Sunday January 29, 2006





Have a good one, dudeness. Shawn and I have been friends on and off since I was 5 years old. He's a bit older than me and he taught me how to draw helicopters and tanks and such (his Dad was in the military at the time). We reconnected in high school through music and he wound up marrying my best friend from childhood. I can't say he's had it easy but he's held on and persevered stronger than anyone I know. Whenever I find myself in a touch situation, especially if I'm sick or something, I think of Shawn and push through. He's the toughest person I know and I admire him hanging in there. I don't know that I could've handled all that he's endured. Happy birthday...I hope we get to hang out again soon.

I spoke to Grandma today and she's having another bad one. And while I'm not going to get too far into it today (after my rant on Wednesday) I will say that she's in the shape she's in today solely because no one's bothered to check up on her and make sure she has what she needs. It's heartbreaking to me to hear her this way when I'm 200 miles away. Please, if you know her and can, check up on her if you get a chance. Even a small gesture could help more than you could ever know. She'd appreciate it and I'd appreciate just as much (maybe more).

I didn't do much else today. I'm still kind of feeling out of sorts. I think some of it is depression but it's not all that. I'm feeling a bit under the weather still but not quite sick. It's so weird...

So I took it easy and did what I like to do on Sunday nights. I watched an all-new Fox lineup from the couch with Amanda and the crustaceans and the plants and the inanimate contingent.




Saturday January 28, 2006








I got some cool trades in the mail today. My favorite is the Bowie Sound + Vision Tour video from Japan. Amanda was even excited about this one. It was shot for Japanese TV, too. I've looked for a video of this tour for years and could never find one. I KNEW there had to be one somewhere. I was right. Unfortunately, he didn't play "Station To Station" or "Queen Bitch" on this night (like he did when we saw it) but it's still cool to have documentation of some sort...and I've always wondered what "Starman" would sound like like.

I spent most of the day recovering from last night but I was feeling a bit inspired and actually completed a new song in about a half an hour tonight. It's called "If I Never See You Again" and the lyric was ad libbed and is very simple. It makes its point quite well, though, if I do say so myself. I even think it may have the potential to be our "Spring Single". And I love the fact that the title seems so much sappier than the song. It's rare and satisfying when I'm happy with a song straight out of the gate and even if no one else likes it, this is a good 'un. Look for it to show up live as soon as I can convince the boys to learn it!




Friday January 27, 2006

Where there's smoke, there's broken fingers...


Ah, I'm finally back on Pollstar today. They used my favorite Strokes picture from the other week. Of course, you've already seen it here in this diary from that day (was it the 9th?). I got another honor recently from Pollstar that I forgot to mention. They used about 5 pictures on their special year end edition. They had Paul McCartney, The Stones, Kenny Chesney, Green Day and Coldplay shots to mark the biggest tours of the year. I was lucky enough to have 2 of those shots. Both Green Day and Coldplay were mine. McCartney was Rick Diamond's. He may have had another. Then there was AP. To me, that's a huge honor for lil' ol me.

Tonight, we did one of our less and less frequent shows. This is the last one that we've had scheduled for a while. I haven't taken on anymore due to the lineup shuffle but after tonight, I may be ready to start taking 'em on again. Read all about it here.



Thursday January 26, 2006

Rock School, UGA style...


Ah, I'll try not to lecture anymore today and I apologize to those that I may have inadvertently offended with yesterday's post. Believe it or not, I'm still keeping what I really think somewhat in check. And I do have some good family members. It's just that they're all directly related to my father's marriage and not his lineage. My Grandmother's the only one on the McKay side (excluding, of course, my siblings) that I can...ah, there I go again. I'm going to stop with that now or I'll be off...

Speaking of lectures, I went to see Dave Barbe do a lecture at the University Of Georgia today. I was invited there to photo but I still got a great lesson out of it. I didn't learn anything new but it helped underline and remind me of a lot that I already know. Dave's a co-owner of the Chase Park Transduction Studio Complex (where our CD was mastered). He was a member of Mercyland, Sugar and produced my favorite two Drive-By Truckers albums and the one that they've got coming out in a couple of months as well. Good stuff. After the lecture, one of the students recognized me and introduced himself to me. It was none other than Justin Caudill who recommended us to Shut Eye Records. I thanked him and gave him a CD for his efforts. Keith and Bruce from the organization also said they'd use the Critical Darlings for their student run "record companies". So this could have far reaching effects for the band over the next few months. We'll see.

It was also announced that the Bon Jovi "Have A Nice Gig" contest is on for the second Atlanta date on Feb. 15 and for the Greenville show on Feb. 8. The winner gets to open for Bon Jovi at their shows in those cities. I'm not missing out this time. But you know what's infuriating? The Atlanta (Gwinnett) one is looking for COVER songs / bands this time! Can you believe it? Cover bands DON'T PLAY ARENAS. It's just wrong. At least Greenville is still looking for originals. For the record, I sent an mp3 to the Atlanta contest of us doing our only recorded cover, "Creepy Jackalope Eye". I'm sure THAT'LL get us far in the contest. A song that no one's ever heard isn't going to exactly go over in a contest or on a station like Star 94. I'm still glad they're offering the opportunity but a cover band? They have their place and I'm not against cover bands but their place is not here.

I put together a full press kit for the Greenville gig and overnighted a CD to the radio station hosting it. And you know what? As it turns out, we're only eligible because Tom Bavis quit the group. You have to have a South Carolina resident in the group And thanks to Tom quitting, we do now. So finally, something positive from that negative. We're all 3 South Carolinians and Mike's still a resident so we're in the contest. On the way off chance that we make it into the top 5 bands, expect to hear from me BEGGING AND PLEADING with you to cast your email and phone votes for us. We need all the help we can get. We don't have local eyes and ears in Greenville and without you, even if we're lucky enough to hit the top 5, we won't get any further. So please help if we're lucky enough to need your help on this. You know how hard we've worked for the chance.

We'll know whether we're rejected (most likely) or moving on up (a million to one?) on February 1. Stay tuned...



Wednesday January 25, 2006






I've been doing a lot of thinking. I figure if I'm not capable of getting as much done, I can at least figure out what needs to be done when I do get it together. There's a lot. My top concern right now is my Grandmother. And that's mostly because she's basically NO concern to anyone else. It's driving me crazy. As soon as things got rough, the ones that can do the most totally bailed out on her. The saddest thing is they've always got someone else to blame (other than themselves). It's totally pathetic. When my Dad was around, they'd blame him. Now, I seem to be the favorite scapegoat for these petty, uncaring, hypocritical... I better stop before I get too specific. All I can say is that there's at least one of them that better be glad that my father's not still around or else this person would be standing even shorter than usual by the time Dad got through. Of course, if Dad was around, he would've been doing all the work anyway so they'd have had no reason to bail (any more than they already had). I just don't understand that type of person. I don't wish them any ill but I swear it gets harder everyday to not get that way about them. I recently got a relayed message from the main one I'm talking about (this person doesn't have the guts to tell me personally) to not set foot on their precious property again or else... Yep, it's that bullying, threatening attitude that's gotten you where you are. My message is this : I have no desire to ever see you again much less set foot on your property. In fact, I honestly can't name a single time that I ever WANTED to go to your house. I only went because other people wanted me there. I know you never did. You held it against me (even as an infant) because I was "THE CHOSEN ONE" (this is from your mythology, not ours). But you know the long run, it looks like the ones doing the choosing chose right, huh? 'Cause I'm the only one still there for 'em from those days. 'Cause I'm not a deserter. I'm not like you. I have compassion, caring and can't sit back and watch someone waste away and starve. I couldn't let someone I care about sit through a freezing winter after the death of her son with no heat. I couldn't do that to my brother, sister, Grandmother, Mom or Dad either. I couldn't do that to anyone in my family. I couldn't do that to anyone I love. You people can walk away from your children and parents as soon as they become inconvenient or dare to think on their own. You're sad, sniveling little brats who have to bully and coerce to keep your myths alive. I'm 200 miles away. You're 2. Still, I'm the one doing everything. And if you want to hear a truly over the top statement, here 'tis: Thank God for me! Because someone's gotta do the job. Someone's gotta look out for her. I should be an assistant in that job. But you've lost the capacity to see just what you've become. You've lost the capacity to be a valuable member of your own immediate family.

Someone has to care. And while I can never replace what you've taken, I will continue to care and give what I can.

You go on out this Friday and have "fun". You drive on out to the country and spend time with "your" family. You have fun out on the water. You go on out and snoop for a paycheck. You choose to ignore the needy people that you once professed to love. I'll take on your job and your birthrights because you have chosen to throw them away out of ignorance, jealousy and in the spirit of conspiracy. I don't want it to be this way but I can't shirk my responsibilities like you. You sleep well. If you can, you're even more soulless than I already know.

Someone who loves you very much is hurting, sick, hungry and lonely and they're only a mile or so away. You could bring happiness and help into the world instead of more sadness, isolation and bitterness. You have chosen the latter and it will revisit you for as long as you live. And it's not my fault. I had no part in it. In fact, I'm still right where I was and I'm still doing everything I can (and more than I should ever have to do).

You're a fraud, you're a liar, you're a cheat and you're wrong. And only people who share those same characteristics will ever say you're right in this matter.

Sweet dreams...



Tuesday January 24, 2006





Today I got invited to shoot a guest lecture on Thursday at the University Of Georgia's music class. I think I'm going to take 'em up on it. I can use a good shot in the arm. Maybe Dave Barbe (Sugar, Drive-By Truckers producer) can do it. All I've got to do is get some shots...

Other than that, there's nothing new to add for the day. I'm still just fumbling around nearly aimlessly. Things are getting done. Just very, very slowly.

Oh yeah - for all of you old school hipsters out there, check this out. I'm not allowed to say the name of the group that's reunited or who their new singer is but I can show you their teaser clip. If you're curious, check this out. I'm excited about it. I love the singer and the band. Here's a hint : I never saw the band, but I've met the "new" singer! Click and see if you can figure out the not-so-mystery. And there's a snip of their brand new single which sounds like an absolute return! The official announcement will come soon. It's good to be in the loop...



Monday January 23, 2006




Well, I got this site updated and not much else. I'm still having a hard time getting back on track but I'm getting better about it. Plus, I've been feeling like I've been trying to get sick for a week or so. I haven't so far (thank God) but I'm still not up to par. I'm chugging along...just not as efficient as usual.

One other thing I'm slowly getting up to date is putting up ads on Concert Shots. I kind of hate to do it but Google has offered to only do targeted ads. I'm going to try it for a while. If it becomes to obnoxious or overbearing, I'll remove them. Currently, the only one that's active is on the Archive page. I'm trying to find a way to put a banner on the home page as well as a Google search box. That'll actually make looking for stuff on the site much easier. And if I make a few extra bucks off it, I certainly won't complain. I can use it. The band's really starting to eat into my miniscule-as-they-may-be finances again.

Click here for last week's something else.