Magazine smell

Here’s something cool that I forgot to show you guys.  Chris Merritt (that’s me) featured in Magnet music magazine.

Fountains Of Wayne’s very own Adam Schlesinger had some really freakin’ nice things to say.  Which is really cool because FOW is one of my favorite bands of all time.  Adam writes some of the best songs ever, and not just for Fountains Of Wayne.  He also wrote That Thing You Do (the song for the movie) and the awesome Colbert Christmas stuff.  Plus he’s in Ivy, and a band called Tinted Windows.  Etc., etc. He’s just the most efficient rock star on earth, basically, and everything he touches turns into melodic cleverness.

Speaking of Fountains Of Wayne, though, if you haven’t heard their new record Sky Full Of Holes you should really check it out.  It’s their greatest record to date.  It’s immediate, but has depth, which is exceedingly rare.  It’s pure concentrated melodic heartache.  The songs are dark and funny, even more so than their other records.  Plus, it really feels like a rock record, like the early records from the band, with matured, dense songwriting and modern but tasteful production.  All in all, it’s too smart for a stupid world, and the great Fountains Of Wayne are at their best and most uncompromising. Check out tracks on their Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/fountainsofwayne.  Check out Summer Place.  Sorry if it gets stuck in your head for the next month.

 

SEXY BOYS.

Where the HELL you been, Uncle Chris Merritt?  Where’s my sporadic demos and ranting? Did you ever decide on a name?  Why aren’t you playing shows?

Hey.  Slow down there, cowboy.  Before I answer your questions, let me ask you a question.  Do you think these four men can make the best record ever made by humans?

Brett Ripley – DRUMS.  Pictured below on the right…I mean left….I mean right?

Sonny Ratcliff – GUITAR.  ARPITS.  VIBRASLAPS.  SWISS ALPENHORN.

Robert McCullough – BASS GUITAR.

And yours truly, Chris Merritt – PUTT PUTT GOLFER.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Are you ready?  Those undies I’m sporting at the 12th hole?  I’m wearing that exact pair as I type this.

I’m hearing lots of music lately.  It’s all 4/4 and it all has the following chord progression (I, V, vi, IV) and it all sucks.  Except some of it, which is beautiful beyond words and doesn’t get the name it deserves.  Bon Iver.  The new Fountains Of Wayne.  David Bazan.  David Mead.

What is your point, Uncle Chris Merritt? Quiet, you.  Your questions will be answered soon.  In the meantime, know this:  I am ready to make my masterpiece.  I have 30 of the best songs I’ve ever written ready to record.  The band and I will be recording all 30 and whittling them down to a 10-or-11-track record.  They will be about science and ethics.  Religion and girls.  Evolution and cartoons.  There will be new, used, and rare time signatures, heartbreaking melodies and…….well, now I’m rambling, ain’t I?

Here’s my point.  Always bring an extra pair of undies to the golf course.  You never know, you may get a hole in one.

supra secret demo

Sonny and I made a demo with wine

New York Show Next Week, Bitches

Wow.  TONS of comments on the band name thing – keep ‘em coming!  I’m reading your posts and doing lots of thinking.  Excellent job.  Special treat.  We love you.

Chris Merritt And His Rock And Roll Music Ensemble With A Cute Moniker

Dudes.  Dudettes.  Uncle Chris Merritt has got a very exciting activity planned for today!!

I need your opinion and ideas.  I have a new theory for your consideration – when it comes to musical artists, band names are more marketable and more fun than dude’s names. Johnny Assface And The Wieners is better than Johnny Assface.  Umm….okay, bad example, but you get the idea.

This notion has been sloshing around in my meat computer for a few weeks and recruiting neurons to it’s cause.  I’ve only become more convinced after having a conversation about it with two of my musical heroes (both hyper-intelligent heavy-hitters in the Rock And Roll Unifactor).  They both agreed that The Chris Merritt Band or Chris Merritt And The Guys or Chris Merritt And Fart Factory is something worth considering.  But, you know, an actually good band name.

This goes right along with some books I’ve been reading lately on society and the human psyche.  Malcolm Gladwell’s books, especially The Tipping Point, Chabris/Simons’ The Invisible Gorilla (amazing/scary), and Richard Wiseman’s books.  Often, subtle flavors play a big part in what catches and retains attention.  My reasons for liking the group name idea are as follows:

  • People tend to want to support a group or a cause, and are less inclined to support one guy’s inflated ego
  • People want a band name on their t-shirt.  A guy or girl’s name just ain’t the same on a shirt, man.
  • They want to be in the club.  A band feels like a secret fun club for cool people.  A guy’s name feels like a secret fun club for a guy.
  • People aren’t all musicians.  They have trouble understanding how to apply an individual’s name to recordings that clearly have lots of instruments.
  • People like to check out the band and get to know the different faces and personalities of the group.  And chicks like to drool over the drummer.
  • Bands are larger than life and seem magical and legendary.
  • Through history, solo acts never do as well as the band.  Ben Folds Five.  The Beatles.  The Police.  The Pixies.  Bush (yeah, has anyone heard Gavin Rossdale’s solo stuff?)

Those are the reasons I think band names work, but on a personal level, here is what I like about the idea:

  • I have a band of insanely talented, professional New York rockstars who add a lot to the music.  Chris Merritt feels like a band, for the first time in years.
  • I like the idea of talking about my music without saying “my band is called Chris Merritt.  That’s me.  Chris Merritt.  Yeah I named my band after myself.”
  • My band is damn handsome.  This has nothing to do with anything but I’m just pointing it out.

There are reasons I don’t like a band name too.  For example, when members change, it feels like you have to write a new thesis and change the organization’s title.  I also don’t love the idea of “Jonny Blah And The Blahblah” as a name, but I want to retain “Chris Merritt” or “Merritt” in the name somewhere.  I have a tiny eensy beeeensy bit of name recognition now that I’ve built over five years.

I briefly considered going back to Paperface.  Even with Paperface, I saw how the fans got a little more cult-ish with the band.  But I don’t know, I like the idea of Chris Merritt And The Something.  It sounds quirky and fun.  A lot of people don’t like bands with names in them, but this could be different.  Weird enough to work.  Here are some ideas (thought up by me, the band, or awesome friends):

Chris Merritt And The Supercolliders / Chris Merritt And The Virginia Squires / Chris Merritt And The Killscreen / The Chris Merritt Tabernacle Choir / Chris Merritt And The Fundamentalists / Chris Merritt And The Non-Opera Singers / Chris Merritt And The Tokens / The Chris Merritt Conspiracy / Chris Merritt And The Moving Targets / Chris Merritt And The Virgins / Chris Merritt and The Imaginary Guns / Chris Merritt And Superstrings / Chris Merritt And The Space Monkeys / Chris Merritt And The Quantum Leaps

So here’s where you come in.  I want your honest opinion.  What do you think?  And most importantly, can you think of any great band name ideas?  You guys always come up with better things than I can!  Think science.  Humor.  Virginia.  Whatever.

There are wonderful things afoot, my friends.  News will come your way in due time.  But first, I need a name that will kill people on utterance.

SORRY Boston :(

The Boston show has been cancelled due an unfortunate family issue.  Sorry to anyone who was planning on it…..

We will try to book a Boston thing soon.  We’ll get the word out a little sooner, too.

What can you expect from Chris Merritt in the near future?

  • big, big, awesome stuff
  • more damn blog posts
  • lots of great new music
  • a new band name???  maybe!  come back tomorrow evening

 

 

Utah a puddy-tat.

Today is Friday.  I will NOT be playing a show.  Tomorrow is Saturday.  I WILL be playing a show! :)   In a park.  With some people.  We will be grilling.  Beautiful.

It will be EPIC.  $10 gets you admission and burgers (Al-grilled Super-Burgers), hot dogs, chips, and drinks!  As if that wasn’t enough, you also get a SIGNED Chris Merritt drawing!  Also, 10 bucks helps ensure that we can do this again soon.  We’ll have a massive, face-evaporating sound system.  Again – EPIC.

Orem, UT, 670 W 165 S behind Mountain View High School.  On the park.  Follow the music.

1-801-6-TEXT-CM

Text your questions to 1-801-6-TEXT-CM!

question: do you have any love ballads or straight up love jams i could sing to my kick-ass girlfriend?

I think so.  How about Donna?  Sugar?  Um.  Avery?  You could sing her Avery and just change the name.  Also, I’ll write you one right now:  Baby!  You’re just my little love-child.  Lately!  I want to pat your butt, child.  Mate me!  You’re hot and kind of smart, girl.  Baby!  I hope we never part, girl.

I think that will do nicely.  Just strum a few chords along to that and thank me in the morning.

I now believe that Helen Thomas is one of my new heros. Do you know…is she still alive?

According to Wikipedia, yes.  She looks like she’s about 2,000 years old though.  I didn’t know anything about her.  Now I do.  Thanks for the random learning!

When are you coming to provo?!

Christopher. Provo wants your body back within its borders. Come satisfy our need for Merritt music!

Dear chris merritt, i know funds are low but are you planning on playing in utah any time soon? It would be nice… Your fan, jess

July 15!  That’s in two weeks! Can you believe it?  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

Chris – you are awesome! Please play in raleigh sometime. Also, the website does not let me sign up for the merritt list.

Hmmm.  It should work now.  I hadn’t paid the Merritt List bill in months.  Everyone see the new Newsletter by Wes?  It’s absolutely genius.  Make sure you sign up today!  Wes writes ‘em and I sends ‘em.

Text your questions to 1-801-6-TEXT-CM!!

Chris Merritt (that’s me) LIVE. New York, Utah, Boston, Virginia, Maryland.

Utah Jazz fans!  Utah Rock fans!  Utah Jazz-Rock-Piano-Grunge-Sissy-Punk fans!  After about fifty thousand nagging requests from the Salt Lake/Provo fans, Chris Merritt (that’s me) is coming back to town.  It’s been a while.  I’ve missed you.

I’m also playing my favorite East Coast venue Night Cat in Maryland really soon!  Start getting the word around.  Here are all the dates:

When?Where?How?
July 10, 2011Richmond, VAThe Camel
July 15, 2011Provo, UTChris Merritt Memorial Park (to be announced)
July 23, 2011Boston, MAMcGann's
August 4, 2011New York, NYThe National Underground
July 8, 2011Easton, MDNight Cat

Kooky Comix

Jake found some of my old comic strips on his computer from the Paperface days.  I was pleasantly surprised that some of them still made me laugh.

Surreal, perverse, and crudely drawn, Kooky Comix was rushed out weekly on MS Paint.  It’s the anti-comic for the lazy.  Here are some of my favorites: