April 27, 2006

"You Americans Have Such Bland Crisp Tastes"

I was just looking over some of the pictures on the camera and they reminded me of a story I meant to tell everyone.

While in Newcastle the other night (which was delicious due to the glorious bake sale that was held by these folks.)

Anyway, while bro-hangin' at the venue before the show, we decided to kill time with a few rounds of dice. They had a cool VW bus as a backstage lounge. Nick asked, and apparently they pulled it up through the second story window with a first degree pully. To the left is a photo of us in the bus. Sam is currently rolling all fives, and Tom is like, "man, maybe I'll win yet another game of dice... I am so freakin' good at this freakin' game!" We played quite a few games of dice on this table, as it was fun to watch people get excited and throw the dice too hard and they would fall to the ground. We did not get the free pint glasses featured on the side of the grolsch box though. we forgot.

Well, we quickly grew tired of simply playing dice for spare change, we decided it was time to raise the stakes a bit. In our ryder in Newcastle, Debbora, our graciest hostess, had given us a variety pack of Walker crisps. Within the variety pack was a flavor we all found as upsetting as the scene in Rambo 3 when Jon Rambo cauterizes his own wound in the Afghani cave, which we just watched last night. Anyway, this chip flavor ended up being the only flavor we didn't eat, it was the Lamb and Mint Crisp. It is being modeled to the right by Jon Chapman. We were still high on dice, and decided to raise the stakes by forcing the loser of the next dice round to consume the rest of the lamb and mint chip pakage. We were all fairly grossed out by it, no one more than our delicate stomached guitar virtuoso, Joseph Hobson. Joe had been having trouble with his stomach in recent days, preventing him from eating too much or drinking any sort of alcohol. He decided to join the dice round for the chips because we made him. The sun was shining, birds were chirping, everyone was in good spirits. So we threw the dice, around in the circle they went. Jeff, Tom, Sam, Jon, Joe (not sure where Nick was for this round). Anyone want to guess who lost? haha. Sure enough, the man with the trembly gulliver ended up eating the lamb and mint (they really taste like lamb and mint, its incredibly gross) crisps. We caught it all with the camera.

The Stakes

To The Victor go the Spoils

Here are some other photos we took, including a shot called a flatliner, which the generous bartender allowed us to sample (featuring sambucca with a line of tabasco, topped off with tequila... seriously) and Sam and his doppleganger.



April 26, 2006

Cider Wars

Cider is quite a popular drink over here in the United Kingdom, moreso than in the States anyway. I normally don't review alcoholic beverages, but in this case I will make an exception since, well, the alcohol level is fairly low anyway at about 4.5%. Anyway, apple cider is the main brand over here with many companies putting it out. It's one of these things that is marketed to younger drinkers because it is cheap and is a way sweeter thing to drink compared to beer. In Cork, Ireland we were introduced to Kopparberg Premium Pear Cider, and a few days later I found Kopparberg Mixed Fruit Cider in a supermarket. This is how it all went down...

The pear cider was given to us a gift from a man named Owen who helped us get a show in Cork. The bottle was quite classy, definitely more than a lot of the ciders I've seen out there (especially any "hard" cider with the word "ice" in the title) It features a picture of a pear just ready for a cider'n a gold, classy font. Okay, now there has been some controversey recently about whether you can actually make "real" cider from a pear, and the answers have been a mixed bag. I did some research online and while pear cider isn't made exactly like traditional apple cider, the process is so indistinguishable that it might as well be the same. I thought this was going to impair my thoughts about pear cider, but I've decided to go ahead and review it as if pear cider is as pure as the apple stuff.

Wow. This beverage really made me look around the room and say, "wow." Just smelling the nose of the bottle made my nostrils extremely giddy. The cider tasted amazing. It was super, super sweet, but it tasted very natural and not syrupy at all. Some said it was "a bit too jolly-rancher like" and while I agree to an extent, it had too much of a natural flavor to write it off as just a sweet drink. This wasn't just a good alcholic drink, but a great drink in general. This is the kind of thing that parents accidently would give to their kids as "juice" and then be all surprised when their 7-year-olds are fucking trashed. Then the other kids parents would be all like "Yo, you got my kids drunk." And the other parent would say, "What, don't blame this on me, your kid has probably gotten drunk from your liquor cabinet plenty of times, 'cuz you are an alocholic!" That's harsh, parent one, that's harsh...The cider is the real one to blame because it's that damn good.

9.5/10 Yes, that damn good.

Ufortunately the same could not be said about Kopparberg's "mixed fruit" variety of cider. Made with an apple cider base, this mixture of blackcurrant, raspberry, and other miscellaenous berries was advertised as "extra strong" at a stronger than average (duh) 7% alcohol. This was probably the beginning of the poor qualities of the cider. It had the same bottle as the pear cider, of course with pictures of berries this time, so nothing was inherently wrong with the packaging, except for the fact that "extra" strong was spelled like "Xtra" strong. Fucking X-games generation.

So, for some reason before I bought this one, I believed that it could very well top the pear cider because it had even more fruit. How wrong I was. This tasted somewhere between one of those really card hard candies with a wrapper that looks like a strawberry (awesome) and a medicinal throat losenge that is trying so hard to taste good, but it just doesn't cut it (shitty.) The extra alcohol does immense harm to the aftertaste of this beverage and the medicinal taste from the beginning doesn't help either. It's not all terrible though. I could definitely see myself drinking this again as an alternative to many of the even worse apple cider brands, but it was quite the dissapointment after the tremendous pear brand. Not berry good, not berry bad. Terrible ending.


The Spinto Band's Scumball

So we recently grabbed the chance to sponsor our friend's scumball car in a charity event called the Scumball Rally. From what I gander, it is a charity event where people race cars around France. Have you ever heard of the gumball rally? It is like that, but the cars aren't allowed to cost more than 500 pounds. So its all these junky cars driving around France seeing if they can make it to the finish line without breaking down. Then all the drivers camp together at each night's finish line and drink beer.

The car our team bought was some European car that they don't sell in America. Its a skoda or something. If anyone recognizes the make, let us know, we feel silly not knowing. here is a photo of it:

We got them to put on a sweet Scumball Spinto logo designed to capture the essence of scumballers. here are some shots of the car with our logo:

and here are the men that claimed 4th place in a race where you weren't really allowed to speed, and no one technically won any prize and most of the competition broke down before even making it to the finish:

good job boys, we're proud of ya.

What Would Ronnie Do?

Here is a video of two great snooker players discussing the spinto band's personal hero, Ronnie "the rocket" O' Sullivan

April 21, 2006

Nick Krill: sexy vegetarian

Hey everyone, dont mean to overload the journal posts today, but I just got this email saying that Nick was nominated for Peta2s sexiest vegetarian alive. vote for him



a poem from Toronto

The spinto band doesn't get many poems written about them, and when we do, we like to put them up on our journal. Here is one from a friend of ours in Toronto:

Dearest The Spinto Band,

When The Spinto Band smiles,
troubles are few
the world takes on a rosette hue.
When The Spinto Band frowns,
birds cease to sing,
it’s like having a sloppy seconds fling.

whoah... gotta catch my breath after that one. Walt Whitman just myspace messaged Alex from the grave asking her if he could take her to the prom. oya vey.

7-up Ice

This soda is shockingly refreshing, or so the packaging says…Is it refreshing? Yeah, I suppose. Shockingly refreshing? C’mon, let’s be real here. I expect a cold soda to refresh me, and this soda does, but it’s nowhere near a shock, but you know what is a bit? The packaging. 7-up over here in Ireland (UK also) where found this soda still use that old favorite 7-up mascot. No, not the Cool Spot, but good guess…It’s that really cool looking lanky white dude with Kid ‘N Play hair. Remember him? I hope so. Alls I can say is “this dude looks SHOCKED!” The packaging is okay; it’s less green and more white to suggest ice, so that’s all good, nothing special otherwise.

Taste wise, I quite like this. On first consumption, you get a nice lemon-lime flavor you expect from the 7-up brand, but the aftertaste is where the real surprise comes in. The aftertaste is almost minty. It’s a bit hard to describe really, but it does taste quite clean. It feels way less syrupy than regular 7-up and for that it gets a great deal credit for that. Overall, this is a good soda. I would drink it again, but maybe next time I’ll put it on ice! Ugh… 7-up/10

April 18, 2006

The Ireland trifecta is considered a success

Well, we just finished our final show in Ireland. It was pretty great. It took place in the town of Limerick, however, no Limericks were told. Nick started one, feel free to finish it:

There once was a band named spinto
Whose keyboardist fell out the window...


we were set up with our backs to this second story window on a rather shallow stage, and we were all convinced someone was going to rowdy his way right out the rarely used window exit.

In an attempt to take a step away from what we know, the tour blog, and towards what we have seen, the music blog, included is a I also wanted to turn every one on to this band we played with, switches. they were pretty fun. they screamed and shimmied and did all that great rock n roll stuff that they should be doing. check them out. they were also quite nice.

The Switches every second counts mp3

there is my music blog post. while im at it:

asleep in the sea Dance on mp3

alright enough of that hallabaloo. Back on the fairy tonite and shooting a second Oh Mandy video tomorrow which we are all real excited for. Check out the one Tom made on student films. while Im going link-crazy, here are some more student films that are superb.

Cactus by albert b.
The Liars by nick g.
Cord by phil d.

Here are some photos to leave you with:

April 16, 2006

Sam Hughes Reviews: Sarsae, a sparkling sarsae drink!

Sarsae, sarsae, sarsae, what the hell is sarsae? Not knowing what the hell sarsae is I think was the main reason that this soda was purchased from a local Chinese supermarket in Birmingham, England. The packaging is a definite plus with this soda. A nice big “Sarsae” logo is displayed on the front with a Simpsons-esque font in front of white clouds and a dark brown city landscape. There also appears to be the same thing on the other side, but this time done in Chinese characters. In this case, reading the word “Sarsae” in English meant just about as much as the Chinese characters did. Having things on the can that don’t make sense to me is cool; it’s like what young kids do with tattoos.

Anyway, straight to the taste… This Sarsae tastes exactly like Mug Root Beer! It’s not all that much of a revelation in that regard, but I got pumped because it was the first root beer I’ve in England, ever! So, I guess Sarsae kind of sounds like Sarsaparilla, which tastes like root beer. I really wish this didn’t taste exactly like Mug Root Beer (with better packaging) so I’d have something more interesting to say…either way… 5.5/10

PS: I really wanted to be low and make a SARS joke in this review, but I’m too good for that. Though I bet this soda didn’t sell all that well during the SARS outbreak…

April 15, 2006

Across the Irish Sea

So yesterday we ventured into a land called something like Ahrlann or Iyein. I can't quite make out what anyone calls it around here.

When Pete told us we were taking a fairy-trip to this land, we all got quite excited. We knew it was a magical land with its leprechauns, goliaths, and whiskey-drunks... but fairys. aren't they make-believe? I think between the bit of Elder Scrolls Jeff and Joe have been playing, combined with the Ricky Gervais DVD we had been watching, all of us assumed fairies could very well exist in these odd lands. Well, you should have seen our faces when we reached the loading point, not to find any fairies at all, but only one large metal ferry. yikes. We were taking this thing? there was a serious lack of magic involved in this trip, and I would be a liar if I said we all weren't a bit pissed off about it.

It was all made ok when we saw a gentleman in the ferry get super sick. Man, it might not have been any fairy dust, but something I've never seen before turned this dude's face the most amazing shade of pale green. He couldn't stand or anything. It was then we realized the forces we were dealing with may be even more powerful than fairies. We all thought it would be best to take it easy. So we put the whiskey away, and went to lie down. Some of us couldn't sleep so we found a backwards version of Black Jack where we watched as tons of stumbly Irish men lost tons of money. We thought, maybe they are just unlucky, we could win where they lost. Boy were we wrong. In better news, I reached the level of Shogun in Hot Shots golf.

Happy Easter everyone...

April 12, 2006

The "Griffin" at Leeds

Okay, so last time we played at Leeds, we stayed at this Comfort Inn that had a lot of Griffin iconography and history on its walls. These posters (shown above) had headlines like "The Griffin at Leeds" and stuff like that. Naturally, we thought this meant that Griffins lived in Leeds a long time ago, or (more likely), that someone found the remains of a fossilized Griffin there. It was an exciting time to be alive.

So, on April 9th, we played Leeds once again and proudly proclaimed to the audience, "It's really good to be back in the birthplace of the Griffin". We thought a remark like this would lead to a deafening applause, but we were met with silence. I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it is to try to convince a group of people that they live in the home of the Griffin.

Our initial response to their confusion was, "We've been duped! That Leeds hotel reeks of fraudulence!". Upon doing searches for "Leeds Griffin" on the internet, we came across a very useful site, The Gryphon Pages. It contains some good commentary regarding Griffins in art and literature, such as this:

"What can I say? There just aren't enough good Gryphon books out there. I've seen books galore staring dragons, unicorns, centaurs and elves, but few that deal with Gryphs."

Well, anyway, there was no mention of Leeds pertaining to the Griffin, at all. This got us all riled up so we decided to take the matter into our own hands.

Armed with a digital camera, I would sneak back into that joke of a hotel and retrieve evidence of their hoax. Here's what we found:

We're a bunch of stupid kids. We didn't read the fine print and boy, are we embarrassed! Sorry, Leeds!

April 11, 2006


We did some research and discovered that people from Liverpool are indeed called Liverpudlians. However, the jury is still out on whether or not residents of Manchester are Manchurian. Can anyone help us out here?


"stacey said...
Man·cu·ni·an Pronunciation (mn-kyn-n, -kynyn)adj - Of or relating to Manchester, England.
n. A native or inhabitant of Manchester, England.
[From Latin Mancunium, Manchester, of Celtic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

5:24 AM"

well, that answers that. . thank you Stace-dog

April 9, 2006

Day 1: almost a downer

Yesterday, Pete, our tour manager pictured below, was convinced that we had cursed the tour from the get go. "how many banks did you lads rob since we last saw each other?" hahaha, Pete, you so crazy.


thats the sound of the air deflating from the tire in our van. Maybe we did rob a bank.

karma aint nothin to F with. Wait, this was after we left one of our keyboards behind and had to fall behind schedule to go grab it. maybe it was two banks.

at least the weather was nice for the drive. all drive, the sun was shining, our spare tire was kicking, no worries. we even made it to Nottingham on time. Then, we had to load out, and it started hailing. Just in time for us to unload all our gear. Once my socks were wet, I thought maybe we robbed two banks and a retirement home. It was a real downer.

If you don't like having wet socks, you knew how I felt. However, try eating a pickle and cheese sandwich while wearing wet socks. bogus.

We played a dice round to see who gets first dibs on the pre-packaged sandwiches that were awaiting us after sound check... No one wanted the cheese and pickle one. Jeff rolled a 12 and kicked the wall saying how he was just going to throw it out... Until I rolled a 13.

I never was so jealous of ham and cheese. Maybe another bank robbed.

Alas, finally we played. People danced and sung along and seemed to be either drunk or really enjoying themselves. Afterwards, we made friends and drank snake bites and did thumbs ups in photographs. The day was over, we were glad, and we celebrated by watching Scary Movie 2 in the hotel room... which was probably the biggest downer of the day.

a crazy dice game is in process

I was about to post about something, but a crazy dice game is happening. Triple overtime, Joe is in for 2 pounds against Jean, Sunny Day Sets Fire's manager, is also in for 2 pounds.

.... its over. Joe won 7.50 in GBP. 13.0661 USD

April 8, 2006

not knot not knot


Well, the Spinto Band is in Nottingham England right now. We almost thought we would not make it after forgetting our keyboard and being on the receiving end of a flat tire after only five miles of driving. Needless to say, it was a busy morning and we considered these incidents, ‘life lessons.’ One might think, “Wowzer, two life lessons in one day! Stop it Spinto Band you are killing me by making a bamboo shoot grow up through my body!” (note: Joey says you can hear bamboo grow). But wait, we had another life lesson!

On the highway to Nottingham we passed a little vehicle filled with scruffy young kids with guitars. “How crazy this is,” we all though, “There are other rock groups driving around, and all this time we thought it was only us!” Anyhow, we had a debate about how to communicate with these visitors. Some of us thought that we should use mathematics because it is sort of a universal language, others thought we should send them a wood carving with a series of earth symbols in order to make contact. While we all grumbled like the House of Commons, Jon decided to take matters into his own hands. Jon grinned ear to ear and brashly displayed a double peace sign to the fellow travelers. But wait, all is not as it seems! You see, Jon had the back of his hand facing the intended recipients of the peace sign and Thomas quickly pointed out that such a gesture is often considered to be analogous to the classic middle finger. Yikes! Is this true? Who knows!? But the other travelers were not very nice after this incident. They pointed at us a lot and then stuck pictures of naked ladies up in their car window. Oh brother, talk about road rage.

Well all that is in the past and we are in Nottingham with cheese and pickle sandwiches and the comforting knowledge that Charles Babbage once existed.

Goodnight everybody,


P.S.- While killing time here in Nottingham I put a penny on the trolley tracks. After a trolley rolled over the penny, it was flattened into an oval shape. I will treasure it and fondly refer to it as my “Nottingham Penny.”

April 7, 2006

Cant take the grift out of the man

Last night the grifting gods were kind to us. We visited our buddies in Fields while they were recording an EP. While there we bought some pre-packaged sandwiches from a super market. Little did we know, a grift was in the work.

You see, sometimes, you can just smell the grift. You walk into a place, see some bread in the moonlight and just know... this bread will be in a dumpster in 35 minutes. Last night was one of those nights, but alas, this bread can not go in a dumpster. It must go in our bellies, in Henry and Matty and the rest of the Fields's bellies, it must go into Ben Kweller's belly. It must go in bellies!!!

Sure enough, it did. Here is a brief list of the grift kitty:

chocolate donuts
jelly donuts
more croissants than a rioting frenchman can handle
some rolls
awesome cookies
other types of awesome cookies
some pastry that I didn't get to try
etc. etc.

It felt invigorating. People often say that fresh bread is the best. I wonder if these people have ever tasted free stale bread that you rescued from the dumpster. It is as sporadic as a veggie burger in Texas and as delicious as a detox smoothie the morning after your 21st birthday party. you jive? It almost makes me want to only eat free bread, because bread that I pay for can never taste nearly as good. Let me tell you something else, this bread was something for the weekend if you know what I mean... Don't try to get Starbucks bread though, unless a real 'I don't give a shit' type of slacker kid is working there because they always say that they are scared you will sue them if you get a tummy-ache. While this is the first grocery store bread we have attempted to get, I feel as though it is an untapped market in our grifting to this point. They were quite nice, and I could tell, the manager did not want to see those croissants go to waste. Such a kind soul.

also of note: I think we are all in agreement that Sam is the best table-tennis/ping-pong player

April 6, 2006

Circadian issues

A circadian rhythm is a roughly-24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. (The term "circadian" comes from the Latin circa, "around", and dies, "day", meaning literally "around a day.") It was initially discovered in the movement of plant leaves in the 1700s by the French scientist Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan. The formal study of biological temporal rhythms such as daily, weekly, seasonal, annual, is called chronobiology.

The circadian rhythm partly depends on external cues such as sunlight and temperature. Early researchers observed that some sort of "internal" rhythm must exist, because plants and animals did not react immediately to artificially-induced changes in daily rhythms. However it has been well established that a mechanism for adjustment also exists, as plants and animals eventually adjust their internal clock to a new pattern (if it is sufficiently regular and not too far off the norm for the species). Overall, circadian rhythms are defined by three criteria:

The rhythm persists in constant conditions (for example constant light) with a period of about 24 hours
The rhythm period can be reset by exposure to a light or dark pulse
The rhythm is temperature compensated, meaning that it proceeds at the same rate within a range of temperatures.

man... my circadian rhythm is fucked up!

April 5, 2006

Jeff in Paris

Less than 24 hours in Paris, and Jeff Hobson opens his first bottle of champagne. It was eventful.
We were given a few bottles of champagne at a television event, and after spilling both of them all over the place, we now have chaperones... and paper towels. Jeff also had to change all his clothes so he wasn't sopping wet on French television.

We are preparing to play music to a backing track, its difficult work/make-believe... I just hope my "Delaware" cap makes it onto the broadcast.

One of the perks to playing to a backing track is you can drink all the champagne you want.