I’m playing this Friday (May 11) with the mighty Fountains Of Wayne in Huntington, NY at a place called The Paramount. Buy tickets here!
I first heard Fountains Of Wayne in high school. My first girlfriend listened to horrible, horrible music. I mean, the worst music in the universe. But she had this CD of this band Fountains Of Wayne. Her friend was a fan of them, or knew them, or something. She said, “yeah, there’s only one good song on here” and so I knew for sure the album would be awesome. We broke up and I “accidentally left her CD in my car.”
The album was the self-titled Fountains Of Wayne, and I was immediately floored. I heard great and clever melodies, funny lyrics, and sad storytelling all in one colorful universe. FOW soon became one of my favorite bands ever, and their second record, Utopia Parkway, was even better. It was darker, more intelligent, mature. It remains one of my top ten records ever.
Well, I’m back in Band Name Limbo, which is an enormous, dark, confusing place. I’ve been busy starting a new and extremely exciting job in the big city (Upperville, VA……wait, I mean, New York City, NY). The band has 25 songs partially recorded, as well as Scheherazade, which has been demo’ed by the band. It’s all…….well, really, really damn good music, and I feel like we’re finally making waves, and poised for some breaks. However, I feel like starting something fresh and tight, something marketable….plus, this is definitely a band lately…. The creative process involves everyone.
As a fun experiment, my good friend Melissa asked her elementary school students to come up with some band names. They listened to some tracks, and then got into groups and brainstormed ideas. The results are awesome. I was impressed with the creativity and intelligence of these 1st and 2nd graders. I laughed, I cried, and I’m pretty sure my brain exploded once or twice. Here they are in all their glory:
Kid’s Band Name Ideas – Day 1
The Fast Speed
Starry Nights Rule
The Hot Chicken Band
Black and White
The Black Pandas
Tears of Blood
The Hot Boy Band
The Amber Band
Werewolves of the Hot Fire
New York City is Awesome
The Mr. Sandman Band
I am a Tree
The Big Bad Band
The Fire Band
Rockstar Baby Attack
Baby on the Roof
The Funky Monkey
You Go I’ll Go
The Bad Girls
The Lord of Gods
This is How We Roll
Learn How to Rock
Say it Out Loud
I Go Where You Go
The Mini Muffins
The Awesome Rock Band
Doin the Duggy
Where to Go
Let it Shine
Doin the Boogie
Four the Sequences
Mario World Rock
Baby at the Door
The Purring Pandas
Singing Rock Music
New York Rock
The Bad Boys
The Four Werewolves
It’s All About Me and You
I Love You
Texas Rock House
The Rocking Turtles
The Adorable Dolphins
Chris Merritt opening for Fountains Of Wayne! At the Paramount (Huntington, NY) on May 11th! This is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I couldn’t be more excited. We’re going to kill it. More on this soon!!
Meanwhile, I’m playing THIS SATURDAY in Provo! Utah, Salt Lake, Provo, Orem, Logan fans, come on out!
Check out this awesome promo video, and make sure to put this on your Facebook wall! Let’s get everyone excited about the show this week!
Video created by Anaïs Saunders and Jackie Watanabe thanks guys!!
I want to finish a few of these songs and release them for free! We’ll probably be done with five very soon: One Man To An Army, On My Own, Coney Island, Bi-Polar, and Amelia. They are kiiiind of getting close to being done. They are the first songs I’ve ever recorded that are not compromised in any way. Pretty, heavy, heartbroken, happy, haunting, funny.
Sheherzahde is getting close to being finished, conceptually. Most of it is demo’ed.
We’re also hard at work on The Itch, Sucker Punch, Jitterbug, Burning Baby, Shorty, The Beautiful Ms. Parker And I, Pretty Bitch, Newborn, Sherlock Holmes, Mechanical Mind, Bi-Polar…..many more……
I’m also hard at work on a side project which will be ready for unveiling soon.
I feel like this is the longest I’ve gone without releasing a new record. It’s a desperate feeling, but I know I have to persevere to finish the most epic music of my life.
People at shows have said this to me: “Don’t put your faith in science” or “Science is just your religion” or similar such nonsense. The idea that science is it’s own field or subject is actually a little false. Science is simply the pursuit of knowledge. Science is the process of finding (good) explanations for our world. A good explanation can’t be varied very much (I first heard this idea from physicist David Deutsch). Even though religion finds explanations for the world, they can be varied immensely and have the same explanatory power. Johannes Kepler, who discovered that planets have elliptical orbits, discovered mathematical laws governing those ellipses. If you wanted to predict the location of Mars, and you varied an equation by the smallest fraction, your prediction would quickly become inaccurate. Kepler created a good explanation.
The Japanese Shinto creation myth says that Izanagi-no-Mikoto (male) and Izanami-no-Mikoto (female) were given a spear with which they stirred the water, and when removed water dripped from the end, Japan was created in the great nothingness. Although the myth is beautiful, if taken as fact (as it surely was), it’s a bad explanation. If you varied this explanation, even a lot, it would have the same explanatory power. What if they had used a giant pair of chopsticks to stir the water instead? What if they had used humongous straws to lower the water level and expose Japan? What if, instead of people, it was monkeys who had done the stirring? None of these changes would hurt the explanatory power of the myth. It still teaches us nothing about how islands form, why they disappear, how long they have been there, when the first people got there, etc. Science – and only science – can do, and has done, those things.
Science (or, the human creative understanding of reality) has done the following:
Allowed us to fly through the sky like a bird. Given us the power of near-instant communication with anyone on earth. Shown us how to boil water to kill pathogens. Allowed us to understand genes and evolution. Cured the near-blind with contact lenses and laser surgery. Shown us close-up footage of the ravaging storms of Jupiter. Given us literally every object made with metal. Cured and destroyed uncountable deadly diseases. Given us control of warm fire. Let us understand and even touch the moon. Allowed us to make and transport food to sustain literally billions of people. Given us electricity, and artificial light. Given us music recordings. Cartoons. Cars. Roller Coasters. Skyscrapers. Boats. Aquariums. Advil. Video Games. Maps. Refrigerators. Hot tubs. Ice machines.
So that’s why I put my “faith” in science. It’s responsible for literally every inch of progress our species has ever made. And I’m not even exaggerating.
I think it’s important to remember your ideas are fallible. In fact, they will always be fallible and imperfect, but you can improve them, and only through critical thought, debate, and creativity.
I’m not really a tattoo person. I never knew why. Not that they aren’t aesthetically pleasing or bad-ass or anything, but what idea could I possible have that I would believe true for my whole life? Our society loves the concept of life-long, unchanging beliefs. We find deeply held beliefs and emotions to be somehow honorable; ideas that never change or improve are considered deep and meaningful. In realty, these stubborn ideas are destructive and inflexible, not to mention obnoxious to the rational thinker. We want the world to have never-changing truths. And, in fact, we find ourselves in a world that does have objective truths, but we can only hone in on them and sharpen our picture of them; we are far from seeing them perfectly clearly.
Newton, the greatest scientist of all time, discovered the Read More …