Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mix #1, Just So You Can All Get Up To Speed

Here is the first mix I made under the banner of The Buttercream Gang. I figured it was strange to only have mix 2 and 3 up on the blog and leave off numero uno. So after re-hosting it up on z-share, here it is. Hope you enjoy it. All of these kind of have summer in mind, so hopefully they help keep the summer (hopefully you're somewhere with nice weather, otherwise maybe these can help transport you to that place in your mind) vibes coming. Enjoy!

1. Conversation Of Love - Earl Rodney
2. Prospect Hummer - Animal Collective (w/Vashti Bunyan)
3. Knotty Pine - Dirty Projectors & David Byrne
4. I'll Call Before I Come - Outkast Feat. Gangsta Boo & Eco
5. 'Til I Die - The Beach Boys
6. To Whom It May Concern - Tunji Oyelana & The Benders
7. Newtown - The Slits
8. Lady O K'pele - Lizzie Mercier Descloux
9. Move - Q-Tip
10. Pais Tropical - Gal Costa
11. Bring on the Lucie (Freda People) - John Lennon

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ma Comprooter Works! / Mix #3

After getting my computer back today, I'm back up and running. The Apple store told me my little spill would cost me a whopping 13 hundred some-odd clams. Those damn "geniuses"! Luckily the women that helped me told me about an inside track, so I got it fixed in Fremont for $500. Happy birthday to me! This is a good thing for many reasons: 1) as you will see bellow, I was able to finish another mix of songs for your summer music enjoyment thanks to good ol' Garage Band. 2) I have access to all my music for MY summer music enjoyment. 3) now I (and the rest of the band) can better work on new material from the many rough demos and musical ideas we've recorded in Garage Band (Go to school learning to record music for 2 years and I end up using what is essentially a children's recording program to record. Sorry folks, it's just quicker). 4) Cowabunga. Rob and my musical "side project" (hate to use the word, but the only reason we ever wrote material was to play a show that The Buttercream Gang was offered while Bob was on vacation in Hawaii) that  consists of much more electronic aspects, hence the need for a computer. So all is well in the world again (Except the death of MJ. I just bought Off The Wall again, The force has got a lot of power) and we're going to play in San Diego on Friday and take in some So Cal rays. Plastic surgery, spray on tans, paparazzi and the boarder to Mexico await us. In the meantime, feel free to download this mix.



1. California Girls - The Beach Boys

2. Season of the Witch - Donovan

3. Chuckberry Fields Forever - Gilberto Gil

4. Mosca no Sopa - Raul Seixas

5. Meet Me in the Garden - Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele

6. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing - Stevie Wonder

7. Peace Frog - The Doors

8. Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis

9. Love is a Wave - Crystal Stilts

10. Yu Squeeze My Panhandle - Lee Scratch Perry & The Upsetters

11. Not A Problem - Black Lips

12. Simmer Down - Bob Marley

13. Untitled - Black Moth Super Rainbow

Friday, July 3, 2009

The First Leg of the "Tour"

On Tuesday, at about 8am, we finished up a little 3 day tour of Redding, Sonoma and Seattle (yes we drove all the way up to Seattle and back. Yes, we are aware that that is a little stupid. haha) and it went really well.

Thursday night and Friday morning Rob and I spent all of our time printing shirts (the first new shirts we’ve had for the band in about 5 years) at our good friends Nic and Casey Ramirez’s screen printing shop. They were both separately dispersed in Asia on work related things, so we were left to try and make sure we didn’t destroy their whole setup in the effort to create these shirts. Rob and I eventually worked out a system that worked pretty well. But it still took a good 8 or so hours in all. Straight from there I hit up a taco truck and then went home to take care of some things before the first jaunt of this trip. While finding directions and taking care of this and that on my Macbook while eating a burrito and drinking a bottled water, in an extreme act of physical idiocy I tipped the bottled water over on my computer. I wiped the water off and seemed to make a quick recovery, but seconds after the water was taken care of, my computer screen looked like the background of some kind of Nintendo NES game. Pixilated as hell. As I write this I’m also taking care of making an appointment at the apple store to meet with one of those overpriced “Genius” sessions. I didn’t have to much time to get overly concerned though because it was time to meet up with the rest of the gang and head to Redding in Bob’s mom’s van that she let us borrow. It was time for our first road trip to begin.

The Downtown Eatery in Redding is the best place to have started this whole thing. Maxwell, the booker, provided us with a room to crash in right above the venue and was super cool to hang out with and talk music with. They gave us a bunch of free food and drink which was awesome and we got a heads up on some delicious pumpkin coconut bread. If this was how every venue treated bands it would always be a very warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s not though, The Downtown Eatery totally spoiled us, and for that we’re very thankful. We will definitely play there in the future. It’s only 3 hours away also, so it could even happen in the foreseeable future.

We woke up on Saturday and drive back to Napa to straighten some things out and get a little R&R before playing The Shop and heading straight to Seattle. It was one of those situations where you have everything mapped out in my head and I had planned on getting some rest before the Sonoma show and a long night/morning of driving, but it never works out that way. I was getting directions and just doing all the boring stuff to get ready and needless to say, a nap was never had.
Having grown up in Napa (right next door to the home of The Shop, Sonoma) I had heard of The Shop but had never been mostly due to a lot of pop punk bands playing there, which I’ve never been in to, and just being somewhat ignorant of any kind of local scene. It’s a very cool place though. It’s run by high schoolers that are some of the coolest high schoolers I've seen in a while (and I should know, I work with high schoolers at the Boys and Girls Club in the Napa Valley, which is in no way connected to anything on this blog. My boss would appreciate me saying that so that I don’t soil the good name of the BGCNV). They all run the venue together and as students come into high school and then graduate the cast of people running it just rotates. There are adults that oversee things a little, but from what I understand, it seems like the teens are given a lot of freedom to book the bands they want and run things how they see fit. I think every small town should have something like this (wink wink to the powers that be in Napa).

The show went well though, which featured ourselves, Cloverleaf Drive, Body or Brain (which we missed unfortunately due to already being on the road to Seattle. Good guys though) and Nana de Carlo (The best high school band in Napa by far if you ask me). At the last song of Nana de Carlo’s set Taylor (drummer in Body Or Brain) and I, per request of the Carlo gents, jumped on stage midway to add percussion and, what to me, felt like a shitload of energy. I worked up just as much of a sweat in that 2 minutes as I did the entirety of our set earlier that night. Rob came on stage with us to capture it on film. Should be pretty funny to watch. Stay tuned for that. Haha. After that though we headed back to Napa to get a little food and a sweet merch tablecloth of sorts that our good friend Adam Dickenson made for us on short notice. Now the trip to Seattle lay before us and o’ what an exhausting ride it was.

At 11:00 we took of from Napa, with me behind the wheel to backtrack over the same route that we drive to Redding and then onward to Oregon and Seattle. The drive was pretty painless at first and got increasingly more intense due to fatigue and really uncomfortable sleeping conditions for those that weren’t driving. I gave up the wheel in Ashland Oregon to Bob and he gave up the wheel to Rob a little ways into Seattle. Once we got there we discovered that it was the day of the Gay Pride Parade in Seattle (in my head this was strictly a San Francisco thing, but I guess these parades are held far and wide across the land at this point in time). We picked up my cousin Kara near the parade and went back to her apartment where the 3 of us proceeded to take a nap before the show. Eventually after waking we made our way to The Comet (but not before buying Rick James album Street Songs at a record store down the street) where our show was going to be. We met the fine gentlemen of Punch, The Royal Bear and Heatwarmer and before you could say drag queen, we were playing on stage.

( SIDE NOTE: While Oregon gets points for having no sales tax, points are also deducted for having no self-serve at gas stations )

The crowd was great. To my knowledge a lot of them were Heatwarmer’s people and they brought a great energy to things. We played solidly and the crowd responded by clapping (!), dancing (!!) and singing (!!!). At this point, any apprehensions I had about driving that far to play one single show were gone and I got that warm fuzzy feeling inside (this could have been due to ODing on Red Bulls as well).

While Heatwarmer played after us, I noticed that the live sound engineer had taken the (much appreciated) liberties of adding some live dub effects to their sound. Being a former live sound man myself I went over to compliment him and he told me that he had been doing the same thing for us (much of the time whole you’re onstage these things can be very hard to tell, but more apparent from an audience perspective). This was really cool to hear since we’re all three fans of dub music. A very select few bands have someone that does live effects to the rest of the musicians onstage, but more often then not, this kind of thing happens in the recording studio, not so much live. It was cool to hear that this engineer (whose name slips my mind) could hear in our music that we would be down for some dubage to be imparted on us and go ahead and make us sound a bit more interesting.

After the show we completely randomly ran into Bob’s old roommate Chris from SF and proceeded to follow him and his friends in their drunken excitement to his buddy’s apartment. We climb up a ladder (praying to god that a drunken person didn’t fall down and completely break themselves, or fall on one of us) to the roof and got a really great panoramic view of the city. After that we headed back to Kara’s apartment and finally got decent sleep. The next day we hung out with my cousin and while she was at work we were shown the sites by her boyfriend Tim. Good times were had, but it translates better to actual experience as opposed to me trying to describe it right now.

After dinner we headed back to Napa with a strong start on the road, made more invigorating by hearing Rick James shout “Hell Yeah!” and the crowd yelling it right back at him…..about 50 times. We got back in Napa at 8am the next morning. I got a speeding ticket (90mph in a 65) about 4 hours before that. A bit of a damped, but oh well. I went back home and slept until 5pm. The first leg was a success.

PS: photos and music coming very soons, but seeing as my macbook is down, things are a little limited at the moment. Hope you all have a good holiday weekend. I don't feel as bad about being American as last year, so hopefully that's on the up. haha

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Something To Tide You Over

There will most likely be many "bangin'" mixes on this blog in the very near as well as distant future, but here is one I made available in early june that I think will do a sufficient job of tiding you over till the next one comes, following the hoped for fixing of my macbook. Note to self: don't eat burrito and drink bottled water next to my laptop, may put a damper on my day. When are they going to create fully submersive computers. I don't care if you can make something that can fit in my coat pocket. Cool down on the whole making-things-smaller game. Put more work into the under water computer research.

Anyways, here is the link to the BCG Mix 2; summery goodness awaits:


1. Seaside Woman - Linda McCartney
2. Looking For Gold - The Tough Alliance
3. Everybody But Me (diskJokke Remix) - Lykke Li
4. Iko Iko - The Belle Stars
5. Take It Away - Paul McCartney
6. Tropicalia - Beck
7. Make Believe Mambo - David Byrne
8. No Comply - Studio
9. Let's Go Crazy - The Clash
10. (Si Si) Je suis un Rock Star - Bill Wyman
11. Watching The Detectives - Elvis Costello

New Blog, Shnew Shnog

So here it is, the first entry on the new blog. Pretty exciting stuff eh? Not really, but it will hopefully allow us to be able to better express whats going on within the band and communicate what's going on with us without having to put up with all the visual and informational bs that is on Myspace. Easier to share pertinent photos, videos, possibly demos, mixes, etc.. So here it is. I (Pete) and the rest of the band are new to the whole blogesphere thing, although I check them out from time to time. We've never really been the blogging type, but as they say, "when in Rome". Also I think, as many many bands these days have done prior to this, that sharing whats going on with us can be informative, beneficial and help to demystify the whole process of being in a band. As you will see, there are no groupies, we're not signed to any major label (or a label at all for that matter), and our songs our not on the radio. None of those things are necessary though, especially in this day and age, in order to create and share music. So for the sake of better fleshing out the art form that we call music and everything that follows, here we go.