65 Poor Life Decisions – The CDP Book.

Click Here To Buy The Book!

There are two ways you can order copies of 65 Poor Life Decisions, my debut book:

1. Directly through Lulu, by clicking on the above link, banner link, OR THIS LINK. It’s safe, secure and simple. Cost is $15.95. If you’re feeling charitable, feel free to leave me a 5-star review or any kind words while you’re there.

2. Directly through me, which includes a copy of the book, shipping to anywhere in the nation, autographs/personalization and free CDP merch. Cost is $21, and we will accept money orders or well-concealed cash (no checks).

Send the $21, along with a return address, name to make the book out to, and e-mail address for delivery confirmation, to:

theCDP.
PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

If you are requesting a copy through me, and you live outside of the United States, please send $25 to cover extra shipping charges. American money or International money orders only, please.

If you are paying via money order, please make orders out to Ryan Zeinert, not ‘theCDP.’ Also, while money orders are traceable and secure, I can’t be held responsible if your cash payment doesn’t make it to my PO Box.

Thank you so much in advance for liking my dumb little stories; I can’t thank you enough. This is honestly one of the neatest days of my life, and I have each of you to thank. Cheers.

Buy The CDP Book Here!

UPDATE #1 – The almighty Kevin Palmer from PointlessBanter.net has put up a ‘5 Questions’ interview with me concerning the release of the book. It’s hilarious and informative, you can check it out right here!

UPDATE #2 – HoneyFlora over at 10 Links A Day has allowed me to guest blog and list my top 10 favorite humor sites on the web. I even give a shout out to CDP alumni Pork Tornado, Pointless Banter and the Cargirl News Minute! You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #3 – Cargirl over at the highly underrated and hard-working Cargirl News Minute has posted a brief reminder/plug for 65 Poor Life Decisions. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #4 – JT from Spork Nation posted one of my absolute favorite interviews concerning the book. It was done ‘live chat’ style and the questions were great. It’s about as personal as I’ll get in an interview, so please take a look at it if you want to read something slightly more insightful than what I’m used to. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #5 – Since we’re going interview-crazy today, here’s a good one conducted by Jesse Russell for Dane 101 awhile back. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #6 – Will Betheboy has been so kind as to plug 65 Poor Life Decisions on his blog. Now if I can only convince him to upload a photo of him or Nina kissing the book…hmmm… You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #7 – Kenny Frankly is plugging 65 Poor Life Decisions on her blog, Topping From The Bottom. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #8 – On Friday afternoon, I met up with a few friends, signed a few books and had a few drinks.

Release Party Coaster.

At least I know that my book is good for something.

UPDATE #9 – Maus from Idle Neatness posted a brief plug for 65 Poor Life Decisions, complete with sexy banners and links. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #10 – Vintage Caveman just put up a link to my site, a link to the book, and some kind words concerning 65 Poor Life Decisions. He’s going the mail-order route; choosing to conceal his cash in a box of Mike-n-Ikes. I have the greatest fans in the world, hands down. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #11 (12/03) – This weekend has been busy, but also very refreshing to my burnt out self. I’m amazed to say that I sold 30 books in the last three days, strictly hand-to-hand. What I mean is that I sold 30 books in person, not counting any online or mail orders. This is incredible to me, because I was quite certain that I wouldn’t sell a total of 30 books.

With this good news in my pocket, I’m fully recharged and ready to spend all week fulfilling your mail order requests, as well as taking on more interviews and local press. Expect to see more of those in the upcoming days this week. I’ve been snowed in since Friday evening, but I’ll be driving to the Post Office every single say, making sure that everything is being taken care of the instant it gets in my hands. It’s the least I can do for such supportive and generous readers.

Now, send me some money, please. Rock Band for the PS2 comes out in 10 days.

UPDATE #12 – HeyDomsar just posted a fantastic (and lengthy) interview with yours truly over on his Milwaukee-based blog, Thought For The Day. This is a good one; You can check it out right here!

THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE WEEK WITH MORE INTERVIEWS, MORE PHOTOS AND MORE PRESS; KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR MORE STUFF CONCERNING THE RELEASE OF 65 POOR LIFE DECISIONS! (REGULAR CDP PROGRAMMING WILL RESUME SHORTLY.)

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24 Hours Until Doomsday.

November 30 - 65 Poor Life Decisions.

It’s all set.

The book is finished.

The book has been published.

The book is ready for you to purchase.

Tomorrow is the biggest day in the history of the CDP.

My pants. They are so soggy. Soggy with anticipation. Anticipation mixed with urine.

Look, what more is there to talk about? Come Friday morning, I will globally release my first book to the raving masses. Interviews have taken place. Questions have been answered. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be shaking more hands, meeting more people and doing more press. The book will be reviewed, criticized, praised and mocked. Complete strangers, lifelong friends and loyal fans will buy it. Hopefully, they will all be entertained in one way or another.

You know how you can buy it (I’ll remind you again tomorrow, just to be sure). You know what’s in it and you know what to expect. Tomorrow is the beginning of something completely new to me. I can’t wait. I hope you can’t wait, either.

Please direct any questions to the comments section or to communistdance@yahoo.com. I’ll answer anything for you, and do absolutely everything I can to make sure a book goes out to everyone that wants one.

It’s all set, friends. Have a good day.

2 Days Until Doomsday.

2 Days Until Doomsday.

We’re just 48 hours away from the worldwide release of 65 Poor Life Decisions, the debut book by yours truly. This is, without question, the biggest week in the 4-year history of the CDP, and I’m starting to get a little antsy.

Do 'joo feel it?

Do you feel it? Do you feel it!?

Anyways, I just wanted to take some time today to wrap up a few loose ends concerning the book. Consider this an additional FAQ to the major one I posted awhile back. I’ve tried very hard to make the book as easy as possible to order, and I wanted to quickly explain how you can get a copy to your doorstep before Christmas.

There are basically two ways to order. They are:

1. Through Lulu.com. Starting November 30, I’ll have a link to ordering my book straight from Lulu, the company that is printing my books. I’ve been through their process, and it’s as easy as ordering anything online; just point, click and ship. It’s secure, quick and painless. Cost is $15.95.

2. Through me, Ryan Zeinert. Just send $21 to:

theCDP.
PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

The $21 includes an autographed and personalized copy of the book, shipping to anywhere in the nation and FREE CDP MERCH with every order. I’ll accept money orders and well-concealed cash (at your own risk), but no checks, please. It’s a really good deal; I’ve done the math. Make sure you include a return address, e-mail address and a name to make the book out to, as well.

Also, remember that ‘personalized copy’ means that I basically get to treat your copy like a high school yearbook (if you want). It’s going to be awesome, I can assure you. Also, please refrain from sending anything huge to my PO Box; it’s far too small for shenanigans.

So, that takes care of that. Please direct any more ordering questions to the comments section or my e-mail address; communistdance@yahoo.com. Thanks.

Boom Goes The Stupid Book.

Moving on, we should probably talk about money here for a little bit. Everyone should know that this has been a completely DIY venture from the get-go. I have written, compiled, edited, designed, formatted, uploaded and self-published this book on my own. I paid for the ISBN number, and essentially created my own vanity publishing company to release it. Lulu is strictly handing the printing of the book, for which they are taking a heavy cut of the royalties. I have already poured hundreds of dollars into this venture, and I’m counting on book sales, word-of-mouth and hard work to make up that difference.

Self-publishing is an exciting investment in itself. On one hand, there’s no contract, no promise of money or success, and a ton of busy work when you should be writing new funny stories. On the other hand, there’s nobody to answer to, and nobody to blame but yourself when you fail. Notice that after all of the business plans, Excel spreadsheets, hard work and e-mails, however, there’s no mention of getting rich. That’s because it’s impossible.

I haven’t mentioned it too much, but 65 Poor Life Decisions will be available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, as well as any Barnes & Noble retailers that wish to carry copies. This sounds like a huge opportunity, and while it makes me excited to think that I’ll see my book in stores this Christmas, I’d rather that nobody actually buy my book through these avenues. That’s because for the luxury of getting global distribution of your self-published book, Amazon and Barnes & Noble take almost every penny of the royalties involved, leaving you with mere cents on the dollar.

If you went to the mall and bought my book at Barnes & Noble for $15.95, you know how much of that would go to me? 32 cents. That’s it, maybe a little less after taxes.

When you buy through Lulu or, God bless you, directly through me, that number skyrockets to almost $4.25 a book. So, you can see why I’d rather you not buy from the tyrants of the literature world. It’s better for me, and you know where your money is really going. This is why I set up the PO Box, direct mail order and personalization package. If we eliminate as much of the static as possible, the channels get clearer and better things happen. This page has gotten bigger every month thanks to that mindset, and I won’t be changing it anytime soon. It works.

So, now that you know I’ll be making around $4.25 a book, some quick math will remind you that I won’t be quitting the office job as early as I would have hoped. In fact, my only financial goal with 65 Poor Life Decisions is to break slightly better than even and sell out of all remaining stock. That’s it, friends. This book is about more than royalties; it’s about establishing myself as an author. Sure, it’s clear that I put a lot of money into making this a reality, but I’m of the assurance that it will work out for the very same reasons. I have no doubt in this.

Furthermore, when I have small armies of people handling each facet of my next major-label release, I’ll remember to stay humble.

So, after people stop asking me about money (they refuse to believe that I don’t want to make a ton of cash, but whatever), they start asking me about sales goals.

How many books do you think you’ll sell?

I heard this about five different times over Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t give a straight answer to anyone. As I said before, I want to sell enough books to break even financially, reach the people that should be reached and generate a little interest. Let’s put it this way. I’ve already gotten pre-order requests for 15 books, and it absolutely floored me. The fact that people cannot wait to send me money for my book is humbling in an astonishing way. I felt like Ric Flair when he showed up on Monday Night Raw to a standing ovation, and with tears in his eyes, said “As usual, you are too kind.

The Nature Boy.

WHOOOO!

Two days. 48 hours. Sound off in the comments section, and enjoy your Wednesday.

(By the way, happy birthday, Mom. This book was meant to be my present to you and the Missus. Hey, it sure beats a personalized pencil cup or a good deed coupon book.)

3 Days Until Doomsday.

65 Poor Life Decisions - 3 Days.

In May of this year, me and the Missus had a deep and meaningful discussion (ie: fight) about my creative priorities, or lack thereof. At the time, I had ten different ideas for things that I wanted to pursue creatively (book, short film, pro wrestling manager with spangled vest, etc), which caused me to prematurely overwhelm myself into doing absolutely nothing. To this day, I always find it interesting that the more good ideas I have, the less that I want to do any of them.

The Missus was sick of it, and rightfully so. She knew all about my obsessive, bipolar state of mind, and did what she could to get me back on track. She was probably getting tired of my moping, ruining of parties and utter refusal to wear pants, too. I don’t blame her. Having a reclusive, irritable jackass writer for a husband is hell, and having an untalented one to boot must be sheer torture.

Just pick the idea that’s the most important to you, and go with it” she said. “Never mind all the other stuff. Prioritize, bitch!”

It was good advice. Typically, I’m the one dishing out homespun wisdom to her, but this resonated with me, and I took it to heart. I instantly knew that writing a book was the one thing I’ve wanted to do since launching the CDP in 2004, and I needed to free myself of distractions and throw myself into it. The Missus is a skeptic when it comes to people changing their lives and mindsets based on a few clever sayings and self-promises, but I’m a goal-driven guy that’s lived by that doctrine for a quarter of a century, now. Put me and Tony Robbins together in a steel cage, and there’d be nothing left of that waxy fruit but a busted headset and a handful of bloody, glistening teeth.

So, I went for it. I shut the CDP down for an entire month and went about compiling the best essays from the vast archives of the Communist Dance Party. Quickly, I realized that it would have been a lot easier to just write an entirely new book; the copy/paste excursion was almost too much monotony and pain to bear. It was like having to watch home movies of yourself at your most awkward and annoying, and being forced to memorize every line of dialogue. For someone who’s happiest when writing something new, getting stuck pouring over old stuff was akin to drowning in molasses. I felt like I was going nowhere, and I was all sticky for some reason.

For 30 days, I sifted through 600 essays and over 1800 pages of past material. There were classic stories, some hidden gems, a lot of filler and a few pieces of undeniable, irrevocable crap. It was up to me to pick what worked, make it better and pitch the rest. The goal was to take the best of the CDP and make it better; polish everything up, re-write passages and perfect each essay to resemble exactly what I was trying to convey. I was drinking whiskey and listening to the Smiths almost every night, as you would assume.

May turned into June, which turned into July. I had narrowed my compilation down to approximately 75 essays and 350 pages. Finally, this pile of text was starting to halfway-resemble an actual book. What I had forgotten was the old ’80/20 Rule,’ which states that 80% of the work takes 20% of the time, and vice-versa. I may have knocked out a tremendous amount of tasks in a very short time, but my progress was about to come screeching to a vile, disgusting halt known as ‘editing.’

In short, editing is like sitting on a throne made of thumbtacks and gasoline, while every mistake that you’ve ever made in your life parades by, spits in your face and reminds you of how much you suck at living. Finally, when you think it’s all over, the last failure in line tosses the lit match. Some of my older essays were barely coherent. Chock-full of spelling and grammatical errors, I was shocked at how much better I had gotten at hiding my lack of formal English training. I be much better pen ink man than before I write book.

But I pushed through, reading and re-reading every essay until they no longer held any meaning to me. Just a mass of letters and punctuation. Editing was like stretching out a Slinky until it lost its elasticity; it was broken and sad, and I could no longer see it for what it was worth anymore. And don’t even think about trying to make it walk down the stairs.

Time to delegate.

I took my 75 pristine essays and 350 glorious pages, ran off a mound of copies and sent drafts to my closest friends and loved ones. They were instructed to correct every mistake, voice every opinion and destroy me with their constructive criticism. They were the voice of the public; the masses that would eventually decide if my book was worth buying. By this time, it was October, and I had already missed my initial release date of late September.

For one month, they secretly clutched their copies of the draft, circling and crossing things out in red pen, making little notes in the margins and keeping track of essays that they didn’t think were funny. I wasn’t looking for an ego-stroking; I desperately needed to know everything that was still wrong with my book. And boy, did they deliver. I took it like a man, though. I listened to everything that everyone said, did several more edits of the book (with the Missus coming through for me once I snapped and threw the book in the garbage twice) and come November 1, had the final draft that you will be hopefully purchasing in just a few short days.

In short, the book looks beautiful. 75 essays were cut to 65 of the best, and trimmed to a perfect 298 pages of goodness. Everything has been punched up, new introductions have been written for every essay, forewords and afterwords are all-new, the cover looks great and most importantly of all, it’s a long-term goal accomplished. Even if you’ve read everything I’ve ever written in the last four years, it’s completely worth your time, and it’ll ship before Christmas!

For the first time in this journey, the publishing process was officially out of my hands. I had done everything I could do with it on my own; I designed the cover, threw a ton of money into self-publishing fees and sent it off to the printing press. For the next few weeks, I had to wait for the US Government and the fine folks at Lulu.com to make sure that everything met the criteria for self-publishing rights and distribution. I guess they don’t want something available through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble that’s terrible, but if you’ve been to either retailer lately, they clearly haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping the turds out.

I’m a DIY guy. Punk rock. We used to silk-screen our own t-shirts. Burn our own CDs. Handle our own mailorder. Hell, we once cut up Ben’s K-Mart vest to make patches before a show. This is an aesthetic that I carry with me to this day. The less people that are involved, the less perverted the project will get, and the better the chances are that it will be done right. Now that I was forced to shove my thumb up my ass while a faceless corporation decided the fate of my book, I wasn’t happy. Of course, I hadn’t been too happy throughout this entire process.

Everything worked out, however, and on November 30, you’ll be able to purchase 65 Poor Life Decisions through Lulu.com, like you would anything else on the Interweb. But because I didn’t like the impersonal feel of it all, I also made sure it were possible to mailorder books directly through CDP World Headquarters. It’s the DIY attitude; I just can’t shake it.

So, if you want to, you’ll also be able to purchase 65 Poor Life Decisions through me. Where the online retail price will be $15.95, you can go through me for $21, which includes the following:

A copy of the book.
Shipping to anywhere in the nation.
Autographed/personalized/hand-numbered books.
Free CDP merch with every purchase.

So yeah, it’s a sweet deal, and a little incentive to order through me. Again though, direct ordering through Lulu is safe, secure and a little less messy. You’ll get more through me, though.

I’m accepting money orders or well-concealed cash (at your own risk, I won’t be responsible if it never makes it to me), and purchased a PO Box specifically for this reason. Just the money, a return address and any names you want me to make the book(s) out to:

theCDP.
PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Of course, any specific questions can go through me, and we’ll cover this more extensively as the days get closer. When it comes to ordering, all you really need to remember is:

1. Lulu.com.
Or
2. TheCDP.net

I’ll have all the links set up for you on Friday, Scout’s honor.

Please sound off in the comments section with any questions, comments or concerns you might have. You can always e-mail me at communistdance@yahoo.com with any questions, as well. I’ve done everything I could do to write a decent book that was super-easy to buy, so do not hesitate to ask me a question if you’re hung up about something.

Thank you very much.

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (The End).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party - Will Betheboy.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I’m waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a few days to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you’d expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My final reviewed mix belongs to one half of the unstoppable L.A. duo of Will & Nina, Will Betheboy. Here we go.

1. Needle In The Camel’s Eye – Brian Eno

I haven’t listened to nearly as much Brian Eno as I should, so this was a welcome and unheard opening track for me. Marching drums, fuzzy, rapid strumming and singalong verses kicked everything off, not long enough to overstay its welcome, and inviting me to dig more into the Brian Eno catalog.

2. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – The Slits

This disco-fied cover of the Marvin Gaye Motown classic is…different. Remember in 1979, where artsy bands were more heralded by being kooky and sheik, rather than possessing actual talent? Well, I’m not going to be that hard on the Slits (who are quite heralded themselves, in a completely different way than Marvin Gaye), but the track straddles the line between hipster and unnecessary, which is what I guess all hipster stuff is. I dig the jangly guitar, bass and dancy drums, however.

3. Rumble Ring – No Doctors

I could have sworn this song was from the early 80’s post-punk scene, but a quick Wikipedia search revealed that this lo-fi, noise rock churner was actually from the late 90’s. Damn; you learn something new every day. I don’t really know what else to say about this one; nothing too exciting sticks out to me. If I could really sit down with the lyrics, maybe there’s a hidden gem I’m not gathering, but until then, I got nothing.

4. When Jesus Gets A Brand New Name – Jim White

The broad term ‘Alternative Country’ can branch off into many different sub-genres. This paranoid, jazzy, twangy number sounds like the droning ramblings of a raving lunatic, which sounds far more appealing that it seems. I liked the vocal mixing, the production of the random instruments in the background, causing a disjointed and trippy feel throughout the entire 5 minutes-plus of this track.

5. I Do I Do – The Maids

This is a straight-ahead punk number from what feels like the CBGB’s era of the early 80’s. I’ve been wrong before, however. This was a good addition to shake off the lingering insanity from Mr. Jim White. A flat-out slam dancer; nothing to think too much about, here.

6. When You Touch Me – Reigning Sound

Will seems to dig the garage-punk sound, which is just fine with me. It’s been too long since I’ve really sat down and rocked out to this particular genre. When the synth beats and new-wave scene get a little too ridiculous to handle, a few hours of punk rock seems to set me straight again. Good theme, good flow and good variety so far for Mr. Betheboy.

7. Name Names – The Mendoza Line

I can’t believe I didn’t get a single Replacements song from anyone who sent me a mix. This will have to do. The Athens, GA sound is typically a little more bouncier and Zombies-influenced than this Athens band, but the ‘Mats sound is loud and clear, here. If you know what that entails, I really don’t need to say any more. If you don’t, please pick up Pleased To Meet Me this instant.

8. Get Back My Name – The Silos

Will can’t seem to stop the rock. No monster ballads or radio-friendly pop tunes for our Los Angeles resident with a decidedly more east coast taste in music. I remember when The Silos played in Green Bay about 10 years ago; I was too young to care at the time, but looking back, I really should have been there.

9. Teenage Kicks – The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain

To answer your first question, yes, ukuleles are involved. Secondly, this song is an oft-covered masterpiece. Ash, one of my favorite bands, has actually covered this song as well. This is an acoustic version, still dripping with 70’s melodies and Motown doo-wop goodness. I loved it, you’ll love it, America loves it.

10. Undress For Success – McLusky

Why haven’t I heard of these guys before? Quirky, grungy, catchy, fuzzy, lo-fi, across the pond and full of attitude. This seems to chalk up Will’s taste in music to a T. At my core, I’m the same way, which is why this mix is pretty humbling to me. I’m getting schooled in underground bands that i should be plenty aware of my now.

11. Radio Aktiv – Bruset

As catchy as this mix has been, Radio Aktiv is the first track so far to feature both hand-clapping and the shredding guitar solo within 5 seconds of each other. Some bands pull out all the stops when it comes to rock and roll, and this German-sounding surf group knows what it takes. I was tapping my foot the entire time.

12. Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby – Islands

When this track, my ears perked up. Not only because it’s a song that I’m already aware of, but the production values are Phil Spector-like as opposed to the last 11 songs on this mix. Islands have been featured on four of the mixes that were passed around for this Nationwide Trade, and for a good reason. It’s timelessly wonderful, universally accepted by fans of all genres, and truly one of the top 5 albums of last year.

13. Intoxicated Man – Mick Harvey

This song lays on a smoky jazz feel; very film noir, dirty and sultry. I’d like to listen to this while I’m driving through downtown Madison at bar time, spotting shady characters and catching the eyes of beautiful women who are more than willing to chain me to a hotel room bed and steal my money.

14. Gene Autry – Beulah

Why, why, why did these guys have to break up? I love their musicianship, their masterful indie hooks, blasting horns and pretty much everything else. I think if they could have hung on for another album, they could have reached the current levels of popularity that Of Montreal is riding in 2007. The Coast Is Never Clear is another one of those albums that is just constantly listenable at any time.

15. Bomb Shelter, Pt. 2 – The Halo Benders

I may be stating the obvious, or perhaps missing out on an obvious in-joke, but Calvin Johnson cannot sing to save his damn life. The joke between me and the Missus whenever we’re listening to any Beat Happening is “Boy, Calvin Johnson must be a really nice guy,” referring to all of the projects and interesting bands he has his hands in, despite a lack of any discernible musical talent. That all being said, this half-sung/half-spoken track about wartime America is downright hilarious and poignant at the same time.

16. 24 Hour Shop – Fish Turned Human

I think that Will threw this track in just to prove that he knows about more bands than I do. I mean, I can obviously hold my own in any arena the world over, but man, this is sort of insane. Normally, I can tell you a little bit about nearly every band that you toss my way (as seen over the last two weeks), but Fish Turned Human? Come on. Seriously. If anyone else on this page knows about these guys, sound off and let me know.

17. How Great Was Husker Du! – Anthemic Pop Wonder

I like that even though the title of this song is a question, it doesn’t end with the question mark. That’s because it’s not really a question; Husker Du was the greatest, period. Every once in a while me and the Missus will drive the 150 mile trip back to our hometown and blast Everything Falls Apart at peak volume. Makes me happy; makes me love the Missus, too.

18. Long Neck Bottles – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Captain Beefheart is a lot of things. Experimental musician. Bizarre lyricist. Accomplished artist. These are all true. However, the one thing you need to know before jumping head-first into the Beefeart catalog is that he is 100 percent, Grade-A, certifiably bat-crap insane. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The theme of this mix is prevalent, the flow is steady and the depth is pretty decent. For awhile, I thought that Will was just going to throw on a bunch of bands that I had never heard of before, proclaim his indie superiority and ride off into the sunset. Not true. These are good songs by good bands, no question.

19. To The Dogs Or Whoever – Josh Ritter

Folk music is hit and miss to me. When done incorrectly, it’s annoying at best. When done right, however, it’s the most emotional and personal music every created. This is an example of folk done right. Wow; I don’t really know what to say right now. That was an amazing song. It’s hard to accurately describe a personal experience to someone who isn’t there to share it with. Maybe someday, we can all get together for a beer, crank this song and toast all of our past mistakes.

20. Chicken/Payback – The Bees

Will likes catchy new bands that sound like catchy old bands. He also likes catchy old bands that have influenced catchy new bands. Sorry; I’m in pop-overload mode right now. This mix started off slow and got better and better as it went along. Kudos.

BONUS TRACK: Virginia Reel Around The Fountain – The Halo Benders

Last week, Will sent me this track after a conversation about The Halo Benders. While Chicken/Payback was supposed to be the actual end of his mix-tape, this actually works far better, in my opinion. The high-pitched, swooning tone of Doug Martsch combined with the monotone-bass of Calvin Johnson work far better than it really should, resulting in a surreal, almost romantic experience.

Wow. Great stuff, Will! Time for stats!

Total Number Of Tracks – 21
Number Of Above Average Tracks – 11
Number Of Average Tracks – 6
Number Of Below Average Tracks – 4
Number Of Tracks That I Own – 2
Best Track – To The Dogs Or Whoever
Worst Track – Rumble Ring
Total Score – 8.3/10

I want to thank everyone for participating in the 2007 CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade. I want to do a love song-themed Trade for Valentine’s Day 2008, if at all possible. More details on that as the date gets closer.

Tomorrow, the final countdown to the release of 65 Poor Life Decisions begins. For an accomplishment as important as a book release is for me, you won’t believe how miserable and uncooperative I’ve been for the last 6 months. The full scoop arrives tomorrow; until then, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Going Nowhere Is Like Giving Up.

Bang me.

Listen. It’s the day after Thanksgiving. After an intense day of travel and cheesy potatoes, I got home at 11pm and didn’t have enough time to give the final mix-tape review its due. Instead of half-assing it, I’m moving it to Monday, which seemed to be the fairest and least-douche thing to do. Besides, I thought today would be a good time to chime in about what to expect next week; honestly one of the biggest weeks in CDP history.

After wrapping up the mix-tape trade on Monday, I’ll be gearing everything up for the long-awaited release of 65 Poor Life Decisions on Friday. I’ll be answering any lingering questions about ordering and shipping, along with how you can order a personalized copy directly through me.

I’ll also be hitting the press trail, doing interviews for CDP Network bloggers Spork Nation as well as Kevin Palmer at PointlessBanter. I have a few local things set up, as well as a couple more bloggers that would like a moment of my time before November 30. Also, if you’re feeling especially awesome, I will have a banner created on the 30th that you can display on your page to promote the book.

Sometime next week, my initial shipment of books will arrive in the mail, which I will be using to mail order out to people who wish to order directly through me. I have a PO Box set up, and will be accepting money orders and well-concealed cash only. Very punk rock.

Of course, if you don’t care about an autographed copy, free shipping and free merch, you can always order the book online, which will be super-easy through Lulu.com. I’ll walk you through it and be super-gentle.

We’re almost there, friends. We’re almost there. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (Part 8 of 9).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party - Moe Greene.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I’m waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a week to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you’d expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My eighth reviewed mix belongs to a man that might actually hate Duke University more than I do, Moe Greene. Here we go.

1. Chinese People – Jerry Seinfeld

It made sense to me to have Moe start off his mix with a joke. Coming from the ‘I’m Telling You For The Last Time‘ album, I always got a kick out of this bit about Eastern tradition. All things considered, the rest of Seinfeld’s album is actually pretty decent.

2. The Mixed Tape – Jacks’ Mannequin

Ahh, I get it. Instead of setting a particular mix-tape theme, he instead tosses in a self-referential song about the mix itself. Clever. This is a catchy, radio-friendly rock track that I found myself rocking out too a little too much; almost embarrassingly so. This would be something I would listen to alone in the car, then pop back in LCD Soundsystem when it’s time to impress someone.

3. Midnight Show – The Killers

Every time I hear The Killers, I wonder why Hot Hot Heat isn’t more popular. I mean, I have every album by both bands, I see hardly no difference in hooks, songwriting and lyricism, yet The Killers are significantly more mainstream. Maybe it’s that fruity perm that the HHH lead singer sports.

That all being said, I’ve always liked this track. Typical Killers fare; sexy, driving, pulsing and even more sexy.

4. No, It Isn’t – +44

When Blink 182 broke up, I was already tired of listening to them, so I never gave their many offshoot bands a chance. Mark always had the better voice, Tom was funnier, Travis was the most talented and Scott Raynor looked exactly like an old friend of mine.

The truth of the matter is that they can write a popular song; there’s no denying that. Hell, I spent the bulk of my high school years learning to play all of their songs on the drums (mission accomplished, by the way). The elitist jerk in me would like this song more if it weren’t created by a washed up pop-punk star, but it’s really quite listenable.

5. Susanne – Weezer

Awesome, now we’re getting somewhere. It always struck me that three of the best Weezer songs of all-time were for soundtracks (Susanne, Jamie, You Gave Your Love To Me Softly). I haven’t heard this song in awhile, and it basically frustrates the hell out of me concerning the Weezer of the 21st Century. Remember Pinkerton? The Blue Album? The Angus soundtrack? Grrr.

6. Time Turned Fragile – Motion City Soundtrack

I picked up the Motion City Soundtrack debut disk a few years ago, and I dug it plenty. They’re one of a few Alternative Press-style bands that don’t annoy me to pieces (yet I continue to purchase the magazine for some reason). Swirling synth lines, quirky lyrics, blasting drums and chugging guitars, they’re Warped Tour main stage material, which is awesome or terrible, depending on how you look at it.

7. Popular – Nada Surf

Oh no, you didn‘t just go old school! I like this mix of 90’s and 00’s alternative rock. It’s like, “This was awesome, and this is what happened to everything afterwards.” Nada Surf is still releasing amazing music; The Proximity Effect and Let Go are amazing albums, and really establish them as more than a one-hit-wonder of Alternative Nation.

Quick side note. I saw Nada Surf in concert about 6 years ago, and they played this song. It was divine.

I’m sure he’ll like it.
Everyone will appreciate it.
You’re so novel.
What a good idea.
You can keep your time to your self.
You don’t need date insurance.
You can go out with whoever you want to.
Every boy!
Every boy in the whole world could be yours!
If you’ll just listen to my plan…
The Teenage Guide…To Popularity!!!

8. Lazy Eye – Silversun Pickups

Another mix, another cut of Lazy Eye. That’s cool with me; I’ve really enjoyed hearing this song this year. Like I said before, the nostalgia is amazing, the girl in the video is obsession-worthy and it makes me feel 13 again. What more could you possibly want from a song released in 2007?

9. The Best Of Me – The Starting Line

I like The Starting Line, and I’ll tell you why. First off, my band played a show with them many years ago, when they were just up-and-coming (we played with a lot of these bands, actually, which may explain my love/hate relationship with some of them). They were sweet kids, they resonated with the crowd well and wrote solid songs.

Secondly, they’re full of ultimate WIN simply for having the balls to record ‘Bedroom Talk.’ The line “I’m gonna tear your ass up like we just got married” is one of my favorite lyrics in the history of pop-punk.

Again, a good old school/new school mix. Moe shares some of my music tastes in this regard. The appreciation for a good song, regardless of what washed-up scene it came from.

10. Sell Out – Reel Big Fish

See? What did I tell you? Third-wave ska? Sure! Sell Out is one of my favorite ska tunes of all-time, and I’ve seen RBF at least 7 times in the last 10 years. If anyone knows about my musical background, I’m mainly a ska-punk drummer, and I’ve played along to this song in my headphones many a time as a teenager. RBF hit their peak with Why Do They Rock So Hard?, but their live show is still worthy of your cash.

If anyone wants to talk about ska in the comments section, that would be just awesome. It’s been forever since I had a good conversation about this constantly disrespected genre.

11. Hey Jealousy – Hit The Lights

Moe, your mix is starting to grow on me. This punked-out cover of the Gin Blossoms classic is slightly annoying, but not enough to take away from the amazingness of the original song. Hey Jealousy is a modern rock masterpiece, plain and simple, and I still haven’t grown tired of it. I don’t know what the general consensus is on the Gin Blossoms, but damn, how can you deny this track?

I feel all warm and fuzzy right now. I think that as the days have progressed, I’ve grown more and more soft reviewing these mixes. My apologies to the first few people that had to feel my unnecessary wrath. I love this song.

12. Under Pressure – My Chemical Romance (w/The Used)

I hate this song. I hated the original, so it only makes sense that I would hate it more when covered by less talented people with less clout and even more homosexual tendencies than David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, if that’s even possible in this universe.

13. Hands Down – Dashboard Confessional

Quick story about Hands Down. The first time I heard this song, it was an acoustic track on the end of an old Dashboard EP. It was 2000, I think, and me and the Missus had just started going out. We had spent an amazing night out together, and as I was driving myself home, I listened to this track for the very first time. To my amazement, the night had gone almost exactly the same way as in the song. From that point forward, I pretty much knew that me and the Missus would be together for probably ever. For sentimental value alone, Hands Down is untouchable in my book, but the acoustic version only.

14. Dancing With Myself – Blink 182

Wow, another cover? More Blink 182 stuff? Damn, that’s a pretty bold move; it pretty much violates the three main rules of a mix-tape. No covers, no multiple tracks from the same people, and no Blink 182 at any time.

However, because it is a cover of a Billy Idol song, I’ll look past those instances…for now.

15. I Feel So – Box Car Racer

Wow…really? The first half of this album was going so well, Moe. What are you trying to do to me? Three Blink-esque tracks on one mix is seriously pushing the envelope, here.

16. 155 – +44

Oh man, you have got to be absolutely kidding me, here. Blink Track #4? I’ll tell you, there are very few bands that deserve more than 2 tracks on any given mix, and the Blink 182 extended family is certainly not one of them. Listening to the song itself, I fully believe that Mark Hoppus completely owns Tom when it comes to singing, songwriting and musicianship, but still…four songs?

17. Everything’s Magic – Angels & Airwaves

Okay, now you’re just trying to hurt me. Much like the time I accidentally wore my Mom’s blouse to school in the 4th grade, I find myself muttering “This is not really happening, is it?” almost every half-second. I feel like taking my pants off and running down the street to What’s My Age Again, like I did NINE GODDAMN YEARS AGO.

Weezer! Nada Surf! Reel Big Fish! Remember how much fun that was? Remember?

18. Nothing Lasts Forever – The Living End

I saw The Living End open for The Get Up Kids and Green Day many years ago, and it was one of the better concerts I had ever seen at that point. These guys are very entertaining live, the bass player is absolutely insane, and hey, they’re not Blink 182!

19. Everlong – Foo Fighters

Moe, you genius bastard. How can I possibly be mad at you now? You’ve decided to close the album with my favorite rock song ever, thus negating every criticism I’ve given your mix. I guess this kind of music is a very thin line between universally accepted and utter trash, which is why me and the Missus argue about it so much.

Everyone should listen to Everlong at least once, laying down in pitch darkness with the speakers blasting, thinking of nothing but the most intimate and unforgettable moment of your life. It’s almost religious in feeling.

20. The Dufresnes – Mitch Hedberg

Well played, good sir. Well played. All is forgiven.

Time for stats!

Total Number Of Tracks – 20
Number Of Above Average Tracks – 9
Number Of Average Tracks – 5
Number Of Below Average Tracks – 6
Number Of Tracks That I Own
Best Track – Everlong
Worst Track – Anything by Blink Airwaves 44
Total Score – 7.0/10

Tomorrow, I’ll have the final mix on the chopping block. Stick around to see how it all goes down.