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European Tour

A few quick updates on what I’ve been up to since the last time I remembered this website exists:

Banner Pilot released our latest album, Souvenir, a few months ago on Fat Wreck. I think it turned out great. If the album had *just* came out, I would probably say that even if I thought it sucked. But now, months later, I could easily say, “It was a misstep, we’re going back to our roots on our next one, it’s going to melt faces bro, blah blah,” so the fact that I’m telling you, well after the release date, that it turned out great means that I actually think it’s true. A good sign! You can buy it here or listen to a couple songs here. Also available on Spotify and most other places along those lines.

We’re also heading back to Europe in a couple weeks for our third tour over there; can’t wait. In addition to some of our favorite spots, we’re also hitting up new countries for us like Italy, Hungary, and Slovenia. It should rule. Full dates right here, check it out if you can. Also excited to have Jeff Matika join us on tour as guitarist for the first time. Oh yeah, and we’re REALLY looking forward to playing the mighty Groezrock festival for the 2nd time.

I also recently started another band called Partial Traces. Trying to go in more of an indie rock direction with this one, although it’s not clear yet if it’ll really sound THAT much different than all the other bands. Either way, it’s been fun! We’re still in the “working out songs” phase, but have played a show so far and posted a couple demos which you can check out here.


New Albums and Stuff

A few quick updates on what I’ve been up to since the last time I remembered this website exists:

Banner Pilot toured the UK, Western Europe, Ukraine, and Russia last summer and it was an awesome experience (there’s a couple tour diaries over at the BP site; hopefully someday I’ll post the rest). Since getting back, we played a smattering of festivals, did a west coast tour, and most importantly finished writing our next album. We hit the studio this Friday; can’t wait. There’s a little blurb on the Fat Wreck page about it. Look for updates on the progress over at the BP page.

I recorded a 7″ with Off With Their Heads last week; that was really fun. There should be more info on that one soon.

Gateway District released our third full length album Old Wild Hearts this spring; go listen to the whole thing on our Bandcamp page. We’ve been so productive we ALSO recorded a 5 song EP this spring that should be released soon.

That’s about it for now!


Europe & New Album

I’ll be in Europe for part of August and September with Banner Pilot– very excited; check out the dates and buy tickets here. Western Europe, UK, Russia, and the Ukraine. Should be a lot of fun. If you live over there, hope to see you. I’ll try to do a tour diary of some sort, either while we’re there or when we get back, so check out the Banner Pilot site for that.

Also, wrapped up a new Gateway District album a few weeks ago— I think it turned out pretty great; a little different than our first couple records but not a radical, ill-advised departure or anything. Album title, release date, etc to be determined.

Working on new Banner Pilot stuff, too. Have 6 new songs that are still only partially formed, but seem promising. Sometimes you know in the back of your head that the songs kind of blow, but you think, “Well, this will get better along the way” even though you only half believe that. But these 6 songs actually seem solid right out of the gate. So that’s a good sign.

In other news, I should probably figure out something to use this website for other than vague, short updates every six months…. I’ll revisit that when I’m back in town next month. Cool!


Take a Sheet

I’ve had caffeine on a daily basis since I was, heck, 5 years old? 6? I’m not sure exactly how far back I’ve been drinking soda, but I remember being overwhelmed by all the Shasta options in a grocery store at a really young age, so it was definitely when I was in single digit territory.

For years, soda was the only way I consumed caffeine until I switched to coffee somewhere around high school. At that time, those were pretty much the only two options; soda, or coffee/espresso.

However, while the last ten years or so has been rough for America economically, Caffeine Delivery is one area that’s enjoyed a boom. First was Jolt, which was basically just a souped-up soda. Then Red Bull, followed by a swarm of (mostly terrible) energy drinks. I don’t even remember all of them. Monster… Bawls….. Amp… Cocaine…. Assault…. Full Throttle…..Mountain Dew MDX…. Xtreme Overload…. Rockstar…. Twitchy…. at least some of those were/are real. Fifteen years ago you could walk into a gas station and leisurely study the four or five options available to you before calmly deciding on your caffeine method of choice. Now, you’re assaulted by an overload of choice as huge buckets of acid-tasting energy drinks line the aisles and the freezers are crammed with a plethora of ridiculously-named products that promise to punch your brain awake.

Lately, the innovation in this arena has slowed. There was 5 Hour Energy and its knockoffs, which are all essentially just energy drinks in a smaller but more potent form. Yawn. There was the innovative Sparks and Four Loko, but they ran into trouble for predictable reasons. And I think there’s been a few weird things like caffeine gum and caffeine mouth spray and who knows what else.

I think that basically all of the above-mentioned items are terrible. I drink coffee, and sugar free Red Bull, and that’s it. But I still find it kind of interesting as it seems like the kind of industry that feels pressure to keep expanding and innovating, but is now in the dregs where there’s not much more to do than initiate crappy knockoffs of existing things, or come up with weird, gimmicky options. I suppose in another twenty years there will be something amazing that will come along, like a cyber-valve you medically attach to your arm and simply twist a little whenever you need a boost of caffeine, sending a shot directly into your veins in whichever flavor you feel like. But until that glorious day arrives, we’re probably stuck with weird and gimmicky caffeine products.

Such as, Sheets. As far as I know, this is a new product, as I just heard about it recently (although, maybe I’m wrong and they’ve been in production since the early 1980s, ruining the premise of this post). They remind me of those Listerine Packs— you Take a Sheet (that’s their slogan), put in on your tongue, let it dissolve, and you’re good to go.

I just tried two of them for the first time, in the Cinnamon Rush flavor, about twenty minutes ago. It tasted pretty disgusting. I don’t really know how cinnamon is typically packaged, but imagine that the process yields Good Cinnamon that goes into jars and on top of Cinnabons and all that, but leaves behind a small percentage of waste. It feels like some smart factory worker had a flash and said, “Instead of taking this waste and feeding it to hogs, why don’t we turn it into small sheets and trick people into putting it on their tongues?” It definitely resembles the taste of cinnamon, but has a weird and unpleasant bitterness to it as well, giving the impression that they messed up something and said ‘Screw it.’

Of course, no one eats this crap for the taste, so the relevant question is whether or not it works. I think so? I feel kind of wired right now but I also drank a double latte before trying this, so in the scientific sense I totally screwed up this experiment.

Verdict: pretty gross, kind of stupid, unclear if they work or not. Will try again.

Top Ten Things of 2011

My top ten list for 2011 is over at Punknews. Mostly music, but I tossed in a TV show. I probably should have included more TV shows (Louie season 2, at least) because there were certain shows I liked more than the albums on my list. Too late now!


Modern Comics

I forgot (I think?) to link to this earlier, but here’s something I wrote recently about a comic book. I don’t read comic books, but that was sort of the point of this particular exercise—DC Comics did a ‘reboot’ of all their comics recently with the hope of luring new readers who would never start on issue 500-whatever, but might give something a shot if they could start at the beginning.

Basically, then, a person like me is in the target audience. Gosh, I feel so special! A target! So The Sense of Right Alliance blog asked me, and a bunch of other people who don’t regularly read comics, to pick one of the re-booted series, read the first issue, and report back on whether or not it sucked us in enough to want to continue on to #2.

I asked for whichever one was the worst comic in its old form. That way, I’d get to check out the comic that had the greatest challenge in front of it. I was given Hawk and Dove #1, which was…. well, go read the review!


One of Those Infrequent “News” Posts

I need to update this more often, huh? I just never seem to be able to get into the groove of writing website content on a regular basis. I could lie and say I’ll try harder moving forward, but nah.

Anyway: here are some things that I’ve been up to. Banner Pilot just released our third full length album Heart Beats Pacific, on Fat Wreck Chords. Go learn more, or check out a couple sample songs. We also just completed a tour out east and down south with our buddies Dead to Me, and will be heading out to the west coast in January. Dates and info are over at

Gateway District demoed some songs last month and we’re hoping to write a new full length over this winter. That seems like an attainable goal. It’s sounding pretty good so far. Don’t forget that we released an album earlier this year that you can still check out. Here’s an iTunes link, or get the CD/vinyl from Interpunk, among other places.

I’m about halfway done with a new book but I’m not really sure if I want to do it fanzine-style (ie, just a bunch of stories collected together) or if I should try to meld it into a single story/narrative/whatever. I’ve also been working on new Banner Pilot songs… it’s been really back burner since we wrapped up in the studio, but I’m hoping to devote more time to it soon. Hell, it snowed today for the first time of the season: soon enough there won’t be anything to do but sit around and write music while the outdoors is cold and dark and sorta crushingly terrible. So, I guess I have that to look forward to.

OK, I think that’s all for now! I found some old stories while I was moving stuff to a new laptop so I’ll try to remember to post them here soon. But again, my track record on keeping this (or, any) website updated regularly is just atrocious.


Updates For August

Hello. A few quick updates on things:

Banner Pilot finished our new album! That was the main thing I did this summer (which is either cool or sad; I’m going with cool) and I’m stoked for it to come out. It’s called Heart Beats Pacific and you can purchase it this October 25th when it comes out on Fat Wreck Chords. Read more here.

We’ll be doing a tour of the east coast with our pals Dead to Me this October in support of it. For exact dates, check here. Earlier in the month we’ll be heading to Chi-town for Riot Fest, where we’ll be opening for All. Come for us, stay for Danzig.

Finally, for those of you in Minneapolis, you can come check out the CD release (or, Mediafire Link Two Week Anniversary, most likely) this November 5th at the Turf Club in St. Paul

Gateway District also has a couple of shows coming up. One is a Minot ND flood benefit (note: the benefit is not for the flood itself. It’s for the people affected by it. We’re not weirdos) at the Turf Club on Saturday September 24th. There’s another show in September but as far as I can tell it’s not announced yet so I guess i’ll zip it for now

Ok, that’s all for now!


A Future That Never Happened

This evening I looked — like, REALLY looked — at the Super America logo for the first time, despite the fact that I worked there many years ago for a few months.

I realized: it’s really bad!

It has a Dated Futuristic look, if that makes sense. As if some executive back in 1986 told his graphic design team, “Look to the future. That’s where we want to position our brand. Imagine a gas station 25 years from now; make a logo for that 2011 gas station.”

Well, despite many things about the current era being less-than-awesome, at least we don’t live in a world where that stuff is the norm, where every bank logo looks like this:

and people who look like this walk into those banks:

See? Things aren’t so bad.

Gateway District Stuff

Hello, just a quick note to let you know that you can listen to the new Gateway District album Perfect’s Gonna Fail, over at Punknews. I suggest you go do so.

If, after doing so, you’re so blown away that you would like to purchase the album, you can pre-order it from It’s Alive. If you’re like, “Nah, I’m cool with this free stream,” then, well, fair enough cheapskate.

The album doesn’t come out until later this month but we already did our two Record Release shows here in Minneapolis and both were a blast. We probably won’t be doing any more shows until summer or fall, so you really should have checked them out.

The final bit of GWD news is that the fine folks over at Punknews also posted our video for the song Run Away a couple of weeks ago. The shoot was stressful and took many hours, and the added weight of knowing just how over budget we had gone made the entire experience rather nerve-wracking. So it’s really great to have it finally come out. See the video below.