What’s New, Pussycat?

Well, it’s funny you should mention it… we are working on things here and there. We’ve got a number of songs in the works though they need that little extra something. Soon, though, soon! And also, our band Girls Against Boys from our past lives will be playing some shows in Europe this summer. Here’s the current schedule, should you be interested:

MAY 2 THU Krems, AT @ Donau Festival
MAY 03 FRI Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
MAY 04 SAT Utrecht, NL@ Ekko
MAY 05 SUN Brussels, BE @ Nuits Botanique Festival
MAY 10 FRI Lyon, FR @ Nuits Sonores Festival
MAY 11 SAT Milano, IT @ Bloom
MAY 12 SUN Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
MAY 14 TUE Paris, FR @ Nouveau Casino
MAY 15 WED Caen, FR @ Big Band Cafe
MAY 16 THU Bordeaux, FR @ Le BT59
MAY 17 FRI Clermont-Ferrand, FR @ La Coope Club
MAY 18 SAT La Rochelle, FR @ La Sirene
MAY 19 SUN Toulouse, FR @ Le Dynamo

Paramount Styles at Boskovice Festival

Well, you heard here first… or second… or third… or you just heard it somewhere and now you’re hearing it again. Hear this: Paramount Styles is playing on Friday, July 6 at the Boskovice Festival in the Czech Republic. Fly, Swim, Walk, Run, Ride a Bike, Hitch a Ride (careful of psychos or carfull of psychos, it’s up to you), go get a helicopter or take a kayak (thanks Celine Dion ) and just get there. It’s going to be fun, assuming you remember any of it. Actually, that doesn’t even matter. The Chief, the man, Mr. Scott Mccloud will be performing with special guests. Take it in, enjoy the sun and say hi to everyone you see. Spread the love. Spread the wealth. God dammit, just go.
Here’s some more information.

Festival for the Masses

Blinky Midnight heads to Greece 17 May 2012

Oh Greece…We can’t quit you! Scott is heading to Greece to play a show with False Alarm and the reformed Bokomolech… maybe not reformed, but certainly absent for a while. Their first record Xero (1996) is considered by many to be one of the best Greek english spoken rock records ever. It should be pretty cool to see them and participate in this show. If you’re sick of the cold, why not head to Greece for a nice little vacation?

March 17, 2012

Not one Iota in Murska Sobota

Today is the last show of this magical mystery tour and we are heading to Murska Sobota to play in “an old castle.” We’ve played here before and we were very excited to play a castle. It is, however, not really a castle. More like a big government building or perhaps someone’s big ass house at some point. Or a school. I don’t know, what, I’m supposed to ask about these things? Anyway, the last time we played here Scott jokingly said, “I’ve seen better castles…” Which is funny because a. it’s a dickish thing to say and b. we are from america so we don’t see any castles. None. But the audience rose the occasion immediately and someone yelled out, “I’ve seen better bands!” which has got to be one of the best heckles I’ve heard in a long time. Well played, sir!!
We are playing with Werefox tonight, the debut of the new band of Melanie from Psycho-Path. Scott will sing a song with her and the cameras will roll. The people here are very nice and treat us to some local cuisine and homemade wine, which we, of course, drink like it’s water.
Tonight we end the tour with a traditional dance party and alcohol freakout and then we scatter to the four corners of the world like cockroaches caught when you turn on the kitchen light. We had a great time, we hope everyone else did and we will be back to bother you again. Have no fear.

Zagreb, Do or Die! or Wait! or Die Waiting!

So, today I’m not going to take it: I’m getting up, I’m walking around and seeing some stuff. I don’t care if it’s a plastic baby jesus wearing mickey mouse ears and advising me to “take a trip to Tripoli!” Ljubljana is a very nice little town, at least the old part, and from what I can see, which is nothing because of the fog, it’s quite promising. The old town is cool and I hike up to the top of the hill to see the old castle, now a museum and then take the funicular back down, looking at the beautiful fog. Nice fog in this town. Ok, town, check, let’s hit the road.
Zagreb is calling and despite our fear of crossing the Croatian border, we are excited to play in Zagreb because usually the shows are great and our friend Mate is fantastic.
Well, sadly, we hit the border and rendezvous with an extremely truculent border guard (editors note: redundant). He asks for various paperwork, is not satisfied and points to where we came from. See ya! Crap. We need to play this show as all tours hinge on tight budgets-any disruption in income equals immediate financial catastrophe). We sit in our van, freezing, between Croatia and Slovenia and wait 3 hours. Mate shows up, works some magic and we are ushered in, all smiles and nods and good wishes. Phew, that would have been very bad news.
What’s funny about so many of these tours is the scrutiny from police and border guards and so on (much, much better than it used to be), but in a sense, we are just couriers: we come to a town, people of the town come out, donate their own money and we immediately turn around and give it to Exxon or BP or Holiday Inn or Les Autoroutes de France or some other big conglomerate. I mean, we aren’t keeping it, we are just a redistribution vehicle. My dreams of buying a house in Tuscany are a long way off now-you listening, Sting?
The show tonight is one of the best we’ve played in a while-Mate does an excellent job, the place is packed and everyone seems rapt with attention. Very satisfying end to what could have been a very miserable day. Zagreb, te amo!

I left my mind in Ljubljana

Excitedly we awake to take on the world-however, the world no longer exists. There is once again fog so thick you can cut it with a knife. It is seriously hampering my ability to be a first class tourist. I will be downgraded to 2nd class any minute and that just makes me angry. The next thing you know I’ll be slumping around demanding hamburgers and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Sad, really.
It’s been a while since we’ve been to Lubljana and we are looking forward to being there again. I would tell you about the magnificent drive through the countryside of Slovakia towards Slovenia and all of the quaint little farms and charming little towns but for all I can see, they might be butchering little children and letting loose their 35 meter high 8-legged, winged, fire breathing insect monsters to terrorize the peasants throughout the land. Niente. Nada. I did see some taillights; they looked quite familiar, similar to the same kind I see everywhere else.
We arrive in Ljubljana and, well, it’s foggy and cold and we can’t see anything. It’s good to see Irena, the promoter after all of these years. We dine in a Serbian restaurant that specializes in massive orgies of meat-an alarming prospect for Libor the vegetarian. Tonight there are 6 other rock shows in town. I can assure you that this is not a good omen for us.

‪Cross the border to Piešťany

Today we go to ‪Piešťany‬, our very first time in Slovakia, which excites us to no end because we can brag about it to anyone who will listen. Anyone listening? Hello? We are playing in another jazz club which is fantastic because it could mean we will be treated well again. Damn, from now on we are a jazz band. Jazzy. With Jazz hands. Why not?
So ‪PieÅ¡Å¥any? Now we are talking old-first settled, oh, 80,000 years ago and famous for its hot springs and spas. The Venus of Moravany, a statuette of a female torso, was discovered here and is dated to about 22,800BC. Now that is old. The club is cool though ‬I feel that I’ve been somehow transported back to the film set of “Death in Venice” because everyone is nicely dressed and there’s a strange feeling of something weird about to happen. Perhaps my death? Everyone is sick so that would make sense. Anyway, there’s some strange business going on with us not rigidly conforming to the bartenders strict schedule but we’ll make it through. He takes an instant liking to Katka which forces him to be pleasant to us, even going so far as to say, “Anything you need, just ask.” Wow. Cool! It is short lived since I go to the bar 5 minutes later to ask for a beer and he says, “3 Euros!” Uh, I’m in the band…errr… “Sorry, too late-you have to tell me you are a musician before you order.” Hey, buddy, what about that little touchy feely exchange we had 7 minutes ago? Whatever. Beer me.

Putting on the Rhiz

Despite our hotel room being bathed in blood, we awake alive and fairly well rested-some of us. Some of us also don’t feel so good, but that is as usual no ones fault but the god, Bacchus. Bastard. Sustenance, we demand lunch, so we head back to the Jazz Club where, despite having an amazing meal of pork medallions and roasted potatoes the previous night, are still allowed to partake in a fabulous meal of chicken soup, a traditional Czech meal of chicken with spinach and a bready thing that looks suspiciously like bread. My body goes into shock as I ingest this thing called “spinach.” Not alcohol or some other crap? “What gives?” says my liver.
Today is Vienna and it will be a homecoming for the chief-friendly faces and a bit of a relief from all the damn nice people we’ve met. We play at the Rhiz club tonight and stay at the Hotel Furstenberg again, which means we get handled with kid gloves. My delirium at more than 2 nights in a hotel is making me dizzy. It also means I fail miserably as a tourist because the only thing I want to do is sit in the cool cafe next door and drink some coffee. Lazy. Old. Worthless.

Putting the Olé in Olomouc

Yes, it was a dream… did last night happen? Who knows? I do know, however, that I suck pretty heavily… I’m in my favorite city again and what do I do? Stare a stupid computer screen. Moron! Well, in fairness, I feel pretty horrible because last night was a bit of a blowout as we saw tons of old friends. Someone spiked my juice with something called Schnaps, i.e. liquid brain defertilizer.
We hit the road for Olomouc-this is a Unesco town so I’ll be damned if I’m not going to walk around and see some old shit before the day is lost in a haze of nothingness. I never knew it would be so tricky to be a stupid tourist. I mean, I have the stupid part down pretty well but the tourist part is eluding me. First mentioned around 1000 A.D. this town, pffttt, not so old. Libor and Katja are from this town so they are happy to be home and see some friends and family and such. I’m just happy because we are in the town center and this club is really nice. I don’t know how jazz clubs do it-usually pretty swank and clean and nice. Maybe they charge 500 euros per person to come in or something? I don’t get it because I think unless you’re really popular and not dead, like Wynton Marsalis or something, I don’t think jazz audiences are usually that big. Whatever…like I said, I have the stupid part down so I really don’t need to figure it out.
The meal tonight is pork medallions and roasted potatoes… that’s right-not a sandwich, not a crappy cold pizza and not potato chips. We eat but actually “fressen”-that’s german for eating like a pig. I mean, I assume the others did because I was too busy “fressen-ing” to notice. I just heard a bunch of really nasty slurping and burping and scraping sounds from the animals around me. Also, I forgot to eat dinner the night before so I was feeling a bit peckish, as it were.
LU take the stage and the club abounds with the joyous sounds of violin, moog keyboard and so on. Pretty good and great for us because the audience is very appreciative all night. No complaints, whatsoever!

Back in Prague

Today is our triumphant return to Prague, one of my favoritest cities in the world. We awake late after apparently ruining our hosts marriage and hit the road. No time for sightseeing because of some late sleepers and who cares? It’s not like we don’t come to Broumov all the time, you know? Apparently the oldest mission in the Czech Republic is here but I guess I’ll just have to take that on faith. We do have time to stop for lunch at a mexican restaurant…wow.
Today’s drive should be nice, since we will be seeing some Czech countryside and arriving in Prague. There are 2 problems with this: 1. nightfall is at 4 or something and 2. Everywhere we go there is fog. Everyday in every country, so you really can’t see anything but fog and some silhouettes of trees 10 meters away at the most. The rest is just one big Stephen King story.
Tonight’s show features Pinback and we are all pretty excited to see them as well as Adam and the Silver Rocket people. There are some serious difficulties getting the sound check done – they have tons of computers and in ear monitors and so on so it means setting up takes some time. We wind up getting on stage after the doors are open and sit on stage twiddling our knobs in front of the entire audience who are confused about how any band could be so boring. But everything is fine and the show goes off with nary a hitch – we even get an encore, which is rare when you are supporting a band. Pinback plays and they are great and fun to watch, especially from our side of the stage cat seat. Not bad, should do this band thing more often.
The rest is hazy-Adam, local herb infused schnapps and so on…you know the story.