Counting Down to 11/23

On November 23 a long-delayed, over budget, highly anticipated, epic album from a reclusive, eccentric rock star will finally be released to the world.

That album is “A Life Without Fireflies” by Arturo Got The Shaft, and Mr. Furious Records will release it for free to download, stream, trade, burn, and share at midnight on 11/23 as a punk rock middle finger to Axl Rose, “Chinese Democracy,” and the culture of commercialism, trivia, and decadence they represent.


1. Prologue / Silent Sparkle

2. Pants and Backpacks

3. Only Way She Knows How

4. Open Eyes

5. I Love You Too

6. Something Transcendent

7. Imagine Nations

8. Still a Princess

9. Like a Dreamer
10. Hey! Gordon Shumway

In addition Rob and howie are working on a new recording of “25d” for the 2008 release of “XMAS,” and bonus track “Blame it on the Beer” will appear soon on “Furious Instance.”

"Cooky" Single, Streaming, Etc.

I’m going to post “Cooky” and “Lost” to Furious Instance in just a minute. They were recorded here at home on Wednesday morning, live takes, one mic – just straight performances.

In the course of doing this I discovered that has changed the way they stream netlabels’ material, and that’s going to effect every one of our releases. They don’t support the Flash pop-ups I was using; their only Flash option is the single bar with no playlist that you now see on Furious Instance. I’ll be going back and editing all of our releases as soon as I can.

After a quiet year, I’m hoping for a November release, then XMAS, then something new for January. Fingers crossed. 2009 should bring two new full-lengths from Sally Ride, “You Have To Wear The Boots” and “There is Something and not nothing.” -h

UPDATE: Well, the two tracks are up for downloading and streaming.  I’m kind of frustrated with the site and with the Internet Archive, and I haven’t updated the MySpace, but I probably need to walk away from this for a while.  I’m pumped about the songs, especially “Cooky,” so enjoy those and I’ll circle back around to this later.  I know the site needs some love but today may not be the day for it.  50B practice tonight.  L8rz, -h

Ultimate Oven Fries

Hey, while you’ve been lying on the couch watching Keanu in “The Replacements,” I’ve been perfecting the ever-elusive Oven Fry for you.  So gear up, geniuses, these fries will melt your face.

  1. Scrub your potatoes / sweet potatoes.  Fork a bunch of holes in the skin so they don’t explode.
  2. PRE-COOK THEM – not *all the way* done – IN THE MICROWAVE.  I recommend 2.5 or 3 minutes per medium-sized Russet potato, or 3-3.5 per sweet potato.  You want them just starting to get soft, but not done or totally soft or falling apart.
  3. Cut yr potatoes into wedges.  (Be careful, they’re hot!)
  4. Pour some olive oil into the bottom of a bowl.  Cover each wedge in oil by dipping it into the bowl.  Place covered wedges on a baking sheet.
  5. Put the sheet on a pretty high oven rack (maybe not the highest, though) under the broiler on HIGH/HI for about 15 minutes, or until they’re browned and crispy-looking on the outside.
  6. Take the fries out, let them cool, salt and season them, and enjoy!

Saving the salt for last is a good idea.

The microwave pre-cooking is the secret.  You’ll get better fries, faster, every time.  Which will get you back watching Reeves acting like a dumb quarterback appropriately, for once.

(Thanks, Jill!)

Five Star Crush tonight in Columbia MO…

…and I’ll let you know how that goes.  We haven’t played in more than a month, I think.  Practice at 6, hit the road at 8, show at 11 or 12 probably.  If you’re out tonight, raise a glass to my muscle memory…  See my Ultimate Oven Fries recipe posting in a few minutes, if you’re in.  Or, you have time to make them before you go out, really.

I bought Fleet Foxes at Starbucks yesterday, the first time I’ve ever purchased music there.  That disc has been on my list for a while.  Am pumped.

Backordered wi-fi antennas mean that my Mac is still incommunicado with the interwebs, so I haven’t shifted much to iTunes yet. -h

Caleb Burhans in the Times

A Man of Many Talents, Eager to Use Them All by Allan Kozinn, October 3 2008 at

At 28, Mr. Burhans has pursued a career path so logical that it seems almost foolproof. Just sing, compose and master several instruments (besides the violin he plays viola, guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion) and the New York freelance world is your oyster. But this is a new development. Until recently, the conventional wisdom went, musicians with diverse talents should specialize: decide whether they are better suited to composing or performing, singing or playing an instrument, working in classical music or a variety of pop.

And while most young musicians still make the traditional choices and scramble to find work in freelance ensembles until they have established themselves as recitalists or chamber players, others are seeking to diversify. Mr. Burhans’s generation is the third to come of age during the rock era, and where conservatories once taught only classical music, most now offer courses and even degrees in jazz and rock, recording technology and the music industry itself. And musicians who grew up hearing everything from Mozart and Ligeti to Wilco and Radiohead are less inclined than their elders to compartmentalize their passions.

“I was always told, when I was a kid, that you have to decide at some point what it is you want to do,” Mr. Burhans said one afternoon early in his composing break. “And I thought, that’s cool. I’m going to school and study violin, viola and composition, and I’m playing in jazz and rock bands, and when I move to New York, that will decide it for me. People will see what I’m best at, and that’s what I’m going to do.

“But when I got here, I actually did the opposite. I kept doing them all, and I love it. The variety keeps me on my toes, creatively.”