Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Scotch Indians Bio

The Scotch Indians are an ambient post-Pennsylturkish hardcore fusion rock band that originated in Scranton, Pennsylvania in late 2000 or early 2001. The band consists of Patrick Walsh (aka Pat Walsh) on vocals, John DiCosmo (of DiCosmo’s ice) on guitar and sometimes vocals, Claire Connolly (aka Flea Fair Claire, Claire at the Flea Fair) on drums, Michael Klotz from Mickleton (too many aliases to name) on bass guitar, and Todd Kurpel on the other guitar. The band last performed as a functioning unit in 2002, but is still considered an active band since no official break-up was ever discussed or announced. The band was originally known for its sporadic show schedule, frequent practices, and a general DIY unwashed handsomeness. It was also famous for driving to each show in no less than three cars. It is now known for its elusiveness.

Origin

The Scotch Indians were likely the brainchild of DiCosmo and Walsh who were involved in many music and art projects prior to the formation of the band. Klotz probably invited the duo over to play in the Klotz/Kurpel house on Vine basement. It is also possible that Klotz/DiCosmo/Flea Fair Claire formed the band first and then invited Walsh after a few practices to serve as the frontman. The origin story is a great topic of debate for music historians. It was known that Claire could play the drums even though she did not have a drum set. Dan Walsh’s (no relation to Pat) drum set was found somewhere (maybe it was in the Irish house on Monroe) and became the official Scotch Indian drum set. Claire did a fantastic job putting the drum set together. Todd happily joined the band because he knew how to work his amp and it was a short commute from his bedroom to the basement. The name originated from a phone conversation that DiCosmo had with one of his crazy friends in the state of Maine. The first song that the band wrote was “Scuba Diver Man”. The song also became its only commercial success (so far). Eventually the band was forced to relocate its practice site when Kurpel and Klotz moved to the Irish house. The Scotch Indians began to hold practices at Walsh’s parents’ house in Justus, PA.

Discography

S/T demo (2001)


The Scotch Indians famous self-titled demo CD-R (2001) was recorded in Kurpel/Klotz’s Vine St. basement. Lou Rogai recorded the band on a 4 track (or an 8 track, but only used 4 of the tracks). The band only needed one attempt at each song for the recording, although they were forced to play “Microwave your Mother” twice because Lou accidentally paused the tape during the first recording of the smashless hit. This was DiCosmo’s least favorite song so he played his guitar with scissors during the recording. The recording captured the skunked beer atmosphere of that shitty Vine basement, but thankfully blocked out the ghosts of explicit racism and possible death that lingered in the dark corners.

Steve Santiso was in charge of burning the demo cds. Kurpel and Santiso stayed up all night to record the cds. Basically Santiso recorded the cds and Kurpel drank 40s. Santiso also had a 40. Kurpel and Santiso were used to staying up all night. They probably went skateboarding at “the curb” after finishing the burning and then went to Denny’s. The cd art was provided by Walsh. The art was a black and white photograph of Walsh’s dad running.

The band almost broke up when DiCosmo and Walsh started making fun of Flea Fair after she asked if she would be able to get a copy of the demo. Flea Fair was upset by the ridicule and threatened to leave the band forever. The conflict was resolved when the band decided that Claire could receive a demo for a reduced price.

Track Listing

Scuba Diver Man
Shit on my shoe
Roadblock
Microwave your mother
Flesh-Eating Virus

Live

The Scotch Indians are known more for their live shows as the band had a unique ability to make sure that a song never sounded the same during each performance. Whether Walsh changed the lyrics or DiCosmo changed the tuning, the “Scotchies” were sure to keep the audience guessing what would happen next. Klotz did what he can to provide consistency as his bass lines (and dance moves) stayed consistent throughout the duration of the early years. It is confirmed that Kurpel had no idea what was going on half the time, so he spent most shows playing with the volume controls of his guitar. It is probable that he played the entire Doc Watson’s set with the guitar volume turned down (if it was even plugged in at all). Highlights included shows at CafĂ© Metropolis at the Khyber. Lowlights included that weird festival in Egypt, PA and the University of Scranton (although Kurpel cannot confirm because he decided to wash dishes for money instead of play that show).

Live at 1217 Vine

The Scotch Indians best show was held at the abandoned house connected to the Kurpel/Klotz residence. It took an evening of cleaning out trash from the abandoned house’s basement to prepare for the show. Walsh supplied the art work and lights. 1219 Vine supplied the power. Lou provided the promotion. Lots of drunk people showed up and it was loud. The cops somehow stayed away. Other bands performing that night were Santiso’s La Machina de Muerte, Lou, Langan and Quinn, and Austin Browne.

Buttons

The band also had buttons made.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

year of the machete (the NBA saved itself)

Lou Williams is a basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to the NBA season starting, Lou Williams was celebrating Christmas by driving around Manayunk, when a robber approached his car with a gun. Lou Williams looked at the robber and said "I am Lou Williams, 6th man and by far the most clutch player on the Philadelphia 76ers. Instead of robbing me, why don't I treat you to McDonald's drive-thru". The robber liked this idea and opted to not rob the rich man and hopped in.

The above story is true because Lou Williams not only said that it was true, but he also tweeted it. While most of my tweets are lies (when I feel like tweeting), I feel confident that all athletes speak the truth. Why would Lou Williams make up such an absurd story? Would-be robbers should be allowed to roam the yuppie hills of Manayunk. Just pack your cars full of McDoubles.

Other thoughts and observations of the first half-week of the NBA:

1. The NBA is by far the greatest league. I go back and forth with MLB, but Stern smacked some sense into me when he prevented CP3 from going to the Lakers. The Lakers freaked out and traded Lamar Odom to their main rival for nothing, deciding that giving Odom's minutes to Josh McRoberts is the way to go (and after watching some of the Lakers-Bulls game on Christmas day, it might not be that bad of an idea after all. Mike Brown on the other hand is a terrible idea). Also, the Timberwolves signed JJ Barea for a lot of money for a lot of years. I love this game.

2. The Knicks look good, which is important because I am a Knicks fan. They beat the Celtics, who didn't have Paul Pierce, which is a sign of improvement since they went 0-8 against them last year (thanks to Marv Albert for the stat). Iman Shumpert was the only one on the team not nicknamed Melo who really impressed me. Then he sprained his MCL and the Knicks were forced to sign that point guard kid out of Harvard because there other options are too old (Mike Bibby) or too fat (Baron Davis). It's weird to miss Raymond Felton.

3. I remembered that League Pass was free for a few days, so I decided to watch the Wolves-Bucks game instead of the Heat-Celtics that TNT was forcing down my throat. Ricky Rubio looks better than expected. He somehow makes easy passes seem extremely difficult, however, so I expect Michael Beasley to be confused for most of the year. Derrick Williams and Kevin Love should work well together, so if the Wolves can somehow ship JJ Barea (and thus, break up "Los Lobos") for a SG, they will be pretty fun to watch.

4. My secret santa sent me a machete (not lying).



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ikea

Dear IKEA,

I am writing to you today because I had difficulty finding spare hardware from two Ikea locations (one urban and one suburban) for the Mammut crib I bought from you in 2010. I had to disassemble the crib and bring it over to my mother-in-law's house for a spell because we were staging our house in a different way to make it more desirable to buy because we have had difficulty selling it (reference #OccupyWallStreet for starters). Also, the baby was not digging the crib yet, as he prefers to sleep in his pack-and-play. However, babies grow and it is now time to go back into his crib. So I went to my mother-in-law's to get the crib and brought it back home. I put the crib together per your instructions and was saddened to realize my error. I had lost one bolt assembly in the move. This bolt assembly's lone responsibility in life is to hold up one quarter (1/4) of the mattress. I had three of his friends, but this one assembly evidently went Nemo on us. Without this little guy, the mattress would cave-in whenever weight would approach its corner. Translated- Not Baby Safe (NBS).

I decided to bring this issue to the fine Ikea located in South Philadelphia to only be greeted by the following fine exchange between two charming customer service representatives. Let me preface this by saying I am not in anyway mad at the employees. They deal with less handsome and more angry customers on the regular. My anger is more geared at the curious policies being followed by your confusing company.

"I need these parts" (basically a bolt, a nut, a washer, and a non-threaded eyeloop). I had an example of what I needed (Nemo's friends) and the assembly instructions with the part ID. The rep checked and said they didn't have the eye loop.

"Can I order that eyeloop?" was met with a "No".

"Well how can I get the part?" was answered with a "You can keep checking back in".

I said, "Oh, well when do you get parts deliveries" to which the other, more disinterested rep replied "we get parts deliveries twice a year".

I said, "Well I guess I don't really have to keep checking in. When's the next delivery". Disinterested replies "we got this year's delivery already."

Since checking back in to see if the delivery that wasn't expected had arrived was not the ideal solution, I requested to speak to a manager. The manager also searched for the part and he said it also was not in stock and not able to be ordered. The reason crib parts are not stocked is because Ikea can't make money off rebuilding cribs because it is illegal to sell a used crib. That's fine. But I asked if they still sold the crib, which they did, and if so how would someone get a part if it was missing in the box. He replied that he didn't know and he told me to check next door at Lowe's. Lowe's couldn't match the threadless eyeloop and the employee there cursed Ikea as apparently they regularly send customers to Lowe's to find Ikea-designed hardware. Most eyeloops have threads. I was tempted to have the Ikea manager help me shop in Lowe's but I had my son with me who was getting hungry, so I went home.

Once I got home I was pretty flyered (angry but also excited about hockey) up so I left the baby with my wife and headed to Conshohocken. Once there I was informed of this policy:

"No longer have the receipt, or it's over 90 days from the date of purchase?: IKEA does carry replacement parts for a majority of our products; however, we cannot guarantee availablity. In most cases, spare parts are only issued for items that have damaged or missing parts upon receipt, if the return is made within 90 days of the purchase date.
If you no longer have a receipt, many of our store locations have bins of the most commonly used hardware in the Customer Service/Returns Desk area. Depending on quantity, charges may apply."

This policy basically means that spare parts are available for products bought within 90 days. For those of you who bought the product outside of 90 days, there are no parts unless the store is lucky enough to have it. You cannot order them. While understanding the logic (not really) I really wanted the parts so I figured I would just start shouting. The customer service rep (at the new location) decided to actually look and was able to locate the eyeloop. She was more shocked than I was. I still needed clarification on why spare parts could not even be ordered if I was willing to pay cash money. Her answer was, well we are the only furniture store that replaces its own hardware. I replied, well you kind of have to provide replacements for your own hardware because a lot of it is Ikea specific. She didn't know how to handle that one. I asked her what I would have to do if she didn't have that eyeloop and she implied that I would have to buy a new crib. This seemed like a great customer service solution. "Lost one bolt? Buy a new crib". A crib that is not yet two years old that has barely been used is not able to be used because of a policy that refuses to deal with customers that have been loyal for over 90 days. I decided to leave since I have now collected 3/4 of Nemo and I think I matched the bolt up pretty well at Ace. I will put it together and hope for the best.

I hope that you can explain to me the reasoning why hardware is not made available for sale. The hardware at Ikea is not compatible with most stuff found at regular hardware stores (the manager at Ikea told me the bolts are better at Lowe's anyway...really nice to hear from someone selling cribs to families) so it needs to be made available to customers who bought stuff over 90 days ago.

Laterz,
Todd

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4ever blog

A

billion years ago
you read this blog

and you liked it.

Now

not so much.

It's pretty bad. I could tell you about the new fish accessories I bought.
I willn't though. I will do my best to never say anything about it.

But it will cost you your IP address



In a not so serious note, it was determined a long time ago that

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Delaware Marathon recap

I ran in the Delaware Marathon this past Sunday, which happened to also be known as May 15th. It was hard. It was my third marathon and it counted towards my second state. 48 more states to go. It was by far the hardest of the three. The Philadelphia Marathon and the Sun Trust National Marathon (DC) are much easier in comparison. The reason being that the Delaware Marathon has hills. Not a ton of hills, but enough to be annoying. It was a looped course (2 loops) and the hills popped up around mile 8 or 9 and mile I don't know 16 or 17. That math probably doesn't make sense, but it was the same hill. I think the rise was for a good mile/mile and a half. Coming down the hill was surprisingly harder than going up the hill for me. I think that explains something about my training.

I signed up for the Delaware Marathon because it was the second closest marathon to my house. Although I think Wilmington might be a few minutes closer than Philadelphia. The Delaware Marathon is real cool because I think there are only about 750 marathoners allowed to enter. There are 2000 runners total for the weekend, when combining the relay, the marathon, and the half marathon. I may have made those numbers up. The marathon starts about 5 minutes before the relay and about 20 minutes before the half marathon. This leads to not a lot of congestion. I'm pretty sure the National and Philadelphia started marathoners and half-marathoners together, so it is real crowded for the first 13. The negative about the Delaware Marathon was the email subscription list. You basically did not get any emails. Maybe 2. So you just had to hope there wasn't anything updated. The website was a good source of information I guess.

When it was about May 13th, I started to realize I had to run a marathon on May 15th. I bought new socks and an anti-chaffing stick. Not like a stick from a tree. More like a deodarant stick. Oh I bought some Gu. On the 14th I went to the expo which was small and fast to get through. I got my #, a free pint glass, and a shirt to wear when I want. I wore it earlier today actually. Then I drove home and we had Maksim's birthday party at Ridley Creek State Park.

The next morning I woke up at 5 and drove back to Wilmington. I went to the bathroom at home. At Dunkin Donuts on the way. At the port-o-potty spot (long line but went fast). And in the train station (secret spot). Then I lined up and they shot a gun that sounded like a large bomb. We all started running. By mile 3 I realized I was going to have an awful day. The part of my right hip/groin (huh?) showed signs it was going to appear at mile 16 again. I wasn't into running at all and I was tempted to run back to my car, which was parked on the route. I decided that I wouldn't get my car then, but I would hop in it if I still felt crappy at mile 15. It was raining early in the race which caused my glasses to fog.

Since I couldn't see a damn thing I ran slow. Even if I could see I woulda ran slow. Wasn't into it at all. Then at mile 4 or 5 some dude started talking to me. I usually hate talking and running, but I guess something changed. It was easy to do. First dude was in his mid-40s and he has won a 50 mile race before. I said WOW. I told him I won a 5K once but it was kind of sketchy because I technically came in second and I might not have even really paid for it. Then we talked about the Schuylkill River. Then he ran faster than I did at a water stop. I didn't try to catch up. He might have run past me during one of the loops back in, but I wouldn't have recognized him because I talked to him during the I CAN'T SEE part of the marathon. I'm sure he didn't win.

At the end of the marathon I somehow managed to run with some 66 year old dude. This was one when I was doing the run-walk-hobble that began around mile 16 when my leg stopped working again. He had on his 50 States marathon club shirt. It also said two times on it. So he has run a marathon in 50 states at least twice. When I told him that was my goal to do it once, he said don't do it 12 times. I'm not sure what that meant. He may have run it 12 times. He has run the Delaware Marathon 9 times. Which is how many times the race has been run. He was cool. He congratulated everybody that we passed or passed us. He congratulated the water giver outters and the traffic stoppers. He was cool. I forget his name. I saw him near the end of the race after talking calf cramps with some guy who ran the Virginia Beach Marathon around mile 25. I was feeling better so I left VBM guy and hobble ran a decent finish. A half mile from the end I saw the 66 year old dude again. I asked if he wanted to run the loop again. He said I was crazy. Then he said I ran a good race. And then he took off. I didn't catch up. It was really cool. I'm sure he ran another loop.

Slowest marathon yet, but easily the most fun. I'm not able to repeat marathons but I would do this one again. Maybe when I'm 66 I'll do it.

Unproofread is what the above is. Hope it's coherent enough.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the sign on the side of the road that no one ever saw.

The sign on the side of the road was hidden by a tree. The giant tree kept whatever was on the sign secret from the drivers driving by but it seemed to be ok because the street was a pretty safe one and there had not been any accidents in all of my years of driving on that street. Well maybe there was one or two accidents, but I think I might have only read about them in a newspaper. One story went along with the following title:

"Accident on Montgomery Street. Everybody was more than Fine"

I remember that day, reading about the accident. It was the most pleasant accident story ever written. It stated that Mr. Cosmo and Ms. Dee bumped cars accidentally when they both slowed down suddenly to try and get the other's attention. They bendered the fenders every so slightly but neither seemed to mind as they both rolled into the street to meet with a kiss. I love you Ms. Dee shouted Mr. Cosmo as he fell in the street. Yes Yes Yes Ms. Dee shouted. Everyone else on the street pulled over to applaud. It was a sure a strange, but pleasant news article. I think I read it once or twice just to confirm the words were there. I threw the paper away a little later that week, but the story remained over the years, but to be honest I stopped thinking about it a while ago.

That was until one day I was driving again along Montgomery St. when I was slowed to a crawl. Construction up ahead. Ahead we crept in our cars, and the reason for the delay was the tree was coming down by the street crew. It took a few days to chop down the giant tree, and as I drove by each day the sign became more and more clear until it was there for everyone to see.