Gnarboots and the Olsen Twins Loooove Pizza

If you haven’t seen the Olsen Twins video for the song “Gimme Pizza,” you must do so now. Here’s a quick synopsis: The twins and some of their friends buy a plain cheese pizza and put their own toppings on it, not the same old boring pepperoni and mushroom. They top it with fried chicken, ketchup, whipped cream, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, caramel and fish eye. And they sing about it in the process. It’s a delight.

My band Gnarboots did them one better and played the song live in concert, albeit an abridged version. How did we do? You tell me.

Whipped cream falling down like waterfalls…

San Jose’s Language Arts Crew Part of Metro Rocktober Edition

Every year, Metro does a Rocktober issue, where 5-6 bands or artists are featured. I wrote one of the pieces about San Jose Hip Hop group, Language Arts Crew. They are a bit of a legacy, having been around over a decade. They’ve also splintered off into several groups. (Whiskey Avengers, Insolence, Trashkannon) But they’ve still stayed together and continued to record new material as Language Arts Crew.

Check out the song “Lazy Daze in California” before you read the article. It’s a great tune and was a minor local hit 6 years ago.


Middagh Oh Middagh

The best band to come out of Stockton is not Pavement, it’s the lesser known (and still living in) Novocain, headed by The Plea For Peace Center organizer, Middagh Goodwin. Recently, I not only got to watch this crazy dynamic, improv, noise band play, but I got to sit in with them in drums. My good friend Adam Davis joined the band too, alternating between accordion, drums, and vocal loops.

As a special treat for the show, Adam and I showed up wearing T-shirts with Middagh Goodwin’s face on it. Look at him. He loves the attention.




Three Brothers Middagh:

Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb the Music Industry)Will Never Miss a Shinobu Set

I interviewed Jeff Rosenstock at Nickel City in San Jose when my band, Gnarboots, opened the show.( Dan Potthast and Shinobu were also on the bill.) It was a weird night. I completely exhausted myself during our set due to the fact that I was wearing a suit, tie and a wig the entire performance.

Nickel City in October 2010 Gnarboots punkI was nearly incapacitated during the majority of Dan Potthast’s set and knew that I had only a small window of time to get my interview with Rosenstock. He didn’t want to interview during Shinobu’s performance. Cause as he told me earlier, “I will never ever miss a Shinobu set.”

The interview went smoothly. I found him to be delightful. My favorite moment of the interview came when Jason Rodriguez, one of the San Jose kids that comes to all the Gnarboots shows, interrupted our interview with some random comments. It was brief, but it made my night.

I first realized that Jason and his friends were coming to all our shows when we’d played Homestead Lanes in Cupertino a month earlier. I was outside the venue by myself when Jason (who I didn’t know at the time) and some of his friends walked by and started doing the Gnarboots chant for me. They didn’t stop, and they didn’t look directly at me, but I could see them checking out my reaction from the corner of their eyes. Anyways, what were we talking about? Oh yeah…Bomb the music industry.

Read my interview with Jeff Rosenstock over at Amp Magazine!



George Clinton at the San Jose Jazz Festival

Honestly, when I went to see George Clinton at the San Jose Jazz Festival, I was confused. I wasn’t sure I had the right stage. The music seemed right, but I didn’t see George Clinton anywhere. I even asked one of the guys working security. “Where’s George Clinton?” I said. He looked at me like I was an idiot. “He’s on stage,” he said, pointed at the stage. I almost asked him to point him out for me, but that felt too embarrassing. I didn’t anticipate this problem. George Clinton is one of the most recognizable people on the planet. I spent the rest of the show rolling around theories in my head. Maybe he bailed on the show, but his band went on without him. There was one heavyset guy that seemed like maybe it was possible it could be him. Mystery solved.

le Verita Will Set You Free

I chose to write my most recent Metro article about the San Jose electronic-folk-rock duo le Verita because of what an original band they are. That goes a long way in my mind, even if they’re not yet at their full potential. When you see a band like le Verita in their early stages carving out a unique sound, something unlike all the other bands in the area, you can’t help but wonder what their music will sound like after they’ve had a few more years to develop.

One item I didn’t get into in the actual article was the story behind their name. They originally wanted to call themselves “The Truths”, but found out someone else had that name already. So, they translated it into another language (I can’t remember if it’s Italian or French.) and voilà, they were now called le Verita. The Metro editors must have been aware of this story, because they titled the article “Undeniable Truth.” In addition, they wrote a caption under their photo that said, “The truth will set you free.” I can only imagine what casual Metro readers thought when they read all these unexplained “truth” references.  Maybe Metro just figured people would go to Babel Fish and see what le Verita meant, and it would all make sense somehow.

Good Evening humans and frogs! Gnarboots greets you with most excellent happiness!

Fakeboots preparing to pirate the stage while...

When you play in rock band, strange things are bound to happen. Particularly when you play in a band as weird as my band: Gnarboots.

There was the time Cody Red, a Oakland homeless man, joined our band mid-way through our set at Mama Buzz Café. He was promptly tossed out of the band and allowed to rejoin three times.

At the Stork Club, our bass player Bob challenged the audience to an all out full-scale hip hop competition. He of course won all three rounds, but barely.

...Gnarboots unwittingly eat some burritos.

While opening for The Phenomenauts at Homestead Lanes, we lost our voices and had to program all in-between song banter using a computer voice. Careful to master the robot dialect, the sentences came out like, “Good Evening humans and frogs! Gnarboots greets you with most excellent happiness! Pleasure to make music sound good for all of your ears! Next song we will play has a lot of delicious guitar sections.”

But when we played Nickel City, something so peculiar happened, even I was shocked. The lights dimmed and the MC started to introduce us. Even though we were the first band, he was throwing around words like “legends” and “before their time.” I felt good. Before we had a chance to climb up on the stage, a different group of guys beat us to the punch. Huh? Who were they? Worse yet, they announced to the audience that they were us.

“Hi everyone. We’re Gnarboots…I’m Adam!” one said. “I’m Bob,” another said. “And I’m uh…Aaron,” the third said. No you’re not, I thought, I’m Aaron. I couldn’t move. Fake Bob looked at the audience and smiled. They quickly went into one of our songs. They knew all the words and everything.

I turned and looked at the real Bob and Adam. They were standing next to me. At least I was fairly certain they were the real Bob and Adam. What if we were the fake Gnarboots and only thought we were real? Time was slipping away from us. We had to do something. Fakeboots was stealing the show. The audience loved them! In a matter of minutes they would no longer care who was real and who was fake. I did what any sane thinking person would do. I pulled the plug on the power, grabbed real Bob and Adam and marched to the stage. As soon as the imposters saw us, they skittered off the stage. I shouted, “We are Gnarboots!” The crowd cheered. And now the show was just beginning…


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