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we are The Last Men on Earth / Blog

One Whole Year By Bobby Todd

Dear Friends, The holiday season, not to mention the year, is winding down for some and winding up for others. You’ve survived the mall, the pepper spray, the carjacking, the visit by your biker cousin and his psychotic chain-smoking tweaker girlfriend who run a meth lab together from the comfort and convenience of their mobile home, (the one off highway 78 northeast of Brawley), and even the unfortunate case of alimentary mycotoxicoses which precipitated your humiliating didn’t-quite-make-it-to-the-bathroom-in-time incident which your 13-year-old aspiring film-maker nephew caught on video and which is now going viral on YouTube. Yep, me too. I feel your pain and darned if I don’t have just the remedy for your holiday ills: Good music. The kind that has charms to sooth a savage hangover and make you plumb forget about the maxed-out credit card bills that are going to come due in January. But seriously… two of my favorite bands are playing on one spectacular bill this coming Friday night, and your attendance would be the best holiday gift this bumbling bassist could possibly ask for. I hope you can join me at the famed Bottom of the Hill this Friday the 30th (see attachment) as three great bands bid a diverse musical hasta la vista, baby to 2011. Satisfaction guaranteed. Batteries not included. And absolutely, positively, not a single note of Little Drummer Boy.

Looking back on the year that was, your selfless and generous support stand out among the things I’m most grateful for. Thank you, and best wishes to you in 2012. bob

When I first answered Killian’s ad on Craigslist,

“Romantic Musicians Wanted,” I didn’t know what to expect. At initial blush, it seemed to be a silly concept, so I continued browsing. And yet, for some reason I came back to it several times, musing over the possibilities, cursor hovering over the “Reply to” link. The more I considered it, the more I began to appreciate the potential: it just might be crazy enough to work, IF done right. The no-saxophone-rule seemed like a good start. Killian sent links to a few songs, including Skinny Sad Girls, and suddenly I was hooked. First rehearsals can be nervous and uncomfortable situations, with styles, personalities, tastes, egos, and insecurities jousting for a place at the round table. I walked into room 1 at Secret not knowing who or what to expect. Killian and Steph were there, setting up. Introductions were made, and I was amused to find myself not among 20-somethings (as was often the case) but with guys my age. There seemed to be an immediate, albeit cautious, sense of rapport. We tuned-up, made some small talk, and then launched into a song, and then another. Three pieces of a puzzle angled and jostled a bit and then settled comfortably into place. A picture took shape; and music--music began to happen. It was rough at first, but experienced ears knew that there was something right about this combination of music and people. Three more puzzle pieces were essential in order to complete the picture, and they, too, fell into place. Meanwhile, it took a little time for me to fully appreciate the lyrics but I’ve come to love the songs as my own. Killian writes from a deep well of wisdom and experience, razor-sharp wit, clever sense of pun and multiple entendre—and he does so with such disarming modesty and charm that we are pulled into the undertow without ever realizing that we’ve left the shore. The pretense that seems to propel so much popular music is absent, and in its place lies a true understanding of the “shadow” that T.S. Eliot meant in his poem The Hollow Men Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow… Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow…

Between the desire And the spasm… Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow But that alone wasn’t sufficient to achieve the potential of the material. Each piece of the puzzle is absolutely required to pull it off. The refreshing uniqueness and cohesiveness of the songs could result only from this happy congress of individuals who made the music come alive—(and I would like to recognize James’ indispensible contribution). Along the way, through many frustrations and a few misgivings, I kept thinking of the line “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” from Henry’s St. Crispin’s Day speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V. The reference seemed overly dramatic and maudlin in the context of a pop band, and yet it perfectly reflected the essence of this band. This is the band I always wanted to be in but never imagined...

We are thinking wood block

for our album cover. As in L.P. as in big black disc. Get ready for some real highs and lows. Killian

If I was Mayor of San Francisco

First off I'd start with a summer time job of running a hot dog stand. Just so I'd be more qualified than the other candidates.