Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Today is October 21st, 2009. I think its strange that it'll never be October 21st, 2009 again, except for today. I'm making the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime kind of day. First of all, Andre got a bath today, which he needed very badly. If there's one thing Andre doesn't enjoy, its getting a bath. Giving Andre a bath is bascially like water-wrestling with Andre for 15 minutes. Once its all said and done, he definitely smells way better.

Today is practice day. We only have a few more practices left before we head out for our November tour. Playing with Paul again has been very nice. He is a very talented dude and it feels good to rock together again. We have a lot of songs to choose from when deciding what to play on tour. The decision of what songs we'll play each night will be very difficult. I wish we could play 15 songs per night. How about everyone buy 10 copies of our CD and give them out to all of your friends so that our shows get 10 times bigger and we can play 15 songs per show? Yeah, that's a perfect idea.

I saw a great cartoon today called Adventure Time. It inspires me to want to make cartoons with my good buds Tony and Justin. In a perfect world, I would live in a big mansion due to my bass playing and cartooning. Once I conquered both the bass playing and cartooning world, I'd like to try my hand at game show hosting. I'm going to create my own game show.

Here are a list of things I want to accomplish in the next 6 months:

Release a Punchline B-sides album
Release a Punchline 7 inch limited edition record
Make sure that everyone hears the new Justin Oliver album
Film a pilot for a kids show
Complete a very introspective and all-encompassing Punchline DVD
Record a new Punchline album

I know a lot of those goals are Punchline related. What else do you expect me to do? I'm the freakin' bass player of Punchline dude.

Our first show of the tour is in Cleveland on November 2nd. What a perfect place to start a tour. I plan on watching the hastily made Cleveland tourism video before that. I also plan on rooting for the Cavs.

Time to practice.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A blog about one of my favorite songwriters.

The first time that I met Justin Oliver was in Myrtle Beach at a venue called The Lazy I. Basically, The Lazy I was a room in the back of a record store where bands would play. We probably played to about 10 people in that little room, but something very important happened that night...we experienced Heaven and Breakfast (featuring Justin Oliver as lead singer) for the first time. We hit it off instantly, enjoyed a night at the beach together, and the Heaven and Breakfast EP became regular listening in our van - a soundtrack to our crazy first tour in 2001. As we would sneak into hotel pools late at night and clunk across the country in a white van with big purple letters spelling "punchline" on the side, the Heaven and Breakfast EP was in regular rotation.

Over the years, we developed a great friendship with all of the Heaven and Breakfast guys. We would play together in each other's towns, which was always a day we looked forward to...the day would start with bro hugs and end with beers. We were always happy to talk about our good buds up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and spread their music to everyone we knew.

Before Heaven and Breakfast ceased to be a band anymore, they released a full-length CD that once again went on to become a staple in the Punchline van. I couldn't tell you how many times we recited the lines...

"All alone
I'm never anywhere I call my home
These four seats are my furniture
The road it holds me like a lover"

When we recorded our Action album, we had a spot in the bridge of a ballad called "Coldest of Calendars" for some intelligent, poetic, moving lyrics that would give you chills. Who else would we ask to do it but Justin Oliver? We sent him the track, and within a few days he sent us back the song with his part added. What he laid down on the track went on to become one of my favorite parts of the whole album.

Justin went on to be a part of another great band called The Casual Lean. They made a lot of great music over the years, including "We Are The Deer", a song from the first person perspective of a deer being hunted and killed. The song to this day still remains in all of my top song lists (because I love to make those). I've talked to Justin about the song before, and it seems like he wasn't too crazy about that song. I would beg to differ with him, bigtime.

I can't remember exactly when it happened, but I remember hearing the news that Justin had been in a bad accident. It was a very scary time for all of us, and I can remember the relief we felt when we heard he was going to be okay. Once we knew he was alright, we very guiltily (is that a word?) looked forward to the music he would write about the terrible experience (sorry Justin). He didn't let us down.

After his time in The Casual Lean, Justin would send Steve songs that he would record himself, purely for our enjoyment. Every time we got a new song or two, I more and more couldn't believe that this dude wasn't HUGE. He had a voice and lyrics deserving of international recognition, yet we were only part of a small group of people that ever got to hear these songs. He also did a kickass cover of Prince's "I Would Die 4 U". How cool is that?

I am extremely proud to say that we'll be releasing Justin Oliver's new album "For Rose" on Modern Short Stories. Anyone who loves real music from the heart is going to love this album. This collection of songs is a masterpiece from an under-appreciated artist who I am going to do my darndest to make sure IS appreciated! I will be spreading the word hard in the coming weeks about this album. I know everyone will dig it.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Last night we played in Tampa, Florida...Ybor City, to be exact. Ybor City is definitely a place that I could see myself getting into. The show was great, and I kinda felt like it was the best we've played all tour. There were lots of old friends at the show, including Greg Miller who has come to see us play for over a decade now. We met him at Memaw's Alaskan Tacos, where I had my first ever fish tacos. I actually really like fish tacos now, and I'm thinking of getting on a fish taco diet. I'm sure I could eat all the fish tacos I want now that I am running every morning! My last sentence was a lie, I don't run EVERY morning, but most mornings. I ran about 3 miles today, which I thought was damn awesome. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Tampa thanks to my favorite website of all time - Priceline! We are about 2 blocks from the arena where the Tampa Bay Lightning play. Maybe they'll let me play goalie tonight.

We are going to Sarasota tonight to play at a place called Powerhouse Ministries. It sounds like probably one of the toughest and most blessed places ever. Obviously I'll say a prayer that everyone enjoys my blog.

Tomorrow we head to Orlando to play at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. I have a feeling that this is going to be the best show of the tour. We'll be staying the night with my Aunt Jeannie, Uncle Mike and Cousin Anna, who are my very top-notch family members. I'm also looking forward to hangin' with my puppy-cousins Sid and Eva. They're very nice Yorkies that think I'm a cool guy. Also, thanks to my wonderful family, we'll be spending Monday morning at the MAGIC KINGDOM, which is obviously one of the most magical places of all-time. I'll obviously be going into Tinkerbell's shop and asking if I can call Tinkerbell. I obviously WON'T be going to the Hall of Presidents, an attraction that I have held a grudge against since I was a small child because my parents made me go into it in 4th grade. No 4th grader should ever be made to go into the Hall of Presidents, that's just wrong.

On a side note, I hope to someday have my own talking robot in the Hall of Presidents.

I'm gonna go walk around Tampa now and see if I can find a Fish Taco Store.


"Wreckless Love" - Alicia Keys
"I'll Get There" - All
"Panic Attacks Are Normal" - Barely Blind
"Heist" - Ben Folds
"Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial)" - Coheed and Cambria
"Good Good Things" - Descendents
"America's Suitehearts" - Fall Out Boy
"My Head" - Goldfinger
"Enough To Be On Your Way" - James Taylor

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Here is one of my ideas for improving Belle Vernon in a small way. I think it would be really great to start with Graham Street Park. I think that a summer festival at the Park would be a great way to raise funds for many improvements I'd like to make. I'd like to buid a nice makeshift stage and hire a great local sound company for that stage. I'd like to bring in a few great bands that people would travel from all over to come see (I definitely could pull some strings to get some great bands, and with my newfound Mayor-dom I could probably get them to play for free with a promise of a great time and helping the community). I'd also have a couple of the best local bands come and play at the festival. I'd make tickets affordable, and have all of the proceeds go toward the improvements I'd like to make. I'd also have all local churches and businesses be able to set up tents and booth to sell whatever they'd like to sell, which in turn helps out a lot of local businesses as well. All I would ask is that each booth charge 1 dollar more for every item they sell. For example, at a gyro stand, charge 6 dollars instead of 5 for a delicious gyro. That extra dollar from each gyro, or hot dog, or basket of chicken fingers will go toward the park improvements. Obviously food and bands would not be the only thing going on. I would definitely have a 3-on-3 basketball tournament going on during the festival. The entry fee would be 15 dollars per team, and the winning team would take home a nice prize purse. A percentage of the entry fees would also go toward the Park improvements. I would time the tournament so that the final game would happen during the headlining band, to make sure that the game has an AMAZING soundtrack! I'd also have many other tournaments and contests going on that would interest a lot of people. Some of my initial ideas: a Connect 4 tournament, a Scrabble tournament, an Arm Wrestling competition, a Freestyle Rap contest, a Bench Press competition, and a Grilling contest. I'd like to have something that would interest every single person in Belle Vernon. When it was all said and done, and everyone in Belle Vernon had the time of their lives at this amazing Park festival, this is what I'd like to do with the money raised...

- Build a nice amphitheater in the Park for future festivals and events

- Renovate the basketball court and tennis court

- Hire a local company to build a small fitness center for everyone to use, because not everyone can afford expensive gym memberships

- Hire a security officer to keep the park safe and free of crime

Steve brought up the question of basketball nets for the court. Well, I have the answer for you. I will pay for new nets out of my own pocket, because that's how much I believe in the Park!

Steve, being my Vice-Mayor candidate, also brought up the point that the things that I want to do would be expensive. My answer to Steve is that I want to raise 100,000 dollars with this festival, which is not a ridiculous thing to think if I could get a cool band like Aerosmith to play. I'm sure Aerosmith would play for free if I promised them a few gyros and let them stay with me.

Obviously I'd be wearing my tux at the FEST.


Please leave me comments letting me know some of your ideas. That's one thing about me being mayor, I will ALWAYS welcome suggestions of how to make the FESTIVAL better!