Happy New Year! 2012 has come and gone. Here are some of my most memorable moments from an amazing year.
On The Road
We played some milestone shows last year including the Avalanche Tour with Shinedown and Adelitas Way. SummerFest and Rock Fest were also huge highlights… actually almost every show we played has become part of my most memorable moments of 2012.
It took almost 2 years to perfect. You may have heard about my love of the habanero pepper and my small (very small) hot sauce operation in Vancouver. (Can you call, shopping in local markets, cooking and bottling a few dozen per year an operation?)
I’ve spent the last couple of years testing the recipe on family and friends and a few willing people in the music industry. It’s burnt a few tongues and egos along the way, but when I bump into people that have tried it they always seem to want more!
So here it is! I’ve been able to produce a few of these big ass (750ml) bottles of the stuff.
If you live in Canada and want to get one for someone you love before Christmas, shoot me a message and I’ll let you know how.
I know that expecting an amazing burger at an airport is a little optimistic to say the least, but this place looks great. The staff are attentive and busy, in a very good way for an airport bar. In fact, if it wasn’t for the constant Alaska airline planes taking off just outside the window, I wouldn’t feel like I’m at an airport right now at all. Pretty good thing.
I’ve just tried the Pike’s Place IPA and its off the hook! A nice hoppy beer to make ME a little more hoppy while waiting for my flight to Chicago.
After checking out the menu, I ask my bartender “how’s the burger?” He says “it’s really good” and I take his word for it. What a great opportunity to put this place to the test on “Jonny’s Search For America’s Best Burger“.
I ask if they can cook it medium as opposed to well done and the bartender responds “probably not” but gives me a sense that he’ll try. I also ask for all of the condiments to come ‘on the side’ save for a little mayo.
The burger comes, and looks amazing! Beef and cheese are spilling out of the edges of this classically wrapped sandwich.
I’m a little disappointed to find all of the condiments arrive on the burger. This thing is loaded with pickles, lettuce, onion, mayo and ketchup. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these things, but that’s not quite what we discussed. I’m cool with it though, I mean, how hard is it to scrape these things to the side myself and imagine it came the way I asked for it?
Well, 3 minutes later, I find myself piling the condiments back on. This burger sucks! WAAYY too much bun! This thing tastes like 90% wonder bread! The beef is acceptable, cheese, ummm didn’t really taste it. Over cooked beef = very disappointing. Hmmmm sorry Anthony.
Your burger gets 1 out of 5 beers. And the 1 is only for the checkered wax paper presentation and fries. (Oh, and the friendly service)
I guess airports are not the best place for burgers. Although the staff has been friendly and the ambiance great for flight waiting, the Wendy’s across from me in the food court looks like it might have been a better choice!
I don’t own a TV. Sure I catch up on some of my favorite shows on my lap top from time to time, but I said goodbye to the traditional clunky TV set years ago. I remember a party I threw a few years back with my room mates – we thought we were “oh so cool” by stacking 3 TVs from the 70s and 80s that we had collected from the Vancouver alleys (all which worked BTW) in a corner, which were tuned into different channels of static, snow and emergency broadcast test meters from as far back on the dial as we could twist. The TV sculpture was a perfect compliment to cranked Nine Inch Nails and cheap local beer.
But much has changed. As technology continues to rear it’s wonderful head, the TV has developed into a sleek flat screen unit that sits above your fireplace or hovers near the top shelf liquor at your local pub. The flat screen is a “must have” item. It takes up less space, mimics a theatre screen and embraces HD quality programming. It seems they are everywhere. The gym, the pub, the elevator, hell, you can even have a flat screen in the can! Marvelous!
I’ve been reading the Ozzy Osbourne biography, entitled “I Am Ozzy“. It’s a great “rags to riches” memoir of music, drugs and touring, which I’ve had fun with as I’m going through similar situations in the world of Art of Dying. In the later chapters of the book, Ozzy realizes that he has never smashed a TV. What? Never smashed a TV? All those years with Black Sabbath and never smashed a Telley? Ozzy has done it all – he’s pissed on the Alamo, snorted a line of ants, bitten the heads off of multiple winged creatures… I mean this man has set the bar for all rock n rollers behind him… but never smashed a TV? Well, he realizes this and shortly after drinking an entire mini bar with Zakk Wylde, they hurl the TV out their hotel window to the pool area below. Ozzy can sleep well now knowing that the bottom of his rock n roll to do list now contains a check mark.
I haven’t bit the head off of anything (except a Guinness or two), or pissed on any monuments (that I know of), or snorted any bugs (on purpose), but I have had the wonderful pleasure of smashing a TV with my partner in crime, Mr. Tavis Stanley.
It was a late night, a very late night, and a poker hand gone terribly wrong that lead to some debauchery that only the kinship of band members can fully create or understand that lead to the short but direct flight of a 42″ Sylvainia from the 3rd floor to the tarmac below. It was not the proudest of moments, but there was a sense of freedom that came with this smash that I embrace to this day.
This got me thinking. Smashing a TV is an art form. It’s a stroke of the rock n roll paint brush. It’s a way of unloading your frustrations and “stickin’ it to the man”, all while hearing the loudest distorted D chord in your head. In one foul swoop it smashes the “programming”, the commercials, the infomercials, the day time dramas, the talk shows, the game shows, the news from the left, the news from the right, reality tv, PBS, the weather network, and yes, even MTV. It smashes the idea that we need these boxes in the corners of every room telling us how to live our lives. It smashes “The Joneses”, the suburbs and the two car garage. It smashes the 50,s the 60′s the 70,s the 80′s and part of the 90s. I think SCTV had it right all along… I remember my parents ‘tuning in’ to watch this great Canadian comedic brain drain phenom of a series and I was always captivated by the intro of TVs simultaneously smashing on the pavement below… (is that Mississauga?)
But this art form is threatened. It is coming to a permanent end. The flat screen TV just can’t carry the baton – the torch cannot be passed. Throwing a flat screen out of a window is simply awkward and holds none of the charm, character or rebellion of smashing it’s predecessor. And if you did manage to get it out the window, what would it sound like? A small, “crack” or perhaps an unintimidating folding noise? Hell, if it landed properly, you could probably go retrieve it and it might even still work. Without the earth shattering “BOOM” of the traditional box TV, the tube exploding, the screen shattering, dials bouncing from the scene, all with a dusty brown power cable in tow, you have nothing! The experience is lost. The art is dead. As Jerry Seinfeld so poignantly jokes, you just can’t slam down a cordless phone. There’s no joy in it.
So, enjoy your flat screens people. Put them in your homes. Proudly display them on the very same stand that your old ‘cube TV’ used to sit on (saving you absolutely zero space BTW) and kick back for another episode of your favorite HD show knowing that you are killing the art of smashing TVs. Thankfully we will always have the electric guitar to destroy in the defiance of all and the ever lasting name of rock and roll.
It’s been so amazing seeing the “Sorry” profile pics pop up all over the place! It’s obvious that we have a ton of support, and it’s also obvious that people not only need to say they’re sorry, but it feels good to get it off our chests. Keep sending in and tagging Art of Dying in your profile pics as we’re featuring them in our gallery and putting together a group collage of all of them.
The Twitter “Sorry Contest” is in full swing too. I’m really looking forward to picking a winner and hopefully reuniting 2 special people over a personalized apology call. I’m thinking we should do it via a “Google+ video hangout” and invite the world onto the call as well… could be very cool. What do you think?
The word “Sorry” is in my life everyday. In spirit, in my relationships, and since the release of our single I’m actually seeing the word physically EVERYWHERE! Check these pics out from Vancouver:
Is it popping up in your world too? I’d love to see your pics from your neighbourhood and your travels!