Tuesday, January 24, 2012

(Updated) Plexiglass Penis Smash by Beer (2008)

Kind of Like: At the Drive-In, Snowing, Moneen
Genres: Emo, Math Rock, Indie

I needed to take a picture with me to Kinko's (Fedex) to get printed, and I grabbed an old flash drive that had my old camera memory card in it.  Not only did it contain a bunch of old photos from the past, but also a bunch of music.  I was excited to get reintroduced to some tunes I listened to 4 years ago, when I noticed the file at the very bottom.  It was a music file I had thought I had lost a long time ago.  I am not sure if I should do the backstory now, or wait and see what you guys think of this band before because this file has some crazy sentimental value for me.  Let's make this interesting.  I will update this post in a couple days after I post it now.

Alright, I got a good response, so I will do the back story on this as I said I would.  There wasn't a lot of ratings for this post (I don't think many people use the star thing anyways), but there actually were a lot of listens on the bandcamp and a ton of downloads, more than I anticipated.  It is really cool to think that people liked this enough to want to save this on their computer and listen to it whenever.

This was a band that I jammed with for a good few years of my life.  We all originally knew each other from different ska bands, and we had always wanted to do a new project with each other.  We eventually grew out of the ska scene for the most part, our bands disbanded and we decided to start a new project together.  Originally, I played trombone and we were kind of going for an RX Bandits kind of band, a progressive rock band with horns and such.  We tried out a couple guitarists without much luck. Finally, we met up with a guitarist, and before we started playing he asked, "do you guys wanna smoke a joint?".  And thus began a really fun era of my life.  Over time, I moved from trombone to guitar to give the band a fuller sound, and the trumpet player moved to keyboard (which never got tracked).

Over the course of three years was a lot of good inebriated times and jam sessions, but there were several downfalls to our group.  We had a poor writing process, when we did focus on key parts and direction it turned out really well.  The problem was taking initiative to direct the writing process; there was no real leader.  The booze and such wasn't much help either for getting down to business.

But I was perfectly fine with not being serious.  In reality, we just were really good friends that happened to like jamming together.  We wrote a few songs, but eventually we seemed to get stuck.  We never got around to tracking the keyboard, horn parts, and vocals.  Without any progress forward, we ended up just....stopping playing.  Then a bunch of really horrible drama happened and nothing is really the same as it used to be.  There is no need for specifics; it isn't important.

Part of me wanted to share this song in hopes that maybe the acceptance and buzz would maybe somehow jumpstart things again in one way or another.  It's really frustrating because even to this day, what I look for in these emo/math rock bands are the same things we were doing years ago.  Melodic, noodly guitar parts, a really great drummer (arguably the best in our area), bouncing non-redundant walking bass lines (probably my favorite part of that recording), and just an overall clever development of themes.  I had a feeling that this 90's emo resurgance was going to get huge over the next few years and it would be nice to be one of the few Michigan bands a part of that.

The bass player has moved on to working with several bands including the Armed and sometimes writes on here.  He is the only real member I still hang out with.  He is also the only one that is not in the picture above.  The drummer is playing with a funk band that is well-paying from what I heard.  The guitarist and trumpet/keyboardist live together and have good...medicinal....business going (The only thing this kid is more passionate about than guitar is hydroponics).

Meanwhile, I have been trying to keep busy.  I am in nursing school, but I always want to music to be a part of my life as well.  That's why I started this.  I don't have the time/people to jam with, so I made this, and it's been a great creative outlet.  I've actually been fairly surprised by the number of musicians I run into that are going into nursing.  The drummer from the Suicide Machines, Tank, the drummer from Algernon, and others.  I think it is a combination of coming to the realization that music rarely pays the bills, nursing is and will always be an in demand field, and the whole "be nice and caring to people from all walks of life" punk ideology translates really well into the gratitude experienced from taking care of people.

I am not trying to be like, oh my life was so cool, listen to me talk about my life.  This is more of a therapeutic thing for me to write all this and revisit this.  If this somehow gets us jamming together and being friends again, then that would just be an added bonus, I guess.

Oh yeah, as for the weird name.  We once saw a video that showed a guy literally crushing his penis between two panes of plexiglass.  At some point we were trying to find it again, so we were googling for it, and this was one of the many grotesque keywords we tried to find it with.  Beer?  Well, we jumped between ideas for a name for awhile but never settled on anything.  I just put BeEr as the artist name when I saved it on my computer.  I capitalized the second E on accident and never changed it.

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