Wednesday, October 31, 2007

mercury lounge 11/14

brian ver straten not only plays drums and is handsome but he also makes rad flyers. we've got a very special show coming up at the mercury lounge so he made 3. which one is your favorite?

when it comes on like a dream

when it comes on like a dream is a record phil and i made in the fall of 2003. it was a crazy time, my first son jackson had just been born and the original lineup of beat radio had broken up and tim and rob were starting the diggs. it was just phil and i with jim on drums. vanesa sang on a couple of songs also. we sort of made it in a vacuum over the course of a couple months. at the time it felt like the kind of record i had wanted to make for a long time, sort of emotional, lyrically driven acoustic music. we've always loved the record but no one's ever really heard it.

we've decided to put it out as a free digital download at it's pretty different from beat radio but i'm hoping it will find some sort of audience and life of it's own. i'd love to hear what you think of it. if you like it please pass it along.

brian sendrowitz
when it comes on like a dream (2004)

1.above the halflight
2.beautiful one
3.looking for you
5.planes fly by
6.the way it shines
7.never feels like home
8.the damage done lights

click here to download the entire record as a zip file (160 kps, 38.7 MB)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ancient as the stars

we did some interviews recently that got posted this week on uncensored and they asked us to play the first song we ever wrote. I couldn't really recall what the first song i ever wrote was, and if i did it would have been totally lame, so i played "ancient as the stars," because that was the first thing i wrote that i realized was different than what i had been doing before, and i realized i had to start a rock and roll band. actually, i realized i had to start beat radio when i recorded the 4 track demo (see below.) so in a way, it was the first beat radio song i wrote. i admit i was taking some creative license there. here is some video of me playing the song, while the rest of the guys do their best not to be super awkward:

here are a few more versions of this song, in chronological order:

Beat Radio - Ancient as the Stars (4 track demo)
Beat Radio - Ancient as the Stars from the Ecstatic ep
Beat Radio - Ancient as the Stars no. 2 from The Great Big Sea


i've said this blog is supposed to chronicle my adventures as a punk rock dad, and i realize that it rarely has been since i've started it. this is partly due to the fact that liz was sort of freaked out when she saw i had posted a few pictures of our kids. kind of just paranoia about the possibility that my band has some deranged obsessive fan somewhere, and kind of just a desire for privacy. i get that, i hadn't thought of it. i'm probably a bit naive about that sort of thing. that got me thinking about what it must feel like for all those big old rock stars doing reality tv shows about their families, and i started wondering if jack and kelly osborne would have been better off if their parents never invited mtv cameras into their house. probably, right? so here's to hoping that one day we'll come off some big monsters of indie rock tour and have to worry about grandiose matters such as these. actually, i hope reality tv has ceased to exist by then.

i did want to tell you another story about my 4 year old son jackson though. i'll tell you some about elijah soon. jackson is my little rock and roller in training. one of my favorite quotes about having kids is in the movie lost in translation when bill murray is telling scarlett johanssen about how when you become a parent, your life as you know if it gone, never to return. "but then," he says, "eventually they learn how to crawl, and walk, and the grow into the most fascinating people you'd ever want to know." i'm paraphrasing, but that's totally how it's been for me. I prefer the company of my kids to that of anyone else.

Jackson, my older son, is 4 and he's alot like me, which is to say he's a sweetheart, kind of aloof, handsome, and pretty strange and random. He's invented 4 or 5 imaginary bands already. the first one he came up with when he was three was called "action motors" which i still think is an amazing name. he was really into the white stripes at the time and my niece grace was going to play drums and he was going to sing and play guitar. another band was called "Darkness in the Shoes" which i thought was pretty poetic, and amazing how it showed the way the kid's brain and imagination works, like he was thinking about that dark place in a pair of shoes lying on the floor, and fascinated enough by it to name his band after it. I totally want to hear what that band sounds like. the other day he started telling me about his new band, a halloween band called "The Creepy Creepy Crawlers." Then he asked me if he could borrow one of my sharpie markers, or "permanent markers" as he calls them (we instilled the difference between his play markers and my permanent markers into his head after an unfortunate incident with a pillow case.) Anyway, he takes the sharpie and a few cd-r's from the spindle on my desk and starts designing "album covers" with drawings of skeletons and guitars and drums for each of the creepy creepy crawlers' albums. he did 4 in all, and i helped him hang them up on my wall with thumb tacks. the best part is that they all have totally real and awesome sounding album titles: The Creepy Creepy Crawlers Come Alive, Beware of the Creepy Creepy Crawlers, The Creepy Creepy Crawlers at Night, and of course the self-titled The Creepy Creepy Crawlers. Needless to say, i couldn't have been prouder. Actually, earlier today he told me the name of his new halloween band. This one is called "Deadness of the Gosling." So weird. So amazing. I can't get over it.

here is a song that is only marginally related to what i've been talking about, that i sort of love:
ryan adams - halloweenhead

Friday, October 12, 2007


the new radiohead record is exhilerating.

cmj is about to blow through this towm like a hurricane.

i'm amazed all the time by the power of fear, and how it transforms your perception of the world around you.

i just finished reading nick hornby's Long Way Down. I liked it alot. I started Joan Didion's Play it as it lays this morning on the train, which is powerful in an entirely different way. i'm excited to pick up the new Denis Johnson and Junot Diaz novels as soon as i can afford to spend money on anything besides food and bills.

i'm making a mix tape for liz for october. these are some songs on it, so far:

Late at Night - Buffalo Tom
Left and Leaving - The Weakerthans
Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Little Fat Baby - Sparklehorse
Here Tomorrow-the mugs (who we're playing with at CMJ!)
Chancellor-Gordon Downie
Sad Songs - The Frames
The Weather - Built to Spill

still working on it. any suggestions?

Friday, October 5, 2007


i'm sorry if this blogs seems impersonal. when i started this blog i wanted it to be more like a journal than it has been. i didn't want it to be just another place for me to promote my band. it's a new season, i'm excited about it. i'm going to try and be more spontaneous and honest. i'm going to try and write more too, some people emailed me about an infrequency of posts, it's just been a long, hard summer. i can't really pinpoint why. we've just had lots of chaos in our lives it seems. i just had a wonderful little moment though..i just went downstairs from my office and it felt warm outside and i grabbed a coffee and there were all these people sort of half smiling because it's friday and it's almost time to go home. i saw a young dad holding his 2 year old boy, and i thought of jackson and elijah at home. the title track from astral weeks came into my head and that line "taking care of your boy."

here's another song i've been rocking on my ipod. it's by my good friends the diggs. i'm getting ready to go on a trip to mexico soon for my best friend's wedding and those guys will be there too. i can't hardly wait. this song rules:

the diggs - careen

the diggs forthcoming sophomore lp ctl alt del is coming out early next year and is going to be a monster.