Sunday November 13, 2005



Today was all centered around rehearsal. Since the next couple of weekends may be hectic, we decided to get into it a bit this weekend. Mike came up and got there about 12:30. I was already there. We waltzed in, opened the door to the room we were to rehearse in at 1 (we figured no one would be there that early and we heard no sound coming out) and VOILA! Tom Bavis was sitting there rehearsing with his boom box. After the shock wore off of his and Mike's faces, we exchanged semi-pleasantries and he got the heck out of Dodge. I invited him to stick around but he "claimed a late appointment." Too bad.

Y'know, I'm not used to this whole "ex-girlfriend" syndrome that former bandmates have. It's awkward for sure but I'm not going to let it affect me in any way. I do wish Tom the best (no matter how it ended). It's a genuine shame that he decided to leave. But he did...and now we must deal with it. "You've made your bed now you must lie down." No one else makes my bed, though. And I like to jump on mine for fun.

Rehearsal was alright, especially consdering it's only our second one ever. We got a slew of songs added back in. The main one that we re-added was "You Don't Know Me." It seems especially perfect at this point in time. Frank's back to having some trouble with the ending. He keeps speeding up until he passes everyone. It's crazy. In his defense, the few times we've played it live, he's hit it perfectly. I can't wait to get this new centerpiece back in.

The evening was semi-relaxing. Did some FOX-animation TV and downloaded some .flacs. I'm enjoying this whole weeding, shning, etc. I've gotten some killer rare stuff of late...including a soundboard recording from Berlin of Led Zeppelin's last show ever. This was the final night of their European tour in 1980. A little over 2 months later, John Bonham was dead. But he was smoking this night!




Saturday November 12, 2005







I found out today that we're in Atlanta's Creative Loafing for this week. Nope, I didn't find out by going out and looking. I found out from a drummer looking for a band! He said he saw our ad. Since I knew we didn't have an ad, I went and looked. It turns out that we're smiling right back from page 99. We're the featured band for the Earshot section. I emailed the writer, Lee Smith, to ask for a link since I couldn't find one. He said the site's having some problems right now. So I can't link you up this time. I can, however, tell you what it says...and yes, it's about The Daily Show thing.

Creative Loafing - Atlanta, GA - November 16, 2005 issue


"Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings, a great little buzz-worthy band from Athens, made a surprise appearance on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" recently. On the Oct. 28 broadcast, during a bit about Surpreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, a clip was shown of a comically confounding confusing comment from CNN's Miles O'Brien. He referenced Reagan nominee Robert Bork by opining, "This is an inside-out Bork experience." Jon Stewart then cracked, "The Inside Out Bork Experience, by coincidence, was the name of my first high school band." To further sell the joke, a shot of McKay's band appeared on the screen. In it, Stewart's hair and eyes were pasted over McKay's with "Inside Out Bork Experience" logos on the Darlings' shirts and drum. In other Darling news, drummer Tom Bavis has left the band. Michael Rietveld (Star Zero, Q-Sign) is currently filling in. Interested drummers and other musicians are invited to contact the band via the website."

Lee Valentine Smith

So there you go...

In other strange, strange news, I wound up doing more TV tonight. For those who don't know, Amanda is a cast member of a sketch TV show called Split TV. Since rehearsal for the band was postponed 'til tomorrow, I decided to follow her out to ATL for tonight's taping. Little did I know that I would wind up in the bit filmed. Now, don't get me wrong, I know I'm no actor. I know I'm no comedian. But hey, they asked! So there. I'm gonna be on TV I guess...

I'll let you know as more pans out.




Friday November 11, 2005





WAR IS OVER (If You Want It!)

Today is Veteran's Day. I appreciate and respect the troops for what they do and what they go through. I only hope the ones that are being misused, misplaced and mislead right now get a chance to lead normal lives again. I hope the American people are finally seeing the light. Too bad they let it get so dark before they realized their tragic mistake. We'll be paying for the last 5 years for the next least.

If you're one of the ones who are responsible, what were you thinking? Or should I phrase it as : Why weren't you thinking? I respect your opinion and your freedom of choice but you've been had. And I can see in your eyes that you know that now. Unfortunately, the whole country's been had now. And several others. The damage has been done. But PLEASE help minimize future damage. Your life depends on it.

As for what I'm doing today. You're looking at it. I'm getting this all up to date. Our show tonight at CJ's Landing has been postponed 'til 12/10. See you in Atlanta then!



Thursday November 10, 2005



Well, I did a quick phone interview with a potential drumming candidate. His name's Nathan. He comes with incredibly high recommendations from Edgel Groves, Jr. of Sun Domingo. In fact, when Edgel heard about our vacancy, he immediately got on the horn to let me know about him. I told him thanks and that I'd be sure to blame him if things go South. His response...

"Hope you can blame me for the huge success that is coming."

Me, too, buddy. Thanks again.

I finally beat my DVD copying problem today. It turns out that this software is even more incredible than I realized. Whew! It can do anything I would've imagined and more. Now if I could just get my old DVD authoring working right again, I'd really be onto something.

While the DVD burner was working, I went downstairs and tidied up yesterday's new idea. I also came up with a killer new middle 8. I think I may make the middle 8 a recurring theme (a la Tommy) on our next album. I'm going to attempt to make a whole song out of it and have it crop back up in a couple of places. The title of what was "Stomp" yesterday has now been changed to another working title. It's now "Where Are They Now?" 'cause that phrase keeps popping in my head when I get to the first hook. It's really coming together. I'm feeling inspired. The flood gates are opening wide and this stuff is shaping up to be the best stuff I've ever done.

In a serendipitous moment, Frank's also inspired. He came over this evening and laid the groundwork for a new one tentatively called "Navigating Your Sweater." Hmmmm....the title is his with a slight tweak from me. Much like the song. The most interesting thing to me was the fact that this new song and my new song fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Keywise they end and start so they could be run right into one another. If I can capture the lyrics for this, I believe this could be one of our most important songs. I'm usually my own harshest critic but I can already see loving these songs and them earning permanent places in the set.

I hope we can introduce them sooner than later. I've still got about 8 more to demo up too! We've got a whole new album's worth of material fermenting...not to mention the 30 or so songs still left unrecorded in our back catalog. Our second album will be mostly the older, necessary, live favorites. But we'll throw in a few of these too. I think this new stuff's really gonna knock people out. It really makes a difference writing when you know what your strengths are. The last batch of new material I wrote for this band included "I Know Too Much" and "I'll Be Fine". I was still figuring it out then. These are MUCH better out the gate...



Wednesday November 9, 2005






Happy Birthday, (you know who you are).

There's a certain someone who's a bit weirded out about being mentioned in my diary by name soooo...


Today I got to catch up with an old friend of mine named Todd Cash. He was in that short-lived group that we called The Last Band On Earth that came in between Q-Sign and Star Zero. In fact, "Sometimes I'm Sam" was originally done by that group and Todd was the original bass player on it. He and I got together to just catch up. It's been several years but he seems like he's doing alright. He's forming a cover band for fun (and hopefully for profit) and just wanted to discuss it and see if I had any ideas. I offered him the chance to be one of our "extras", as in, someone who could sit-in with us on stage. I also offered to sit-in with him if and when I can. Should be fun...

In the evening, Blue (our video guy) was supposed to come over and make copies of our recent live DVD's for us. His laptop's crashed again... Unfortunately, I still haven't worked out all the bugs in my software yet so it wasn't ready. We'll have to wait a bit longer I guess!

I also got a new idea for a song today. The working title is "Stomp." We'll see what happens...

By the way, several shows have been added for early 2006. Check the calender by clicking here.



Tuesday November 8, 2005





We just postponed this Friday's show in Atlanta.

There was a scheduling conflict and since we're kind of in a gray area right now anyway, we figured it would be best to reschedule. So we'll be out at CJ's Landing on Saturday, December 10 instead of this Friday. Of course, that means I won't get to see Living Colour in a club that night! Oh well - we must come first.

It looks like several more shows may be added also.

Today, I discovered "weeding". It's the process where music fans trade high quality DVD's or CD-R's of non-commercially released music. I even went out and got some DVD copy software tonight to participate. The first DVD's I have coming to me include the first Pink Floyd show I ever saw (which was pro-filmed and recorded for promo but never released) as well as the Roger Waters show I was 'sposed to see that year.

This may become addictive. But I will learn and study and digest and make what I learn part of what we do...just like always.



Monday November 7, 2005




Well, alright...

It looks like our airplay has spread into South Carolina now. I got the report that we were played on WXRY in Columbia, SC last night. And was "Towel Cape Song." Man, that one's getting around. The station's also invited us up to do an in-studio performance and if we ever get a date in the area, we're certainly going to take 'em up on the offer. I just looked at their recent playlists and if I was still in the SC, that'd probably be the one I'd be listening to the most.

Also - I'm actually entertaining the thought of selling Concert Shots. Well - not the pics themselves but the domain name. There's at least one interested party and with all the development I've done on it (plus the fact that it's hard to keep up and my work is licensed by Wire Image and Retna now) it looks like selling it could be quite lucrative. But it would have to be. I wouldn't do it unless it would truly make it worth my while. My independent researching into the value (and the appraisals I've gotten) have really shocked me. I guess my work was worth something, eh? If I was to do it, I'd move all my content elsewhere. So it would still be available as is. It would just be under a different name. One option is Flagpole. I'm talking to them about setting up an archive of my pics so that they can do what they need to do with them. Then all of my work (including the ones not allowed outside of Flagpole like The Rolling Stones and Neil Diamond) can be displayed. I don't know. We'll see. It's all tentative right now.


Click here for last week with Pumpakin, spreading the word and that whole show-going-on thing...