Sunday May 15, 2005



I spent the morning talking to my Grandmother (as per the usual Sunday tradition). In the afternoon, Frank and Tom came over. Frank and I worked up "Pepper" and "Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something" while Tom read whatever he could find. Then the 3 of us started delving through videos, DVDs and CD's looking for more lost songs to revive. There's some interesting ones we're batting around but I don't want to tell you what we're planning just in case we wind up dropping 'em. The two I mentioned above are almost definitely going into the arsenal.

'Twas another relatively relaxed evening. I know that 'cause I even got the pleasure of a Twilight Zone episode. Tonight's show: The Purple Testament. I'm enjoying this attempting to watch every one in chronological order thing. At this busily scheduled rate, I won't have seen 'em all for another year or two at the earliest. That's actually a comfort to me amongst all the chaos.

Tomorrow - back into the studio.




Saturday May 14, 2005



Ah, sweet relaxation. Nothing that I have to do today but get back on a relatively human schedule. I edited all the pics from this weekend's shows and Amanda and I spent a little time together just doing very little of anything. It was nice. I had time to listen to some music and check in on the crustaceans. So this is what Saturday's like for most people. Odd. Now I understand.




Friday May 13, 2005

Taking flight on a Wild Wing...


Today was a recovery and preparation day...a rare combo for us. Last night was great but there's no time to focus on it. Tonight's the night, or something like that.

We returned to the Wild Wing with our friends Sun Domingo and got to check out the newly revamped sound system. It all worked great. Thanks, Sibley!

Read all about the show here!

There's no better way to spend a Friday the 13th than with a rock and roll show, eh?



Thursday May 12, 2005

Checkerboards, polka-dots and Seagulls, oh my!


So today's the day. How do I know? Well, 'cause it was all over the radio and all the local publications, that's how! 99X donated a full hour to the Flock Of Seagulls show that we're opening and they promoted us tirelessly. I think 96 Rock gave up a half hour, too. How cool is that? Plus every mag or newspaper I picked up had something about it. Whether it was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stomp & Stammer, Creative Loafing or good ol' Flagpole. We were there!

I spent my day getting my guitars all ready and catching up this site after a mildly busy week that's about to go ballistic. By 3 o'clock or so, Amanda and I were on the road to the show.

As that was the rest of my day, you can read all about it in the semi-detailed show report here.




Wednesday May 11, 2005




It looks like the band is coming together as a more focused unit for the first time. Let's just hope it lasts and isn't just a by product of the stuff we have going down now. We had a mention in this week's Creative Loafing and I'm starting to see our name show up in a lot of places...and it seems to be more prominent each time. I've also noticed that we're getting more and more shows and we're not booking any. They're falling in our laps. Go over to shows for the latest. It looks like our AthFest plans may be coming together but I'll have to hold off before I can make an official announcement because there's likely to be a day / venue change.

Tonight, we got together for one more practice. We started out attempting a semi-acoustic thing but it just sounded weak. I don't think we're ready to go there yet. After about 4 songs, I had to strap on the Hamer and cut loose. This was a decent rehearsal, especially since we did a lot of songs we haven't been doing ("Skyward," "Twist", "Pepper", "Emotions To Free", "Down", "If You Want To Go", etc.) We're still not quite linked at the beat. And my playing's not what I like it to be. I guess tomorrow will be the test to see if the nerves and adrenaline will be enough to kick me into (the good kind of) overdrive. Let's hope.

Here's what I sent out to people on our mailing list today.


Well, it's time for us to come out of the shadows of the Downtown Athens Recording Company to let you know what's happening in the land of the Critical Darlings. No, we haven't been hibernating. No, we haven't been spring cleaning and no, we haven't gone barbershop (contrary to rumor).  We have, in fact, completed the recording of our upcoming album. All that's left is several days of mixing and the whole studio ordeal will have been survived by all 3 of us and (even more impressively) the ever patient Asa Leffer who's been pushing the buttons and the mouse around. I'm proud to say that our over-indulgent nature has caused at least 2 computer crashes ("You can't use that many effects at once!") and several brain freezes as well.

The ten-song shebang will be released on September 13 and will be called C'mon, Accept Your Joy .

Here's the track listing (in alphetical order):

Colors In Black & White
I Know Too Much (For My Own Good)
I'll Be Fine
Into My View
Sometimes I'm Sam
Taking Its Toll
The Towel Cape Song
Until The Road Ends

Yeah, yeah - I know. This song's missing and so's that one. Big deal. We don't plan on this being our last one so we'll get to those sooner than later, too. Bet on it. We just thought these ten had a certain cohesiveness. And you will when you hear them.

Speaking of hearing, short of something sneaking up on us and changing our collective mind, "Into My View"  will be released to local radio within the next couple of weeks. So look out for it...or listen out for it as the case may be.

Now...I know we haven't been able to perform as much lately due to our studio schedule but that's about to change. In fact, we return tomorrow May 12 (Thursday). We'll be opening for A Flock Of Seagulls  at Atlanta's Rock Star Saloon . For more info and tickets, go here. We'll be doing a fairly short set, maybe half an hour, which may be good considering we haven't had much time to rehearse lately! Next up, we'll be back in Athens  at the Wild Wing Cafe  this Friday the 13th (Could anything be more perfect?). We'll be doing a full set as the opener for our good friends Sun Domingo who have recently taken to opening for the likes of Edwin McCain and REO Speedwagon. We'll be going on as close to ten as we're allowed. We hope to see you out there 'cause the regular Wild Wing crowd is often not as interested in the music as the games on the screen! C'mon out and help us wake them up!

I, for one, can't wait to get back up and just play. And Sun Domingo is a heck of a band that's made up of friends of ours. I can't wait to see them again! They just keep getting better.

A new batch of show dates will be announced soon. And keep your eyes open for a big announcement regarding AthFest . We have some reasonably ridiculous plans if we can logistically pull it off. You'll know first.

Stay in touch and in tune, Chris

Upcoming: Thursday May 12 - Rock Star Saloon - Atlanta (with A Flock Of Seagulls)

Friday May 13 - Wild Wing Cafe - Athens (with Sun Domingo)

Friday May 20 - Caledonia Lounge - Athens (with The Bearfoot Hookers)

Friday May 27 - DT's Down Under - Athens (with Where's Tallulah)

Friday June 24 - AthFest Rock & Roll Circus - Wild Wing Cafe (with The Bearfoot Hookers and Carla LeFever & The Rays.)




Tuesday May 10, 2005




I received an email from Vanessa of Pylon this morning. She wanted to use the "art" shot I took of chairs that represented them for the Pylon site. When I let her know that I also had some shots of them from the Atlanta Heroes Awards and their New Year's show, she wound up requesting some of them to use as part of her personal history of the band. When I went to check it out, I was surprised to see that she actually name dropped me in her Heroes coverage. I was totally flattered. I think that's the first time I've been name dropped like that. Obviously, I do it all the time here but it's nice to see it from the other side.

In the afternoon, I had to meet with Jenny Culler, who's probably going to wind up as The Critical Darlings' lawyer. She and I discussed legal issues such as copyright, writing credit, royalty distribution and sound recording ownership among other things. She was nice and seemed effective. I still find that kind of stuff life-draining even if I know it's necessary.

The evening was spent at a get together / meeting with the band to do two things. One was just to try and reconnect outside of rehearsal. The secondary thing was to formulate some kind of battle plan and make some decisions. It looks like we did. Some of them I'll keep between the band members right now as we won't be working on them for another year. I can now officially announce that the Critical Darlings album is slated to be released on September 13, 2005 and will be called C'mon, Accept Your Joy. It also looks like "Into My View" will most likely be the first song released to radio. And that should happen by the end of June...hopefully earlier.



Monday May 9, 2005



"It's Monday. You slither down the greasy pipe. So far, so good. No one saw you hobble over any freeways. You will be like your dreams tonight."

Bowie 1977.

That sounds about right. I edited wedding pics until a minor migraine set in. But that only made the blackberries sweeter. Oh, nevermind.

In the evening, the band recovened as we have some big shows coming up. Basically, we've let the live aspect of being a band slide for the last few months. It showed. Although everyone played their parts reasonably well, it still felt stilted and not quite together. That's what happens when you're focusing on the sterility of the studio. It's tough when you have to come together again as a unit playing together instead of as an individual playing around other parts.

I also took the time to declare my intentions with the band.

I basically gave the ol' "let's either do it or not speech." For my part, I've decided that my photography / journalism "career" is currently more of a hindrance than an asset to the band. It's been great at helping us shortcut but right now, we can ride on what I've already done for a while. So I'm basically going to lighten the work load significantly in an effort to get the band fully on track. We've been at the station on and off for awhile but we've yet to leave. It's time. "You know how it feels when you've stayed too long?"

Who knows if we'll see it through.

Click here for last week's unification of the Alstons and McKays and Audioslave...

"You get up and sleep."