Sunday September 25, 2005


Check out this link regarding our official CD release party on October 8 at Nuci's. I couldn't help but laugh. By storm, eh? As I said to Tom, "If only Athens had known we'd taken 'em by storm! But we're sneaky that way." Oh well, it'll certainly look good in the press kit!

And my God, just look at this 40 Watt schedule. How did we wind up in such amazing company?

Today was not much except recovering. I did edit all the photos and get them uploaded but other than that, it was just a "lazy, dog dangling day."





Saturday September 24, 2005

Sufjan Stevens feels The Illinoise at the 40 Watt.





Today was all about work, work, work and getting the word out about the band and album. I started work early, trying to reassemble and update our press kit. I still don't have all the pieces. There are some things from our Chattanooga trip that I need hard copies of - as well as the charts that we're appearing on. Oh well, we've still got some pretty impressive quotes and a solid package (he he he).

The guys came over about 2 to discuss game plans, the CD release party, getting on more stations and the like. Of course, a lot of it devolved into a discussion of the set list for the CD release party which is a discussion that should've been saved for later! We went back and forth on it 'til a little before 5. At that point, we decided to go downtown to see the "reunited Posies" aka half of "Big Star" play in a record store downtown. We got there just in time. The crowd was already there which only left us what could only be called the front row. Ken and Jon looked disshelved and road fatigued but they were funny and sounded great. The truth of the matter is that they almost sounded too great. Hearing those power pop tunes without the power mostly left Simon & Garfunkel lite. It was great stuff but I was glad that they only did a few songs. Especially since it was about a 1000 degrees in there. Tom talked to 'em both and got his CD's signed while Frank cooled off outside and I perused the racks. The coolest thing is that Tom actually gave them both our CD. It's nice to know that band(s) that have influenced us actually have copies of our album.

Then it was back on the streets.

We actually sought out power pop LOOKING fans to give them CD's. We're really making an effort here to get the word out. The 10/8 show at Nuci's is a charity event as well as a CD release party so we want to get as many people there as possible. If giving away a CD will bring more people to donate at the door to get in, all the better, right? Tom and Frank did much better than me today. I was a bit tired, dehydrated and not up to much. It's a good thing they were. They both did a great job of getting the word out. I was just shocked at how much we could do by JUST WALKING AROUND TOGETHER. It was kind of strange. The crowd lined up to see Jump Little Children's farewell show at GATH got their copies and several of the people at The Posies in-store wound up with copies, too. We wound up down at Lo Yo Yo which is the record store attached to the 40 Watt. Tom formally introduced me to the owner Tony, although we have spoken several times before. He agreed to do giveaways / tie-ins with the new record before we got sidetracked into discussions about which era of Zappa to introduce Tom to and trying to figure out exactly how useful Thing Fish was. We agreed to avoid Lumpy Gravy totally and from there we moved on to greater things.

I spotted a two DVD boot of Led Zeppelin's 1979 performance at the Knebworth festival for $20. I've always wanted to see the whole show. I managed to buck up and NOT buy it - but it's just a matter of time before I cave (don't I have a birthday coming up?). I did order Generation X's Kiss Me Deadly CD. It has to be special ordered and imported from the UK but it's only 14 bucks. As that's one of the guilty pleasures I've always wanted on disc, it's cool. Besides, the last time I checked, it was $50 online.

Then we all split up for dinner. Amanda and I hit Piccadilly just because. At ten o'clock, Tom and I met back up at the Caledonia to check up on our friends The Bearfoot Hookers. We hung out for awhile, discussed the new album (at their initiation I might add) and tried to figure when we'd be able to play again. We're trying to hook it back up for November 4 at The Ritz. It's looking good, too!

They were running late so I decided to dash next door to the 40 Watt club to catch buzz boy of the moment Sufjan Stevens. He came on about 11:30 and by 12 I'd had enough. It was mildly amusing and the title "Come On Feel The Illinoise" is one of the greatest parodies ever but it was all too twee for me. So I photo'd him, spoke to Jeff Capurso, Jeff Clark and Trish and made sure they had their copies of Joy. (Actually, Jeff Clark wants his mailed to him so he doesn't lose it).

From there, it was back to the Hookers. By then, much alcohol had been partaken of by the band and they were cutting loose. It was the usual free-for-all with guest appearances by Marcus Thompson (of Lona and The Chasers) and a whole buncha people I didn't know. Tom kept gunning to get us up there but it didn't happen this time. I hung out with Marcus' brother (and former Flagpole compatriot) Matt and discussed...well, nothing really!

By 2 a.m., I was beat (maybe it was the forceable square dancing that I endured). So Amanda, Tom and I left the Hookers still rocking.




Friday September 23, 2005



Well, it's back to the grind today. There was a lot of background updating and the like. In fact, you can now see the updated Concert Shots! It's the first time I've been able to get to it in nearly 3 months. So all of you that (literally) hassled me on the street, at shows and in private about it, here you go. Now that Midtown's up, I should be able to get updates regularly. But you go through hundreds of pictures of every act there just to choose the ones you want to post, then edit them, then upload them, then create the pages and place them in it, then send it live. That's a lot of work - especially when you're doing all I've been doing lately. But it's done now. Enjoy the pics!

And who are there new pics of? Well, how's this for an update:

The White Stripes, Lou Reed, Trace Adkins, Ciara & Young Jeezy, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Young Capone & Kantrell, Bill Gentry, Modern Skirts, Louis XIV, Bloc Party, Darryl Worley, Tift Merritt, Robert Randolph & Family, Common, Kanye West, Keane, John Fogerty, Five-Eight, Alan Jackson, The Killers, Black Eyed Peas, Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Jo Dee Messina, DEVO, Public Enemy, Montgomery Gentry and Kid Rock.

In the evening, Amanda decided that we should go out for Mexican (eh, not such a big fan of it myself but what the hey) at La Cazuela so that's what we did. After we finished, I surprised with a ten DVD bootleg set of The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr. that I found on Ebay. She loved that show and they've never released it officially (why do they do that with shows with such cult followings?) so I found it thisaway. The guy that made 'em really did a phenomenal job. There's menus and everything. And the commercial removals are flawless. I'm impressed!

After dinner, we went by to meet up with our friend Alec Wooden at Athens Open Mic which was starting back up this evening. Alec's distributing a hundred or so of our CD's to help promote the upcoming Nuci's show on 10/8 which one of his bands (Beyond Tomorrow) is opening. Let's hope it helps get the word out!

I actually had other work to do tonight but I wound up dropping it for a much needed break. Amanda and I sat home and watched the two-hour Brisco County opener from over a decade ago. It really was a great Indiana Jones meets Back To The Future show.



Thursday September 22, 2005



First off, I just found out today that the mother of a friend of mine passed away. Obviously, I know first hand what the loss of a parent can do to a person. I've already sent him my condolensces and my advice to look out for himself first and foremost 'til he gets through the other side. I don't want to mention his name for privacy's sake but if he sees this, here's my message.

Just know that I'm thinking about you and I'll see you soon.

So what is it about the fall? Is it really taken that literally? Nothing else that I did today matters in comparison but I do want to let you all know about this.

Alright, as a favor to those of you who don't yet have a hard copy of the record (or those who I'm waiting to give you the FINAL final version), you can now stream the whole record online if you'd like. It won't be exactly like the manufactured version. For the downloaders, I've posted the "single versions", which means they don't run over the top of one another or have as many of the tricks that only work within the context of the album. This is the whole record but these are the Ipod okayed versions...the musically clean takes. Some of you may actually prefer this version. All of the tracks will be available for download at 99 cents a song by the end of October. Then you can pick up the "single versions" if you want 'em even if you've got the full-length album versions. But the bottom line is, you can stream the net version of the album RIGHT NOW and to your heart's content by clicking on this rambling paragraph here. So, (in the words of Ms. Stefani) "What You Waiting For?").




Wednesday September 21, 2005





Today I wound up getting copies of the "promo disc" to every one I could think of around town. I dropped off a slew of copies to the Flagpole office, dropped some up at music stores and at D.A.R.C. On the way back home, I got a phone call from one of the writers of UGAzine. Layton wanted to interview me and since I was downtown and not on as tight a schedule as usual, I asked, "how 'bout now?"

So I met him at the UGA Arches and we sat on the bench behind it and talked for an hour and a half about everything Darlings. The Whigs' Parker Gispert walked by and said "Hi." He looked like he couldn't figure why I was on the interviewee side. He wasn't alone. I felt the same.

Then I dashed back home to pick up Amanda so we could go for a run at the track. It's strange how fast being interviewed becomes normal. That's two this week. And this one won't even be released 'til the Spring.

By the way, I wrote "I'll Be Fine" one year ago today. My, how it's grown.




Tuesday September 20, 2005





Okay, today's the day that I try to enter a new life by missing out on something incredibly important to me. I know it sounds crazy but to me it's almost like seeing what I can survive. Paul McCartney is playing Atlanta tonight and I'M NOT GOING. It's the first time I've missed a Macca tour since I was too young (like 6) to go on my own. I felt that pull all day. Especially since I knew I could go and by tickets at the door (a few extras were released this morning). But I didn't. It almost feels like part of paying my dues. I couldn't sit around and not let it consume me so after a day of ketchup, Amanda and I went to dinner at TransMet followed by a screening of The 40-Year Old Virgin. I can't say I totally forgot about McCartney and all the (at least 16) songs I've never heard him perform but I was distracted enough. Plus, I love Judd Apatow's stuff (since Freaks & Geeks) and wanted to see how he handled the big screen. Well - he handles it the same - just with more profanity. I loved the movie. It certainly wasn't a masterpiece but several of the movie's bits entered Amanda's and my lexicon instantly.

And I survived...

Here's what I (and pretty much all of you missed tonight). I love the obscurities. I really can't believe I missed "Too Many People", "For No One", "I'll Follow The Sun", "Helter Skelter" and "Please Please Me". I would've also loved to hear "Flaming Pie", "Jenny Wren", "I Will" and "Fine Line".

Magical Mystery Tour
Flaming Pie
I'll Get You
Drive My Car
Till There Was You
Let Me Roll It -> Purple Haze Jam
Got to Get You Into My Life
Fine Line
Maybe I'm Amazed
Long and Winding Road
In Spite of All The Danger
I Will
Jenny Wren
For No One
Fixing A Hole
English Tea
I'll Follow The Sun
Follow Me
Classical Bach tune he and George used to do together
Eleanor Rigby
Too Many People
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
Good Day Sunshine
Band on the Run
Penny Lane
I've Got A Feeling
Back in the USSR
Hey Jude
Live and Let Die

Encore 1
Get Back
Helter Skelter

Encore 2
Please Please Me
Let it Be
Sgt. Pepper (Reprise) / The End



Monday September 19, 2005

Maya Arulpragasam (aka M.I.A. backstage at the 40 Watt)



Perhaps some of you snoopier readers of this site and circumstance have noticed that parts of the site have been updated. Have you looked under the Press Photos section? How 'bout the other photo areas? Tom's page, Frank's page, my page and the band page have all been updated with lots of new photos. And I didn't do it all today. Like I said, I've been doing the background stuff at all times. If you haven't noticed 'til I tip you off, I guess you haven't been digging, have you?

Oh well - they're all there if you want 'em and much more is coming.

On to was the usual 'til late afternoon. Buzzing Sri Lanka via London rap-reggae-world-funk hipster/popster M.I.A. was at the 40 Watt. Velena invited me out to do trade shots and the like. At least it gave me a chance to get Critical Darlings' CD's in the hands of Velena and Craig and some of the other 40 Watt friends. Since I have so much to do, though, I didn't relish the thought of being out 'til 2 am or later on a Monday. Luckily, I noticed she was having a "soundcheck party" at 6 pm so I suggested successfully that we do the trades then.

Amanda had to take off for Atlanta for the evening so I had to use the truck to get downtown. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy. The truck had other plans. It really has to do with the fact that I still can't handle a stick shift very well. Let's just say that I wound up running the last 3 blocks or so to the 40 Watt to let the truck "rest". If we lived in not-so-hilly-town I don't think it'd be a problem. Nevertheless, I had to get down there. It was friggin' hot. Then I got to the club and nothing was happening...and it was freezing inside. Ack! One extreme to the other. I wound up waiting 'til about 7 for M.I.A. to do the party and signing. After she did that, we went back to the green room and did the trade shots. I even got M.I.A. to pose for a few exclusive portraits. She was such a laid back, nice, cool person. She certainly doesn't seem like someone with such a huge buzz around her at the moment. She was totally down to earth, completely accomodating and just plain nice. I would've loved to stay and watch the show but I didn't really have time to stick around. I had to be back home to be interviewed myself and that meant I had to get home. I hiked back to the truck and thankfully, it cranked right up and got me home on the first try.

I got home and began editing M.I.A. pics. Gordon Lamb from Flagpole called about 8:30 and he wound up interviewing me for an article on the Critical Darlings to appear in the October 5 issue. I talked a mile a minute, broke a lot of my own rules for being interviewed and generally had a good conversation. By the end, Gordon had decided to come out to my house to pick up a CD. Then we wound up dishing for the next half-hour or so. He eventually had to get on the road to catch (guess who) M.I.A. at the Watt!

Click here for guest shots, homecomings, big stages and Joy.