review.

And I quote:

Doesn't grab me
This song is okay but something about it just doesn't make it stand out. The guitar playing is good. I can't quite place the mood. The vocals sound sort of like Dennis DeYoung.


Well, at least Ian and Collin finally got their shoutouts ("The guitar playing is good."). . . but overall this is a terrible review! It didn't stand out? Huh. . . Oh well. . . Did he even listen to it? Didn't grab you? Well, maybe we didn't want it to grab you! I mean, how did you mittens get so filthy in the first place? Not everybody in the world is dying to grab you, filthy mittens!

Sorry the rant is over.

I didn't even have a clue about who Dennis DeYoung was, so I looked it up -- he said that I sounded like the vocalist from Styx, weird?

filthymittens, your days are numbered!! Do you not know that we are "HOT" on Amazon.com!? Do you know who you are messing with? WE ARE THE LOOK MACHINE!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

We're Hot
I'm not exactly sure what it means, but if you look at our song on Amazon it says that we're hot, below is a shot of what it looks like:


I'm guessing that means that some of our loyal fans have gone and downloaded it -- thanks!!!!

Now if someone could write an unbiased but positive review. ..

The Infirmary
Collin has Mono, and now I have Pneumonia! We had to cancel our show tonight at Eastern College, which totally stinks. Here is a note that Ian sent to the band today:

Hey,
I just wanted to let you all know I am booking us a show. It's going to be tomorrow night in the intensive care unit at Christiana hospital. They aren't paying us but you will all get free treatment and I'll get as much jello as I can eat. Have a good day and get better soon.

Ian

Monday, March 29, 2004

Another review from Garageband.com
It's taking forever, but finally got another review (at this rate, we'll get all 20 by 2007). . .

Cool
Beginning is nice. Drums sound very good. Vocals are clear which is good. Good hook in the chorus. Pretty good production, but maybe bring the electric guitar up a little more in the chorus with a little less acoustic guitar. I don't know who this sounds like. This is solid musically. Could use some back-up, harmony in chorus on the vocals.
Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Drums, Beat.


Good review, and I agree that it could use a harmony on the chorus. One nice thing is that when you do a review, you can optionally give a song extra credit for something you think is especially good. .. and this reviewer gave David and me some love!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Garageband.com Review
Finally got the first review. . .

cool
Really poppy. Liked the vox a lot. The music (drums bass guitar) were really good also, really driving. I don't know how I'd classify your sound, pretty original I guess... at least to me. Good luck


Not bad, huh?

Friday, March 26, 2004

Rockstar Fund
So I've decided that in order to support my rockstar lifestyle I will become a panhandler, a beggar, maybe even a grifter at some point. But I thought to my self "there's already a very large number of people on the street asking total strangers for money so why would these total strangers chose to give their money to me?". At that point I decided I needed an edge, instead of being a beggar I'll be an "Online Donation Collection Agent" and this is what I want to talk to you kind people about.

Being a rockstar isn't all hotel parties and posh recording studios, everyday rockstars make personal sacrifices in order to provide you the people with premium rock 'n roll. These sacrifices often involve the finances of us the rockstars. So today I am asking you to help keep rock music alive by making a one time donation of $15. I pledge to you that your $15 will go directly into my bank account to help pay for such things as cable television, dinners out with my girlfriend, movie rentals, and many more worthy causes. Ultimately your donation may at some time indirectly benefit the Look Machine and keep us making quality music.

When you make your donation of just $15 using PayPal, you will receive free of charge, a hand written set list from an actual tLM band practice.

So please do the right thing and
click here to support a rockstar in need.


Thank you,
Isaiah

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Online Promotion
So we're trying to learn what it takes to promote a band online, and take advantage of that. Today I uploaded Fanatic to Garageband.com -- you can see our site there here.

Has this ever worked for anyone? Seems kind of cool how you review other bands' songs and have your songs reviewed as well. There are just so many bands out there though, it can get to be overwhelming.

I also uploaded a song onto Amazon.com's free download page, but it's yet to show up at all? I can't understand that one. Oh well.

I'm not even sure that these sites help, but should at least give them a shot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Lay off Update
Heard a reliable rumor today that nearly 1/2 of the people in my area are getting laid off. Now the other company's team is about 8 times as large as ours, so most of those cuts will come from them. . .

This is really horrible news when you think about it. Corporate America needs an ethics check. It's not like either company isn't already making hoards of cash. These are people who have families and have worked to have jobs, and now they're being made redundant.

Other than the need to pursue a personal dream, this is one of the main reasons I need to get out of here. People in the top positions in this company have very poor priorities. There are a lot of good people throughout the company, but near the top $$$s start outweighing right and wrong. Why? Don't they have enough already?

But on the upside, maybe I can be one of those 55 people, and my sacrifice will save someone else their job. Plus, of course I'll get a severance package.

If they lay off someone who wants their job, and leave me who wants to leave, I will be very upset.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Lay me off
I work at a worldwide financial institute (to remain nameless), but I've saved up money so that I can quit and work on the other things I'm dying to do. Like, be in a band. And go to film school (or at least make films).

So I was going to quit -- first in August of last year. But then my manager got pregnant (not by me!) and I didn't want to leave while she was out on maternity leave. Then I decided on December. But my manager talked me out of that, wanted me to stay until March. So ok, I like her alot and I want to make things easier for her. So then the date was March 1.

Then my company announced that they are merging with another worldwide financial institute. (Worldwide companies do this far too often.) And then they had a hiring freeze, so if I were to leave, I couldn't be replaced by anyone, leaving my team to do all the work that I do.

So I could just leave anyway, but I like the people I work with. And then they announced that they'd be laying off a bunch of people through this merger. (In a purely Orwellian sense, in meetings where the merger is discussed, whenever they are talking about putting teams together and being able to eliminate certain people, it's called "Headcount Upside" . . . makes me kind of sick.)

I'm on a small team -- at the most they'll layoff 1-2 people on our team, if I were to leave before the layoffs, they wouldn't take that into consideration, and might still cut 1-2 people. So now I'm staying around so I can be laid off instead of someone who actually wants the job.

Plus, getting 3 months of pay when I was going to quit anyway would be kind of nice.

But it's starting to look like I'm NOT going to get laid off. In perfect corporate executive ignorance, they are making all of their secret layoff decisions without consulting anyone who would know the best way to do it (like they did last time).

And I just know that some random person on my team is going to get laid off, and they are gonig to make me quit. I just know it.

Please lay me off!!!! This is my new mantra.

The Rock Show
Moments in Grace, Vaux (NOT Vox as previously spelled), Poison the Well and Thrice were all pretty great. Thrice was the best, and unfortunately PTW's vocalist was kind of losing his voice. But all in all it was a great show.

Couple of observations:

1.) When in the world did a word for having sexual relations with your mother become a common adjective? Yes, I'm talking about motherf_cker. . . I know it no doubt started as an insult. Really that's a pretty horrible thing to call someone -- think about what it really means. Think about YOUR mom, think about . .. well you get the picture.

But now it's just thrown around just when you want to put emphasis on something. The vocalist from Vaux said today was "His motherf_cking birthday." Now I don't think he meant that his mom was waiting backstage for him with her special present (at least I hope not). So I think what he meant was "it's really my birthday, isn't that crazy?" or "isn't that great?" or something like that.

But if you look at the word he said, he said it was the day of his birth, upon which he was planning on having sex with his mom?! I mean, what if he had said "It's my sister-raping birthday" or "It's my dog-screwing birthday." It's just strange how that word has lost it's original meaning and now it basically means "the word which I will say to show I'm cool and I'll just throw it in any phrase and you cheer when I say it because we're all cool."

2.) Collin and I decided to move up front for Thrice. Honestly, I haven't seen a rock show from the hot sweaty pit in a LONG time. No room to move at all, no use trying to control things. At times we would just let ourselves go and get moved along like Jellyfish, so packed in tightly that we couldn't fall over. It's kind of cool with the music, like you're not only hearing it, you're feeling it shove you around.

And it's strange, because here in America personal space means so much to us, but at this moment and at this place everyone is pretty much surrending their right to it. Is this a subculture's way of saying we don't subscribe to the social mores? A way for a group of people who maybe don't get a whole lot of affection to get their dose of human contact? Or is it the fact that the TLA shoved 2K people into a place that looks like it should fit 500? Someone should do a study.

Also weird, by riding the wave of people and turning sideways at the right time to get pushed through another line, but the end of the set, we were all the way up to the barricade without even walking towards the front at all. It was all just getting shoved.

The strangest thing of all, though, has to be in between songs when the music stops. It's one thing to be packed up against a group of (mostly) guys, all host and sweaty and close, when music is playing. But then when the music stops you're just kind of packed up against them close, and the context is gone and you just realize, my goodness I haven't been this close to another human being in a long time. . . and you can tell that they kind of realize it at the same time, and everyone tries to wriggle back to a place of personal space. Until the next song starts.

3.) Is there anything sadder then watching a mosher who clearly doesn't know the music? So it's a slow part building up to a fast part and he starts his fast music twirling too soon because he thought it would break into the fast part a measure to soon, and then he has to stop and look around sheepishly? Or the fast part sneaks up on him so he's doing his sway back and forth and isn't ready for the fast part and then has to make up for lost time and pray noone say how stupid he looked doing the sway when he should have done the fast twirl.

In my day, moshers didn't kick and push blindly. I don't like this new trend.

Friday, March 19, 2004

David Rees
Maybe it's because I'm just getting out of 5 long years smack dab in the middle of corporate America, but I find David Rees' book My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS.

He captures so perfectly the utterly soul-less randomness that permeates Corporate America and seeps into the heart of it's workers. The mind numbing change of direction that comes weekly from the EXECUTIVES. The boring meetings. The inner thoughts. The sad pathetic pride that certain people take in some sad pathetic process. The arguments about things that normal people wouldn't even understand, much less care about. It's all here.

I can't recommend it highly enough. David Rees is a genius in my opinion, and I don't bestow that title easily (if anybody cares). Get Your War On is really great political satire too.

Note: For those of you likely to be offended, the language is atrocious. .. so you can pass on it.

Thrice, Poison the Well and Vox
Collin and I are going to see them at the TLA in Philly. Should be fun, I think we'll be able to get backstage, which is cool.

Polaroid Transfer Photography
When my wife and I were in Soho, we saw a street artist (I think she was Russian or Latvian or something and her name was Anais) with a table full of beautiful portraits. They kind of looked like photographs, but then they had the look of a water color painting at the same time. As it turns out, they were the result of a process that I had never heard of before -- the Polaroid Transfer.

I fell in love with the look of the portraits, and upon arriving home I've done a google search and learned how to do it myself. I've ordered the photo pan, the watercolor paper, the film, the rollers (I already have a polaroid back for my Mamiya 645 medium format camera) and they've all arrive -- I'm just waiting on some books from Amazon (darn that free super saver shipping, I can never pass it up and then I end up waiting so long) now before I start, because the film is too expensive to just start blindly experimenting.

I'll post some of the results here.

iPod mini
Ever since I heard of the mini, my rational side said, "that's only a thousand songs for $50 less." And I had written it off for me -- I currently have 3000+ songs on my iPod.

But then I saw it at the Apple store. And held it. And now I can't stop thinking about it. It's so small and light, and the surface material cannot be discounted.

I had been warned that this was the case, but thought I wouldn't be susceptible. Now I want one, and since I have $175 in Amazon gift certificates from my Amazon.com Visa card (credits I should be using for sensible things like books and software and music) it's very tempting. But still, I know it's going to fall in price while it raises it's capacity, so I'll just resist the siren's call for awhile longer. .. I hope.

Wind-Up Records
We were fortunate enough to be able to personally give our demo to a SVP at Wind-Up Records. I'd like to pretend I'm all cool and I don't care whether he likes it or not, but honestly it will be tough if we don't hear back in a positive sense.

Then again, it's almost too good to be true to think that he would like us enough to sign us. To be able to make music as a full-time job, if that's not a dream I don't know what is. I mean really. Wow.

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

New York City
After walking around Soho and the village over the weekend, I am now bitten by this insatiable desire to somehow live there, and be a part of that life. Something very cool about that area, about that life. And very expensive.

Oh man, why can't anybody with the desire rent a working space in some prewar renovated building, along with a brilliant exposed brick wall living space, and make music and art and read intelligent books. Why does it have to cost so much to be an anti-capitalist intellectual? And how in the world does the National Socialist Party have a whole floor in Soho??? Not even the Gap could afford a whole floor.

I really could see the Look Machine in NYC, playing every night at some cool venue where people appreciated music, pretending like we don't care if we ever get signed, don't care if we ever become rock stars.