July 14th, 2014
A man just raised over thirty-thousand dollars to make a potato salad thus proving that Kickstarter is an uncontrollable firehouse of capital. Ayn Rand’s panties would be so wet right now if she could see how unadulterated capitalism can help meet the potato salad needs of the free market. For those that don’t know, people on Kickstarter ask for funding, sometimes in jest, and it is (or isn’t) given to them based on a series of factors determined by the poster: time-frame for completion, quality of project illustrated and some bastardization of chaos theory where a butterfly’s wings flapping in Australia can cause a thirty year old web developer in Palo Alto to donate ten dollars for a potato salad he will never taste or see. I want to focus heavily on the latter qualifications of any particular project on Kickstarter. People are up in arms about how this is a waste of time and money and that there are people out there that would benefit in a more meaningful way from those uncontrollable Kickstarter bucks. For example:
Sure. Homeless people need houses more than young white males need potato salads, I’m not going to argue that. I’m honestly not going to argue anything, just illustrate the fact that opportunity and exposure are relatively random on the internet and shouldn’t be used as a metric for what society, as a whole, values.
Or will I?
What this potato salad situation says is that the light chuckle and sense of satisfaction a person gets from clicking away a dollar to make a potato salad they will never experience is greater than the motivation required to find a more worthy cause. Our barrier for charity is a few clicks and thirty seconds of our time. That being said, I’ve rarely seen a person cross a street to put change in a homeless man’s bucket. The point is, people that want to direct this outpouring of cash towards something meaningful need to do one of two things: make the giving more gratifying i.e. giving a dollar to put funny hats on dogs or make the giving so easy you’ll feel like a peace of shit for not doing it. Honestly, if I was a developer at Kickstarter I’d have a pop-up running today that says, “Click here to donate ten dollars to a man who really wants to make a potato salad or one of these other fine charities (Habitat for Humanity etc.)” And again, with this being said, I still say no to donate to cancer victims while in line at the movies. Charity is a fickle thing. At least with giving options a person knows the full implications of what they are actually doing. I always enjoy the movie a little less as penance.
Our random Facebook poster failed rule number two of making giving easy. They offered their potential donors the options of clicking “like” or copy pasting a URL into their browser and praying they didn’t just get some next level spyware. There are thirty likes on the post but a third as many donations. I’m sorry Michelle but your post can’t stop this potato salad freight-train of flavor. Maybe if the dogs made potato salad CNN might pick up the story. Either way, what is actually being accomplished is way less important than how the people who are doing the donating feel about themselves.
May 22nd, 2014
Over the past few months I’ve been co-hosting a bi-weekly stand up comedy show at Stardust Video and Coffee near Winter Park. The show is every other Tuesday night at 9:00pm and upcoming shows can always be checked on Stardust’s event calendar. The show is an open mic format but we would like anyone wanting to perform to watch at least one show beforehand. This way they understand the audience a bit better and we have time to analyze whether or not the performer can do a sufficient set. Stardust is still a coffee house foremost so the emcees reserve the right to prune the list for quality and time purposes. The show, over past weeks, has varied greatly in size but is always a fun time for anyone with a sense of humor. Stand up comedy can be pretty vulgar sometimes so I’d leave your kids at home for this show. Unless they are into that kind of thing and you let them watch R movies already. Just don’t spend the whole show explaining to your kid why each joke was funny- It really saps the energy out of the room. Unless your kid is particularly funny looking; then you can put them upfront.
Directions to Stardust:
1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 623-3393
It is in the plaza across form Big Daddy’s and ABC Liquior and next to the 7 Eleven. Stardust has a full liquor bar and a wonderfully delicious kitchen so make sure to plan on sticking around after. Also, like I mentioned above, they serve top notch coffee and tea. Heck you can even rent videos and books there so keep an open mind.
Also, feel free to leave any questions below in the comments and I’ll get them answered.
July 10th, 2013
I’ve been getting on stage again and it feels good. I’m settled in here in Orlando and am ready to start frequenting the local open mics. Being a bigger city, Orlando seems to have at least a couple shows almost everyday of the week, which is fantastic. The biggest goal I’ve set for myself is to keep writing new material, sketches and short stories. I’ve decided I will be pursuing a degree in creative writing and I want to make putting pen to paper part of a daily routine. Talking about myself is boring and unsubstantial so hopefully I’ll be able to write about things that interest a wider audience. I’ve uploaded my latest feature set and hope to be posting a bunch more now that I have access to some film equipment. Big thanks to Josh Stone for helping with the video editing and intro tiles. I’m fairly certain the video quality over represents the joke quality.
March 30th, 2012
This is a short clip of our booth models rapping at the Mid America Truck Show 2012. They got paid to do this.
We had an absolute blast in Louisville, KY. It is a really active city with plenty of night life to keep us busy. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory. I’d heard from more than one person it was absolutely worth the $5. We were also minutes away from Churchill Downs but couldn’t find the time to swing by and lose our shirts on a longshot.
This was our first year exhibiting at the show and I’m pretty confident we knocked it out of the park (I’m sticking with baseball references for this article.) We were at capacity from open to close and were able to distribute almost all of our promotional hats, calenders and catalogs. There wasn’t a soul in that convention center that didn’t know who we were by Saturday afternoon. Our success was bittersweet though because it resulted in an expense sheet so long that would give Santa’s naughty or nice list a run for its money.
I’m sure there will be plenty more footage to be shared as the months pass. We’ve obtained a large amount of recording equipment, cameras, mics, editing software and audio mixers and are just about ready to go into the production business. We will be working completely in house, at least initially, until we can find anyone foolish enough to let us do their advertising for them. Hopefully we don’t strike out.
February 7th, 2012
This is the best comedy event you don’t know about. 1982 Bar on University ave in Gainesville has been hosting weekly comedy shows for the past two years and they almost always deliver. Some of the comics are traveling professionals stopping in to refine new material. Others are newbies trying to get their chops up. It has been a springboard for a large group of creative people in this city and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. There will be a show tonight, the seventh, and another show in a few weeks. Make sure to come out and support local comedy!
The 1982 show is the best way to get started in comedy if you’ve ever been interested. The crowd is receptive to new material, all of the comics will help out, and if you bomb the stage is really close to the door. If you are a student, you can join the UF group USUCC, and even if you aren’t, you can show up to get feedback. They will tell you if you are ready for the stage or need to write some more material first.
I should have a working calender up on the site soon that will let you check in on show times and who is performing. If you’d like to leave a suggestion of a good way to do this it would be much appreciated. I can work most HTML and PHP plugins for WordPress, but I’m open to creative third party solutions. The goal is to have a clickable and comment enabled calender unique to each person with a specific set of dates that I can set from the back end. That way people can mark the events they would like to attend and receive email reminders. Also, we can have comics “check in” if they are performing.
January 31st, 2012
Where is the edge?
I heard Popular, Nada Surf’s first hit from their debut album in 1996, for the first time in high school and it immediately struck me with a teen anthem, woe is me, kind of vibe. Popular was scathing and cynical of teen culture with an addictive hook to boot. After that though, with exception to a single on the OC (don’t judge me), I haven’t heard much about the band. So I was excited when I saw that they had released a new album. Time to step into the musical time machine and rekindle some of that teen angst that Wheatus had left behind!
Nope. Just found some gentle surf rock.
Now I’m not going to say the album sucked. It was smooth and atmospheric, flowing gently from track to track. To put it in perspective, it was a Real Estate album with a faster tempo or a Surfer Blood album with less reverb and distortion. It started like the begging of a summertime road-trip to the beach. The gentle guitars are strumming as we put the surfboards on the roof and stuff some lawn chairs in the trunk. We then get ten minutes down the road and one of my asshole friends changes the song to a flavor of the month radio jam and everyone starts to dance, ironically. And we never get back to the album because it is just that forgettable. I had trouble writing this review even though I had listened to the album a couple of times just the day before. I found myself not paying attention to the lyrics for much of the album and didn’t connect to any of what they had to say. This could be a byproduct of the fact that most of the band’s members are over forty and might not really give a shit anymore or, heaven forbid, are happy now. There was definitely nothing Facebook status worthy. I’m pretty sure this is the music you hear playing in the background at a Pacsun or Hollister.
I was pleased to find out I wasn’t crazy for thinking I’d heard this all before. They have been sneaking tracks into How I Met Your Mother over the span of multiple seasons. Damn it Ted! Can you stop finding new ways to bore me while I wait for more Marshal or Barney episodes?
Summary: Sets the mood nicely but doesn’t deliver the goods at any point. I can see this making its way into a summertime playlist here or there, but the album was mostly forgettable.
January 29th, 2012
Get ready for another show this February 1st at the the Double Down Live. The show starts at 9:00 pm but feel free to show up and early and start drinking. Comedy is always more fun when you are inebriated, it makes it so we have to work at lot less hard. The show will be hosted by Andy Martone and feature a slew of other Gainesville comics. Trust me there is nothing better to do on a Wednesday for $3. If you are interested in getting into standup comedy, make sure to stay after the show and chat with the comics. They are always happy to give advice and can direct you to the next weekly comedy workshop. The best advice I can give to anyone getting started is to keep notes in your phone for any ideas you might come up with. I’m particularly absentminded so it is very important I right new ideas down right away.
One of the comedians, Pablo Moms, has recently had one of his videos featured on wimp, reddit and a few other major video sites. You can check it out below. Make sure to subscribe to both youtube.com/chakcomedy and youtube.com/magicalmysterygang. Content is constantly being published and it always is great to get feedback for the audience.
January 27th, 2012
I caught wind of this album while listening to 100.5 the Buzz, a local Gainesville rock station. The Buzz has a weekly program called The Independent where they play music from up and coming artists on labels such as Sub Pop and Carpark Records. It is only from 7-9pm on Sundays and boy do I savor those two hours because they lead me to bands like this. Cloud Nothings is a three man lo-fi band out of Cleveland, Ohio. The album in review is their third studio album. The single I heard was “Stay Useless” and it is definitely the most catchy and approachable song on the album. It is hook driven and has your typical shout-a-long chorus. Don’t be fooled though, the second track of the album, “Wasted Days” is a nine minute driving psychedelic punk experience. I’m not going to claim this is a heavily drug influenced album, but I’m pretty sure it is. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that by “Wasted Days” they meant they couldn’t find anything product to do. The album cools off in intensity through the rest of the album but not in quality. It is just track after track of catchy anthems you can shout at your car dash.
As far as influences go, these guys are taking up right where Jay Reatard left off (I’m pretty sure this includes lifestyle choices to boot). It is noisy and rough but still manages to feel clean and catchy. How can one sentence be so contradictory? Have a listen and you’ll (hopefully) level with me. You can also hear plenty of the Strokes, Pavement, and Built to Spill as well as some younger bands like Japandroids and Cymbals Eat Guitars. They craft a unique sounds and what I enjoyed most about the album was how they will fearless jam, vocals be damned! There are essentially two instrumental songs on a punk album. That doesn’t happen everyday. They are labeled as lo-fi but I can’t shake the feeling they want to create a bit more of a refined image. Their previous albums have been significantly rougher (yeah I listened to their discography, for all you continuity Nazis out there) so it seems they are stepping in a direction that gives them a few more musical liberties.
Summary: Amazing album from a band with a very bright future. I suggest listening to their first album, “Turning On” just so you can see how far they’ve come in two years.
January 25th, 2012
In the world of the internet, content is king. People want something new every day, every minute delivered right to their smart phones. So I ask myself: What do I have to offer to the internet? What half-baked idea can I put out there that might garner some views and traffic. The first thing that pops into my mind is to share every video I’ve ever made where I tell jokes. This is a major mistake because most of these videos are bad, some of which are so bad I’d threaten my chances of ever getting booked.
My second thought is to explain how I’ve had success with eCommerce. The problem with that is I’d be showing all of my cards to prospective competitors. I hate those guys, and to be honest, I’m not even sure I’m doing it right. I have a “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” approach to business. It isn’t efficient but damnit, we sell a lot of truck parts.
So what now? I’ve taken steps to organize my life better. I’ve built this abominable site. Now I’m going to fill it with enough lame videos of myself and my friends that people won’t be able to leave without feeling better about their own accomplishments. I’m thinking of starting a new section called “Reasons I feel better today” and just putting pictures of people falling down stairs and babies hitting people in the nuts with wiffle bats. I’ve got ideas folks.
I leave you with a video. Make sure to subscribe to the Magical Myster Gang after you view it:
The Day I Met Dave