Los Angeles friends: I will be playing keyboards for Hunter Hooligan at The Mint on January 12, 2016. Hunter is a very talented singer, songwriter, and musician from the East Coast and I’m excited to be performing with him.
Last month, I was a part of the music video shoot for Lacey Conner’s new single “The Stranger”. Many of you already know who Lacey is, as she was the frontwoman for Nocturne, a contestant on “Rock of Love”, and the live singer for Lords of Acid on their tour last year (not easy shoes to fill, yet she did a killer job).
This new solo song is more mainstream and pop compared to her previous work, but it’s just as good. She is proving that she’s versatile and I love it when artists can switch things up and still be awesome.
Here is the new video. You will recognize other faces in here, such as Meegs Rascon (We Are The Riot, Coal Chamber), Brent Ashley (Wayne Static/Static-X, Orgy), Aaron Rossi (Ministry), Trevor Frederich (Combichrist), and more.
I think the video turned out well. Director Chad Michael Ward and the rest of the crew did a great job.
I’m part of the audience. You can’t really see me, but I had a really fun time doing it with everyone else there and am excited to be a small part of this video.
Here’s a photo of me on the set between takes at Perish Dignam’s studio:
Megan Mayhem encaged:
Skot Christ (Bassist of Mona Lisa Overdrive) on the fluffy heart seat:
One of Lacey’s fabulous outfits:
Like Lacey on facebook if you haven’t already! Not only will you be updated on her new music, but she also does a lot to help animals and is an all-around nice and awesome person. https://www.facebook.com/LaceyConner.official
The Poetry of Science:
Discussions of the Beauty of Science
Tuesday, September 28, 12:00 pm
Cramton Auditorium, Howard University, Washington, DC
Two of science’s luminaries converse on the beauty of science. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of NOVA, and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins will explore the wonders of the cosmos and of life, its origins, its inspirations, and why science is not just an option, it is the only reality we possess.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is the recipient of twelve honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson. On the lighter side, Tyson was voted Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People Magazine in 2000. Tyson is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium.
Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and former Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. With his strong, determined, and tenacious advocacy of science, he has taken on his critics with wit, humor and, most of all, evidence. Among his books are The Greatest Show on Earth, The Ancestor’s Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow, and The God Delusion.
There will be a book signing immediately after the lecture.
Dialogue of Reason:
Science and Faith in the Black Community
Tuesday, September 28, 6:30 pm
Cramton Auditorium, Howard University, Washington, DC
Faith has traditionally played a significant role among African Americans, while science has been marginalized. It is time to confront the issues that have kept Blacks out of the halls of science and confined to the pews. Richard Dawkins along with Anthony Pinn, Sikivu Hutchinson, and others will meet at Howard University to discuss the issues surrounding science within the Black Community as well as the impediments imposed by superstition and religious dogma.
Anthony Pinn is the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is the executive director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. His teaching interests include liberation theologies, black religious aesthetics, religion and popular culture, and African American Humanism.
Sikivu Hutchinson is a writer and intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. She is the editor of blackfemlens.org, a contributor to the New Humanism magazine and a Senior Fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies. She is currently working on a book entitled Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America.
Todd Stiefel is a secular humanist, an atheist and full-time freethought activist. He is the founder and president of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. His mission is to gain respect for freethinkers and ensure the complete separation of church and state. He serves on the development committee of American Atheists and the advisory board of the Secular Student Alliance.
Candace Shannon Lewis is a lecturer in the School of Communications at Howard University, and assistant to the Dean. Her constant contact with Howard University students gives her a unique insight into how religion and science are viewed by young adults in the Howard Community.
Mark D. Hatcher is a PhD candidate of Neurophysiology at Howard University. He started Secular Students at Howard University (SSHU), which is the first secular organization to be held at a historically black college or university.
There will be a book signing immediately after the lecture.
This free public event is sponsored by the Department of Physiology & Biophysics of Howard University, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Secular Students of Howard University, African Americans for Humanism, CFI On Campus, Secular Student Alliance, and other local and national secular groups.
Tickets are available at the Cramton Auditorium box office, local Ticketmaster outlets, and Ticketmaster online. To order tickets for the Dawkins/Tyson event,click here. For tickets to the Dialogue of Reason panel, click here. There is no charge for admission, but Ticketmaster outlets and online charge a service fee.
For the record, I don’t literally believe in any type of zodiac or in using a lunar calendar. It’s a cultural thing. It’s sort of the same way many non-religious friends of mine still celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and other December holidays.
I’ve noticed that Obama has made a conscious effort to reach out to minority groups and I think that’s pretty cool. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember any other President going out of his way to wish us Happy Lunar New Year. I also give him credit for saying lunar and not Chinese.
I went to New York City with mandimercedes February 27-March 1. It was a spontaneous weekend getaway. I had been annoyed, bored, and stressed with some situations here in Baltimore. I was on the verge of going off on people. I’m glad we went because I came back feeling a lot better and even right now I feel a lot better because of it.
The reason we ended up going at the last minute was because I heard the weather would be nice, I had less homework than usual, and I had been wanting to visit anyway. That Friday was a gorgeous day outside and the weather forecast was great for the rest of the weekend. I checked the weather in NY and it was supposed to be nice there as well. I texted Mandi saying that I was in the mood to go to NY and she was just like “if you’re serious, let’s go”. So we decided to go, just like that, haha.
I booked a hotel on my lunch break and we were lucky enough to get a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Times Square for $99 per night, thanks to Mandi’s mad skills at finding good hotel deals online.
To my lj friends: Sorry I couldn't put this under a cut. I tried and I tried but LJ kept re-formatting it totally wrong and deleting content, even when I clicked "Disable Auto-Formatting".
We didn’t leave her house until after 9pm. I worked all day and had to pack and shower. So by the time we got to Manhattan, checked in, and got ready, we didn’t end up going out until after 2am. But no worries – clubs are open there much later than in Baltimore. We got in our room and practically jumped up and down with joy because of how nice the room was and what a great view of the city we had. We were on the 15th floor, which was the top floor. (It was technically floor 14, since there was no 13th floor).
The view from our hotel room:
The first night, we hung out in Manhattan. We stopped by Angels & Kings first but not much was going on there by the time we had arrived. We walked down a few blocks to Webster Hall and hit up the dance party Trash. It was fun times! It reminded me a lot of Taxlo at Sonar here in Baltimore, but back a few years ago when it was at its peak. There was also some sort of mini-burlesque show mixed in between DJ sets. We easily met a few people there, as folks were just friendly and started making conversation with us.
We ended up both on NickyDigital.com and DrivenByBoredom.com. Here are the pics:
We knew that the bars stopped serving at 4am so we just assumed the club would close at 4 (or 20-30 mins before that, as they usually kick everyone out in Baltimore about 1:30 or 1:40, even though the bars have until 2am). They served right up until 4am and to my surprise, the club was still open after that. Trash closed a little before 5am and the dance party that was upstairs was still kickin’ when we left. And guess what? They don’t come up to you and yell and scream in your face to get out. I don’t know if this is how all venues in NYC are, but this was a welcome change from Baltimore. I sort of understand why they do it here, but it’s still nice to be a patron and not be treated like crap.
We stepped outside and met even more people in front of Webster Hall. People were asking what else was going on and if we knew where the after party was. Mandi said to someone, “After party? It’s so late.” This guy replied, “It’s only 5am, what are you talking about?” Haha, I love it. What I also liked was that the food comes to you. I knew there were stands all through Manhattan that serve hot food but I just assumed it was mostly stuff I would never eat and I also didn’t realize that they would be there that late at night. That area had a falafel stand. I want to hit that up another time. We ended up going to Ray’s Pizza with some people we met. After we got there, I realized that I had eaten there the night I/Skitzo Calypso played CB’s a few years ago.
As we were walking to the metro station, we saw two crust punks who were at Ray’s and they were in physical fights with two non-punk dudes. The punks were losing. The other non-punk dude left after beating on a guy. But the other non-punk guy – who was this really short, but buff dude – stayed and was beating up the punks. More punks came, but somehow the one dude was winning against all of them. Don’t ask me how, but it’s true. He was maybe 4’ 4” but he was muscular and tough (and I think probably a bit crazy). Then he took his shirt and his belt off and came after them with his belt swinging. It was crazy! Cops finally drove by and saw what was happening, so they stopped. The punks were yelling, “Help, he’s beating us up!” and we snickered to ourselves, “Yeah, like they’re really going to believe that, even though it’s true – one little dude beating up that whole group”. But the cops instantly believed them, haha. Angry NYC cops yelling at him = loved it! Police officers don’t mess around there. At this point, we decided to leave because the reason we stayed was to make sure that no one got seriously hurt.
Here's a picture Mandi took of the incident:
We were walking back to our hotel in Times Square at 6:30am and people were still coming up to us and making conversation. Some crazy, old dude with a Slipknot shirt tried to get our attention but we kept walking. Not everyone out at that time was weird, though. We met some kind of cute dudes from the Bronx. They walked us to our hotel. And then Mandi and I hit the hay around 8am.
View from our hotel room at around 7am:
We got up in the afternoon, but were awaken in the morning. We had a “Do Not Disturb” sign so that the maids wouldn’t come in our room to clean. The front desk called us anyway, asking if we wanted them to clean our room. They actually called two or three more times through the day and night to ask if everything was okay and if we needed anything. Mandi answered and told them, “We’re fine, just stop calling! This is the fourth time today!” and the guy said, “Oh, Golly Gee! I’m so sorry. It must be a computer error.” Oh, Golly Gee? Haha. Is this why South Park was making fun of the airport Hilton in the episode where Cartman has the Ginger Power meeting? Employee: (Interrupting the meeting) Welcome to the Airport Hilton. Do you need anything else? Cartman: Yes, we’re fine. Now leave us alone! I guess if we stay there again, we’ll have to tell them specifically that we sleep late and not to call; and if we need anything – don’t call us, we’ll call you. It was otherwise a good hotel and we enjoyed our stay. The employees were really friendly and helpful.
We spent the afternoon being lazy, which was fantastic, lol. We lounged around, watching cable and local programs on the widescreen HD TV. We had Japanese food delivered to our hotel room, including some of the best sushi I had ever eaten. I love that you can get just about anything delivered in that city. I don’t think sushi delivery exists in Baltimore, except for catering (which doesn’t count).
That night was spent in Manhattan again. A bunch of cool things were taking place on Saturday and Mandi had a few friends in bands that were all playing shows that same night. We decided to hit up Arlene’s Grocery in the Lower East Side because Acey Slade was playing. But we had just missed the band by the time we got there because we didn’t realize the show started early and there were several other bands playing. That’s what we get for not planning anything. The place was packed. There was a room where you could hang out and drink and another where the bands were playing. We stayed in the hang out room and they were playing classic punk music, which was cool. (If you say “classic punk music” in Baltimore, people think you mean Blink-182. What I mean is they were playing music from the bands that were mostly from that same neighborhood we were in and from the late 70s). Mandi introduced me to the band. We hung out there for a couple hours and chatted with Acey for a while. Then we headed down to 30 Rock (30 Rockefeller/The GE Building/NBC Studios) in Times Square to catch the SNL cast and writers walking out. You can read about that and see pictures here. This was the night Justin Timberlake did the Cathy skit, but we didn’t see him.
Oh, look at all those fans waiting to meet me. (Psych!)
Check out time was 11:00am, which was basically 10 o’clock because that was the first day of Daylight Savings. We met up with someone we met at Trash. We first went to the Corner Bistro restaurant, which was somewhere between the West Village and the Meat Packing District. I had the delicious chicken burger with a couple Blue Moon beers.
Here's a picture I took in the Women's bathroom, haha. This was beneath the sink:
Then we went to Brooklyn. As soon as we got off the subway and walked up the stairs into Brooklyn, the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. The noise in Manhattan didn’t bother me at all, but after being there since Friday night, I couldn’t help but notice the difference immediately. We walked up and down the Brooklyn Promenade. It was a gorgeous day outside and the view was fantastic. We ate at some ice cream shoppe on the river. I can’t remember its name but the ice cream was yummy and all natural. We saw a beautiful bride and groom and their guest, who were either Japanese or Japanese-American, getting their pictures taken in front of the river.
Mandi and I on the Brooklyn Promenade:
We went back to Times Square and went into some stores. I bought a knock-off purse from a random stand there. I finally found a purse that works for me. I don’t care about people thinking I have an expensive purse, but those designers and the knock-offs are the only hand bags that have all the compartments and space that I need. We headed back to Mandi’s car and started to leave around 6:30pm. Our hotel was just a few blocks into the city after getting off the highway. But it took us an hour and a half just to get past the tunnel. We got back to Mandi’s around 11 and I got back to my place around 11:30. I was tired, but it was totally worth it.
It was just announced today that Andy Samberg will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards. I pretty much assumed this was going to happen. I think it’s awesome that he’s come full-circle because he was a writer on the awards show before he was on SNL. This will be the first time I see the MTV Movie Awards since the 1990s. I watched bits and pieces when Jimmy Fallon hosted since I like him but MTV has really lost my interest. Anyway…
I met Andy Samberg the weekend before the one that just passed. I was kind of drunk, haha. My BFF
mandimercedes and I were in town for the weekend to hang out. (I will explain more about the weekend in an upcoming post). We went to the Acey Slade show at Arlene’s Grocery that Saturday evening. They were done pretty early in the night, so we decided to hit up 30 Rock afterwards to meet "The Dudes" (a.k.a. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer from The Lonely Island). I’m not one to really care about meeting celebrities in general, but I’m a really big fan of them and I love their work a lot. So we’re waiting. There weren’t as many people out there as I thought. I had to pee (from the beers I drank earlier at Arlene’s, haha). But I wasn’t going to leave and go to the bathroom and then miss anything.
Bill Hader comes out first but he says he’s in a huge hurry and kind of just zooms past most people. He did take some pictures with the people standing next to us, but I didn’t want to bother him since he said he had to be somewhere. He did wave and said hi as he walked by Mandi and I.
Jason Sudeikis was really nice. He was such a dude. So nice, haha. Like someone who works in your office with you and you make small talk with in the coffee room. (I mean that as a compliment).
Fred Armisen comes out next. What’s funny is that no one would talk to you unless you said hi to them or were waving something out for them to sign (which makes sense because for all they know, you might not be a fan of theirs), but Fred pretty much walks up to Mandi and I and is like HEYY! *all smiley*. Actually, Jason was kind of the same way. They were cool! I’m wondering if we caught Fred’s eyes because I know he is a musician and we were the only rock chicks there. Fred is awesome. I’d love to just see him at a party, sit next to him on the couch, and have a good conversation with him, haha.
We see Andy walk out and that’s when the crowd really started going YAYYYYY Andy, Andy, Andy! It got louder when he was out there more than anyone else. But the crowd was actually much calmer and quieter the whole time than I thought they’d behave. As he’s on the other side, we see Bryan Tucker, a.k.a Roy from the Digital Short Roy Rules. I froze up and couldn’t remember his name. And he wasn’t signing autographs as we were the only dorks who probably even realized who he was, haha. He walks by and I try to get his attention, but since I couldn’t think of his name I didn’t want to just be like "I a fucked a Akiva Schaffer" since Kiv had just walked out, too. And I didn’t want him or Kiv to be like WTF? Haha. So Mandi says, "ROY RULES!" and he looks over and we’re like Hiiii and he has this confused look on his face like, "how the hell do they know who I am?" haha. So good. I just wished I remembered his name so I could have said that instead and said a proper hello! I like his work as a writer a lot. He’s written some of my favorite skits, including "The Race Draft" from Chapelle’s Show.
We only saw Kiv stop for a minute to the people right in front of the door and then leave. And this was happening while Andy was making his way over, so it was either flag down Kiv or wait for Andy. Andy comes over and I tried to act all cool, haha. Mandi didn’t have a sharpie, so she’s like "You’re gonna sign this with their (points to people next to us) pen". Andy takes their pen from them and is like "Gee, you guys were so prepared". I was gonna be like "We’re so drunk, too!" but I figured I’d shut up before I made an ass of myself, haha.
I was kind of bummed about not meeting Akiva or Jorma (we waited and waited and we never saw Jorm come out). But at least we got to meet one of them.
I want to see a taping next time I visit New York and they’re doing the show. I think I recognized some of the other people who walked out. They weren’t cast members. I’m guessing they are writers on the show that somehow I’ve probably seen online one way or another and/or they were extras in skits.
So basically the main living person on my list who I have been wanting to meet (other than Jorm and Kiv) that I haven’t yet is Margaret Cho. I have been wanting to meet her for years now – since the late 1980s, after I saw her on "Stand-up Spotlight". If I had just stayed in NYC for two more days, I might have because she was in town and went to the taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Here is the official statement: –Begin– FAITH NO MORE
Faith No More has always stood out as some sort of unique beast; part dog, part cat–its music almost as schizophrenic as the personalities of its members. When it all worked, it worked really well, even if the chemistry was always volatile. Throughout our 17years of existence, the mental and physical energy required to sustain this creature was considerable and relentless. Though amicable enough, when we finally split, we all followed paths seemingly destined to opposite ends of the universe.
Yet during the entire 10 years that have passed since our decision to break up we’ve experienced constant rumors and requests from fans and promoters alike. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, none of us kept in regular touch, much less to discuss any possibilities of getting together.
What’s changed is that this year, for the first time, we’ve all decided to sit down together and talk about it. And what we’ve discovered is that time has afforded us enough distance to look back on our years together through a clearer lens and made us realize that through all the hard work, the music still sounds good, and we are beginning to appreciate the fact that we might have actually done something right.
Meanwhile we find ourselves at a moment in time with zero label obligations, still young and strong enough to deliver a kickass set, with enthusiasm to not only revisit our past but possibly add something to the present. And so with this we’ve decided to hold our collective breaths and jump off this cliff…. BACK, GOD FORBID, INTO THE MONKEY CAGE!!!
We can only hope that the experience of playing together again will yield results erratic and unpredictable enough to live up to the legacy of FNM. Who know where this will end or what it will bring up…only the future knows. But we are about to find out!
FAITH NO MORE are: Mike Bordin, Roddy Bottum, Bill Gould, Jon Hudson and Mike Patton