Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! 2008 IS THE FUTURE!!! WHEAT THINS AND TRISCUITS FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER!!!

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!!

Things I want for Christmas
1.) My own episode of Intervention on A&E
2.) A horse with antlers (preferably real, but I will take glued or stapled)
3.) Egg Nog
4.) Del Taco and Egg Nog
5.) A robot, trained for killing, but built with human compassion

So, new songs have been coming FAST! John and I have been spending long hours in front of computers and microphones and we LOVE what has been coming out of both. The new stuff is much more like our first record. It is quirky and fun. We can't wait to be able to play it for everyone. 2008 will be spent looking for a suitable home for Lola Ray. A home that is built on digital love and the future of releasing records. We are excited to find this home in 2008, we think it will be an adventurous place with no lions and tigers.

Speaking of labels, I tried to post our video for "Automatic Girl" on our myspace page, but could not post it because it cannot be embedded. It cannot be embedded because it was posted by SONYBMG and they don't want people to steal their music videos. They are afraid people will steal music videos and then they will keep stealing music and next they will steal kittens and shoes. So, instead of posting our video, I found this incredible fan made video that is REALLY GOOD,

It says it was made by Amy Genders and Liz Cheesman. This was the best Christmas present I could ever get! I have said it before, but it really blows our minds when someone does something like this.

So go to www.myspace.com/lolaray and download "Customary Love" for FREE! Warm up by the fire with it. Make wax portraits of yourself with candles. Be safe in what is left of this crazy bastard called 2007!!
-brian

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Virtual Lola Ray make a new record in a virtual world.....

Our good friend Barry Owen Smoler took these shots of us in the studio working on our new jams. It is a virtual studio and we make virtual jams and play tennis and bowl.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some day I will live at Universal Studios.... New Music Wednesday..... Have you met my best friend Charles Shaw Merlot?

You know when you have those phases where you are super burnt out on music and you just can't find anything that interests you (except for Lola Ray)? Well I just got out of that phase and have been really loving two things a lot.

Here is the first one. It is a French girl named Soko. I like to picture her working at Anthropologie at the mall and being all sweet, cheery and Amelie but inside she is scorning some wicked bitch who stole her man. Sometimes when she says "I'll kill her" it sounds like she is sneezing. I have watched Reality Bites forty times in the last month and for some reason this song reminds me of that movie, I thinks its a confessional Lisa Loeb vibe.


Now this little gem is new to me, from this morning, but I am already hells of in love with this hat man. He is David Ford.


There is nothing better in life than re discovering why you love music and finding songs that just remind you that music is not dead and boring and stale and boring and smelly and jelly and belly and old and fart.

-brian

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Lola Songs........

This is what our next record is gonna sound like..............


We are fucking Psyched!!!!
-brian

Thursday, September 13, 2007

ROBOTS!!!.......Robots for WAR!!!....... Robots for good!!!.......... Robots for guitar!!!

I usually don't post the next day after a big post (see below) because it overextends my pea brain, but fuck it. I have some video that must be shared and it just can't wait till next week.

Robots are real friends. They are scary and they are real. Don't be confused by what you are watching, these are not animatronics like at Disney Land, that repeat programed movements and speeches. These are robots that are actually reacting (sometimes badly) to stimulus around them. This is end of the world shit, and it rules. Someday I will have one of these and I will program it to read celebrity blogs for me.






I love these videos. Life is about to get SO GOOODD!!!! Go to www.hansonrobotics.com to see the begining of the end of the world.


Check out this awesome robot that they built in the 80's to play guitar

Just kidding. This is the Steve Vai, the only musician whose music really speaks to me these days. Isn't he beautiful? Our new record is gonna be Vai covers,
-brian

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am still not sure this "internet" thing is gonna catch on..... Major Record Labels discover Youtube...... Camp Cucamonga!!!

Hey all-
So I peaced out on modern luxuries (cable, internet, bathing (just kidding)) for the past couple weeks and let me tell you I didn't miss shit. I have been moving and then I started discovering my new neighborhood on my kick ass bike. It is funny when you move into a new place and you get all rustic and you are like "Oh. No electricity for a week, Sure, No Problem." Well, the whole time I was zoning out and bike riding I was thinking to myself "You know what? The internet is totally lame. I don't need that shit. All I do is read gossip blogs anyways and I could just go out and make friends with real life Catty Bitches if I really wanted to. Yeah, and Myspace can suck it deep cause that shit isn't fun anymore." I was just over the whole thing and somehow convinced myself that the world was united against me. I noticed people riding bikes next to me and they would wink at me as if to say "Yeah, your right, the internet is totally last year."

Then the other day I discovered a super phatty wireless network (thanks greghomeXXX) that totally gets low reception if I stand on my bed near the window. Bam!! I was back in the thick of internet action. In a massive couple hour session I got caught up on www.dlisted.com, listened to our friends Mellowdrone's new song (www.myspace.com/mellowdrone), saw pictures of Britney Spears hairless ChoCha, sent a myspace message to Danny Bonaduce and found this on youtube...

Damn! I love the internet sometimes! I realized that the internet is like a warped version of my brain, only better organized.

I discovered something hysterical as I have been obsessively watching Counting Crows videos on youtube. I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but music videos used to be posted by regular people who had taped that shit off of TV or something. They would often be a bit grainy and low res. Now the Major Labels (Universal in the case of the Counting Crows) have pulled those videos off and posted the videos for their artists themselves. If you look at the member information on these videos it says Universal Music Group youtube member for one year! Warner Brothers (The Flaming Lips Videos) has been a member for eleven months! Is that funny to anyone else? I see videos posted by twelve year old hicks who have been on youtube for like three years and somehow a major record label just got the idea a year ago to maybe go ahead and post the videos, that they paid for, to promote records, that they also paid for. I just picture a bunch of fourty something a*#holes sitting in an office trying to figure out how to get their crappy new record played on MTV (which hasn't played a video since The Hils hit 24 hour rotation) when some new young intern says "you could always post it on youtube" and they all go "Is that one of those new website things? I have been hearing a lot about this internet thing recently. I think that it is what those kids are using to steal our records. Maybe we should look into this." Seriously these dudes are dinosaurs. But they made this video happen so I can't totally hate. By the way I had to go to some other private posting of this video because you can't re-post videos that are posted by UNIVERSALMUSICGROUP... fuck!!

I miss the day and age when Adam Duritz was considered a great front man. He is pure beauty.....which brings me to Jennifer Aniston.

So I also got way busy on IMDB the other day and let me tell you I WENT DEEP ON THAT SHIT. Am i the only one who gets crazy lost in the zone of IMDB and then realizes he is sifting through the acting resume of Jaleel White (Stefan Urkel) and snaps back to reality? Well I was looking for current pictures of Candace Cameron (Full House) because I heard she was all super christian like her whack job brother and I clicked on a bunch of profiles and the TGIF memories just started flooding back. I instantly snapped back to hanging alone on a Friday night with all these shows when I saw this glory photo............
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Does anyone remember this made for TV piece of brilliance called "Camp Cucamonga"? It was an ill conceived marketing scheme to get all the TGIF actors in one piece of crap movie. Look there's Urkel, there's DJ Tanner, there's the guy from Head of the Class, and theres JENNIFER ANNISTON!! What? Yeah that's her in all her glory. You know she is thinking "I am so much better than these losers and I will be so much more famous!"

I love finding this picture and I am back to loving the internet, sometimes. I am gonna go ride my bike for awhile and have Camp Cucamonga scenes play in my head while I process all the beauty that technology has served me with this morning.

New tunes are right around the corner,
-brian

Thursday, August 23, 2007

John's interview with Suicide Girls

Hey guys-
Here is John's interview for legendary booby website suicide girls. You can see it at www.suicidegirls.com but then there will be naked girls distracting you. Thanks to Arlan for a great interview and thanks to suicide girls for their support.......
ummmmm it did not really paste the way I had hoped it would so it is a total cluster fuck, but read it anyway, it is funnier this way. I would fix it but my mom is coming and I am not supposed to be looking at porn.





By Arlan Hamilton
Aug 23, 2007
If the Killers met Hot Hot Heat in some swanky NYC hotel bar, had a night that involved lots of vodka-soaked linens and a hefty dry cleaning bill, and then never called each other again, nine months later one of them would give birth to Lola Ray.

At one point the guys in Lola Ray were signed to Good Charlotte’s Sony imprint and enjoyed playing in front of thousands in arenas across the country. Now back to their indie roots, they’ve easily planted themselves high atop my top-10-favorite-bands-of-all-time list if for no other reason than that their music sometimes makes me question my sexuality.

Though there may only be four members in the group -- John Balicanta (Guitars/Vocals), Brian Spina (Guitar), Frederick Beck (Drums), and Chris Upton (Bass) -- they have the strength of 100 men. They can leap tall buildings in a single bound. It was once rumored that their bassist could read your thoughts just by sitting on your lap, and their drummer may have invented ink...and the fanny pack.

John Balicanta is a young soft-spoken Filipino man with a penchant for hard liquor and soft women. I sat on a park bench and chatted with him about the birds and the bees, the elephants of DC (Flag) and breasts. Lots and lots of breasts.
Arlan Hamilton: Are you guys back in California?John Balicanta: Yeah Brian just got an apartment in Long Beach with his girlfriend, and my girlfriend just moved from New York to be with me in Orange County. She and I are trying to save some money, so we picked up this bench on Craigslist for $25. You know those outdoor benches that are made of wood and iron? We took it apart and sanded it down, and painted it.AH:So you went all Tim Allen on it?JB:(laughs) Yeah, we went mad Tim Allen on it. Twenty-five bucks for a bench that we’re using indoors. It’s fuckin’ sweet.AH:Do you guys know the band, Girl in a Coma?JB:No, I don’t think so. Are they any good?AH:I just interviewed them. I absolutely fell in love with their music. They’re so good. You should definitely check them out. Their lead singer Nina is 19, and she’s just a ridiculously amazing vocalist.JB:Is she hot?AH:(laughs) She is hot, yes. But she’s also 19. I’ll say that part again.JB:(laughs) That’s a whole different kind of hot. It’s like, I won’t actually date her, but I’ll totally make out with her.AH:(laughs) Right.JB:Let’s start the interview off with me talking about nubile honeys. (laughs)AH:Absolutely. And now to some band questions that involve nubile honeys of a different kind: can you tell me why you’re no longer on Good Charlotte’s label?JB:Sure. DC Flag was basically a vanity label for Benji and Joel who are in Good Charlotte. Sony gave it to them as a subsidiary. There were two bands on the label, us and Hazle Street. And they poured a bunch of money into the other band, but then Hazle Street ended up breaking up. So when that happened, the label stopped running the whole project. And I think Good Charlotte was having a little trouble of their own at the time. So eventually the label just went under. When that happened, we wanted to sign to Sony proper, but they didn’t want us.AH:How has the change been, in ways you can quantify, like album sales, and in other ways?JB:Well I feel like we learned a lot when we were on the label, cause we had a lot of resources. We got a taste of what goes on when you have lots of money and people behind you. We paid attention to the publicists and the managers when they were running around and learned how they did things, especially touring-wise. We got to see what we really needed to go on tour and what we didn’t need. So now we’re able to tour on our own really efficiently.AH:Right.JB:Yeah it’s one of those things where you get really excited (when you get signed) and you’ve got big dreams about making it big. And then when that goes away, you’re like ‘holy fuck, we’ve gotta work just as hard as anyone else.’ It was weird. We did it ass backwards. We were handed all this great stuff and then had it all taken away from us. It was good cause we learned a lot. But it was a big blow to all of us, morale-wise. When we started over, (former bassist) James wanted to go do something else, (former drummer) Alex didn’t want to be in the band anymore. And it came down to Brian and I wanting to do this and not wanting to do anything else. It was a really difficult change, but at the point where we are now (with the new lineup), Brian and I feel fortunate cause we own everything we are. Liars came out and we did it all ourselves. It’s a really good feeling. It’s not much, but it’s ours, ya know?AH:Is the goal to get back to that same level again on your own, or do you feel like that was too much, or not what it’s cracked up to be?JB:There are certain things that we’d really appreciate having from a label—that having a label would make a lot easier—but there is also a lot of freedom we have not being on a label. On one hand it would be rad to have more money, but on the other hand, most labels are wasting money doing things the old-fashioned way. Like radio and whatever, and not on touring…the things that hold everything together. They’re too impatient. They don’t want to invest time and wait and watch things grow. I think at a certain point, when we build it up enough ourselves, labels will want to come back again.AH:If you build it, they will come.JB:Yeah, exactly. Before that point comes, a label isn’t going to be that good for us. But I think that extra push that certain bands need, labels are great for. Right now I think we’re still trying to build a better foundation to get to that point.AH:You know that video you guys have where—(interrupted by a homeless man screaming about El Pollo Loco while sitting on a bench outside at a park)JB:(laughs) Whoa…AH:That was my dad.JB:(laughs) Man, your dad’s like, drunk on a bicycle yelling at you? That’s rad.AH:(laughs) All day. That’s why I had to get out of the house to do this.JB:(laughs) You’re in the living room while your dad’s on a bike just yelling at you.AH:Just circling and circling, yelling about chicken.JB:(laughs)AH:Yes, so the video you did for this older song “What It Feels Like,” you know the way YouTube is right now, I feel like it’s the type of video that could become viral. Are you going to do something like that for a newer song? You guys have such a fun, creative time with things like your blog and the way you promote yourselves.JB:Yeah definitely. We actually made another video for the song “We’re Not Having Any Fun.” We shot all of the footage less than a year ago. We just haven’t had the money to get somebody to edit it. It’s shot really, really well, and it’s just a matter of finding someone to edit it for us, or coming up with the money.AH:You know who does editing? I know this is kinda random, but Clea Duvall does editing.JB:Really?AH:You should totally get in touch with her and see if she’d do it. She did this 10 minute short film recently. It was this funny take on global warming about this girl named Green. It was about herself…and she did the writing, direction and the editing. She did a great job on it, so it would be cool, right?JB:Definitely. That’d be sweet.AH:The direction you already have with it, is it something that’s really cool that you think people would show their friends and could possibly become a cult hit?JB:Yeah, well I just love the song so much--AH:It’s my favorite of yours…JB:The video is basically us standing in front of a brick wall, getting tons and tons of food thrown at us. Like cakes and tons of beans, and eggs and tomatoes. It’s amazing actually. (laughs)AH:Wow. Yeah I’d love to see that. Ok, so you call the album Liars. Was that directed at anyone?JB:Originally I drew a bunch of elephants for the cover and I wanted to call it "Mice.” So it would be, ya know, untrue. (laughs) But the title is more directed towards myself, if anything, or what people have thought of me. Like people in my life, ex-girlfriends, etc. Most of the album is about my old relationships. I had this crazy summer of drama and MySpace (laughs) and ex-girlfriends, and new girlfriends. It was a mess. I wrote most of the record with Brian on acoustic guitar, or by myself at 4 o’clock in the morning, really, really drunk, and sad. The whole record is basically me confessing a lot of how I felt about things that were going on. It was almost an apology to the people that I hurt. It was a way for me to come to grips with the many things that I don’t like about myself or haven’t liked about myself for a long time. It’s just me exposing myself a lot. It’s the most I’ve ever done. But it’s the not the most that I could do. I think the next record will be more so like that, maybe in a different tone ‘cause I’m in a different place now. I’m trying more and more to really say what I really mean. That’s always been a difficult thing for me. I’m always trying to like, sugar coat things, and make things pretty. But I really want to get across certain things that I feel. The last record was an attempt to do that.AH:So your next album will basically be a how-to guide for guys?JB:(laughs) Yes, “How to not get yourself in a situation where you would write “liars” for your next record.”

No, there are a lot of things that I’ve struggled with spiritually that have nothing to do with relationships—wait no, actually I think it has everything to do with relationships. I think that’s why Liars happened. I was figuring out my relationships and how they related to things. I’ve also always been interested in religion. Troubled by it and plagued by it. The next record will be more of an expression of a journey that I’ve been going through lately.AH:Speaking of journeys, how long is Brian’s hair going to get before he can’t see his face anymore? What is the goal here?JB:(laughs) What I think we’re looking for in the forecast for the next few years is something where if you stretch it out it can go around the world twice. Right now it’s like a big orb of joy. But if you were to look at individual strands, I think you’d find tiny towns and people who have been trapped for days. Then if you cut his hair in half, just straight down the middle, you’d see the rings of all the touring we’ve done, and all the stress. I think he’s older than he says he is. He says he’s 26, but I think he’s 400 years old.AH:I was thinking something like 270, but you know I’m bad with guessing ages. Do you think he’ll ever do the Lenny Kravitz thing and cut it off to just take away all of his stress and mellow out?JB:The Lenny Kravitz thing and go black?AH:Half. Go half. Lenny is half. But to be fair, Brian is already half black. So…JB:(laughs) He’s got a lot of soul.AH:And what’s with his fascination with Ben and Fred Savage? Is he gay, or?JB:(laughs) No, I don’t think he’s gay. Brian’s very into pop culture. His world is reading US Weekly and People. It’s an addiction and we’ve been trying to figure out how to help him kick it, without hurting him. We might have to bind him to a wheelchair or something and have him listen to only indie records.AH:That’d be a cool stage show, if you bound him to a wheelchair.JB:Watching the IMC channel only. You’re done with the pop culture man. (laughs)AH:SuicideGirls -- I don’t know if you know this or not, but there’s a rumor that there are naked women on the site.JB:I’d have to verify that rumor. (laughs)AH:This leads into probably the most important question of the entire interview: Do you prefer the left boob or right boob on a woman? Which one has served you best?JB:I’d say the left boob because it’s closer to the heart, so it’s swollen a little bit more.AH:I was not expecting that answer.JB:It just looks great. It’s wonderful.AH:They don’t usually talk about Britney Spears on the site, but I think we should for a second. Cause I know it has a lot to do with your life.JB:(laughs)AH:Did she go crazy because you broke up with her, or…?JB:(laughs) Well that’s why I took down my MySpace page. Cause she kept messaging all of my friends saying that we were still in love, ya know or that things were great. But you know what, that bitch stole my Xbox 360 and I will not forgive that!AH:She stole your what?JB:My Xbox 360, yo.AH:Oh I thought you said your virginity! And I thought, well that explains a lot.JB:(laughs) Yes it does.AH:The questions I had planned for this are just becoming so much different.JB:They’re just becoming more and more real, Arlan.AH:Which of the four of you guys would pose naked on the Internet?JB:(laughs) Hmm…I’d probably say, our drummer Beck. He even calls his penis “The Great Redwood.”AH:(laughs)JB:I think that’s something he’d want to share amongst the great multitudes. It’s not gigantic by any means, but it’s a beautiful thing. It’s like a natural rainforest, if you will. I think more people should bare witness to its greatness.AH:And how often do you guys share these things with each other?JB:How often do we show each other our wieners?AH:Well, yeah.JB:I think that all of us try to pee in urinals that don’t have dividers. I think that subconsciously we want to see each other’s wieners. We don’t talk about it. Like, you know someone’s taking a piss next to you, so you’re like, "Hey man, how’s the show going so far?" And if you can see a shadow of it out of your peripheral vision, you’re like, "Yeah, that’s Brian right there." Makes you feel safe. Or like if we’re in a hotel and we’re really drunk, and one of the guys is like, “Man, I’m gonna pee over this balcony,” and we’re like, “No! don’t do it!” but secretly we kinda like lean over and think, “That’s some good shit.” (laughs)AH:That’s amazing. I wanna live in your head for one day. Your brain! Your brain, I wanna live in. I should say. Oh man…JB:(laughs) My ‘shroom. I think the problem is that my brain and your brain are too similar.AH:That’s interesting. We’re kind of an androgynous pair too, I guess.JB:(laughs) Exactly.AH:We should do a side project thing. I’ve been wanting to do a really messed up spoken word poetry thing, cause I’m so bad at it. I want to try to make people take it seriously. I want to go to Hotel CafĂ© one night and convince them to let me up there. Walk up there, have the place full of people. And wear a sweatband and never break character. I want a friend of mine to play bongos behind me, and there’s just one really soft red light hitting the stage.JB:(laughs) Right…AH:I want to request silence from the audience. Like put up signs that ask that no one speaks for the 15 minutes I’m up there. And for the first 7 minutes, just have the bongos going. And then on the 8th minute, I just stand up and scream out, “Vagina!!”JB:(laughs)AH:…and just look really sad, and kinda scary. Just walk offstage, leaving everyone to try to figure out what the hell just happened.JB:I’d totally do that with you! We could be the Ambiguously Straight Duo. That’d be rad.AH:(laughs) We should do that! That’s a genius name for it.JB:It’s beautiful.AH:Ok, we’ll work on that. I wanted to talk to you about tattoos, but I don’t know how to segway into that now. I know you have several, and I’ve never really talked to people about why they get them. I’m curious.JB:I have a theory about why people get tattoos.AH:Oh great! What is it?JB:My theory is that no one actually gives a shit about what any of them mean, they just think they look cool. I think 75% of the people you ask why they got a tattoo, they’re really full of shit. They might make up some grandiose story, but it’s really because they have a sweet picture on their arm or their chest. It comes down to vanity. It has nothing to do with heart or soul or anything. I think it’s pretty rad.AH:That’s….JB:(laughs)AH:We’ll just end it on the “ambigiously straight” thing.JB:(laughs) Well what do you think about it? Why do you think people get tattoos?AH:I only have my brother as an example. He’s completely different from me in almost every way, except our sense of humor. He’s in Dallas and he has a ton of tattoos. He has so many that I’ve lost count. And they’re mostly names of people in his life.JB:Right…AH:And I think he does it because he likes the pain.JB:Yeah, I was actually going to say that too. I know personally I’ve enjoyed it so much…you know when you’re about to ask someone on a date, and you get really nervous, and you get really scared? And whether or not you fail, it’s the fact that you did it and you survived it and you’re alive after that, it gives you a rush. And the next time it happens, it’s not as difficult. It’s like overcoming a fear. Tattoos hurt a lot, but they don’t really hurt that bad, just enough that you know what it’s like to hurt. And you’re alive, and you’re fine.AH:So it reminds you of what you’re capable of withstanding. It reminds you that you are alive and you’re feeling things. Hmm. I might have to try that!JB:It’s like people who do the suspension stuff, right. All of that mind over matter stuff is fascinating to me. I have no control when it comes to that. If something hurts, it hurts. But talking to people who do things like that, they really do conquer pain or suffering. It’s weird.AH:That’s beautiful, John.JB:You’re beautiful, Arlan. You really are.AH:(laughs) Oh John, we know who wins in the beauty category right now. I love your hair and I hope you win.JB:(laughs)AH:I had my family vote for you. That’s how much I want you to win.JB:(laughs)AH:Ok, so this is my final question--JB:Ok…AH:So you think you can dance?JB:(silence)AH:Oh god, you don’t know the show?? Oh man!JB:(laughs) There’s a show?AH:(laughs) Ok so that won’tbe my final question. I’ll just keep asking people until they give me the answer I want. I just don’t know what that answer is yet.JB:“I just want to express myself with the art of dance.” Have you ever seen that Dane Cook skit? Where he’s like, “Girls are always like, forget guys. Let’s just go out and dance. I just want to go out and express myself with the art of dance. You never hear a bunch of dudes go like,*deep voice* “Dudes, fuck girls. Let’s go outside and dance.” (laughs)AH:(laughs) You know what? I don’t think Dane Cook is funny. But I think he’s funny when you deliver it! Maybe you should be a cover artist for his work. Just do a Dane Cook cover coffee shop tour around the whole country.JB:(laughs) I’ll be like Dane…Balicanta.AH:Perfect!


Fall in love all over again by showering yourself with Lola Ray’s music at www.lolaray.com and redefine literature as you know it by visiting their blog at lolarayband.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A fairly convenient truth.......... Puppies are the groupies of 2007........... Shia Labeouf is a fraud, a crook and a drunk

Hey there-
One thing struck me hard on this last tour, I am not really sure that global warming is REALLY happening. Keep in mind that we were out in about every climate that the US has to offer for the last thirty days. Basically, it was beautiful everywhere. Even the places that were hot were not as hot as they usually are (Phoenix was practically tolerable at 102, as opposed to the 118 that it was last summer). Look I am not trying to lead no anti earth coalition or anything, I will go green with every other 20 something douche that I know, I am just making an observation. This really was a mind blowingly cool summer tour. Let it be known, that I am also not some anti Gore man or anything, dude has been known to own a sweet beard and I heard that he is directing Transformers 2 (Optimus Prime runs on Bio Diesel) and that would be crazy sweet! Also, as soon as someone gives me some damn money I will totally convert our sweet black van to run on dolphin farts or chocolate kisses or whatever the hell gets me to the next show. Go EARTH and go weather!

It is weird to reflect on a tour and try and capture it in words. So instead or giving a bunch of dumb road stories I will relay a conversation I had with my mom at the end of this tour....
Mom; So how was tour?
Me; Uh, it was ok.......um........yeah
Mom; How were the shows?
Me; They were good......um......yeah
Mom; Does your hair still look like a pile of shit?
Me; Um.......Yeah
Mom; Did you do ANYTHING exciting?!? You guys are so boring.....why don't you do drugs or be cool or something?
Me; OH!!!! I WENT TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA FOR FREE!!!!!!

And that's the DAMN truth. What can I say, I am a hopeless amusement park junkie and this really was the highlight of the tour. We rode so many movies that my mind almost exploded. I would like to thank our tour guides Jonathon (from Orlando based band Pop Culture Clash) and his ultra cool girlfriend Erica (not currently in a band that I know of) for giving us a great day of pretzel and churro dreams!!


Early in the tour we walked out on Transformers the movie because lead actor Shia Labeouf was not the star of Boy Meets World and I demanded my money back on that fact alone.

Seriously though, this is Shia (Transformers, Disturbia, Next Indiana Jones, Casablanca 2, Gone with The Wind 2, EVERY MOVIE EVER!!)

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And this is Ben Savage (Boy Meets World....um....that's it)

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I smell a conspiracy here people!!!

But in WAY more important news......... we are about to start writing some brand new songs for all you beautiful people to enjoy and consume!!!!!! I am serious and really really thrilled. It is official, we are about to start work on the songs that will make up our next record. Expect the new stuff to sound really really different or to sound exactly the same, we are not sure yet because we have not written it yet. This is always my favorite part of being in a band. New material is like springtime for a band that tours a lot. It is the time when you look around and smell the flowers and get re-invigorated and sniff your armpits and realize that your new deodorant crystal is maybe not working so well and you go and borrow your girlfriends deodorant and fall in love with yourself even more somehow......
It's a beautiful time people, JUST TRUST ME!!!!
-brian

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Everyone I know is gonna be Famous........... Ice Coffee is my new Life Partner....... Rhino's on TV are Big, Sexy and Lethal

I had the best thing happen to me the other night. I almost never wake up in the middle of the night because waking up is stupid and I try and only do it once a day. Well, last night I woke up at two in the morning and I was mad thirsty. I needed water because I had sodium mouth like a skank and simply could not handle the dehydration in my Sahara throat. I went and got some water and then could not sleep so I turned on MTV. Luckily MTV was showing videos and not Super Sweet Sixteen. That show is a brutal case study in the life and times of spoiled brats and it makes me want to fling dookie turds at rotten little kids. Either way, a super hella fly jam came on the TV and it was Lil Mama "Lip Gloss." This song is so red hot and it reminds me of when Punky Brewster used to rule the world and it was OK for a young man (maybe named Brian) to have a Lisa Frank trapper keeper with bright neon green Nike dunks.
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So as I am watching the video, about 3 minutes into the thing, I see a woman (in the video playing the role of the classroom teacher) and I am like "I KNOW that woman!" It is crazy, that is our manager's super fly wife Malissa Hunter. She is in the most blowing up video of the moment and we could not be prouder. She is so nice to us and comes out to a ton of our shows and tells us we are cool and even allowed us to go to her wedding (despite the fact that we looked like lame douche bags with mismatched suits.) So congrats to Malissa, she is gonna be the R&B/Hip Hop Queen of 2008 and we will still be guys with Lisa Frank binders.



I officially have a new summer addiction. It is Iced Coffee from Starbucks. It makes my brain work incredibly fast. I no longer drool on myself and I am a better person for finding this new obsession. Don't make fun of me if you see me walking around with this shit super sized. I REALLY REALLY like it.........
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After I watched the Lil Mama video, I slowly retired back to dream land with a nature channel special all about Rhino's in Africa. They are really such majestic beings. They are fat, but somehow sleek and mysterious. I would like to drink Iced Coffee out of their tusks......... Is that illegal?

We are gonna destroy the month of July by playing eight million shows in 34 days. This tour is hot so come and see us, and don't give us some excuse about Warped Tour being in town or something because Warped Tour is fucking stupid and Bro Rock is going down hard in 2008. Lisa Frank forever!!!!
-brian

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Failure is ALWAYS an option.........

um............so go ahead and just forget that last blog post.
-brian

Saturday, June 16, 2007

An illness in the House of The Ray............... I am going to smoke my dog's skull............... Gummo is a better movie than Citizen Kane

Friends-
A great death illness has cast it's dark cloud on two of us Ray Rays. Only god knows how many more of us will have to succumb to the power of this great disease. It has now been three days since I have been afflicted, John has been ill for seven (possibly more) days. What is the disease that hangs over our heads? What could possibly drive me to the verge of total insanity and then push me over the edge with a humiliating laugh? The disease I speak of is actually the tortuous process of hell hounds that I call QUITTING SMOKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why Why Why did I ever start up such a horrible habit?

Or wait.....the habit was great, I love smoking.....

Why Why Why did I ever start to give up such a horrible habit? Now that is the question. I feel like I am letting everybody down by giving up smoking. It had always been a dream of mine to influence a whole new generation to light up and smoke a cool drag. I feel like kids really looked up to me when I was smoking. They thought "Now there's a guy who is really going places." Now that I don't have cigarettes kids just look at me and laugh and say "That guy has a beard like my crazy uncle Jimmy." Well Fuck your Uncle Jimmy because he is probably cool enough to smoke and he probably did not chew his bottom lip raw within the last two days.

I think I might smoke my dog's skull. It totally looks like a cigarette in some warped and twisted way. It probably smells like strawberry tobacco from the hookah bar when his head is on fire.

The only thing that can make me feel any better right now is the theatrical trailer for my favorite movie of all time.... GUMMMO. This movie is jacked the fuck up and DON"T WATCH IT because I don't want anyone to be all "THAT MOVIE WAS SO DISGUSTING!!!" I don't care. This movie practically raised me. John and I watched it so many times in high school that it was like a baby sitter to us. We would cuddle up with a bottle of Hooch and our virginity as our blanket and watch this bitch from start to finish, pausing only once to check the nipple shot on Chloe Sevigny in the bed jumping scene.



Honestly that movie made me a better person. Kids these days don't understand the power of totally pretentious art house cinema. Without these arty films of the mid 90's there would be no Napolean Dynamite. And without Napolean Dynamite there would be no Bench Warmers........ and without Bench Warmers there would be no...no.........no....FUCKKKKKKKKK IIIIIIIIII WWWWWWWAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNTTTTTTTTT TTTTTOOOOOOOOOO SMMMMOKKKEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!
DDDDDDDDDDIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!
-brian

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tour Antics ...........SLAYER!!!!............ Pirates of The Carribean was confusing

Hey All-
We just got home from our nice little jaunt with our special new friends Siren's Sister and Cavil At Rest. It was a big old band love session with all involved and I wish I had some crazy stories to tell you from tour, but sadly there are just no crazy stories to tell. We were fascinated to slowly learn that Siren's Sister have a hidden passion that rivals even their love of playing music........these dudes REALLY like swimming!! I don't mean swimming like "Hey, lets go back to the hotel after the show for a dip in the pool" I mean swimming like "Hey we found a great local swimming hole in Yakima, Washington and the water is like 38 degrees. Come for a swim with us before the show." It should come as no suprise that the Ray are pretty strongly opposed to the outdoors, but we did our best to keep up with these crazy earth children. We even went camping in Oregon for a night!!
The whole camping thing basically went like this........we got to the camp grounds at eleven at night and were greeted by the most beautiful sight I have seen in a long time. Our black van and trailer were silouetted by a bright full moon and a huge lake that we were parked next to, on a brisk summer night. We sat next to the lake for a good five minutes trying to muster up the words to capture the beauty and grandeur of nature in it's finest setting and then John said "This is pretty cool, I am gonna go play Halo in the van." It was perfect. I could not have agreed more.

This tour featured a lot of driving in the desert. The desert is really hot right now. We made a little movie to help everyone understand what it is like to tour in the desert during the summer time.


That movie is way trippy right? I have to go coat my acid tongue in milk for like ten minutes after that shit. I have so much more to write soon,
-brian

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chriss Angel "MindFreak!" Gets a Haircut............Italian Intervention...............To All My Baby Momma's

Uhhhhhhhhhhh........
So the longer we are off from tour, the less relevant this blog will become to actual band activity. Luckily, we leave for our next tour in one week. On that note, let the bullshit begin,

So I have been watching the best late night television of my life recently, and I must share in some of the nonsense I have seen in the midnight glowing apocalypse. I watched Conan the other night to see one very special guest. He just happens to be my favorite entertainer/illusionist/pervert/weirdo/guitar teacher/idol of all time..............CHRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK!!!!!!!!!!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This guy has been turning every day back to 1988 for the past couple years and I am just in awe of his oddness. How the hell does this guy get a television show? He is total car wreck footage for me. So, I am watching Conan to see him and when he is introduced and appears from the curtain I am blown away by the fact that MindFreak got a haircut! Look at this cut it is totally..........MINDFREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!
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But here's the best part, he didn't just get a haircut......he turned the weirdo dial to 1995 and got the Rachel Haircut from "Friends!" I know that cut, my Mom had it and so did every girl in the nation. This guy is so mental. He totally did the supercuts commercial and went in with the Skid Row hair and said to the hair lady "Give me something my mom would like."
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Love is Mindfreak and today is about Love so Love Mindfreak in 2007 just like you loved your Rachel bob cut in 1995.

Last night I watched my Italian people be degraded by the worst "Intervention" episode I have ever seen. Let me just say that not all Italians work in and operate pizzerias in Jersey with Caesar haircuts and bad jewelry. Well not only did the family on "Intervention" live up to all these stereotypes, but they also had a son who smoked mad crack and still worked the family pizza parlor for twelve hours a day. I am only half Italian so I must have just gotten that hard working gene and totally by-passed the Caesar haircut and crack smoking gene. Remember, crack is whack but huffing spray paint is just as fun as an adult as it was in eighth grade!!!

Last but not least, I would like to shout out ALL MOTHERS on this very special day!! Lola Ray has had many offspring across this fine country and I would like to holler at all the proud mommas out there. So raise your hand if Lola Ray is your Baby Daddy and put your hand back down if you think you are getting a dime off our broke asses for child support. This day is for you lucky ladies,
-brian

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Great Wall: A Quest for Manhood.

The Wall: A Quest for Manhood.

What is a man? Anatomically a man is defined by the nether-regions; the penis and gonads. Sociologically, a man is coined as being the provider, the strength, and the rock upon which a family is rooted. The idioms which flatter and galvanize us can also confine the potential artist that we all have lying deep within. Being in a band can often cause one to question their manliness, case in point…

Scenario: Loading in to ghetto D.C club.
Crackie #1: Oh shit! Is it gay night???
Me: Nope. Disappointed?
Crackie #2: Nice pants.
Me: Thank you.

Too often have we shyed under the shadows of masons and carpenters, marines and jedi knights, l.a.p.d. snipers and ultimate fighters. We musicians are as manly as any man, and it must be known! Although countless burly moments present themselves while on the road, i.e. driving through snowy mountain passes miles above sea level, semi-trucks screaming by with reckless abandon kicking ice and slush up into waves of Nordic murder. Really, there is no better way to comprehend the Manimal without becoming the Manimal. This is where John's and my vision quest begins… The Man Within.

A wall was to be built in the Lola Ray trailer. Schematics! We need schematics. Yes, yes…blueprints as well, we need those. Measuring tape, check…hammer, ballpene or claw? Fuck, I dunno. Thin-thread screws 3 inches with oxidation preventative zinc coating. Two by fours of Oregonian pressure treated Douglas fir. Plywood planks four feet by five and nine inches. Four testicles, two wife-beaters, one AC/DC record with powerful car stereo, cigarettes, sweat, sawdust and a touch of blood bourne of slight splinter incision. “If you build it, they will come” resonated deeply within our newly bastardized souls. Sons of no mother, we were now children of the greats…George Washington, Denzel Washington, Daniel Boone and Captain Kirk. No more did the Iggys and Bowies flow through our fickle girly veins.
With saw in hand, I began to hack through the dense fibers that once were tree as John installed the planks with surgical precision. We eyeballed, we cussed, we became elated in the pure ingenuity that must have filled the men of Egypt while they struggled to heave 5 ton blocks one by one up those pyramid steps. Hours disappeared, the sun turned its reign over to the slight gray moon, and yet we continued to work in to the coming night. Her thoughtful luminescence guiding our weary hands away from the blades and blunt crude tools. Tap tap tap, the whir of an electrical motor, tap tap tap. At around 9 p.m. the wall was completed with one final trigger pull of John’s craftsman built, sears bought corded power drill…18-volt bitch, wassup.
Standing back and admiring the finished product can only be understood, strangely enough, by a woman after birthing her first seed. A tear may have been shed but will never again be spoken of…real men do not cry. A hi-five was indefinitely shared, as were a few tall, chilled Millers.
You can look for us not up on stage, plucking frivolously at strings and singing songs of love and woe, but on the frontlines, M-60’s in hand and HOO-RAH’s tipping our tongues. Plugging away at anti-American vermin pouring oil into their oversized cereal bowls. I hope the Corp. can handle a few good men, even if they happen to be devilishly handsome musical visionaries, new to the world of drill bits and fucking for sport. Believe it, for we…are…man. Grrrraawwwr!!!!

A contemplative poem in retrospect of a great accomplishment.

Torrid burning sun
On our backs as we work
Building with wood
Love has turned sour
Our thoughts on nails
On hammers and axes
No tree is safe
We will build walls around walls
Until death greets us openly on the battlefield
Timber of heaven beware
There are REAL men in this place.

------Brian Beck.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The best day of my life!!!.......The worst day of my life!!....Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic

At the intersection of vanity and self obsession sits a little band called Lola Ray. When we are not at Best Buy looking for our own CD, we can most often be found near a laptop searching youtube for videos tagged "Lola Ray." Most often we just find live footage that proves the sad fact that we tend to play every song way to fast. This realization can become tedious and even disheartening. So you can imagine my blissful shreek when I found THE GREATEST LOLA RAY VIDEO EVER POSTED ON YOUTUBE!!! This video is a high school band performing Automatic Girl at their school's talent show!!!!

This band is called Mr Pansy and The Travesty!!! I fucking love that name! I love everything about this band! It honestly is the nicest thing to know that these guys took the time to learn our song and they took it to their school's show and fucking slay with it!! I am on goddamn cloud nine over this video!! It is all I have ever asked for in life to have a band cover one of our songs. When I was in middle school I totally covered Alice In Chain's "Would" at some talent show and it blew. I think I tried to rip some solo or something and just over exerted my unskilled hands and was forced to become an akward high schooler who lived vicariously through The Real World. OK, maybe it wasn't the talent shows' fault that I kind of watched way too much TV in High School, but it certainly didn't help the situation. I am glad these kids have bright futures and their band is good and they are probably totally well adjusted. Hats off to Mr Pansy and The Travesty (seriously the best name EVER!!!)

So the weirdest and saddest thing happened to me yesterday and I have to write all about it because it truly was odd. I was sitting in my new favorite internet coffee shop with my laptop and I decided to plug my sweet computer into the wall for a little battery charge up. I use my laptop and other forms of electrical relient equipment (lamps, blenders, power drills, etc) all day every day and I have never seen anything like what happened next. My battery pack was sitting next to me and out of the corner of my eye I saw a little flame come out of it!!! The flame was glowing and smelled like plastic. I swear it whispered my name. I nearly shat myself, it was so scary! I blew out the flame and the power box began sparking in a desperate attempt to re-ignite. I yanked the power cable out of the wall and sat for ten minutes with my heart beating loudly. No one had noticed the tiny little flame and I then began to sulk in the heavy reality that I will no longer be able to charge my fine Toshiba honey. Here is a dramatic photographic re creation of how the whole thing went down in my warped memory...
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OK, I said it was gonna be dramatic. So my laptop is down for a little while and luckily John let me borrow his for a trip back to the scene of the crime and this little blog update. John has a fancy Mac so I am sorry about all the typos, but my fingers are not used to this fancy keyboard of the future. I am now terrified of electricity and have not watched television or turned on a light for two days. This means that I missed Gilmore Girls tonight and I am hence devastated. To bring this whole thing together, I blame my Gilmore obsession on my horrible middle school talent show! I also owe all my happiness to Mr Pansy and The Travesty! And without a tenth watching of their school performance video I would not have had to plug in my lap top with such devastating results! This whole crazy world is somehow interconnected and it is all coming together now isn't it?

I am sad and happy and sad and happy today...........I hope that you are having a wonderful day of internetting and I hope that you don't explode.
-brian

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Show with Sparta!!!!.........THE WIZARD CLIPS ARE HERE..........Beck Makes Sexy Photos?!?

Hello friends-
I am so amped to announce that we will be playing a one off show with our old friends and tour mates Sparta!! The show is at UCLA on May 2nd and all the info is on our myspace page. Supposedly the show is for UCLA students only, but I also heard today that tickets will be available to everyone on the day of the show. Either way, don't miss this show cause like Sparta slays and we will do our best to keep up with them.
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In all honesty I will be fine if no one shows up for this show because I just want an excuse to hang with these guys again. I am gonna bring tons of alcohol to make sure that Jim gets nice and toasty and proceeds to tell me hours of stories. Jim Ward is honestly the best storyteller I have ever met. He makes me want to build make shift hobo fires wherever he is so I can warm my hands and listen to tales of his fascinating life. It is so ON!!

Speaking of Sparta, I have finally taken this time off to do a little research on this King Leonidas fellow that everyone has been saying I look like....um......
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............uuuuhhhhhhhhh.........What can I say? I don't see the resemblance so much in the face, beard, or hair, but other than that it's a total dead ringer!! We look like brothers...........That is totally what I look like when I slay lions.

I found this awesome clip when I was searching for scenes from "The Wizard." I totally forgot that I was like three seconds away from making this my Senior Quote in my High School yearbook.

Can you imagine how stupid I would have felt? Looking back on my high school memories and being reminded of what a total idiot I was. I am so happy that I went with a quote from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey instead!!

I just posted a bunch of new dates on our myspace and they are gonna keep on coming for the next couple of days. Our little two week tour with Sirens Sister and Cavil At Rest is totally gonna have no days off!!! I am thrilled because I hate days off....it just gives me more time to look up super stupid shit.........
Can you imagine a grown up human being actually writing the script for this movie? Is it just me or is that the most romantic scene in the history of all Cinema? How is it that I was in love with Jenny Lewis when I was like five and am now 25 and am still in love with Jenny Lewis. Weird right?

Our drummer Beck has taken up a new interest in photography and has asked me to post some of his super awesome compositions here. These pictures are really nice and they fool me into remembering tour as a long, dusty winding road of happy memories and cowboy sunsets.
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This picture makes tour look like a Parisian still life.....which of course it is.

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If I was actually looking for Diesel I would be way pissed that that sign is like 100 percent illegible. It is a nice sign though.

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There I am, King Leonidas in the flesh!

Fuck all the haters and mad love to the skaters. Tell all the bro's to kiss my ass
-brian

Friday, April 20, 2007

Home At Last!!!.....McDonalds Double Cheeseburger Officially Banned By Lola Ray Van LLC......Sweet Tunes For Sweet Dudes

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Look at this thing!!! Honestly....stare into the eyes of this beautiful beast. This piece of total rectal trash has reeked havoc on Lola Ray for far too long!! I won't take it anymore! I know that it is only $1, but seriously. We have returned home today from an eternity of touring with full on rotten internal structures and weakened bone marrow. We are pudgy and doughy and move like bloated sea lions now. The biggest toll this garbage piece has taken is on our new bass player Chris. It has single handedly destroyed his optimism for touring, music, life and caring. He started the tour out as a novice and we introduced him to the double cheeseburger with real enthusiasm. We said "Listen Chris. This hamburger is gonna be your best friend on tour. It is one dollar and will fill you up for exactly 6 and 3/4 hours. It will always be by your side and will never let you down." Yesterday he said "Fuck the double cheeseburger. I hate this piece of trash. It makes me sweat pickles and I see Ketchup stains in my nightmares." I am so so sorry Chris. We never should have done this to you. You were such a good kid and now you just wanna......
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I would like to thank the following CD's for keeping us sane and keeping us reminded of why we love music;
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The Oohlas lent us this record and we "accidentally" forgot to give it back. This CD is so good , but it is kind of cheating to have Paul Simonon play bass for your band. It is like asking Michael Jackson to be your back up singer or something. Either way, this disc got played more than any other on this tour.
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Modest Mouse has been my hands down fav since senior year of high school and "The Lonesome Crowded West" collided and first introduced me to the sweet feelings of being totally pretentious. I have never been a Smiths fan so I was kind of indifferent to Marr's involvement in the record, but this CD is 100% the shit! If anyone tries to even holler "sellout" over this CD I will straight up octopus whip a punk for talking total nonsense!!
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I never really liked Kings Of Leon and am not quite sure if I do now, but either way this CD is way good.
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We were really lucky to play with these guys in Salt Lake City the other night and I was totally into this band. When we put in the CD the next day we were jealous of ourselves for getting to play with such a great band. They are out on tour with Mute Math right now. They are a total mash up of early Weezer, Pavement and Elliot Smith. A pretty yummy mash up if you ask me.

So we are officially home for the next month and I can't ever relax, so I will be posting this piece up like crazy. I probably won't have anything interesting to say, but I will milk the humorous moments of our last voyage for all they are worth. Coming up in the next blog week is the highly publicized "Interview with our Bass Boy Chris Upton", a fabulous string of text messages that is simply entitled "LA in a nutshell.......Are you the owner of Sky Bar?" and a little gem I am working on called "Lorelai Gilmore I think I love you."
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Stay tuned and prepare for the boredom to take control......
-brian

Thursday, April 12, 2007

SPRING IS HERE!!??!!.......Photo tour of La Crosse, Wisconsin....Dear weather man, Snow is WAY SATANIC!!!

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So here's the deal. If one more person tells me "I don't know what happened. It was 70 degrees and sunny here yesterday" while I rub snow from my dampened curls, I will kill someone. We have honestly been in a snowy hell for the last week and it is horrible. The other night I turned on CNN and the leading story was all "A COLD SNAP HITS THE MID WEST AND EAST COAST" and I was all "Sucks to be them" and then I was like "Oh crap! I am an idiot! I am in the east coast and mid west! No wonder I am watching CNN in a parka."

The other night we played in the charming and quaint village of La Crosse, Wisconsin. I was immediately struck by the signage in this town and immediately went on a photographic scavenger hunt of some of the best signs I could find.
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I am totally enrolling in the scientific college of beauty barbering next semester. It is perfect for the man who has a more than passing interest in science but a true calling for beauty barbering.

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I like that they totally re worked the marque at this hardware store to give top billing to the varathane wood stane that they just got in.

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It doesn't get much better than "We hav great donut." My immediate response was "Really, only ONE great donut?" Just priceless, and for some reason I love that the bakery is named Consumers.

Even Lola Ray got in on the La Crosse sign craze as we were immortalized in the venue window with one of the most psychedelic posters I have ever seen. This poster is so hot! It is totally the same color scheme as Bubble Yum Cool Burst!
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Oh La Crosse, I could stare at your signs for days!

Chris met the easter bunny in Chicago!! He is totally humping the good bunny's leg.....
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I think this might be the scariest photo ever taken of me. I would like to thank Beck for making me stand in a creepy alley so this photo could happen.
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This is what John and Beck look like when they are scared!
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By the way, I totally wasn't kidding about the Lola Ray tattoo photo post. We are gonna document every beautiful piece of Ray inspired ink. This sweet piece is from tonight's show in Omaha. I totally thought this picture was Sharpie when I saw it, but it's not. This is the second tattoo in like a week!
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Last night we all watched an American Gladiators re run on ESPN Classics in the hotel and were blown away by the shows poor production value and mediocre athletic performances. I remember this show being full of real Gladiators and really great clothes.

So the tour has been really great but definitely REALLY long to. I think we all have some pretty crazy California fever and can't wait to get back. Personally I am going straight back to MALIBU if you know what I'm saying (just watch the video!!!)
See you there!!
-brian

Friday, April 6, 2007

Day off in New York......We are tourists in our own city.....Starbucks is for junkies and me!!!

I lived in Brooklyn for three years and I am still a tourist in New York. I can't help it, everything I love in the city just happens to be what everyone who visits from Ohio happens to love too. When I was living in New York I clocked serious hours at Central Park, ate dinner in little Italy and most importantly I spent every afternoon at my favorite Starbucks in the whole universe!
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This is the Starbucks at St Marks and 3rd ave and it is like heaven on earth to me. I initially sought it out when I moved from California because it is the only Starbucks in the city with an outdoor patio. I soon found out that New York has a bitter pill that they call winter, but still I sat outside in the freezing cold and snow. I would sit here for hours filling notebooks with observations about all the junkies that have permanent residency at this place. The junkies here became the center of my own imaginary universe and I chronicled their lives. I still have no idea why junkies love sitting at Starbucks so much, but it is a passion that we share and who am I to judge anyone else for pursuing a lifestyle that I hole heartedly condone. I once saw a fight here that toppled into a bus stop and eventually into the street, but for the most part these were a peaceful people who mostly enjoyed McDonalds, Sparks, and borrowing my cell phone. Anyone who tries to claim that Starbucks is destroying the city can just march on down and check this place out for a bit of old time New York charm.

It should come as no surprise that my favorite restaurant in New York is actually just a stall of vending machines. This place is what I picture Japan to be like, except in Japan you can buy everything from vending machines like cars, boats, haircuts and really great style. Oh wait, I don't think they have boats in Japan cause they have had hoverboards over there for like fifteen years already. In the future there will be a more efficient way of delivering Chicken Pot Pie Kroket, but in the meantime this will totally do...
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And for those with a more mature pallate, I give you Roast Pork Bun out of a vending machine. Its basically the culinary equivalent of buying a tuxedo at Target.
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For the ultimate tourist experience, I took Beck and Chris to Magnolia cupcakes in the west village. We waited in line behind bridge and tunnel housewives who had just been to a taping of the Martha Stewart show and I was once again in my element. We chatted about Rachel Ray and how we were totally "cheating" by having cupcakes.
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The other best part about being back in New York is getting to see all my favorite New York friends. We spent the day with ex-bassist James and he is doing great. He has been spending his time cultivating an active caterpillar on his upper lip and somehow becoming smarter than he ever was.
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He came out to the show and met our new bass player Chris and it was like a beautiful passing of the torch. Stay tuned for a hard hitting expose all about Chris. I think it is gonna be called The Man, The Myth, The incredible groomed facial stubble...
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Last, but not least, there is a new rule here at The Lola Ray Blog Headquarters International. All those fine Lola Ray Tattoo's now get immediate entry into the blog and all the acclaim that comes with such recognition. Here is a sweet new piece from the show in Chicago, displayed next to John's magnificent ink
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Peace out all you fine stallions. I am gonna sip my Green Tea Frappucino Double Blended Creme and watch The Outsiders with my man Beck.
-brian