Ask any of my friends – I cannot survive long without a fix of awkward comedy. And when I don’t get it from TV everyone is worse off, because I go out into the world and create it on my own. This means anything from the casual out-of-place remark to the more dangerous, like insisting on paying a 7-11 cashier with Old Navy Cash. Luckily, the world has been spared of these shenanigans recently, as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are filling the void for me with the sketch – format comedy Portlandia. They touch on everything from old lesbian couples to dumpster divers. My favorite sketches involve a couple in which Armisen plays the female role and Brownstein the male… creepy and hilarious.
Just before I got into Portlandia, I bought a pair of real zebra wood sunglasses made in Oregon. I’m hoping they do a skit about them. That’s my attempt at a segue. I’m usually a pretty stingy guy, but I saw these things and I had to have them. I wore them at night for a while. I care for them like you care for your cat, and cuddle with them even more. I’m usually really picky with sunglasses and these look awesome.
3. Egnater Amps
I picked up an Egnater Tweaker-40 head & cab last year and can’t believe how awesome it is for being so affordable. It’s a great all-purpose rock guitar setup. You can get a huge overdrive out of it, a smooth clean, and everything in between. The tone modification knobs are versatile and very useful. It reminds me a lot of the much more expensive Bogners. I’m excited to mic it up in the studio for the first time this week. I have a feeling this brand is going to explode and become much more expensive, so get one while the gettin’ is good.
With a musical style that harkens back to 90’s powerhouse acts such as Oasis, Incubus and Silverchair, Boston-based artist TJ Courtney is bringing a thoughtful, introspective approach to songwriting. Whether it’s the infectious “One Day,” which questions our impact as a species on the world, or “Who Are They,” a song that brings to light this generation’s paranoid obsession with online voyeurism, TJ delivers his message with gritty vocals that are instantly recognizable, while blending hooks and melodies with his eloquent storytelling.
Teaming up with a solid crew in the studio, TJ collaborated with songwriter/producer Jason “Space” Smith (Seether), songwriter Waymon Boone (Splendor), producer Andrew Dixon (Colbie Caillat) and mixer Mark Needham (The Killers, Neon Trees) to complete his recent Into The Sky EP. In support of his latest release, a spring acoustic run is slated on the East Coast, including stops at venerable venues such as the Middle East (Boston), Webster Theater (Hartford) and the Delancey (NYC), while a national summer tour run will entail a 4-piece ensemble to spotlight the full rock arrangement of Into The Sky.