~Meniscus Archives~

Spring 2004
Issue #3

February - April 2004

Sex, Not Just for Teenagers
Mr. Ruggles

Like No Other Time, by Tom Daschle
A review
by Kristi Spurrier

Maintaining Spirituality in the Void We Call America
Mr. Ruggles
Libra Seeking Balance
Melissa Bator
What 2004 Means to Me
The Tonic
Bush's Capitalism: 21st Century Entropy
Jon Heinrich
Don't Think Twice,
It's Alright

Mike Kirkpatrick
Cows in the Road
Dan Berthiaume
Love, at 100
Pete Pidgeon
Summer's Freckles
Wes Ratko
Not a Love Story
Sarah Erdreich
Miami New Years
Team Meniscus
Tuckerman Ravine
Jon Heinrich
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Ten tips for a successful Jazzfest
Chrystie Hopkins
Meniscus New Years Picks
Bootyjuice is a Band
Derek Gumuchian
One Double Grande Instrumental, Please (Hold the Flavored Syrup):
A Review of
Self-Titled Debut

Brian Gagné
Show Review:
Vida Blue, 1/3/04
Jackie Gleason Theatre, Miami, FL

Jon Heinrich
CD Review:
Spaceship Integration
Live From Nowhere

CD Review:
The Recipe
All You Can Eat
Love Is...
-Ryan Collins
Traded for Monkeys,
Livid [In Tall Grass]
What a Calamity!

-Brian Gagné
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Diary of a Future Rockstar:
What 2004 Means to Me

The Tonic
Published 2/14/04

I have been going out almost every night this year, enjoying the social atmosphere and the joy it brings me to jump into a sea of familiar faces. It leaves me with little time to devote to other things, namely my band, and bills and such. I was at the lowest point of my life in December and I have been loving all things 2004. I feel the need to be fulfilled on an emotional level more so than a career or goal-oriented one right now. I never really have been, and have used music to fill that hole. But then I not only leave my spirits untended, I'm lying to myself that I can be healthy with music in its place. Such is not the case.

2004 for me is about finding what my life goal is truly about. I am beginning to think it has less to do with music than it does with spreading love, kindness and happiness. I make people around me happy and many are always glad to see me. I make them smile. Perhaps this is what I need to concentrate on. That is what I focused on this month and I feel good as a result. I don't know what this means for the future but I am waiting to find out.

Inherent in this is a voluntary sacrifice of giving true love or cheap sex. Having been crushed almost to death by giving my heart to people who have mistreated, it has put me in a position where I cannot love unless I am initially loved. 2003 was dotted with bad hookups with ugly strangers, only initiated due to severe intoxication, lack of taste, and the blind belief that it would lead to some kind of masculine satisfaction. Perhaps being free of these thoughts and actions will clear my head for greater and more altruistic activities.

To my mother I give much respect for raising me with high morals and conscientiousness. However, her vision of outward love for others often left her empty and without love for herself or love in return. And this trait I have inherited can frequently be as damning as it is socially enhancing. Imagine the railway worker who toils to death so that others may profit from his accomplishments, and he regrets it none, if not proud to be of assistance to humanity. Having never been truly loved in a boyfriend/ girlfriend manner of speaking is the reason which I make such a comparison.

I often feel my music completes a similar scenario. I write, sing, and play my ass off on stage, only to look out and see people in merriment kissing one and other and taking one and other to their beds as a result of the joy that my music brought them. Yet by the time I step off the stage, all are accounted for and my work has produced a selfless void. Left is an hour of breaking down gear, getting underpaid and receiving heat for it; looking for a place that's still open to get food, driving tired, and coming down from a buzz that was only palpable moments ago. This is the price of having nothing to show for one's efforts but knowing that the crop reaped was done so by those who are no longer present. Presiding over the knowledge that people did profit, and that there was a very positive result, yet coping with the fact that you are perhaps the only one who did not.

All is balance. The best show is followed by the worst come-down. Sometimes the most horrible show is tagged by the most amazing party. There are upsides. But all in all, it is a very lonely field to have balls enough to get up in front of crowds of people, sing about your most painful life experiences, and in the end be left staring out onto a barren, garbage strewn floor—one that could have represented any smattering of songs in the set. One that nobody really understands in a direct connection to the singer but can relate to in their own way.

For me to skip over all this to-do, and go straight to the one-on-one experience that can be obtained at a house party or favorite bar seems to me all the more appealing. Perhaps bubble gum pop stars that like to sing but have their careers planned for them would not play a gig that meant losing hundreds of dollars, a full night's sleep, and 6 hours stuck inside a smelly hatchback. For them, it is about money and a bit of fun. For them it is not about a means of direly expressing themselves the only way they know how, short of writing a suicide note. For them it is not about sacrificing health, mind and body for art.

Perhaps this is why musicians have such a terrible time finding a suitable relationship. First, the misconception needs to be cleared that most musicians (who aren't yet rich) get laid all the time. Clearly some do, but I would be willing to bet that a majority do not. It is possible that I am speaking from a begrudgingly jealous point of view where I wish not to admit my shortcomings. But none the less, the rumors of plentiful post-show sex and bj's are more that of lore and theatrical trailers than in the world of independent music. No money = no bj.

The other aspect of a true musician is that they are a musician because they are more than likely so fucked up in the head and shoulder with so many problems that the problems are the reason they became a musician in the first place. You've heard about Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend all admitting that they began playing guitar as a means to score with the opposite sex. In other words, they were having such a miserable time getting laid that the only way they could get any ass was to learn some blues chords and form a band.

For me, I am still at a loss to understand why this has not worked for me. I can, without self-inflation, state that I am one of the best musicians in my town. I play with deep passion and 17 years experience. I get hired by many bands to do gigs and studio sessions with them. I have recorded with some of the most famous musicians in history, yet I'm an eternally single, under-copulated individual with a big heart and a head that reels every time I attempt to contemplate how peace, love and music could be so aversive to so many.

I dream that this is only the case in the Northeast. I imagine flying to Sweden and discovering that beautiful people on both sides of their skin do exist. There is the chance that San Francisco holds the same promise while maintaining a common language. Having moved from Connecticut to New Jersey to Ulster County, NY (primarily a suburb of Long Island) and then to Boston, I have not really escaped the self-serving, money-hungry righteousness that pervades this part of the U.S.. However, financial standing and the existence of the strongest music scene in the country demand my Mass-hole residence.

My plan is to stay here only long enough to make it big and be able to live where I want to. We're working on a new demo with some fresh material to shop to booking agents and record labels as I lack the spiritual fortitude to continue the abuse-for-gigs scandal that finds my face kissing any number of posteriors. The material is hot though. It's the freshest music the band has ever seen and affords us a musical direction and sound of our own. We're ready to blow up but haven't been heard by the right people yet. Soon, that's the plan.

It has always been "soon," but we have never had the potential until now. Our chess pieces are in place, for the most part, and we are ready to close in. Perhaps it's all self-motivation tactics but in the many years that the band has been in existence, we've never sounded better. I look forward to where we will be.

This all depends on what 2004 has ahead. Will it be humanitarian dedication or more personal relinquishment in striving for a career in music? This is the boat on which I ride today.

Boatman, alone he drifts across the sea/
Boatman, the tide takes him where he needs to be/
Boatman, his wisdom lies not with oar in hand/
Boatman, lets the currents bring him to land

-The Tonic



Meniscus Magazine © 2004. All material is property of respective artists.