Sunday September 4, 2005


Today wasn't too much different from yesterday. I visited my grandmother, ran some errands and after Amanda and I braved the "homestyle buffet" at Shoney's, we wound up over at Shawn and Lori's just hanging out again. It's good to be able to just sit around and talk with friends. It keeps me plugged in to home. Tonight, Mike Rietveld joined us. Man, does he keep having problems. Last time I was home, everything had levelled out for him. This time, stupid stuff has popped up again. I hope he gets it worked out soon. He's been through enough things that shouldn't have happened.






Saturday September 3, 2005





Well, we spent about $24 for a half a tank of gas yesterday to get back to SC. I've got a feeling I'm going to be covering less shows and doing less of anything that involves the road 'til this whole Katrina fall out dies down. This sucks. On the drive back, we listened to the new Kanye West CD Late Registration. I've gotta say, it's a MAJOR disappointment after the near perfection of his debut. The album definitely has its moments ("Gold Digger" for one) but overall it's only about half as good as the first. The sophomore slump strikes again.

Anyway - at least I got to come home and see my Grandmother. She looks so much better. She actually seems better than before she fell now. She's not quite steady on her feet but she may be as steady as she was! She continues to impress her therapists. On a sad note, one of her nurses, Joli, died mysteriously last week. She was so nice and helpful to us. She was one of the ones there that helped me get everything straightened out. And she was just 27. It ain't right. They still don't know what happened but we'll all miss her. Two days before she died, she went out to the pharmacist to personally pick up my Grandmother's medicine. Then she bought some clothes for her and my Grandmother's roommate. How's that for going above and beyond. Thanks, Joli. Everyone in that place is thinking about you.

Being home's nice, though. Amanda tried to revive her "Pool Party" and it pretty much fell through again. Emily had a last minute trip, Shawn wasn't feeling well. So Amanda and I waded on what would be the last hot day of the summer. About an hour later, Lori and Shawn showed up with True and Lauryn. The two kids swam for another hour or so. The four "grown ups" sat around a table and gabbed. How adult of us?

Then we all went out to LHOP for dinner, then back to their house for more chatting. True wound up joining us for about half of it. Maybe we're more interesting adults than we think? Who knows?




Friday September 2, 2005



I spent the day today fishing for shows, opening acts, getting our press photo ready for printing, trying to find a bulk printer and updating parts of this site that you can't see yet.

Now I've got to spend about $3.50/gallon in gas to get home and check up on my Grandmother. We'll be gone for the weekend and into next week. So the diary will look more neglected than it is. I'm going to do my best not to let it get this behind again but I'm afraid while I'm gone, it'll be ignored (still don't have a laptop). And with the business of the CD release and all the attention that we're starting to get, it's just plain hard to keep up.

If you're in SC, maybe you'll see us this long weekend. And we'll even resist the temptation to cyphon your gas...I think. LHOP anyone?




Thursday September 1, 2005



Alright, today I'm trying desperately to get the last full month updated in this diary. There's not really time for anything else.

The big news for me personally today is that I heard us being broadcast live on the radio for the first time this morning. I was listening to the live stream of WAWL in Chattanooga and within 10 minutes of starting to listen, "Towel Cape Song" came blasting across. I've got to say, it sounded pretty darn good. I always forget how much "reverb" is added though radio compression. It was good to hear the song fitting right in, big and bold. And by the way, let me say what a good radio station WAWL is! My tolerance for radio is generally about a minute and a half and I was enjoying it before we even came across. So we're in good company, too. Check out the stream if you get a chance. Just click on "Listen Live" at the home page.

Also, there's a live review from Monday's show up in Chattanooga up here at Enigma Magazine's site. You can see an edited version of it on our home page but the whole unexpurgated thing can be read by clicking here. Just scroll on down and see for yourself.

While all this great news about the band is satisfying, I must say that I'm still devastated and wounded over the whole Katrina thing. To me, it brings 9/11 to mind all over again. And even though the storm was a couple of days early, September's already shot for '05 just due to the fallout from this nightmare. I lived through Hurricane Hugo all those years ago so I got a taste. But yes, I realize that was like the wind from someone blowing out birthday candles compared to this thing we're dealing with now.

"But I hold on 'cause they say in time...I will be fine."




Wednesday August 31, 2005




I just want you to know that the last couple of copies (I think there are 3 left total) of The Towel Cape Album have been donated to the Red Cross to assist in Katrina relief. This demo collection was what this band was founded on and in addition to the original writing versions of "Towel Cape Song", "Into My View" and "Taking Its Toll", it includes live staples that are available nowhere else including "Goodbye Tuesday", "It's Never The Same" and "If You Want To Go." There are even a couple of personal favorites that we don't do live ("Nowhere" and "Impermanence"). This is your last chance to hear 'em in original form AND the money goes to an extremely important cause. Click here to help.

More bad news from Katrina. Apparently, Fats Domino is missing. His manager spoke to him on Monday as the storm was coming ashore. He hasn't been heard from since. Spare some positive thoughts for him. We need all the founders of this thing called rock and roll that we can keep around now.



Tuesday August 30, 2005

Sorry for contributing to the marquee letter shortage but that's our fate, I guess!



Well...I can't keep my thoughts off of Katrina and its victims. I wish there was something I could do. It's all just so insurmountable. I hope the U.S. can survive this. The economic backlash of this thing could finish off the job that an unnecessary war started. There was a time when we had a surplus that could've gone to help out. Does anyone remember those golden years that ended on January 20, 2001?

Yes, sometimes I am Sam. And sometimes I'm right to be...

With all that in mind, I didn't particuarly want to play tonight. But we did. I've also taken a bad cold over the past day. I feel like crap, I'm exhausted, overwhelmed and depressed. I'll try to blow it off with the show and make the best of it. We're lucky that the Georgia Theatre would even invite us to play. As a bonus, we got to hang out with the Freshwater Collins guys. They came all the way down from Milwaukee. They're cool guys and I hope we can hook up with them again somewhere down the road. Thanks for all the kind words and for making things easy for us.

Before the show, we did a quick portrait shoot with Amanda. 'Twasn't easy but we've got to do these things regularly. I've got a feeling there will be a need for 'em all soon.

Oh yeah - I also had a phone meeting discussion with artist manager Tony Rinaldis. He's one of a few people we're talking to about helping us get to the next level. He had a lot of good ideas. We haven't made any decisions yet and when we do, it'll be a hard one. We have several great teams to choose from already. We'll see what happens I guess. You can see Tony's site here.


Click here for the full show report and photos (coming soon).



Monday August 29, 2005


The Critical Darlings and DJ Dave are given the reigns to Chattanooga's WAWL.

What an amazing day. I woke up in Chattanooga's beautiful Read House Hotel bright and early. Our host Dave came and rounded us up about 10:30 a.m. Then we got ourselves together and headed to the campus of Chattanooga State. This thing they're calling Katrina already had its leading edge clouds over us so they moved our performance from the amphitheatre to the cafeteria. It was odd to say the least. We still did a full set, even introducing "You Don't Know Me." People came and went as they ate lunch and / or got to and from class. We made some new friends. I spent the most time with Sarah, Emily and Shane. I hope we get back up to Chattanooga one of these days soon. I had no idea it was such a cool place.

Before the show, we did a television interview. I was late for it and honestly don't even know what it was for. Frank and Tom began it and I arrived fashionably late. I think we did okay. Yet another first...

You can read all about the show that we played while Katrina came ashore by clicking here (coming soon).

After the show, we had to convene back to WAWL for an on-air slot. I didn't realize it'd wind up being more than a half-hour block of The Critical Darlings. In addition to the interview segments (which I'll post here at the sight as soon as I get my copy), they played "Towel Cape Song," "I Know Too Much", "Into My View", "Phony" and "Taking Its Toll." So in addition to WAWL being the first station in the world (maybe even the universe but who can really be sure) to play us at all (with "Into My View" a few weeks ago), they're also the first to play "I Know Too Much", "Phony" and "Taking Its Toll." I think 99X in Atlanta beat 'em to the punch with "Towel Cape Song", though.

Here's the station drop that we did. It's a very small mp3 so even those of you with dial-ups should have no problem grabbing it. Frank's the star here. Check it out.

Anyway - the bottom line is that we had our weirdest show ever and a great time at WAWL. Thanks to Dave for inviting and hosting us. Thanks to Uncle Don, David, Erin, Ted, Bob and everyone else who made our first out of state experience such a memorable one.

And thanks to Hurricane Katrina for not blowing us any harder than she did. We did have some tornadoes and torrential downpours to contend with on our way home but obviously, we were very lucky by comparison!

Again - what a friggin' day!

Click here to visit with last week's madness (including a visit with Alice Cooper)! (coming soon)