I spent the Fall in Kentucky – hanging out with my girlfriend – Sonya. While she was busy with important things like studying for finals, writing lengthy essays, and teaching freshmen Geography – I was drawing comics and watching horror movies. If only my 12 year-old self could have witnessed it.
When I was little I used to crank out comic after comic. I still have piles of boxes of old notebooks dating back to before I was in pre-school. Back then I called them movies. Lately, I’ve been nostalgic for those old notebook “movies.” I thought it was time to resurrect some old super heroes from my past.
Below is a link to the full 23 page comic that I made this Fall. It involves Bipity and Bop (2 characters created by my cousin and I when we were 12) and a dopey Super Guy named D-Man (a character whose origins go back to my Senior year of college. Uploads of past issues coming soon for your enjoyment).
It’s a quick read. I hope you like it.
Click the link below:
A lot of the time I just want to draw something quick for fun, but I love narratives – so I draw 1 page comics. Here’s a few I’ve drawn lately. Coming soon – I will post my latest 26 page comic that I drew while vacationing in Kentucky!! I just need to find the courage to hit the scan button 26 times. yeesh.
Here are some b-sides from the upcoming Bubblegum Best album: The Visitor. The actual album itself will be out following the New Year. Click the links below and they’ll lead to a media player. Enjoy & tell me if you like any of these “loser” songs. Winners coming soon.
At my current rate of music making – I make about an album every 2 years. In High School I made about 3 a year. There are many reasons for the change in output. A.) What else are you going to do in High School but cry over girls, and make works bombs? There’s just a hell of a lot more time. B.) Nearly EVERYTHING made it on an album. I wasn’t much of an editor back in the day. So even the crappiest of the crap would be handed to friends and family (and anyone willing to shill out 5 bucks for the thing. Yeah, I used to charge for it. But Cd-rs and burners were a special thing. So the novelty of that alone gave me a net gain of about 15 bucks.)
But some of the crap isn’t quite crap. And some songs were never meant for albums but handed out to friends on B Days, or made for failed web series, or were just out of tone with the rest of my music library (yeah, I know. I’m the only one thinking about it. But it’s a fun fantasy to imagine fans. I have one. He lives in New York. His name is Glenn.)
Okay. So – I have all of these unwanted songs littering my Itunes, so I thought it was time to share. A little at a time. 5 songs at a time to be exact. I feel that anymore would be…overdoing it a bit, and the last thing I want to do is hand out something to you, my fans, (I mean, Glenn. Hi, Glenn) that was self indulgently long winded. Especially when I’m digging down into an endless barrel of b sides (you might call them b sidez. Depends on how cool you are, and how much you played with legos as a kid).
So here’s the first 5. A bsides EP – soon to be LP.
TRACK # 1 – GotTA:
Ok. I’ve always wanted to make a rap album. The problems with doing such are many. I’m white. Very white. I’m pale. And I can’t really make a rap song with out my tongue firmly planted in thy cheek. SO- I end up with some goofy (but lovable?) songs. Anyhow- I’ve got about 5 or 6 rap songs hidden away. Here’s my fave. There will be more to come. Maybe.
TRACK # 2 – Hot tub in Space:
So my friends are in this comedy troupe – Summer of Tears. And a few years ago – they went out and shot a web-pilot for a show called (you guessed it!) HOT TUB IN SPACE. Anyway, they knew I made music, so there was a no pressure situation for me to make a theme song. No pressure because they most likely would never use anything I make, because I’m not Interpol, and my stuff’s a little – let’s just say – DIY. So they heard it. Not sure what they thought. But I know they didn’t use it. So here it is. I was going for a kind of MSTK3000 vibe (thank you, Man or Astro Man for that.) I also thought it would be cool if the last lyric always changed per episode. Episode 1 – “I miss my mom.” Episode 2 – “How do you order pizza in space.” Shrug. Some one hire me to do this! I can make something at least as good as this song
TRACK # 3 – Christmas in Delano
A few years ago I made a concept album called: “Delano” (you can find it and listen to it on this website) and it was a love album told from a 13 year old’s perspective growing up in a small town. The album was full of cheesy pop songs. A lot of them revolved around the changing of seasons. So I decided I should make a Christmas song. (I always thought the golden ticket would be to make a popular Christmas song. Every December get a big fat check. Buy some cool presents…Just sayin’) Anyway- I made this, and played it for my GF at the time, and she just shook her head. “You can’t put this on the album. It’s just so…so weird.” I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had my X-mas hit on my hands. So it didn’t make the album. And after revisiting the album in retrospect – I realize that she was 100 % correct. This would’ve sounded pretty crazy in the middle of that album. Maybe as crazy as it will sound right now – at the cusp of Summer.
TRACK # 4 – Heaven in your Heart
When I was making music for what was about to become “Trancer” I had 2 types of songs. The kind that made the album (a darker breed. At least for me) and the the kind that sounded like this. I had a choice to either make the album a fun jaunt over the hill and through the woods, or over the mountain and into the forest. I went with the latter, and the little ditties like this hit the cutting room floor. Back in the day, played it for my pal, Jamieson, and he like it quite a bit.
TRACK #5 – Jeremy 3010
For my friend, Jeremy’s 30th birthday, a bunch of his pals were asked (by his soon to be bride. Hurray for you guys!) to make some cool art about the man for a collected gift. So I made him this song. Okay. Here’s the history: Back in 2004 I made a track called Jeremy 2005 that became a minor hit (meaning 6 friends told me they really liked it). So in 2009, it seemed an obvious choice to make a Jeremy 2009 song. BUT because the earlier track was such a hit – there was some personal pressure I put on myself, and I started worrying about how Jeremy 2009 was going to pale in comparison to its platinum brother.
I decided to have some fun with it. Because why make a song, if there’s no fun had in it?
So I set the song in the distant future, and created a crazy scenario about how Jeremy never aged over 30, and fights future predators called “night beasts” with his son. There’s a 1 page comic about it, too, but only Jeremy has it. And the track never became a gold record hit (like Jeremy 2005) ….. until….. NOW (?) !!!
And if you got this far – thanks for reading and listening. More are on the way!! Tell me what you think.
Roger Mexico formed in 2002. I knew Louis (the drummer and band master) thru film school (University of Iowa!!). He was a drummer in nearly every band in Iowa City. He knew Dave (the lead guitarist and back up vocalist) thru similar channels. And Peter (the bassist) from High School. And there was also Dan. I’m not sure who knew Dan (other guitarist).
We rocked the best venues of Iowa City for a year. From Gabes (battle of the bands) to the fucking empty coffee houses of Grinnell (but the meal and hotel were paid for there. What?! Remember when we ate so much food because dinner was free that we all were sick before the show…yeah, we were opening for some def jam rap group, too. Yep. Too much fun.)
Anyway- we never recorded, but we had some heart, and played some great rocknroll shows. So this is a playlist of every scrap I have of recorded material (at least just plain audio-wise. Apparently there’s some videos. Anyone out there know where?).
The 1st track was taken from a Coach Mahler session. Immediately after Roger Mexico disbanded a few of our guys went to Mahler and they played a mean Country Rock show. Anyway- they stole the lick for a Roger Mexico track (wink to Kevin Mahler) and so I stole it back and recorded over it a few years ago.
The 2nd – is from a session I did early on with Dave (the lead guitarist) — we recorded an acoustic session with 2 early tracks back when I think Dave was unsure about me as vocalist. (am I right, Dave?)
Anyway- after those sessions, Dave was just fine with me on the mic. I think part of trepidation came from the fact that I was so shy with singing that I would sing super quietly so that no one knew the lyrics until the shows. And then on show days I would drink enough and be confident. And belt it.
The 3rd – “Darling” is a solo – BGB track. That was one that was brought up to the guys to cover from my recent album (part of the reason Louis wanted me there). Originally I was on keyboards playing a thick keyboardy string section. It was quickly vetoed for obvious reasons. It’s too bad we never recorded this one as a full band – it would’ve sounded awesome.
The 4th- “Love 2 Quickly” was a Dave song. I was back up vocalist on it. Since I didn’t play an instrument–I didn’t have much to do on that one but sway a little and wish I had a tambourine. Listen to hear Dave lose it and start laughing mid-song.
And last (but not….least?) Nymphomani-yeah. Another Bubblegum Best track. This one also was more fitting with a band rather than the default keyboard backings. But you still get the jest of how good it could be. Minus that embarrassing ending (grabs forehead and sighs).
So I wrote more than most will read. And put up more songs than most will listen, but it’s been good reminiscing about the ROGER MEXICO. 2002-2003 RIP
This is a song I made with my friend Seth a few years ago. Just felt like sharing it today. Seth and I are in the midst of the long distance creation of a new album (2 songs complete. 10 more to go?) — from Minnesota to California. Listening to this song makes me want to put that one on the fast track to completion. Enjoy…