Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So, tell us about this punk thing....

When you start your musical life as a punk, it becomes an inseparable part of your personal, political, and social identity until the day you die. From those arduous hair-dying days as an underage kid getting snuck into bars to play punk shows with grown-ass men much older than me, the classic punk of The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Stooges, The New York Dolls, The Clash, Television, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, all rooted in an experimental Andy Warhol-inspired art project known as The Velvet Underground (and beautifully documented in the oral history Please Kill Me) shaped me in ways that life's traditional influencers did not. It was inevitable that something punk would come out again.

Of course, when side projects emerge, so do questions about the root band. Don't worry, Paint is fine. After a year-and-a-half of uncertainty and transience, Paint has actually become the most fully functional, healthy, and productive that it's been in a long time. In fact, I would probably say that Pantifesto has emerged because Paint has become so vibrant. I'm inspired to just be a musician and be creative again.

Pantifesto had its nucleus during a particularly grueling tour, where I came up with an idea for a screenplay/cult graphic novel about a band -- a punk band -- who runs into a comedy/horror adventure on the road. Partly inspired by the realities of touring life, and partly by the slapstick comedy that is (perhaps surprisingly) a big part of who I am. Naturally, the band in the film-to-be needed a soundtrack. So it was the perfect excuse to get a punk project going.

The names of the Pantifesto members are classically formuliac as most of our punk forefathers' personas were: each band member's first name is taken from the original Ramones lineup, and their last names derive from different styles of women's underwear. Part of this is rooted in the glam end of punk, but also a reflection of the rather unGLAMourous jobs that surely every musician has had to hold down while pursuing their passion. In my case, stock clerk at a women's underwear store (amongst many others).

Nothing was really spent on the Pantifesto record. The production is crap. The musicianship is crap. But that was clearly an aesthetic choice. So, in that mindset, it's being given away for free (or by kind donation if one is so inclined)... Get it here: http://pantifesto.bandcamp.com/

Much love.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fun With Numbers

Over the past two years, I've been working on archiving and update all of our setlists for the Tour page on our website, and linking each set to its related photo album or video playlist.

On some level, it was strange to become a fan-geek of my own band during the process, which was enjoyable, frustrating, and rather emotional in the end. Many happy and bittersweet memories of wonderful shows and beautiful moments on stage that I had forgotten about were triggered by certain songs in specific setlists. And of course, some shows and moments I would hope to never revisit again. It's hard to keep it all in focus sometimes but it all exists somewhere in the subconscious.

On an even more geeky note, it's come to light that Paint has played 167 shows since April 4, 2007. Only 15 of those were in 2007/2008 combined, and only 16 in 2009. So mostly in the last three years, especially 2010-2011.

And the number of times we have played every song that's been in our repertoire:

138 - Strangers (Paint)
126 - End of the Reel (Paint)
106 - She Leaves (Paint)
86 - If The Walls Could Talk (Paint)
76 - Home (Paint)
75 - A Gentle Art (Paint)
74 - Girl in a Frame (Paint)
73 - Madonna (Paint)
68 - Can You Hear Me? (Paint)
67 - Let Go (Paint)
55 - Jenny and Maurice (Paint)
53 - In Disguise / Chemically-Inclined (Paint)
50 - Don't Blow Me Away (Paint)
49 - Vampires (Paint)
48 - Gastown / Out of Mind (Paint)
37 - Boomerang (Paint)
36 - After (Paint)
33 - (What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, love, and Understanding? (Elvis Costello and the Attractions)
15 - An Evening to Myself (Paint)
13 - Kids (MGMT)
13 - Leavin' Here (The Who / Pearl Jam)
11 - Blitzkrieg Bop (The Ramones)
10 - Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)
10 - Life (Paint)
9 - Stand By Me (Ben E. King)
9 - Slide Away (Oasis)
9 - Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) (The Rolling Stones)
8 - In Your Arms Tonight (Paint)
7 - World Without a Mirror (Paint)
7 - Shattered Hearts (Paint)
7 - Better Man (Pearl Jam)
7 - I Won't Back Down (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
6 - Yellow (Coldplay)
6 - Bonfire of Vanities (Paint)
6 - Down (Pearl Jam)
5 - The Con Artist (Paint)
5 - My Empty Hands (Paint)
5 - Moral of the Story (Paint)
4 - Heroes (David Bowie)
4 - When She's Gone (Paint)
4 - Girlfriend in a Coma (The Smiths)
3 - Starman (David Bowie)
3 - I'm Afraid of Americans (David Bowie)
3 - Days (David Bowie)
3 - Rebel Rebel (David Bowie)
3 - Common People (Pulp)
3 - Anarchy in the UK (Sex Pistols)
3 - With or Without You (U2)
2 - Lost Together (Blue Rodeo)
2 - Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Bruce Cockburn)
2 - Young Americans (David Bowie)
2 - Slide (Goo Goo Dolls)
2 - King's Horses (Jet)
2 - Beds Are Burning (Midnight Oil)
2 - Don't Look Back in Anger (Oasis)
2 - The Grand Scheme (Paint)
2 - High and Dry (Radiohead)
2 - Manic Monday (The Bangles)
2 - Why Can't I Touch It? (The Buzzcocks)
2 - In Between Days (The Cure)
2 - Lovesong  (The Cure)
2 - Friday I'm in Love (The Cure)
2 - L.A. Woman (The Doors)
2 - Every Breath You Take (The Police)
2 - Free Fallin' (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
2 - We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister)
2 - Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses? (U2)
1 - Redemption Song (Bob Marley)
1 - You Will. You? Will. You? Will. (Bright Eyes)
1 - True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)
1 - Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks)
1 - Heartbeat (Take It Away) (Dum Dum Girls)
1 - Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley)
1 - Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley)
1 - Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)
1 - Live in a Hiding Place (Idlewild)
1 - Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed)
1 - Like a Hurricane (Neil Young)
1 - Sugar Mountain (Neil Young)
1 - All Apologies (Nirvana)
1 - Talk Tonight (Oasis)
1 - Rivers (Paint)
1 - Curtain Call (Paint)
1 - Death Row (Paint)
1 - Dear John (Paint)
1 - Ant Hill (Paint)
1 - Waiting for Somebody (Paul Westerberg)
1 - Hail, Hail (Pearl Jam)
1 - Corduroy (Pearl Jam)
1 - Off He Goes (Pearl Jam)
1 - Fall On Me (R.E.M.)
1 - It's the End of the World As We Know It (R.E.M.)
1 - Orange Crush (R.E.M.)
1 - Breaking the Girl (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
1 - Jesse's Girl (Rick Springfield)
1 - Prison Bound (Social Distortion)
1 - Interstate Love Song (Stone Temple Pilots)
1 - Dear Prudence (The Beatles)
1 - London Calling (The Clash)
1 - Learning to Fly (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
1 - Where The Streets Have No Name (U2)
1 - All I Want is You (U2)
1 - Blister in the Sun (Violent Femmes)
1 - Say It Ain't So (Weezer)

That's 104 songs in total, though there's a core group of 18-20 that every show revolves around. That number will grow as the newest Paint songs come into the picture more. No real surprises with "Strangers" and "End of the Reel" topping the list. Of course some are a little off-weighted because they haven't been around as long.

A lot of the cover songs have been fragments, mostly things that I would improvise over the ending of "Home" with. That's where a lot of memories come from. Be it singing a Beatles or Doors tunes on the anniversary of John Lennon's death and Jim Morrison's birth; singing "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley in honour of our drummer's father passing away (Marley was his favourite artist); "Prison Bound" by Social Distortion as a celebration of the release of the West Memphis Three; and one of the most emotional was Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End" in light of losing some people very close to me in a short period of time.

Certain Paint songs, like the beautiful "After," sadly aren't represented well enough, because for a long time because it's quite challenging to play correctly live. Overall, the entire Can You Hear Me? record (still my personal favourite) suffers a bit in that regard; it's great now to have a lineup where everyone enjoys the entire catalogue. So, expect some of the old gems to make a comeback. Perhaps.

Honestly, I think we've played songs like "If The Walls Could Talk" and "She Leaves" more than enough. It's time for our newest songs to take their place.

This is officially the geekiest thing that's ever happened with Paint. And it probably won't ever happen again.

Enjoy! There's hours of entertainment there for many of you kind folks who have been with us over the years, and those who are new to us as well.