there is nothing to do in your town.

Jacksonville, Florida is possibly the largest city least conducive to social interaction.
there is a sizeable population (782,623 according to the last census), but it is spread out across 782 square miles (jacksonville is the largest city by land mass in the lower 48). there are archaic liquor laws, some of the most absurd zoning codes, and worst of all...a whole lot of apathy. so what you get is a bunch of cranky people who are all cranky because they have to drive 45 minutes to get a drink and have a dance with their friends. no wonder they are all so cranky.
the deck is stacked against us.

So when i was told a few months ago about some fine folks in Jacksonville mounting a music festival with a respectable line up and some grand intentions...i was excited. I am no fool, i know that this festival isn't single-handedly going to turn Actionville from an ironic nickname a nick name. Our problems are bigger than dance music and liquor laws. Still, it would seem like a glorious event that most everyone in Jacksonville could get behind...sadly...people manage to greet it with apathy. i have actually heard some say, "tallyrand, oh, that MUSIC festival? yeah, like anyone is going to come to that". So i am at a loss. How snotty and trite can you be? do you WANT your town to be boring? Do you want things to fail? That wasn't even a clever just made you sound like a bad guy in an 80's teen comedy.

I know that it seems that i am pounding my hometown, but Jacksonville just happens to be the city stuck in a rut that i know the best. it is just a case study for a question i am posing to anyone who has ever said, wrote, or thought, "nothing ever happens in (insert the name of your town here)". What are you waiting for?

I have had the distinct good fortune of eeking out a living by traveling around the country and playing shows in people's towns; bustling, shitty, or otherwise. The one consistent trait of every town with something happening: there are people MAKING something happen. These are not towns like L.A. and New York, in fact, the sooner that little towns stop dreaming about being those towns, the better off we will be. i am talking about Denton, Pensacola, Portland (maine), Richmond, El Dorado (Arkansas…not the lost city of gold), Muncie, Shreveport, Ypsilanti, Tucson, Minneapolis, Missoula, Johnson City, Sarasota, and Baton Rouge...these towns range from mid-range cities to not much bigger than a rest stop. But they all have one thing in common, they all have people who are making things happen and people who are supporting those things. From basements to backyards, from diners to dive bars, determined people want stuff to do, so they make stuff up. In El Dorado, Arkansas there are a bunch of folks ranging in age from 20s to 60s who all like music, art, and booze. they felt like there wasn't enough in their jerk water burg so they set aside their differences in age and hair style and started putting things together. If you think your town has Footloose-esque problems with the religious right...then you have never been to El Dorado! And they still make do.
Minneapolis is 47th in population, (well behind Jacksonville {#12} and just above Arlington, TX {#49}), it is emersed in "freeze your eyelids closed" cold for about 8 months out of the year, and it is so middle america that is about equally, impossibly far from both New York & L.A.. Even with all these things going against it, there is an almost never ending supply of art shows, live shows, house parties, and rad bars to go to in that town. It is all locally owned, locally supported, and as diverse as an Armour Hot Dogs Jingle!

The absurd thing is, there ARE people in your town making stuff up...i promise. They are just none of your lazy friends. Chances are, while you are sitting at home and playing minesweeper with "best week ever" on in the background, there are kids out there who are not as hip as you (maybe one of them is white and has dreadlocks (sigh), maybe the only "Archers of Loaf" song they know is "web in front", maybe they like Dane Cook) and they are having a whole lot more fun than you. Or maybe they are WAY more hip than you, (they get dressed up in the most outrageous bapsters and they are drinking sophia coppala's canned champagne while dancing to an new boys noize remix of a flosstradamus mash up of justice with blondie {who is actually covering the nerves}) still...those people are having more fun then you.

With the popular resurgence in dance music that is going on, i can promise there is some super hip faux-rich art kid dance night going on near you. And with the never ending popular love affair with alcohol, there is some bar near you packed with rednecks or frat guys or airline pilots or drug dealers or all of the above or none of the above...but it is packed...and the beer is cold. So that is the worst case scenario...unless you live in a town like Pecos, TX where the biggest, nicest building in the city is the funeral home...chances don't.

So, if those are your options, you can either dive into a less than perfect situation and make the most of it, or say "fuck it" and scrape together 50 friends to start your own something or other, or you can move. so...if that is the boat you are in...shit or get off the pot. stop bitching.

"if the terminator is elected governor, i am moving to europe" -sole
he did.

However, chances are...that isn't even the boat you are in. Getting back to our case study, there is something going on EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in Jacksonville. Between live shows at Jackrabbits & Freebirds and Fancy Dance nights at TSI (they are starting to get GREAT live shows now as well: Dan Deacon), The Ocean Club (you should NEVER miss the art show that Joe Van Dyke throws at that club once a month), and The Pearl; you have specific good times covered. Plus you can get a general mishmash of hair brained ideas at The Eclipse (did you know that bar has been open for like 450 years? And they just let 3 of my friends do goth covers of their own songs?) and Fuel (i heard they have beer pong tournaments there). and for my money's worth...if you are ever looking for something to do in JAX at should go to Shantytown in Springfield. That is the best spot for anything in this city, and one of the best bars i have ever been to. Folding chairs and tables, plus the best djs (real djs, with records, and beat matching) plus the $5 shantytown combo: A Pabst, A Slim Jim, and Big Pickle? i mean...that is astounding. UN-FUCK-WIT-ABLE.
and Jacksonville's strongest quality, the dive bar, is in no short supply either:
Between ginger's (best karaoke in town) and mango's at the beach, wall street in riverside, and the london bridge downtown.
on top of ALL OF THAT, you have spots like "the pit" (fucking "LIGHTNING BOLT" played there) that no one but a very set group of kids (dirt punx) even know about.

so there you go Jacksonville, you can't tell me you don't have options, and now you have a rather sizable music festival with a rather good, rather diverse line up of local, regional, and national acts from every possible genre, right in the heart of your city.
you are running out of excuses.

If all the stuff I listed doesn’t suit you…then make something else that does…or stop complaining. I don’t want anymore complaining.
Or move…get the fuck out of my city. Go be someone else’s problem.

Which brings me to my point, chances are, your city is A LOT like Jacksonville. It isn’t a cultural epicenter, but there is most likely A LOT more going on than you know about. Because, lets be honest, if you have read this far, you don’t have much to do, and you certainly are not taking the time to create your own fun! In fact, you are spending WAY too much time in your own home reading myspace bulletins from some rapper because you are too scared to go to a place you have never been (and not know the right dance steps) or you are too chicken shit to try and create something on your own because you may fail horribly at it. Trust me, failure ain’t that bad. Try being a indie-emo-artsy-country-rapper-punk.

So call your friends, tell them to call their friends, and go take over some douche bag dance night. Or start a bowling league. Or come to some of this shit that I do:

SEP 20th JACKSONVILLE, FL ACTIONVILLE (astronautalis dj set @eclipse)

Just stop expecting the world to invite you to its birthday party.
Just stop bitching.

And for real…if you live within hitchhiking distance of Fort Worth, Texas you should come to “The Wall of Sound Music Fest” This weekend. Or you live within wake boarding distance of Jacksonville, you should come to Talleyrand fest in November. They are both great examples of Local people doing good for their city…I just hope their respective cities are not so fucking jaded that they miss out on the fun.

As a final note, I would like to doff my cap to all the fine folks in all the marginal towns who have made the best of their situation by making something happen. And I would like to twirl my moustache and raise my glass to all the good people in great towns who still saw room for improvement and went out of their way to make changes for the better. You people are the American dream, and you would be nothing without the people who support your dj night or read your blog or eat your vegan hot dogs.
Keep up the good work.


posted by astronautalis  # Thursday, September 20, 2007

what will you do when your suntan fades?

the summer is over, school is back in session, and Universal Studios "Back to the Future Ride" is officially closed for good.

i know...i know...
it seems like nothing but bad news everywhere you turn...but let me tell you somethings:
1. the back to the future ride sucked (it was WAY better than the jaws ride...but that ain't sayin much).
2. the tshirt of the month club starts today
3. summerbreak may be over and done...but spring break is forver!

oh...what is that you say?
"what is the t-shirt of the month club?"
oh ho ho...i haven't told you about that?
well listen up buddy...i got a doozy for you!

pluto may be out of the big 9 (check out the boring song aesop rock just wrote about it) but the original 9 planets must have truly aligned in the shape of a peace sign when my manager (harpoon larry) and the fine folks at armhole in dallas cme up with the brilliant idea of the "t-shirt of the month club"!

Starting today, we will be churning out a new tshirt design every month until the day that we die (or we run out of good ideas...which ever comes first) for you fine folks to rock! each design will only be made into 48 shirts and never screened again, so if you see something you want, you better pre-order that shit from this here site, because you won't see these at shows. these shirts will go fast! here is how it works:

1. we announce a new design at the beginning of the month.
2. we take pre-orders all month long till we run out of the 48.
3. once all 48 are spoken for, we submit the order to armhole, they print them.
4. we ship the shirts to you.
5. now you a got a cool new shirt.
6. fuzz yeah!

so...if you want to reserve one of these fine gots to buy it asap!
pick the size you want (the shirts are hanes 50/50 tees) and click on the "add to cart" button
on the myspace page and follow the nice instructions laid out to you by the fine folks at paypal. then sit by your mailbox for a month and cry till it arrives in a discreet brown package.
don't wait for it to show up at shows. don't myspace me and ask for me to hold one for you.
scrape together $10 (plus $2 for S/H) and a paypal account (or a major credit/debit card) and buy you one dang it!
how about them apples?

i am pretty damn pumped about this idea.
expect these shirts to range from classy to trashy...i got ideas up my sleeve that i can't wait to drop on you! get ready y'all. i have already gotten pre-orders in the afternoon between the time i posted the picture of the shirt to the time before i could even post this blog i posted this blog. so act fast...cause once they are gone...they are gone.

as if that ain't enough good news:
I am coming out to Fort Worth, Texas on September 22nd to play two shows in one day! One at the Wall of Sound Festival during the day! (if you don't know about this...then you are a damn fool! such an amazing will make you puke blood! a good way). Then...after that is all said and done...i am playing the official Wall of Sound After Party with Car Stereo (Wars)!!! if you don't know about Car Stereo (Wars) you need to check out his hot new mashup record "The Bandit" on Artifact Workshop Records. it is a one cd of concentrated party...i listened to it over and over when i helped a friend move and it made me forget that i was moving stuff! i thought i was riding in the back of a hot pink corvette convertible full of babes! you should expect the same from our show together after Wall of Sound at the Wreck Room in Fort Worth. (which is free to get into with your wall of sound ticket or $10 for you festival haters).

on top of all of that...I have another hot lil' mini tour coming your way in october...with more dates to come that should take me all the way up into new england! get ready yanks! spring break is coming to you!
i think i have more good news to tell you but i can't think of it right.= now because monday night football is on and i have a soft spot for the ocho cinco!



posted by astronautalis  # Tuesday, September 11, 2007


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