Saturday, July 10, 2004

Lies, and the lying, sad mofos who spew that crap...

Ok, so you think I'm angry...? Well, I am. Not at Al Franken, whom I adore (whatever happened to Tom Davis though?) or at GW Dubyah, whom I haven't got time for this morning, but at an ex-band of mine (who will remain nameless b/c I don't want to give them any more undeserved publicity then they already have, not that anyone's reading this blog...yet), and specifically, at their vindictive little weisel guitarist. I was surfing through some indie rock e-zine review sites, doing some research for my glorious band Rollo (, as we're at that press point, when I stumbled upon two, not one, but 2 erroneous reviews of my ex-band that stroked me for my singing and bass playing, but did not credit me. I was the lead singer/co-songwriter and Bassist in this band for 2 years, and we recorded an ep with Steve Albini (the disc that garnered the 2 reviews in question) at his studio, Electrical, in Chicago. The band parted ways last September b/c of artistic differences (and the fact that the other 2 guys were in love with each other and the googly eyes being made were getting in the way). One of these 2 reviews I ran into this morning totally digs my voice/lyrix, but credits my singing in a "unique, raspy snarl" that "perfectly fits the mood" as I moan "about perversion and breakdowns" to another guy in the band, and my bass playing throughout the cd, including the bassline on the song that "carries the melody" to their chick bassist who wasn't even in the band at the time. The other review raves about a certain lyric of mine "maybe I just got the runs", saying "if that's the correct lyric, well, excellent—it means ________ isn't going to bother with ostentatious rock lyric posturing, and actually say what they mean. And more power to them". This review then states that "Lead singer ________ (not me, BUT ME) even goes a little Tom Verlaine-esque on the vocals at times." Cool, but come on, give credit where credit is due yo! I didn't toil and sweat blood chunks over a blank white page for nothin' spewin'out that stuff, or reherse up the ass for all that time just so my hard work could be attributed to some other schmuck. This review goes on to heap praise on an instrumental tune that I penned with the group, noting the stellar bass groove, but saying it was this chick, who wasn't even a glint in my other ex-band member's eyes at the time, who layed it down... Look, I love my new band, it's the best one I've been in, and folks who've caught us these past 2 months have said so, but reading this shit burns me man. I'm not crying over spilt beer, but I don't deserve this. Now, I don't blame the e-zines, for how would they know? But I do hold my ex-band accountable for knowingly misleading the reviewers. It's really unfortunate that this band, esp. the guy who they credit as lead singer (and I'll tell you about him and why in a minute), perhaps out of spite, have decided to dupe listeners, reviewers and readers by rewriting the bands past. Hell, I don't give a load how they splice n' dice the reviews on their website to not-include me, but don't lie to e-zines about who did what, how, when and where, that's bad karma man. When I left the group, I immediately began putting my own band Rollo together. However, while that was taking the time it needed to gel (as forming a band takes time), I played bass with this band The Swedes. We played a few gigs (most likely before my ex-band regrouped), and I sent out emails to many friends and contacts, some who I met when I was w/ said ex-band. Well, long story short, this one particular ex-bandmate went psycho on me, spraying my new band with profanity-laden emails, and leaving a message on my phone screaming expletives and telling me to "keep a look over my f_ckin' shoulder from now on" b/c I'm "f_cked", calling me a "vulnerable little prick" an' shit. Then (now listen to this) he went so far as to delete The Swedes email account I'd created. I found out it could only have been this guy from Yahoo, and by friends who started getting emails again from my ex-band out of the blue months after I split from them... Now, first of all, I'm not a little guy, I'm bigger then this guy in fact, and a biger man then he is apparently accross the board. What he's done is dispicable, perhaps not unfathomable, but downright sad and petty. If you want, you can hear some of the words I sung in that old band in new songs on Rollo's website. Both of the lines refered to above I resurrected in fact in the song "Live Wired", which you can hear for yourself. If you write, then I'm sure you understand and sympathize with me about this, because the pain that goes into penning each word and phrase in a piece, as well as creating a viable arc, something that is often elusive, is real, and, like I said before, credit should really be given where credit is due, don't you think? I can't really do anything about what's happened other than explain it to you here. As anyone who's ever been in a band knows, it's like being in a relationship, and when shit goes wrong, it goes wrong. I've had a few bad band experineces, mostly b/c of misdoings by megalomaniacal childish control freak frontmen and women (something that this guy was, though he wasn't the frontman), but what's happened here takes the cake, hand's down. Restraining orders against past bandmates though? Well,I'm not really interested in going that route right now, as it's really a waste of my valuable, limitted time. Of course, if you find me face first in a ditch, or hear that I've been whacked, just remember this name: Joe Penna, teller of lies.

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