Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings


Well, this one wasn't exactly our most visually glamorous show but it was a historic one for us nonetheless. We've been interviewed on the radio before but we've never performed LIVE. In fact, I've never done it with any of my bands so this was truly a first. We got there with about an hour and a half to spare before show time. The crew wasn't even there yet. I think the two non-crew peeps that were there were shocked to see us. But you know what? After the tech guys showed up, they noticed a bunch of technical problems. So if we coulda all been there that early, we might've gone on at 8. Instead we wound up starting a half-hour late. And that was only after Mike jumped in on the whole system and switched the suck button off. Still, with all the technical problems, the drums and my amp didn't get mic'ed quite right. But who cares? It was a laid back atmosphere and vibe. And it's college radio. It doesn't have to be Westwood One or anything.

When we finally got the word to start off, I was actually surprised. That's why if you download the show and listen to it, it starts with "We are on!" We never did come up with a set list but "Into My View" turned out to be a good icebreaker. It was performed just about perfectly. I hit all the notes and it felt good. Then I did my college DJ imitation for our first bit of banter. I thought it was mildly amusing but I didn't know if anyone would get it. Apparently, they did. Jonathan (see him in the pics below to my right) seemed to get a kick out of it. And he figured in the show after "Phony" also. When the solo finished, he shouted something like "I thought they outlawed guitar solos like that in Athens." You couldn't hear him through the uni-directional mics but you could can certainly hear Frank's and my ad libbed response.

Next up, we pulled out "Scared Of Myself." It's been going over well lately and we figured, why not? It would add a little diversity to the set. I wound up dedicating it to Jenny in South Carolina. She just picked up a copy of our album a week or so ago but she told me that she downloaded the demo of "Scared Of Myself" from here and it was one of her favorites. That gave me an excuse to do a shout out. Strangely, "Scared Of Myself" was slightly off for me tonight. Right at the beginning of the solo (just like our last Atlanta show), I forgot it completely. Last time, I went on autopilot and hit it from muscle memory. Tonight, I panicked a little more 'cause we were on the air. See if you can pick out my brief mindtrip when listening to it.

To throw me off a little further, I got the 10 minute warning from the control room. Now, I ain't crazy. I knew exactly how much time we should've had and it was 'sposed to be 15. But the station needed to make up for some lost time and try to get back on the hour. Since that was the case, we decided to hit up "Towel Cape Song" and "Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something." "Towel Cape" was alright but I blew "Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something" tonight. I can blame Amanda, too, so I will. Since the environment was SO laid back, I actually forgot for a bit that we were actually performing - not to mention doing it live on the radio. For some reason, Amanda decided to grab some yarn and make it dance around in front of me. I couldn't figure out what the heck that was about but after a few minutes it became comical. Before you know it, I forgot the lyrics. So the last verse is just jumbled up repeats of other verses. The guys played great but, hey, that just won't cut it. That's why I didn't put it here for download. Plus, that song's already available with this lineup on the video page.

My favorite quote of the day came from Frank when we were saying our goodbyes. I won't explain the quote as you can download it down below and hear for yourself but the quote was "We've evolved far beyond your mere feelings." Were truer words ever spoken? Perhaps - but who am I to say. The strange thing is that it's not even my favorite quote of the day. Mike had that - but it didn't happen at the show so you'll have to read my diary listing for today to get that one...

After we finished that, I did a minor beg for another five minutes. I just got the yen to do something blasphemous for college radio...especially alt-capitol of the world college radio in Athens, GA. So yeah - we did it. We ended our first live broadcast with our ridiculously inappropriate cover of KISS' "Deuce." I enjoyed it. The monotonous A-chord power bashing, windmilling finale was especially comincal to me. Thankfully, we're in on the joke. I saw the DJ's and tech people from the corner of my eye. They seemed to get a kick out it too. 'Twas a good time. I'm glad it was immortalized for us all.

Enjoy ye downloading experience...just look for the blue below, baby!

February 14, 2006
Live In The Lobby Broadcast From WUOG-FM in Athens, GA

1. We're On... (267 kb)
2. Into My View (4.61 mb) ****
3. The Gift Of Excitement (1.35 mb)
4. Phony (6.45 mb) ****
5. Happy Valentine's Day (1.93 mb)
6. Scared Of Myself (6.08 mb) ****
7. No Encores (1.07 mb)
8. Towel Cape Song (4.45 mb) ****
9. Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something (not included in download) ***
10. Deuce (5.56 mb) ****

These mp3's are formatted at 192 kps.

If you'd like to hear the performance with radio compression and the lyrically flubbed-up "Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something", click here to download the 17.5 mb podcast version directly from the station. Tellingly, they decided to remove most of the between-song banter before posting it. Hmmmm...but you can get that up above from the individual downloads so we've got you covered.

So what're you waiting for? In case you missed it live or want to relive it, just download the above and burn to disc (with no silence between tracks if possible) and you can hear how our live radio debut went on Valentine's Day '06.

(Tracks in italics feature our banter for the evening.)

Thanks so much to everyone for making this possible - all the techs, DJs and extras. I want to especially thank Erika for inviting us out in the first place. Thanks to Jonathan and Blue for coming out (yes, Blue video taped again - you might see some of it here soon). Also, thanks to the couple that stumbled across our racket at "soundcheck" and came on in (you can see 'em behind me and Mike in the top pic). And sorry for causing so much finger-in-ear action. But hey, it's rock and roll and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for spending part of your Valentine's Day with us.

"Goodnight, Athenia. There will be no encores."



About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2006