Wow. I have typed this entry twice now and each time somehow I deleted what I'd written. Sucks 'cause the re-write and the re-re-write are never as good as the original.

Anyway, I wrote back in the 5/9 entry that I'd gotten away from some of the little features I included on this page such as the "On This Day..." and "BOK Songs You Should Check Out"...stuff I used to do fairly regularly. So, I thought I'd write about a BOK song you probably have seldom, if ever, heard. How about, "The Long One"? No, not the sublime medley at the end of the Beatles's Abbey Road. I'm referring to the Book of Kills track that closes out the 2005 record, I CAN"T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE. 

This was certainly one of the most ambitious things I ever recorded. The track consists of six different musical bits. When I wrote each, I had to make sure they fit like puzzle pieces stylistically, sonically and thematically. And I had to come up with music that locked together as far as key and tempo went, as well. I think I probably worked on "The Long One" for several days, whereas I generally take a song from conception to completion in a couple hours.

If I delete this entry, too bad...there won't be a third re-write.


We had a very fun, very productive practice last evening. New material is coming along nicely. Another cover song or two is still in order. 

We will be playing live again in mid-July with at least a couple other bands. More information on that show soon.

On this day in 2001, Book of Kills played live on WXJM for the first time ever in what would become somewhat of a semi-regular occurrence. Jim and BOK/Fear + Whiskey would eventually play five full shows on that station from 2001-2012. The set list for that first appearance: Accidentally Naked, Cave In, Money, Gemini, To Dream a New Dream, Running, I Hang Heavy-->Up In Flames-->I Can't Stand It Anymore, Why Won't You, Because Because, Caroline, Fat Woman Lying in the Street, If I Asked You


Just returned from a nice extended weekend at Colonial Beach. We had a great time. I found it quite interesting that this little town (which admittedly is quickly becoming a Northern Virginia hipster's not-so-secret getaway) had a vibrant live rock and roll scene going Friday and Saturday and even Sunday afternoon with three different bands playing both Friday and Saturday. There was a Southern Rock group, of course, but the other two Saturday night were a hard rock band and a pop punk band. And the pop punk band drew the biggest crowd of largely teenagers to forty-somethings. 

We're practicing this evening (Tuesday). We'll be learning a new one tonight and working on another new one we added a couple weeks ago. We also need to come up with a couple of solid covers that we can learn relatively quickly.


"I worry about our musical culture. If in fact the institutions that control everything--because really the most important people in music right now are the CEO of Apple, the CEO of Google, the CEO of Spotify, the hedge funds that are buying up all the publishing rights, these are the most powerful people in music--none of them are from a music background. These are people from a tech background for the most part. I worry about a situation in which people that I fear do not genuinely love music, they don't genuinely care and know about music, and now they're making decisions on what everyone's going to hear based on profit maximization." -- Ted Gioia, from an interview by Rick Beato


"I made a decision at a certain point in the past that I was going to assume that my audience was smart. I was going to assume that my audience was discerning, and I was going to assume that my audience had very little tolerance for bullshit." -- Ted Gioia, from an interview by Rick Beato


We had a short practice Sunday evening. Worked on a new song. We'll continue to add new material over the course of the next few weeks as we gear up for a few new shows in the not so distant future.

A "regular" to this website asked me recently why I wasn't posting stuff that until the past few months I'd semi-regularly written about in the News section, such as "obscure BOK songs you should be listening to" and "top ten streaming BOK songs for the month", and I guess I didn't have an answer other than I've just kinda forgotten about them. Honestly, there's been so much not-so-great stuff going on that it's been difficult to focus on much other than the occasional current BOK news.

I'd like to promise that I'll be little more conscientious about writing decent regular  posts but you know me, right? No promises.


As you probably know, Gordon Lightfoot died a couple days ago. He was a stunningly great songwriter. Almost no one could write better lyrics. His melodies were impeccable. His arrangements were often as close to perfect as human beings can get. Listen to "If You Could Read My Mind". Everything about the song--EVERYTHING--is simply brilliant. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", "Early Morning Rain", "Talking in Your Sleep",  "Rainy Day People", "Carefree Highway",  "Sundown" and so many more tracks are proof that the man was nearly untouched as a popular musician. He was 84 when he passed. He'd recently finished a tour and was planning another when his health betrayed him. 

"You hear about people who write 15 to 20 novels. How do they do it? You just gotta do it." -- Gordon Lightfoot


On this day in 1991, Kurt Cobain, Kris Novoselic, and Dave Growl entered Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, with producer Butch Vig. The band were given $65,000 and sixteen days to record their second record album, which became, of course, NEVERMIND. 


We finally got back together last evening. Was that the first time since our last gig? I think so. Whatever. I think it's not at all a bad thing for a band (particularly a small local band that largely does original material) to take breaks occasionally. It was a surprisingly cohesive practice, given that we hadn't played together in a month.

As I noted previously, we're going to add 2-3 covers and probably another original or two to our repertoire and then we'll focus on securing some new shows.


We haven't practiced in a while. I guess you could say life has just gotten in the way. Sometimes other things are simply more important, right?

Anyway, we might get together this coming Sunday, but nothing is in concrete.


Tomorrow is Earth Day, but I won't be able to post anything then, so I'll put something up today instead.

Back in 1995, Dustin Bugg, Brian Temples, George Finch, and I were asked to play at the Earth Day celebration in a large park in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was a big deal at the time. I remember food stands, souvenir vendors, bands and, of course, people, everywhere. Why Book of Kills had been asked to play still puzzles me. Anyway, here's a little blurb about the gig from the (now deleted) autobiography, THE BALLAD OF JIM SHELLEY:

"We had one last obligation to fulfill: A half-hour show at an Earth Day festival in a Harrisonburg park. I was feeling pretty cantankerous and decided to throw in 'Idiot Planet' (not the most politically correct song to play at an Earth Day show). I remember looking at the festival organizer's face as we chugged through the song and seeing his face darken from a toothy smile to a scowl as I barked out the lyrics: 'Welcome to the Idiot Planet/You gotta be an idiot if you wanna live here'. It was all good for a laugh, I suppose, but my heart was hardly in the performance."

The set list for that show: Because Because, I Hang Heavy, A Story That Could Be True, Jesco White, Idiot Planet, Fade, Don't Stop the Scream, Lost, Create.

Of course, the band would break up within days of the Earth Day show, though the four of us would reunite for a bonkers one-night onlybenefit show in January of the following year.


We will convene tonight and re-set up our equipment, talk about what additional material we want to add and even jam a little.

If you want to download the tracks from the last show, do so soon. I'll be deleting most of that concert soon.

It's very hard for me to fathom, but the ever-popular DON'T STOP THE SCREAM album was released around this time 31 years ago. The follow-up to SCREAM, WEE JIM'S BLACKEYE, also came out in late April, one year later in 1993. I just went back and looked at the discography page to check on some release dates. It was almost startling to me how many BOK releases dropped in March, April and May. I definitely had a writing/recording routine in place for many, many years.


We didn't practice this past weekend because of other (Easter) commitments. I expect we'll jam this week.

I'm sure by now that most of you are familiar with ChatGPT, a language processing tool driven by artificial intelligence technology that allows people to have human-like conversations and much more with it. ChatGPT can answer questions and assist people with tasks such as composing emails, essays, and code.

I've played around with the chatbot on several occasions. I even asked it to write lyrics for a song which were, to put it kindly, trite and cliche-infested. The creators of ChatGPT warn that, among other things, the bot will sometimes simply make up "facts". 

On a spur of the moment, I asked it if it was aware of Jim Shelley & Book of Kills. This is its response: 

     "Jim Shelley is a musician and songwriter from Charlottesville, Virginia, who has released several albums and has been active in music since the 1980s. "Book of Kills" is the name of a musical project that Shelley has been involved in since the mid-1990s, which has released several albums and has gained a world-wide following among fans of alternative and indie rock. 

     "The name "Book of Kills" comes from a novel by author Dan Simmons, but the music itself is more influenced by bands like The Velvet Underground, R.E.M., and Guided By Voices. The music of Book of Kills is known for its lo-fi sound, DIY aesthetic, and introspective lyrics, which often deal with themes of love, loss, and the struggles of everyday life. 

     "Overall, Jim Shelley and Book of Kills are part of the vibrant and diverse independent music scene, and have made important contributions to the world of alternative rock and DIY music."


Just. Wow.


Not sure if we'll practice later this week or not. When we do get back together, we'll start learning some new songs, both covers and originals. 

We'll also try to come up with some possible dates in the future for more live shows.

I've listened twice almost all the way through last weekend's show (it's still available on the Music Page), and I'm still really happy with how well we played (look...we're a band of four amateur musicians who can only practice 4-5 hours a month and we rarely get paid for performing) as well as the continuing support for our gigs, which has been both surprising and gratifying. I wish the recording was better but I was very limited in where I could position the recorder and I simply couldn't put it somewhere close to the band.

This is actually a big day in rock and roll, but I'm just going to mention a few milestones:

On this day in 1937, the brilliant Merle Haggard was born.

On this day in 2016, the brilliant Merle Haggard died. I had several opportunities to see him over the years (including his tour with Bob Dylan) and passed them up to my great regret. 

On this day in 1965, Frank Black, a.k.a. Black Francis, was born. 1965 was a great, transitional year for rock music. I guess it's fitting that Frank Black would be born in that year, given his own profound effect on rock in the '80s, 90s and 2000s.

On this day in 1966, The Beatles began work on the seminal album (often cited as the greatest rock record of all time) REVOLVER. Incredibly, the first song they tackled was John's iconic and ground-breaking "Tomorrow Never Knows".


"[When we were recording our album Black Vinyl Shoes] we weren't musicians. In fact, I'm still reluctant to call myself a musician. We didn't play live; it was a band in name only. Recording was our only way to be in music. Playing live wasn't a realistic option. That came along later, but it was always secondary to recording.  We weren't capable of doing anything but record. There was a lot of punching in and out, and redoing." -- Gary Klebe (On recording the pioneering lo-fi classic. From Tape Op magazine, May 2022)

"While we were learning to play, we were stumbling, and it was like, 'I've only got to get one good take that I can keep, and then we'll move on to the next thing.' That helped us learn and mature. We're more songwriters, arrangers, and producers than musicians. Musically, we learned to play by trying to write a song and play what we heard in our heads, which is kind of the backwards way of doing it. Most musicians learn their craft by playing first and then later learning how to write songs. We came up the exact opposite. We were born in the studio; it was our home. Now, home recording is the norm..." -- Jeff Murphy (From the Tape Op interview noted above)


Great show last night! Big crowd. We played really well.. Just a great night once again. The entire concert is now available temporarily on the Music Page. It should stay up for a week or two, so if you want to download it, make sure to do so soon!


A week from now I'll be a nervous wreck around this time. Of course, we have a gig in Harrisonburg next Saturday at Restless Moons. We weren't able to practice this past Thursday. Here's hoping we can still get two good, productive practices in before 4/1.

As you might or might not know, the last BOK album of all-new material, ARMY OF LOUD, dropped in late 2021. Even a year and a half removed from its release (hard for me to believe it has already been that long), I still consider it one of the very best Book of Kills albums.

However, the mixing and mastering of the songs on that record make me wince when I listen to LOUD nowadays. Everything was mastered way too hot, in other words, transient peaks in the music were flattened out by a compressor so that the overall volume was increased, but at the sacrifice of dynamics. In essence, ARMY OF LOUD is a lesson in why "brick-walling" recordings should be avoided at all costs.

So I'm giving serious consideration to re-mixing and re-mastering the whole album. I have the bare bones of a couple of songs that I never got round to completing during those sessions. If I do decide to rework ARMY OF LOUD (and that's a big "if"), I might try to finish those two tracks and tack them on to the end of the record.


We've had a couple practices since the last update. A bit sloppy each time, but productive. Hard to believe we have another show coming up in a little over a week. We'll try to squeeze in three more practices before April 1st.

Yes, I'm aware how full of mistakes the 3/13/2023 account of the "last" Book of Kills show was. I've tried to correct everything (and I even did some re-writing) in case anyone hasn't read it yet. I think I was in a hurry the day I posted that entry and though I'd intended to read over it and make whatever necessary edits were needed, I got distracted with something else and forgot to revisit it.


This is one of the more important days in Book of Kills history. On this date back in 2010, Mike Hicks, George Nipe III and Jim played their final show at the Little Grill to an "appreciative" sold-out crowd.

Here's an excerpt about that night's show from the now deleted Jim Shelley autobiography, THE BALLAD OF JIM SHELLEY (written back in 2010):

March 13 was a pretty typical 'concert day' for me. As always, I could focus on little else besides the songs I would play that night and whether or not anyone would even care enough to show up. (If no one did show up, I had only myself to blame; I hadn't even posted any fliers around the city advertising the event. The only thing I had done was mention it a couple times on my Facebook page and

I spent most of the afternoon sequestered in my bedroom, practicing riffs on my acoustic guitar and repeating lyrics in my head over and over again. I've never denied that I am a mediocre instrumentalist. I rarely practice on my own except on the day of a show, deluding myself into thinking that four or five hours of last-minute work can substitute for months of studious practice. 

A little before 7 P.M., I loaded my amp and guitar into the back of my old RAV4 and my wife and I drove to the Grill. I was probably more anxious than I had ever been before in my life, save perhaps the morning I gave the HHS commencement address. But I need not have worried. Saturday night was, simply put, magical.

My entire family was there, including my wife Mary Lou, my older son Daniel and even my younger son Christian who had never seen a BOK show. Also in attendance were many of the folks I'd played with over the years, including Garfield Banks, Gary Bugg, Randy Simpson, Jane Firkin, Mike Chiarello, Jeff Lown, and, of course, Casey. Two of the best BOK photographers ever, Deanne Good and Jana Burtner, moved about the crowd snapping the occasional picture with their cameras. My brother and his lovely wife, Linda, showed up as well. The Grill was packed. 

Buck Gooter and Sleepfeeder both played short, high-energy sets and then the moment had arrived. 

We set up our equipment quickly. I didn't speak more than a sentence or two to George or Mike. I was racked with nerves and consumed by my emotions as I started to introduce the band, when suddenly Casey Firkin emerged from the crowd and presented me with a plaque. "The Shenandoah Valley Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame would like to present Jim with its first-ever lifetime achievement award," he said into the microphone. "To a true rock 'n' roll pioneer who has influenced and touched more lives with his creative musical contributions than he will ever know. Thanks for the music and for never giving up or giving in. Your fans, friends and family." I was close to tears. 

What could I say in reply? Over the years since I'd released Bloom Or Die? I had met so many wonderful friends and acquaintances through music. I could never even begin to thank them all for giving me far more than I ever gave back. I hugged Casey and then hammered out the opening riff of 'River Of Blood'...and ended up pretty much butchering the song beyond recognition, even though Mike and George did their best to hold things together.

My screw ups, however, seemed not to matter; from the start, folks were dancing and moshing and even singing along in George's or my microphone. Bodies continually slammed into me and I found it difficult to even keep my hands on my guitar. A couple of times the microphone whacked my mouth so hard I thought I'd broken some teeth.

It was great.

We careened our way through 'Killing Time Again', 'Marzipan Day', 'Fat Woman Lying In The Street', 'Blue Man', 'Never Be Like You', 'Placebo', 'Fade', 'To Dream A New Dream', 'Stanley The Steamer', 'Little Metal Toys', 'Lost', 'School', and finally 'Don't Stop The Scream' with Mike Chiarello, Billy Brett and Casey Firkin joining me on the choruses. The crowd wasn't about to let us go yet, but crazily we hadn't even considered working out a couple of encore songs. '

"How about 'So Tired'?", I suggested to George and Mike. I couldn't remember the last time we'd played that one, but what the hell. We delivered a credible, energetic version, but the crowd continued to chant for more:

"Book Of Kills! Book Of Kills!"

The someone yelled out, "I Hang Heavy!" It had been months since we'd jammed that song. But why not?

And that's how it all ended... 

“I hang heavy in the universe! The coming is bad, but the going is worse!"

Was it the "greatest BOK show ever"? Who knows? It's definitely up there with the six other shows I rank as the most memorable BOK gigs ever: 3.9.1995, 10.27.2001, 4.13.2002, 2.1.2003, 6.6.2009 and 12.9.2023. I will say it was the most fun I've ever had playing live music. And to be able to share the evening with Casey, Ike and Greg of Sleepfeeder and Billy and Terry of Buck Gooter made it an even bigger honor and pleasure for me. 

To say 'You had to be there' is no doubt one of the hoariest of all clichés, but in this case it is certainly true.


Book of Kills will be playing a live show at Restless Moon in Harrisonburg, Virginia, April 29.

We couldn't practice this past Sunday, but we will practice tomorrow (Thursday).  

On this day in 2016, the great Sir George Martin passed away at the age of 90. I'm hoping that I don't need to tell you why his passing was noteworthy.

Also on this day in 1945, Micky Dolenz was born.  Micky, of course, was a member of The Monkees. Although he and the band have taken far more than their share of grief for being the so-called "Pre-Fab Four", the fact remains that Micky possessed a really, really good rock and roll voice. If you need actual evidence, listen to the following seven Monkees songs: "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Sometime in the Morning", "Randy Scouse Git", "She Makes Me Laugh", "Porpoise Song" (one of the '60s best songs), "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", and "Goin' Down". 


Fairly regularly (meaning maybe once or twice a month), I get asked one of two questions about Jim Shelley/Book of Kills/The Karl Rove/Fear + Whiskey music: (1) Which album(s) do you think are the strongest of all your releases and/or (2) What album(s) would you recommend a JS/BOK/TKR/F+W newbie try first? I guess my answers vary as often as my responses to the questions. Though I've listed my own choices for "best" albums here several times over the years, I guess I haven't done so for a pretty long while, so...

The ten albums I'd rate right now as the best by Book of Kills in no particular order: WASP 51! (2003), THE HAUNTED LIFE (1992), DIFFERENT (2007), I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE (2005), SAINT JUDAS (1995), ARMY OF LOUD (2023), I KNOW WE CAN SAVE OUR WORLD (2020), WEE JIM'S BLACKEYE (1993), DON'T STOP THE SCREAM (1992) and THIS IS YOUR BOOK OF KILLS (2008). 

However, if I were pressed to pick just one BOK album for a "newbie" I think I'd recommend the sprawling compilation, TO DREAM A NEW DREAM, which features material from 1989 through 2020.

For someone interested in finding out more about Fear + Whiskey, there's only one choice and that's the FEAR + WHISKEY ANTHOLOGY from 2013. (I'd like to one day re-visit this album and do some adding and subtracting of tracks). 

Ditto The Karl Rove in that there's only one choice to listen to if you want to know more about the band and that's the recently released THE MONKEYCLAUS E.P. + OUTTAKES & LIVE.

All of these records are available on streaming services around the world.


Short but fun and productive practice last evening. We've four additional "new" songs to our repertoire. Might add one or two more.

I uploaded a Karl Rove track from the newly released anthology, THE MONKEYCLAUS SESSIONS + OUTTAKES & LIVE, to the music page. If you're familiar with the old compact disc Karl Rove anthology from 2006, you'll hear a significant improvement in sound over that original album.


This hasn't ever happened in all the time I've been dealing with CDBaby, but they just notified me that the new Karl Rove album THE MONKEYCLAUS E.P. + OUTTAKES & LIVE is available less than twenty-four hours after I submitted it for approval on many streaming services already. Most companies like Apple Music and Spotify will take a while to add the album to their offerings, but within a week or so just about every legitimate streaming service on earth (and more than a few that aren't so legitimate like the Russian company Yandex) will have the album. If you enjoyed the original CD which, I think, only featured fourteen tracks, you'll love the new anthology which almost doubles the number of songs and features vastly superior sound.


I ended up having almost all day free to work on music and was able to finish remastering all of the songs that will go on the new The Karl Rove compilation. I even had the time to upload everything to CDBaby. Now they'll take their sweet time inspecting everything to make sure it's all suitable for release and within a week or so the album will go public on streaming services around the world. 

It was fun listening to those nearly twenty year old performances. I was struck by how full of energy, emotion and commitment they all were. I'd forgotten how much improvisation was a part of that band. I was also struck by the fact that the material we recorded on our own largely sounded better than the tracks we laid down at MonkeyClaus Studios.

Although I initially planned on packing the album with 35+ tracks, I eventually realized that whittling down the song list to a relatively breezy 26 tracks made for a much better listening experience. That means I had to leave off a few things, but nothing really that anyone but the most hardcore (as if there are any "hardcore" Karl Rove fans) TKR fan would miss.


Good practice Sunday evening. "Why Won't You?", "The Pleasures of Saying Goodbye" and "About a Girl" are all coming along nicely. Time to start looking around for a live gig.


I haven't been able to spend much time on the project thus far, but it has been pretty interesting going back to the Book of Proles/The Karl Rove days (17+ years ago!) and re-acquainting myself with everything we managed to record in a short two year span. While the band were not exactly known for their individual musical talents, all four of us worked hard on writing good new material. Consider some of the songs The Karl Rove came up with in its brief existence: God Bless, Who Dares Defy the Hand of God to War, Little Metal Toys, Different, River of Blood, Winds of Dying, JROTC, Empire in Decline, Another Shitty Day in Funtown, and So Tired! Anyway, I'm mastering one or two songs a day and I intend to assemble a thirty track album, so it'll be a while before I'm ready to upload everything to CDBaby for streaming distribution.


I was browsing through the list of Book of Kills and Fear + Whiskey albums that I've uploaded over the years to CDBaby to be distributed, of course, to the various streaming services around the world, and I realized that I'd never uploaded the Karl Rove anthology. Criminal! So, anyway, I'm going to remaster the tracks from THE MONKEYCLAUS SESSIONS PLUS collection from way back in 2006 and upload them over the next week or so. It really shouldn't take me too long. I don't know whether or not I'll include any unreleased material (mainly live stuff), but if I have space (CDBaby only allows so much material to be included for any one record), I'll include what I can. With Apple's Logic (the software I use these days to record, mix and master my music) at my disposal now, I should be able to make everything sound at least a little better.


Another decent practice Thursday. Short but productive. We've got three new songs we're working on and we'll add one or two more, then start working on finding some new gigs.

Big day in Beatles history: On this day in 1964, The Beatles made their live concert debut in the United States at the Washington Coliseum. Over 350 police surrounded the stage to keep the 8,000 plus screaming fans in control. The set list: ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘From Me to You’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘This Boy’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, ‘Twist and Shout’, and ‘Long Tall Sally’. (You can watch this entire concert on YouTube.) 


Had a good practice this past Sunday. Not sure when we will practice again. Possibly Thursday, though that might be dicey for me. We've pretty much got a couple new tunes down already and we'll be adding another couple soon.

Sorry that I haven't been very active on the webpage lately. There just hasn't been a whole lot of band news to report.

I'm still trying to come up with a good design for BOK t-shirts.

No new gig scheduled. I've been waiting to pursue any new shows while we revamp our set list.

Still haven't started writing and recording a new album. Just haven't had that "burning desire" to churn something new out.


Lost one of my best friends ever this week to cancer.

Fuck cancer.

No practice again this week.

Oh well.


Short but decent practice last evening. Started off smoking, that's for sure. I put the opening salvo ("Bad Person") from last night up on the music page, if you want to check it out. Overall, we're still kinda finding our footing again after essentially only jamming together for a couple hours since our second gig back before Christmas. We have added a couple new songs, both of which have come together pretty quickly. Like to add another one next weekend.


Didn't practice last night. Maybe Tuesday. We'll mainly work on "Why Won't You?" (which we added last practice) and a couple more "new" ones, when we do get back together. 

I'm in the early stages of putting together some sort of new BOK t-shirt. No idea when I'll have them done. I'm even considering buying my own screen printing set-up so that I can do my own shirts.


I added an interesting video to the video (duh) page of an acoustic performance of "Why Won't You?" from (I think) late 2002. The tape (which is of passable quality at best) from which this performance comes is the only known record of an acoustic gig by any of the band's many line-ups.

"If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it."

"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."

"I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird."

"All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff."

"Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe."

-- Frank Zappa


We finally got back together last night and jammed for a little over an hour (that was all my voice would take). While it was good to be making music again, the effects of the three+ weeks "lay-off" were pretty apparent. Lots and lots of flubs. Nonetheless, it was good to take some time away and recharge. We still have a long way to go to be a really, really solid band, but we're on the road to where we want to go. 

Needless to say, I won't be posting anything from last night on the Music page.

Thanks again to everyone who has been inquiring about our next show. It means a lot to all of us to have folks take such an interest in us! Since we're trying to learn 5-6 new songs, it'll be a while before we commit to another live performance. Keep in mind that we can pretty much play whenever at Rock Steady, so that's probably where we'll play next when we're ready to go again.

This day in 1997 marked the second of only six gigs that the line-up of David and Brian Buracker, Brock Beatty and Jim would ever play. I like this group. We had a pretty adventurous mind-set when it came to writing new or selecting older songs to play. The set list for this show: Don't Stop the Scream, Because Because, Placebo #1, She's the Kind of Girl, Fade, March of the Lima Beans, Idiot Planet, Killing Time Again, Lost, I Start to Fall, Epics, Abandoned, I Hang Heavy, Wonder Twin, Heaven, Just Like Heaven, Paperback Writer.


We weren't able to practice last night. We've tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday. 

On this day in 2014 (how could it be fourteen years ago?), The Plague Dogs (of which I was a part as the bassist and occasional vocalist) played a long two-set show at the Rocktown Grill in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I don't recall much about the show other than the fact that five people showed up to see us. Yeah, it was kinda deflating. 

Jimmy Page (1944) and Joan Baez (1941) were both born on this day.

"I seem to have tireless energy when I get involved in things, on an almost OCD basis, which is a good way to do things because if you're gonna do something, you'd better make sure you do it well." -- Jimmy Page

"It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page." -- Joan Baez


If you haven't listened to the recordings of the live show from December and have been meaning to do so, don't wait any longer! I'll be removing most of the tracks in a day or two. 

On this day in 1970, The Beatles, without John Lennon, re-recorded some vocals and laid down a new guitar solo on the Paul McCartney song "Let It Be" at Abbey Roads. They also more or less completed George's "I Me Mine" (though Phil Spector would do substantial additional production work on the track later.) This session marked the last time the Beatles would be together in a recording studio until February 11th, 1994, when Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr regrouped again to begin work on the first Beatles "reunion" song, "Free As A Bird," for their Anthology project.

On this day in 1960, Michael Stipe was born. 

"I think the one thing that I can say about us is that we're very consistent about certain things and part of that is our desire to do the very best work that we can and not rest on our laurels or not allow formula to come into what we do." -- Michael Stipe


Happy New Year! I sure hope 2023 is better than 2020, 2021 and 2022! 

The band will get back to practicing in a week or so. As I said before, we'll be adding new material. I'll be looking into some more gigs soon.

“It really was important to me that we maximize our potential as a live band and come up with cool endings and things like that. It was already happening. Dave was already there, but I definitely was like, ‘We got to practice more. We got to practice more.'” 

“I was a loudmouth kid and I was like, ‘I have ideas, I have ideas.’ And finally I just went, ‘You know what? You have the best ideas. And if you want an idea, you’ll let me know.'”

“I have major stage fright, major, major, major. Like today is like, I’m in hell right now. It’s really with Foo Fighters shows. I do shows with my other bands, but I just feel a certain way when there’s 100,000 people waiting for you to go onstage. I put a big burden on myself to play perfectly – whatever that means – and keep in perfect time.”

-- Taylor Hawkins, from an interview before a show in 2021