Sunday December 4, 2005



Today was more of the same. Half of me trying to figure out where the band is going and the best route to get there. I wish there was a version of Mapquest for such things. The easiest thing to do would be to turn this into a flat out obnoxious rock band. We could do that and excel at it. But that's not a challenge. Plus, we've done it in Star Zero. Granted, we could do it much better now but I've grown so accustomed to having no stylistic limitations that I can't go back. Plus, I love the pop. I love the melody. That's what I'm really into. And remember, I have a pretty good idea of the next album as most of the songs are written. So I have to consider that and I refuse to abandon it. It's got a few songs that rock harder than anything on Joy but the balance is danceable power pop. I'd like to think that it's going to be an album that you don't have to be in a particular mood to listen to.

On the other hand, I want the shows to take on their own sense of spectacle. I want them to stand on their own apart from the recordings. We have the guts to do it. It's just a matter of figuring out what needs to be done and coming up with the means to make it reality.

Frank came over in the afternoon. We did a little discussing and a little batting around of the issues. Nothing much came from it. I'm more in the gathering of info phase. We watched some old Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd videos and decided to do some homemade vids of our own. Hopefully, we'll be doing it soon. We're also trying to figure out how to add some cool lighting to the show. Then we watched the CD release party DVD which neither of us have ever seen all the way through (Blue just brought me a copy Friday night). It was cool to see that we're a much better band than we can objectively see when we're in it. I'm proud to know that we are good at what we do.

Still...I want more. I want better. I know what we can do and I know what we do isn't enough.

As for the computer and work situation, I did manage to get back online today. But things are not fixed. Even after downloading a bunch of drivers and other things, it's just not up to par.

Remember my rule of trying to make things better than they were before something bad happened? I've got at least 2 counts of that here that are difficult.

What was it Jay-Z said?

"Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week?"

Yeah - that's what I'm looking for...




Saturday December 3, 2005







Today I spent my time divided. Half of what I was doing was trying to get my computer working again. I reloaded Windows and my software as soon as all my files had been backed up to another hard drive. It was still defective. Things just weren't right. I went back and forth with it all day.

The other thing I did was just think about the band, the direction, how far we've come and where we're going next.

I was not satisfied with last night. That's clear. But it's more than that. We've got the material now. We've got the songs. We've got a little bit of recognition. We've got the ability to put on a good show. But what defines us? What will define us? What makes us unique? What will bring people to see us? What will bring them back? It's strange. Mike and I were always compatible in a band sense (even when we disagreed) but if the truth be told, those were always bands where I adapted myself to everyone else. This project is built around me so whoever's involved has to adapt to me and my abilities as singer / guitarist / songwriter / producer. Believe me, that's not my choice. I always dreamed of just being the rhythm guitarist in an amazing band. It just never worked. And while Mike's the most consistent and able drummer I've ever had the pleasure to work with, I think we may be creatively and presentation-wise in too different a place now. Of course, I know he's a fill-in guy at the moment and the whole deal is that we're not going to get a permanent replacement until there's one local but I'll admit to hoping that we could beef up the lineup with at least one additional member and Mike. After that first stomping show, I couldn't help but consider it. With a little bit more thought, I don't know. That chasm may be too deep to cross now. The whole vibe is different. Different could be good. Different is good. But I think we need a different type of different. I don't know. It just doesn't FEEL right. Maybe it's just lack of rehearsal. Who knows? But it's something I want to remedy as quickly as possible. If Mike hadn't had to get back to his life today maybe we could've figured some of it out. But I can't expect what he's already delivering, much less more. I'm just glad he's there when he can be.

I dug through my music DVD's looking for inspiration from my biggest influences. I found plenty. Amanda and I capped the evening by watching a bootleg DVD of The Wall being performed in its entirety in 1981 in England. It was the final show that the heyday lineup of Floyd did. It was really eye opening. In my mind, the legendary shows were identical but totally different. It's hard to explain in a way that really makes sense. I'm glad this pro-shot show appeared in my mail box. It's a sin that it hasn't been cleaned up and released officially.




Friday December 2, 2005

Limping through the Tasty World gig...



First off, here's the Red And Black story that I did the email interview for on Wednesday. You know the drill. Click here and all that jazz.... Thanks to Mandy Rodgers for taking the time to write it. It is appreciated. I know first hand what goes into these things!

Well, I was chugging along today and on my way to achieving my "by the end of the weekend" promise of catching up when doom struck. Sometime around noon, my computer had its first meltdown. Considering how hard I work and use it, everyone says it's a miracle that it's lasted 3 years with no issues at all. Well, it's making up for it today. By the end of the day, I had no internet access at all. I did manage to get the computer itself working but with no internet access. I've got a show to stress about tonight. I don't have time to deal with these frustrations. All I can think is, my God, I've got to get everything from scratch. Fearing the worst but lucky enough to get it booted up, I hooked up a backup drive that I just got at Thanksgiving break (something to be thankful for in and of itself) and started backing up EVERYTHING! No software is working properly but it looks like my files are copying. All I can do is pray for the best. If you don't hear from me for a few days, this is why.

What a nightmare...

So what better way to end it than with a show, eh? Well...not really. This felt more like a "must we rock?" situation. The band's seriously rusty and in need of rehearsal, Mike's been going all day (he drove 7 hours to get here from Charleston, SC where he was working) and he had to rent cymbals from Nuci's to even get through the night. He was worn out, I was frustrated and worried about the last 5 years of my work being possibly wiped out by a computer glitch and Frank was...well, I guess he was about on par pre-show. I don't know. You'll have to ask him!

When we were soundchecking, Baker from Second Shift showed up and he indeed did bring said Washington Post and it indeed did have a pic of me on the front of the Travel Section. It was a pic taken at the 40 Watt show in October. I shoulda known! The photo was shot by my friend Rich Merritt. Thanks so much, Rich, for submitting a shot of our little outfit! I contacted Rich to thank him and he was like, "Oh yeah, you made it in there". Apparently, the Post was doing a travel piece about the best college music scenes around. They chose one pic from the Triangle areo of NC, one from the Charlottesville, VA area and one from Athens. Rich's pic of me was chosen to be the Athens representative. I know a lot of Athenians would be (ahem) not too happy that I was their rep in Washington! I'm definitely not your usual indie-Athenian after all.

The funniest part to me was that the caption read "Chris McCay Jams At The 40 Watt". What is that saying about "as long as they spell my name right?" Oh well. We were in the Red & Black, The Athens Banner-Herald and the Washington Post in one week. I ain't a-complainin'.

So anyway...we made it to Tasty World...we got up read about that, you gotta click here for the full show report.




Thursday December 1, 2005


And here it is! The Athens Banner-Herald piece is online now at! Woah, I'm even more freaked out that the two stories today are us and R.E.M. To see "Mills, McKay" as the headline really freaks me out! Just click here and scroll down. What do you think? I think it's pretty well balanced. Boy, does that Daily Show thing have legs! The "On The Record Player" bit is from me, too. Check it out if you're interested!

Also, I sent out the pre-show mailings today. In it, I mentioned all the press we've been getting. I got an email back from Jonathan Baker of Second Shift (who we're opening for tomorrow). He said, "You forgot to mention the Washington Post." Wha-wha-whaaaaaa???? Apparently, he was up in Virginia this past weekend and catching up on the news when he hit the Travel Section of the paper. Who should somehow pop up miraculously on the front page of the section? Um...would you Weird, weirder, weirdest! I don't get it but I'm glad we're getting it!

Baker saved the copy and says he's bringing it to the show to present to me! How cool is that? Thanks so much!




Wednesday November 30, 2005






Today I had another interview. This one was with the Red & Black (which is the University Of Georgia paper). This was even easier than the Banner-Herald one on Monday as this was an email interview. Maybe I'll reprint the full text here because so little will actually make the final cut. I've got to say that I'm totally floored that so many people are taking the time to write about us lately. It means the world to me and it really makes it feel like something's going on. Of course, it's driving me crazy that within the circle we're just treading but hey, there's a spin starting to go on outside the eyewall. That's a good thing, right?

Frank and I did get together in the evening just to run through the set plus a couple of extras. I'm a bit nervous about bringing back "Colors In Black & White" and "Into My View" without Tom but I've got 'em about ready to go now. We'll see I guess. The rehearsal went off without a hitch. Of course, rehearsing and playing live are two different beasts. I believe that's where the whole "bad rehearsal means great show" superstition came up. I don't really believe it but if I did, what does a great rehearsal say about the upcoming show? Hmmmm....



Tuesday November 29, 2005





Concert Shots is now updated with pics of Coldplay, Rilo Kiley, Sufjan Stevens and M.I.A. I am indeed creeping closer and closer. Next up for that site is October. Then I'll only be a little behind. Maybe next week...maybe next week...that's my mantra at the moment.

Other than that, I'm a bit worried about Friday's show. With all the publicity we've been getting, I hate the fact that we haven't been able to rehearse. I really wanted to have some new songs worked in by now. That's why I have to stand by the no long distance rule. I'm so thankful that Mike's stepped in to keep the band afloat but without the ability to not only stay afloat but advance weekly, it's not much fun. I feel like we're treading water. I know that happens from time to time but now shouldn't be the time. We all know why it's that way and I'm not getting into it but I am getting more resentful about being left twisting in the wind.

Oh well, I'll pull through somehow. You know my rule. When something bad happens, I do my absolute best not only to get back to where I was but beyond and better. It may take a while but that's just what I'm going to do.



Monday November 28, 2005




I started my morning with an interview. The Athens Banner-Herald is doing a piece on us for this weekend's show and I had a great conversation with the paper's Sebastian Blanco. This should be a good one. It's supposed to be out on Thursday so look for it then!

The rest of the day was about getting things up to date. My plan is to have everything caught up by the end of the weekend. I'm close enough now to where I can see it. It's a good feeling. Here's hoping that nothing interferes...

Click here for the Thanksgiving flood and a preview of Satisfactionista.