The Lemons “Gummy Worm” & WLMN

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Today is a magical day. Today is the day that you can watch the music video for “Gummy Worm,” the first single from the new Lemons album, WLMN.

The video is by Jordan “Beefstrong” Speer, and as you can tell even by the preview screen, it is amazing. If you didn’t already, please watch it, it only takes a minute and a half to add insurmountable joy to your day.

“Gummy Worm” was written by Bad Boy Billy Sour. He recorded a demo of it back when he first joined the Lemons, but he sang it very quietly so we had to make up mostly all new words for it. All the Lemons sing on this one, and a few guest Lemons too. The new album, WLMN, is the most Lemons album to date, with songs and singalongs and skits and bits sure to leave you happily confused.

The album is being released by We Are Busy Bodies, a Canadian label specializing in jazz reissues. They also released At Home so hats off to them. Preorders of the album are available now, although there is a special edition that is not yet available to preorder as of this writing, so choose wisely. Maybe try to snag both? Anyway, the record will be out on 23 April, so just keep watching this Gummy Worm video until then!

Rememberies: Year Zero

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Well, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a miracle any of us are still here. Welcome to the new era, dear Slushblog reader, did you bring a towel?

We still have our health, and although the weather has turned seasonably cold, we still have forced air heat and electricity here at the base. Our food rations are high and arguably delicious. Oats for breakfast and plenty of bean soup to go around for dinner.

For all of the literal doom and gloom we managed to find some flowers and rainbows along the way, and let’s try to focus on the individual good, shall we? Lots of beautiful things to celebrate then and now.

What we lost along the way could fill the holes in our soles to keep our feet dry as we traverse our way into the unknown. So let’s cobble together one last long look into the crystal ball of memory.


Did such a time ever truly exist? The young ones think we are playing fast and loose when we assure them that it did. Yes, The Lemons (alternatively, The Lemon-Lime Singing Band) were the featured highlight of the prior decade, and gave one last rousing performance, dirty-dozen style, at the Hideout, a venue we were all afraid of losing to corporate monopolization of nightlight as the Lincoln Yards threatened to encroach upon the no-man’s-land that made the venue such a hard-to-find-hideaway. Of course, those were simpler times when you could support your favorite David against the Goliath of TIF-funded, city-hall sanctioned fun by simply piling all of your friends and musical instruments into a van and playing silly songs to a house so packed that they can’t even hear you in the back because you told the sound engineer you’d all cram around one microphone. That was how The Lemons charmed out the old decade, and in with the new. And so 2020 was born standing in front of the Hideout, having a post-gig cig with Laure. The month of January was a workaday month, 5 days washing dishes and 2 days selling toys and records each week, with nary a day to rest or relax. At the end of the month, we took a road trip to Omaha for a long weekend with the family, with some man-sticking-it-to thrown in there for good measure. Mostly, it was cold outside and warm inside. But Mike Cipp came to town one of those cold nights and had the new and improved Slushy band play with his Cruzer at Reed’s Local for what turned out to be the only show of 2020. If we had known then what we know now we still would have done it exactly the same.


Groundhog’s Day was quite eventful as Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and went back underground, or didn’t, who can remember such trivial details when the real star of the show was the palindrome in the dateline. 02/02/2020 (or 2020-02-02), we hardly knew ye. Much later in the month, The Cowboys decided to go on tour, and did. It was a reasonably non-depressing time, with lots of sitting in the van eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and late-night milk shakes. Keith quit his job got a new (to him, as in used) van with the intention of touring full time. We stopped by Atlanta, and the news was going on about the CDC there, and some new virus that had made its way to Seattle. By the time we made it to Nashville to play a relief show for a tornado that had done some damage there, folks were abuzz with talk that SXSW had been cancelled in order to keep folks from congregating too much. We had just been all around the greater south-eastern portion of the landmass we call home, how were we to know none of us had picked it up and spread it around like clueless incubators? Time to go home and quarantine. Luckily it would only be a couple of weeks.


Actually, I went back to the restaurant for a few days. The weekend of (albeit prior to) St. Patrick’s Day was a test for Chicago. The mayor said: Stay Home. Chicagoans said: No Thanks. They went out, gathered, mingled, swapped spit, as they are wont to do, even without the river dyed green. At the restaurant the following Monday, things were eerily quiet, even for a cold-month Monday at a neighborhood sandwich joint. We did a lot of cleaning in the kitchen, and not a lot of food prep. I got sent home an hour early. The next day when I arrived for my shift, the door was locked. One of the owners showed up and gave me a “What are you doing here??” That was the last day I worked in coming up on a year. It seemed the entire faulty, crumbling structure that props up the world as we had known it was about to come crumbling down. So I went home and asked Laure to marry me, as soon as she finished her yoga. Then we turned on the news, then turned it off. A two-week lock-in could even be kinda fun!


It was starting to get nice out, as we determined by the fact that the heat wasn’t blowing as much. We sewed face masks and bought hand sanitizer, lots of dry beans, some boxes of wine, and whatever few things we might need to see us through the end of the world. Laure started working from home, and I played soothing synthesizer music to calm her nerves as frustrated Canadians complained that their cheaply made yet expensive clothes weren’t reaching them fast enough. And that was our only contact with the outside world. We watched Star Trek: The Next Generation and pondered humanity’s future. This melded into What The Strek?, an album of paranoid optimism. Laure and I also began recording as Beh’Ouai. A musically fruitful lockdown had begun.


I turned 38. Max come down some, since we’re breathing the same air anyway, and we recorded some Lemons-in-lockdown performances for the internet, which we were surprised to learn still existed.


We put our mask collection to good use and joined the mass protests happening outside our door. It felt strangely comforting to be among people, even while expressing outrage.


We started having periodic yard sales because after three months and counting being and staying home, we were sick and tired of looking at the stuff we owned. At this point, there was enough foot traffic on our block, and it was a good excuse to chat up the neighbors from a neighborly distance. Also after three months of no government services, government services resumed, so Laure and I followed through with our intentions and got married at City Hall.


We got a kitten from our friend Autumn whose mother found a stray cat had had a litter in her garage. Autumn had named the kitten Moo because she has the coloration of a cow but we named her Luna because she has the coloration of the moon. Hi Luna!


Occasionally when the weather was nice, our friend Steve would come over and we would sing songs on the back patio. Then he came over and we sang songs inside and we live streamed it for the Internet Open Mic Cafe. That was fun.


We were pregnant for the month of October.


We had a miscarriage at the beginning of November. However bad I may have thought it would be, it was a thousand times worse.


Overall I guess it was a good year because Santa came bearing gifts. We managed to stay up past midnight to ring out the old year and ring in the new one although so far the new one seems to have picked up where the old one left off. We’ll see in a year’s time when we do our next retrospective how year 1 turns out.


Well, that’s it for the calendar view of the year prior, but it really was a year for burning your calendar to stay warm, so I probably forgot where some events landed in the timeline. So maybe there’s a better way to reflect on what has transpired…


For a while, I joined American Breakfast, and Laure joined Slushy, and we were writing songs for 2 separate bands. Then we decided we should just join forces and have one band. While in the van, we decided to call that band Beh’Ouai. It’s a casual way to say yes in French, like “Uh… yeah!” Like, “Hey, should we stop for a hot chocolate?” “Beh’ouai!” It’s pronounced, as far as I can be certain, “Buh-way”. And so we wrote and recorded a lot of songs and add continually to the Beh’Ouai bandcamp page. If you’re a longtime Slushy fan, keep an eye on that as it’s my personal main musical output at this point.

The Wildcat

Of course, American Breakfast isn’t just Laure, it was started and shared with our friend Steve, so we came up another new band to include Steve. It’s called The Wildcat.

The Cowboys

The Cowboys had 2 releases this year, and I am a contributor to both of them. “Room of Clons” was recorded in June of 2 years ago, and “Lovers in Marble” over a couple of months in isolation this past year. Feel It Records released them both. Hi Sam!

The Lemons

Wow, the Lemons almost went on tour last year! And then we didn’t. But then Max and I took part in a few online festivals that you can find on YouTube, and we spent a lot of time working on a new album that will be released this year, featuring all the usual Lemon suspects and a few new ones. I’m really really excited to be able to share this one with the world.


Max really wanted to write some love songs, so we met up one day, turned up the gain, tuned down the guitar and wrote a few songs about noshing. Thus, Nosher. The riffs are fun to play and the lyrics are dumber than anything we’ve ever done, quite the accomplishment.

The Strek

Somedays, you don’t feel like doing much of anything, so you set up the synthesizers to play endless loops. And that’s how the Strek was born. In writing about it previously, I compared it to Eddie Cockroach, where I improvised melodies on the fly, but that’s only half accurate. It’s a completely different synthesizing experience.

Home Work

I’ve really enjoyed my apartment the last several years because I was almost never here. Then all of the sudden I really was here. So I decided to finally fix all of the little things that had been eating away at my soul, like getting a new toilet, scrapping the broken down washer/dryer in the common area right outside my door, painting the cabinets and walls, generally redecorating, tightening screws, etc.


I now have pets and they are cats and I love them.


The Wild Cat

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First recordings (06/09/2020)

When the weather is nice and everyone is feeling in good health, often Steve will come over and will sit on the patio and strum guitars with Laure and sometimes even Lou and also me. Steve and Laure have been performing as American Breakfast for several whiles now and Lou joined them just one or two whiles back and then I joined them just about a half a while ago. Anyway, this post is not about American Breakfast, it’s about The Wild Cat, which is different in many fundamental ways that are so self-evident that I need not explicate them here.

So, to cut to the chase, one evening when Steve was about but Lou was otherwise preoccupied, we run through a few of our tunes while microphones were placed strategically and connected to the Tascam and a tape was recording for such purpose as posterity and posteriority. You can listen to them by clicking on the individual track names above.

In addition to our backyard strums for the nearby neighbors, we have done a couple-two-three world wide web streaming performances over our cellular telephones and hope to one day engage in more public performances once the demand meets our supply.

Are you the owner, operator or officiant of a record label? Let’s talk about your interest in releasing future recordings by The Wild Cat! We are interested if you are. Get in touch today.

Rememberies: 2019

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A Happy New Year to you, SlushBlog reader. Welcome to the latest annual diary that we call Rememberies. This is a very special installment because there’s a lot to remember! No time for a rambling preamble, let’s take a gamble on a gambol!


Your ace reporter rang in the New Year 2019 at the Casa de Bricabric, wherein the hot topic of conversation was the upcoming birthday celebration of everyone’s mutual friend Justin, the show that would be held to commemorate such, the performance I would give as part of said, and what name, if any, Justin would christen me from a shortlist I had provided. It turns out it was Eddie Cockroach!* And so, less than a baker’s dozen days later, the Eddie Cockroach show premiered. This act, dear reader, if you’ve not seen it, is me (Chris, Slushy, etc) improvising synthesizer noodles, accompanied by a lamp. I thought about rehearsing, but then thought better of it, and it was truly an on-the-fly-on-the-wall experience. It was pretty cool! And I did another performance not too much later at Bric-A-Brac Records, plus a couple of others as the year progressed. Meanwhile, recording began on two new albums, one of which was released to general acclaim in 2019, the other of which was not. Also, we played a couple of Slushy shows, at the Empty Bottle and the Sleeping Village, neither of which has asked us to return as of press time.


The shortest month of the year began with me practicing chewing gum and walking at the same time, and I must admit I got pretty close to pretty good at it. Valentine’s Day saw the release of The Bottom of a Rotten Flower, the Cowboy’s album that was recorded the prior summer, featuring 5 Cowboys and a whole heck of a lot of groovy tunes. To celebrate, we (4) hit the road and played some of those songs and some others for people living east of the Mississippi River. They seemed to enjoy it about as much as we did!


Finished up the Gauchos tour to find that my dishwashing job didn’t need me anymore. Oh well, more time to spend recording. Lots and lots of emails back and forth with Jason Steady as we planned a tour and swapped tracks for what would become “The Return of the Paisley Angels”, a country pop album of the highest order. After two tours of Jason backing me up, plus two of his own with other folks backing him up, we had a nice rapport with the Nebraska-out-to-California-and-back-to-Nebraska part of the world and tailor made a set of songs to do it again. When I wasn’t working on those, I was working with Max on new Lemons songs that are still in progress but sounding pretty dang good! Even had time to play a few cool Slushy shows in there, reuniting the European lineup at some point for good measure. Also Ray had a birthday. Happy birthday, Ray!


Played some Nobunny Easter shows and had a lovely Easter supper and lots of good eats for the first 3 weeks of the month then headed to Omaha. Spit and Polished all those songs, got garbed up, got in the van and off we went to present The Return of the Paisley Angels to a smitten public. We were charming, we were witty, we were well-dressed. What more could you ask for? We saw friends, we made friends, we were friends. We van-camped all over then made it to the promised land and survived on cheap tacos.


Touring to California is great and all but it means you have to tour back but hey it’s not all that bad! Saw some favorite places and some brand new places and everyone loved the suits that Jason made for us and we smiled a lot. Came through Chicago for two-or-three days to celebrate my birthday and show Jason around. Normally these tours are two or three weeks but we decided why not make it five and after we left Chicago we found out why. Ah but it wasn’t so bad, at least I enjoyed myself. Finished the month hanging with the whole family in Omaha. Then it was…


Off to Indiana to record the next Cowboys album! The 3 ‘boys were already holed up in a studio in Goshen when I arrived and had done some good work on some tunes I had heard demos of once or twice and I made some contributions and we played a show with an elephant on the stage and it was recorded but they goofed and forgot to record my guitar or maybe that’s just what they told us. Finally made it back to Chicago where there was a lot to do that mostly involved laying in the park and watching the sunset. Bric-A-Brac Records turned 6 years old and both Eddie Cockroach and the Cowboys performed at the three-day birthday party.


Took a flying machine to Oakland, Calif., to Nobunny it up at the Booger Bugaloo saw saw lots of friends (Twompsax!) and then came home where um no other distinct recollections but it was a wonderful month.


Played at Cafe Mustache with the now-classic brand-new Slushy lineup featuring Laure Elie on bass guitar and vocals (plus Justin and Chris). We’ll be showcasing this lineup again real soon as of this writing. I think a couple of Cowboys shows in there, too.


Sammy and Ayane got married earlier in the summer and in summer’s waning days they had their wedding party party at the Happy Gallery. Slushy the band didn’t play but Slushy the me did because hey Marian moved back from Arizona and Cookie played! And I joined American Breakfast on the recently-reacquired Farfisa organ! AB played a couple of other shows, too, this was the third one or the first of three in quick succession, hard to say which but what a fun band to be in, Cookie too!


When the Cowboys did an east coast tour coinciding with the release of a brand new album, it was such a success that we said, “Hey why not do the exact same thing but in smaller cities that are farther apart and let’s wait six months when the excitement of a new album isn’t there any longer!” And that’s exactly what we did in October, going to a bunch of tiny dots on the map of middle earth and playing for fingers of people (like you can count them on the fingers on your hand[s]). It was okay. The weather was nice.


I grew a mustache and went to France. I consumed a cornucopia of cheese and bread and wine and spent my whole life there, or so it seemed, but then I came back because there was a Nobunny tour and that will always bring me back. The Lemons second album “At Home” was released on vinyl record, a year after coming out on tape and a whole nother year after it was recorded so that’s nice to know that good things still come to those who wait.


Just good vibes ya know? The year ended with Nobunny at the Empty Bottle and then The Lemons played New Years Eve and we had a 10 person band and it was amazing, it was our second show of the year and the first one was when Michael Lennie was in town, I remember it was really nice out so maybe September or October? It wasn’t as nice out on New Years but it was still nice.

Play Much?

Oh brother that’s a good question let’s see….

  • Slushy: 7
  • The Lemons: 2
  • Nobunny: 6
  • The Cowboys: 33
  • Cookie: 1
  • American Breakfast: 3
  • The Paisley Angels: 30
  • Eddie Cockroach: 4

Total: 86 I guess. Decent, all things considered, and there may even be some shows I’m forgetting. It’s nice to break 100 though, I’ll have to do that this year.


Every year I made pronouncements and guestimates of what my near-term future holds, and then see how they turned out. So let’s stick with tradition and do that thing I just said then, now.

  • Sing, Cowboy: This was a very informed guess, that Jason and I would do a singing cowboy thing. We did! Our suits looked amazing, our songs were great, there were CDs and tapes and we booked a whole tour and played all those shows and more. Great job!
  • Milk from Lemons: Album 2 is out now on vinyl, album 3 is mostly recorded, and album 4 is currently being written. We even played a show with the whole gang plus some new auxiliary members and those who could hear it loved it. Good job, Lemons!
  • Continental breakfast: Did you know Brent has been living in Australia? I did know that, and had schemes to go visit him and do a Slushy tour down yonder, but … it didn’t come together I guess because I didn’t try hard enough to make it happen. And then Brent’s house burnt down. Sorry Brent! Sorry Australia! Maybe next year?
  • Band Together: Justin is the king of showing up when we have a gig, and now Laure is on bass, so I guess that counts as a band, even though we’ve never practiced off stage but that’s good mojo. Thanks band! Maybe I’ll get some more people to really be in it, and maybe we’ll all record together some day…
  • Lots of bands, hm?: Well well, let’s see, I joined 1 band I’ve long been a fan of, reunited 1 band that had drifted apart, started 1 new band that’s really just a solo project, and if you noticed above, there were 8 distinct projects going. Downright decent!

Four out of five predictions came close enough to coming true for me to say, “WOW!” or maybe even “WOAH!” but not quite “WOOOOO!”

Now let me perceive what may be coming next for Slushy in all its forms…

2020 Visions

Simple goals that are easily attainable.

  • Play: Playing music is a good time, especially when performing for people who are enjoying it. I wanna do that! Lots!
  • Write: Playing the same songs over and over is a good way to explore the intricacies of subtle variations. On this we can certainly agree. But creating new pieces is, in my understanding, an incredible way to communicate with the universe/god/love/the well of endless possibilities. I wanna do that!
  • Record: As long as I’ve been involved in creating music, I’ve enjoyed the process of turning recorded sounds into a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Alchemy! The ancient mysteries! Yes, one and one can equal three of five or nineteen even! Even numbers can be prime! The square root of negative one is only imaginary so long as we pretend it is so! Uh mmmm yeah I want to record, my songs, your songs, our songs, whatever. Let me know.
  • Travel: I like touring and I like traveling and they are completely different experiences and I want do both. Very often or maybe just occasionally, who knows?
  • Love: One love, one life, let’s get together and feel all right.

Hey that’s a lot of writing for one day. I could go on and on and I probably will but those will be other blog posts, this one is just about done. I just wanna say thank you folks known and unknown who have giving me the confidence to keep being Slushy, I think I’ll stick with it.

Peace and Love to You and Yours,

Tour T-Shirt Treasures

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If you like buying t-shorts as much as I like selling them, then we are a match made in heaven. Give a gander at these goose eggs of shirts that didn’t sell over the last few tours, and step into my office to see what kind of deals we have. You can be walking down the street in your brand new Slushy or Slushy-adjacent shirt today!

The Paisley Angel

Show your true colors in this beaut featuring a Famous Font. Comes in many sizes and colors.

Chris Twist & Jason Steady

Commemorate the occasional occasions that these two musical muscles joined forces. Size and color options galore!

Let’s Twist

Only a few from the Fall ’17 Chris Twist Trio tour featuring Jason, Jade, and Chris. Printed over “Number One Hit Kids”

Cat, Dog and Mouse

The Original design by Jen Lemasters for the Slushy Europe ’18 tour. Don’t be fooled by bootlegs that say Nobunny or The Cowboys, only these are Slushy shirts!

Visit to order yours today!

Rememberies 2018

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Hello world, I see you’re looking lovely as usual. It is winter in Chicago and feeble flecks of frozen fluids freely fall from on high. At least they were the last time I was out of doors. I spent another year living in Max’s basement coming up with songs to amuse the masses. And what a select masses they were! There’s so much to dive into and so many gaps in my memory so this shall be an interesting Rememberies indeed.


Twenty-Eighteen began the exact same way that Twenty-Seventeen ended, which is to say in Chicago, at Thalia Hall, where the venerable Today’s Hits had opened for the esteemed Twin Peaks at the inscrutable Thalia Hall. A belle of a way to ring in a year. The month of January saw 1 Slushy show at Cole’s with local heartthrobs American Breakfast, lots of games of billards with Sammy and Old Boy, and a steady building out of my VHS collection thanks to Bric-A-Brac Records and the Unique Thrift store. Be kind, Rewind forever.


The month of love, arms and amour. Good friend of Slushy Tyler asked us to play a Valentine’a Day ball at a Milwaukee Ave night club called the East Room, and so we did. In the tradition of East Room shows past, this band was comprised of three-quarters of a baker’s dozen lonely hearts who looked fine and played more finely the most saccharine-soaked old timey tunes we could manage. I wore a suit and lost my keys. Bye keys, miss you! Later we returned to Cole’s for a naw-inspiring set.


Way back when the world was young and all of us a little bit younger, I saw a band called the Cowboys. Now don’t let the name fool you, these are art students playing rock music, nothing Cool Ranch about it. These buckaroos spent some time opening up for Nobunny and we all enjoyed each other’s company, and then their singer said he wanted to move up to Chicago and he SO moved to Chicago that he moved into the same building as me (and, as long time readers will recall, Max). Well, this here was a band that all lived in the same house together for years and to make a short story long, the band dynamics shifted to the point where as they were planning a tour to Austin, TX, for the Southy-By-Southwest music festival, they found themselves in need of a guitar player, and being that I lived to close to Keith, I was chosen to be that six-string strangler. So that’s what happened in March. It was fun. Also met up with Justin and Sammy and Cher in Austin and played some Nobunny shows although they had to play some of them without me. That stunk! For me at least. And turns out wouldn’t be the last time. But we did do some Nobunny shows together at the end of March and into…


April as we approached Nobunny’s rebirthday which also happens to be Easter. So we did a loop-de-loop around through Canada to Brooklyn and back through, I dunno, maybe Cleveland? Yeah that was nice, I love traveling with those knuckleheads. Then we came back to Chicago and Slushy got to play with punk legend and turns out he’s really a nice guy Wreckless Eric. Maybe some day we’ll make a record together! Also around this time James Swanberg booked a gig at the Hideout and gave them the name of a band that didn’t exist and then roped Sammy and Max Schott and me into being that band. Yes indeed, James Swanberg’s Shitty Beatles was a bright flash in a dank pan over the warm months of 2018. As they say in the biz, So long folks! Also, towards the middle of April, the Lemons released their 2nd masterpiece, “At Home”, a delightful house party collection of ditties with many pals contributing background talking sounds and general hullabaloo. Goons made some great artwork for it and Scott whipped up a beautiful batch of tapes. On the Tripp imprint, of course.


Somewhere around this time I started working on a new Slushy album, which turned out to be FUN CUNUMDRUM. As the weather finally turned nicely, I was spending more and more time holed up staring at my Tascam 4 track (RIP), playing guitars and shakers and synthesizers and layering sounds upon sounds. I did it all once then did it all twice and finished about an hour before my birthday. Then I buzzed all my hair off! WOAH! Then we flew to NYC and did a NOBUNNY show and I had a miserable time but didn’t tell anyone that. No matter! No Slushy shows but I did start teaching Sammy all the new songs on bass so that was even better. Plus I drove from Bloomington to Omaha during which the ol’ van crossed 200,000 miles. I was trying to sell the van so I could buy Sammy’s mom’s VW Bug convertible but that didn’t work out and I still have the van. Hi van!


June is the month that I started washing dishes at a hipster restaurant, according to the woman who serves slices around the corner. But the coffee and soda are free and there’s lots of shenanigans and I hadn’t worked in food service in 13 years so it was a welcome change of pace. Bric-A-Brac records turned 5 years old and Brent came into town so we did a Classic Slushy performance at the shop and then again later that night at Cole’s. We even did some of the brand new Fun Cunumdrum tunes and they sounded pretty dang good!


Everyone flew out to Oakland at the end of June except for me, so I had the city to myself. Washing dishes and selling records and Nobunny did a last-minute set at the Burger Boogaloo but I wasn’t there for it but I heard good things. Keith has the same birthday as America so I met him at the Whirlaway. It rained but that didn’t stop the fireworks from going off, just stopped me from seeing them. A few days later Keith and I went down to Bloomington and the 5 Cowboys went into Russian Recordings recorded for a week and the results were great! Watch out for “The Bottom of a Rotten Flower” taking the world by storm in 2019. It was a hot and long summer and Shimby mastered the new Slushy album and Keith Herzik did the artwork and I sent it off to Scott and ordered 250 copies and eventually they showed up even though there was a week where I was worried they’d been stolen and looked in dumpsters around the neighborhood for them to no avail, obviously, because they did in fact end up showing up on my stoop. Did a three-piece show at the Slippery Slope one night that was almost a solo show because Sammy and Justin both showed up within minutes of us starting, one on either side.


Now this is what I’m talking about. I only booked 3 shows the entire year and they were pretty abysmal from an outside perspective but luckily I don’t have one of those and I thought they were great. My family doesn’t do things like take vacations together but somehow we did exactly that this year, renting a lake house in Maine for a week and kayaking and swimming and eating ice cream and playing card games and drawing and cooking and laughing. ‘Twas quite nice. I drove out and played shows to split up the drives and camped and nearly adopted a possibly stray dog and ate at a diner in Punxatawney and let me tell you about the stars in Maine, there are more than you can even start to see and even in between the stars are more stars and smears of color like my face after a peanut butter and jelly. The Lemons reunited for the Scummer Slammer and played 1 new song. Then I made shirts with Jen and Nick and Bobby was there too, and we did a Cole’s show and then flew to Europe and ohhhhh buddy was that a time and a half and there’s so much to get into, from the shores to Nazare to full moon of Bergamo and the blues cafe in Barcelona and cetera and cetera. Why come home?


Well most of September was also Europe. Hi Marco! Hi Diego! Hi Franz! Hi everyone else! People in Europe are super friendly, especially if you’re there on a tour, and they make you food and offer a place to sleep and you can get coffee just about anywhere and just spend an afternoon at a sidewalk cafe, which I did as often as I could. Originally I planned to not come back but then I wasn’t in charge of buying my own plane ticket home so I had one and had no other plans and came back and caught a strep on the way and so spent a week in bed drinking tea til I got better then made up some songs and played them at Reed’s and no one liked them but there were only a few people there anyway. Ayane came to town and we all went up to Madison for Turkey Fest. That was neat.


This must have been about the time of the Bric-A-Brac Basement Blow-out Bonanza, which was the sale of the century and if you missed it you really missed it. Played at the Burlington, then flew out to California for some Nobunny shows with Cher and let me tell you all about the Bob Baker Puppet Theatre, it’s quite magickal and wonderous and stupenderific and it’s where Peter Pan would go to feel like a kid. Then we came back and played Thalia Hall for Halloween proper and I was Harpo Marx and honked a horn a lot.


Cher flew back with us and brought her laptop and telephone mic and that can only mean TWOMPSAX so we packed up my van and drove all over the Midwest trying to be weird but only being welcome. Got to stay with Jimi and Allison then I drove to Omaha to surprise my sister for her birthday and came back to Chicago and made a lot of food and then ate it and that’s pretty much it


This one just happened! Started with Gymshorts in town and we played together here and in Fort Wayne and then later the Lemons played here and in Lexington and the Cowboys played here and I joined Cam’s Family Jam Band and I guess that’s about it! Happy New Year!

Show Me The Shows!

Played a whole bunch, let’s try to guess:

  • Slushy: 35
  • Nobunny: 31
  • The Lemons: 3
  • The Cowboys: 36
  • Shitty Beatles: 6
  • Cam’s Jams: 1

Maybe I’m forgetting a band or two but that’s 111 shows by my count. More than the previous year and in fewer bands! Not too shabby!

Predictions Revisited

How well did I predict 2018? Let’s take a look at the snake marks in the sand.

  • Never Stop Playing: Well I joined the Cowboys, started the Shitty Beatles, toured a bunch. Even the Lemons played some shows! Exemplary execution. A+
  • Squeeze the Juice: Made up a lot of dumb songs this year! Some were even dumber than others. Didn’t leave too many crumbs on the plate either. A+.
  • Open the Mics: No I didn’t do any stand up comedy, no I don’t mind. I didn’t even go to that many comedy nights, nor did I think up too many jokes. Maybe I’ll be funny some other time. Gonna give this one an Incomplete.
  • Learn some Skills: No I guess I’m as incompetent and useless as ever. On the other hand I did get a job washing dishes and cutting vegetables in a professional restaurant so at least I’m more relatable. Incomplete.
  • TV or Not TV: Turns out not TV. Incomplete.
  • Clean House: I did clean the house quite a few times and it was looking nice for a while but I’ve been in hard recording session mode lately and the place is definitely looking lived in. Time to get back at it! B+.

Well, the grades speak for themselves. When I apply myself I do well but I’m just as likely to ignore the tasks I have when they don’t align with what I feel like doing. Same thing has been written on my report cards since 2nd grade so I guess you can’t teach dogs tricks. Roll over, Beethoven.

What’s In Store?

We’ve almost made it through the whole post following the same format as always, no sense in breaking tradition now so let’s make some vague and hopefully self-fulfilling prophecies for 2019!

  • Count on Country: Been scheming with the inscrutable Jason Steady about becoming singing cowboys (as opposed to Cowboys) with matching spangly jumpsuits and pizzazz. Let’s see how far that mule can carry us.
  • Milk, Milk, Lemonade: I like writing songs but I most like writing songs with Mr. E aka John Lemon. Might as well write and record as many songs as we can together and get the gang together and make a new Lemons album! With any luck we’ll be releasing something this year but if not look out next year!
  • Feeling Continental: So far in my career I’ve toured on 3 continents. How many more will I get to see? Let’s hope at least 1 more this year.
  • Get a Band: Slushy has been me plus a random pick-up of pals since… Pretty much the beginning. Is it time for me to have a permanent line-up? Maybe! Who will that consist of? Oh Lordy I don’t know at this moment, if you think you have what it takes let me know!
  • Lots of bands!: A few years ago it seemed I was playing out two, three, four times a week in a bevy of bands. Now it’s two, three times a month if I’m busy. I guess that touring lifestyle made it difficult to commit to local bands but that lack of bands has led to less touring in a cruel irony of fate. So maybe it’s time to be in 10-20 bands again? Dunno!

Okay I guess 5 predictions is enough to go forward. Now let’s count the days until I look back and remember writing this.

That’s all for this year! It’s now the middle of February but I’m going to edit the post date so it looks like I was really on top of getting this post out to you, dear readers. Until next time, I remain,


Cat, Dog & Mouse Shirt

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If you know what’s what then you’ll know what this thingy here is. But in case you don’t, I’ll tell ya!

a striped cat plays bass, a dog plays drums, and a mouse plays guitar

This is the new SLUSHY t-shirt, designed by Jen Lemasters and screened by Jen and Chris with assists by Nick and Bobby. And I’m not just showing off, I’m also letting you know that you can OWN one of these puppies (and kitties and micies) by visiting the ol’ new Slushy merch page on our bandcamp website.

It’s right here:

Maybe order a Fun Cunumdrum tape while you’re there too!

Rememberies 2017

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Ah gee whiz is it cold in Chicago. That must mean we are in the thick of winter, 15 days in and only 3 months to go. Well, I guess it’s time to put the kettle on, curl up under the Mickey blanket and look back on another year in the books. Join me, won’t you, for some Rememberies.


The year really started off with a bang, everyone full of anxiety and uncertainty as we trust fell into the cesspool of 2**7. Me, I was holed up in my bedroom closet, which I had retrofitted with all the recording equipment from the living room since the living room had let me down. Moved in the 4 track and the sampler and tried not to go outside and worked on tunes for 3 weeks. Then as the month dawdled on, threw the sampler and a sleeping bag in Kenny’s car with James and Kdog for a getaway and state of the nation, working out the tunes I had dreamed up. We all got food poisoning in Florida and slept on couches and floors of varying degrees of comfort and cleanliness. Met the Bubble Boys, what’s up Bubble Boys!


The tour dragged on even after we all got sick of each other (haha just kidding, haha just kidding). Played at the Cowboys house which was a real treat. Made it home just in time for the Super Bowl. Go teams! Did some Nobunny shows at the end of the month, hanging out with Cher and Sammy and laughing a whole lot.


Winter goes on forever in Chicago, March very much included. Played a couple of shows with the illustrious Gymshorts including the first ever mega-band 10 piece Slushy show and started talking to Jasom Sturdy about touring together but we’ll get to that soon enough.


Speaking of goofballs, we had a nice April Fool’s with a Lemons show at the perfect local watering hole, Cole’s! Bboy Brent Bunz came into town and we played a great show on a rooftop in the medical district with the Mope Grooves and the brilliantly named Judge Judy & Executioner. Hey, it’s pretty nice in Chicago in April! Something to look forward to! Also worked my last day at the office job after the FBI paid a visit to the office, but that’s another story altogether. Finished recording all of the tunes I’d been working on since January and got ready to make my debut as Chris Twist. Also Sammy moved in! Hi Sammy!


Got in the van and got the heck out of town as the calendar rolled over into the month of mothers and flowers and workers of the world unite! Made a pit stop in Mason City (Hi Karen! Hi John!) then on to Omaha for my pa’s birthday, then on to Jasom’s house to prepare for the Chris Twist tour. We were not sure what plan of action we would be pursuing but settled into a nice Jonathan-and-Tommy scheme, complete with gong. As we whiled our way westward we got real keen about finding cowboy hats but instead we found Jade in Oakland and turned into a trio for the remainder of the tour. Lots of nice times camping and laughing and occasionally eating. Had a birthday in May, just like every other year! Did a double dose of big band Slushy in Chicago to celebrate the release of “Hello, I’m Chris Twist”. 13 members and not one practice. Even went up to Minnesota on my own for a great show and another show.


Officially quit my office job after failing to come back from tour. So long and thanks for all the fish! Then used my newly acquired free time to sit around and read and drink coffee and pick my nose. Talking about a good time.


Nobunny was in high demand and I was honored to be pulled along on his ratted fur coattails. Took our first flight out to California and played the Mosswood Park Boogaloo, got to meet Mr. John Waters and lay eyes on Mr. Jim Osterberg, among many also-rans. Heck, good ol’ Brent was also in town for the shindig and we weaseled our way on one of those so-called aftershows that just so happen to take place after the main show. What a fun time! Hi Iris! Hi JT! The end of the month saw Slushy rubbing elbows with Santa Claus in Dekalb, IL, for their corn parade. Hi Santa! Also Today’s Hits released a full-length album on Randy Records. It’s really good! I play the bass.


The Bunny boys kept flying out to California all summer, mostly to hang out at Taco Boy and Juke Joint. In between jaunts, Max came downstairs and we started making a new Lemons album that will some day see the light of day.


Finished that Lemons album! Nobunny did some shows with Nickabrac, had less laughs. Miss you Cher!


Had a couple of shows and had a good Halloween and Jason and Jade were hard at work booking a Chris Twist tour. I was Johnny Ramone as the Joker for Halloween, very layered. Oh and I had a beard for most of the month, quite the look!


Flew to California again on the first of the month to play a show in Pioneertown, an old Western movie set where Bob Dylan now lives and Paul McCartney sometimes plays. Hi Bob, Hi Paul! Then flew back to Chicago for one sleep and hit the road, drove to Omaha, picked up Jason, Jade was already in the van, and scooted on out to Kearney, Nebraska to kick off the 2nd Chris Twist Trio tour. What a time that was! Lots happened plus we got to see David! Hi David! I’ll tell you all about it sometime. Did that old Thanksgiving with the family in Omaha and squeezed in a few more days with Ryan and Kelly in the van, bought a book on Stand Up Comedy (be funny, have a good routine…) and a book by Kermit the Frog and a phone that looks like a golf bag. Went to Santa Claus, Indiana of all places! I think that’s about it.


Came home from tour like a clean counter: wiped! Ayane and Kumi from the Mellvins came from Tokyo to visit for Christmas and we got them a show while they were here. Kenny’s got a new TV show called “The Luke Tokyo Drifter Show with Ken Dog Millionaire”, look for me in a couple of episodes! Rang in the New Year with a Today’s Hits set at Thalia Hall with the inscrutable Twin Peaks. Love you!

How Many Shows was That?

Some rough guestimating:

  • Slushy: 53
  • Nobunny: 21
  • The Lemons: 2
  • Today’s Hits: 2
  • Jerkbox Jukes: 4
  • Cookie: 9
  • The Undertakers: 2
  • All Day Buffet: 1
  • The Pinheads: 2
  • Randy Tuesday: 3

Summation: 99 gigs.

All in all, a pretty solid year! Released a new batch of recordings of tunes of my creation, released a nice sounding batch of tunes of James’s creation, created a new batch of Lemons songs, listened to lots of good music, had lots of good conversations, ate lots of good foods, kinda hard to beat!

Some lessons learned: It’s a good idea to keep some kind of a diary because I definitely lost track of some of the non-Slushy shows, also it’s just good to have quick access to all the memories that were unmade as quickly as they were made. Some only last a day! Also, this is just an aside that I’ll tuck in somewhere else when I re-edit this, I got a nice camera from my pa that I need to put to use more often. I even got film for it in Bloomington but what the heck!

Looking Back at Looking into the Future

Every year I like to try to predict what might be in store for the year ahead. Let’s see how well the crystal ball did this time last year.

  • A New Slushy Record: Indeed there was, but with under the new Chris Twist name. New name? Same old Slushy? What gives? I dunno, dear reader, but I’m going to count this one as a success, just hold your horses though cuz Slushy isn’t done for either, return the flowers. Gonna give this one a A-minus since it was released on tape but not record.
  • Still in Nobunny: I made it the whole year and played every Nobunny show there was to play. Gonna try to keep up that track record going strong in the new year. Grading that one a A-plus.
  • Staying in Chicago: For all my dickering about someday leaving the Windy City behind, I did indeed ring in the New Year here and still call it home. Big thanks to Sammy on this one. The Second City will always be a solid Number Two in my eyes, maybe this is the year I find my Number One. With a grade of B-plus since not moving out of town is more a sign of laziness than anything else.
  • Jokes: I’m not sure what this was trying to predict or will into existence, probably my annual reference to doing stand-up comedy. I didn’t, but I did buy a book about it. Let’s call that a C Natural.
  • Grow Up: Did not. Good job. A-plus
  • Van Life: Not so many long stretches in the van but did 1 solo Slushy and 2 Chris Twist tours, getting the name and face and charm out there for better or for worse. Still lots of down time, maybe the most ever?? Oh well, we’ll grade that a B-minus.
  • A band and a record: Nope. F-plus.

Okie dokie, not exactly a fridge-worthy report card but it also doesn’t go straight in the garbage can. Maybe tuck that one under the microwave?

Crystal Balls Engage

All right, those of you who have been paying attention know that we end the Rememberies with predictions for the forthcoming year. So without any further ado, a segment that needs no introduction, please put your hands together, I pay myself by the word, the one and only futurecast.

  • Never stop playing: I’d like to play lots of shows in and around the world.
  • Squeeze the juice: Sometimes I halfway come up with ideas for songs that leave them at that, no longer! Let’s make some good songs and get them out there into the world.
  • Open mic every Wednesday: at Coles. Just get up there and do it, ya dummy! But no pressure.
  • Learn some skills: I don’t know how to do a lot of stuff, I should change that.
  • TV or not TV: I have a pretty good idea for a show that I should probably get to work on.
  • Clean house: There’s a lot of good junk in the house but a smaller proportion of regular junk, I should probably clean.

Ok that’s it, bye, I love you!

Rememberies 2016

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Does anyone read and like Family Circus? Don’t call it Family Circle even though it’s in a circle and about a family, because Family Circle is a rectangular monthly magazine. Family Circus is a daily comic strip about how grandmas have good advice and you can blame ghosts for causing a ruckus around the house. I think I’d like to have Family Circus wall paper so that any place I pause in the house will offer folksy wisdom in a glance.

Family Circus does or did or will do a bit called Remeberies, which is what a young child might say when confusing the words “remember” and “memories”. Maybe they never did it and I made up that word, too. Remembering memories can be confusing for anyone, but especially for a child for whom one year represents, for example, 20 percent of their life and 33 percent of their entire memberies, formed in a flash before their eyes!

If you haven’t read the strip, check it out. If you have, I’m sure you can easily imagine the dotted line following me around all year like Billy on his way home from school. Where did it go?


The clock that rang in 2016 was set to Wilson Picket’s watch, as I strummed frantically along to Midnight Hour in the Nobunny band. Yes, the big sea change of 2015-2016 for me was joining the ranks of the hardest working band in rocknroll. After an ear-pealing opening salvo in the fall of ’15, 2016 promised to hold much in store. They call patience a virtue, and so is her sister prudence, so I waited in January. And waited. Slushy played a show at Reed’s Local with Today’s Hits because James was in charge of booking there and he knew he could book me!


You know Max right? He’s a hard working man and it shows. February brought the release of Hello We’re The Lemons to the vinyl hungry masses courtesy of Burger Records. They ate it up! Now you can’t even buy that record anymore unless it’s from your friend’s private collection and even then good luck with that! The Lemons is my favorite band and I could go into why but basically it’s all due to Max. We played one Lemons show at Bric-A-Brac Records on Valentines Day and it was like an arrow through the heart — the good kind! Also Pookie moved into my closet and Pookie and Mentz and I hung out inside a lot cuz winter is cold.


Okay, here’s where things get interesting. They say March is both a lion and a lamb, it just depends which end of it you’re on. Turns out it was very lamby! The Lemons did the best little boomerang tour of all time, going from Chicago to LA for one show, then LA to Austin for one show, then home sweet home. Meanwhile Nobunny played in Wisconsin (me, Sammy, Andy), OC (me, Dan, Pookie), Austin (me, Sammy, Pookie) then back around the midwest (me, Sammy, Andy). Slushy had a show at the Empty Bottle in there. After Easter we all took a rest.


Did I mention being patient? Finally April came around and Sammy and I boarded a long-distance airplane which took us to the far east, the land of the rising sun, the land of cup of noodle. Before we could leave, I had a checklist, and the final thing on it was fixing my tooth, which I did and smiled freely at all of the nice people of Japan. They like rocknroll and throw crazy shows in improbably small venues full of Marshall half stacks. We did a whole 18 day tour with Mule Team. They are great! It even lasted through May! Oh yeah and Pookie came back from Pookie tour and brought with him Matty Luv.


It was hard to leave Japan but I guess not too hard because we did it. We made it back not too long before my birthday and so I slept until my birthday and I had a happy birthday and rode roller coasters and didn’t see how jelly beans are made and everything was great. I started playing in Cookie with Marian and James and Sammy and Alejandro. Hey, I even played some shows with this band!


Well, after all that excitement a little break and some hanging out in my underwear was in order. Slushy played twice at the East Room in June because that’s usually what happens is that a venue will ask us to play and we’ll do such a good job and so many people will come to see us that the promoter will say “I have to have you back immediately!” and so we play again immediately and it’s not as good and no one comes to see us, except that both shows were pretty good! Also Dumbfest was the good kinda dumb and Nobunny played at a rocknroll Hardee’s in Springfield.


A new month, a new band. Through the must gratuitous fortune, I was briefly a touring member of Providence, RI,’s Gymshorts, whose merch is bested only by their songs and personalities. The first two shows also had Sammy in the band at the third had Kelly, which is to say a good group, not to mention Sarah and Chris. Don’t get me started. The Lemons played our ninth and final show of 2016 with Calvin Johnson’s Selector Dub Narcotic.


What was it about being patient? Holy smokes, 3 Slushy shows in one month! That’s pretty cool. And 2 shows with the Pinheads! And another trip with Gymshorts! Some Hits! A few Nobunny! And at the end of the month, we flew to Europe.


We landed in Amsterdam then took a van to Groeningen. Richard drove. That’s the very slow start to the story of Nobunny in Europe, which is a long, winding mosaic of a story. To shorten it, it was great. 14 shows in 9 countries doing double duty of Pookie & the Poodlez and Nobunny nearly every night. Then before we could all get jobs in Berlin we had to fly back home to America. Just because. Just because Slushy had a show with Gooch Palms at the Bottle at the end of the month. And we had more to do.


Oh look another Slushy show at the Bottle! Thank you! And at Bric-A-Brac! Hi Nick & Jen! The Lemons recorded that show back in July and released it on K records! And a couple of weeks bumming around the house being very, very patient. And then Turkeyfest which was day one of the next Nobunny tour. We even played Omaha of all places. Yes, a very nice, easy going tour in my van with Jen driving and everyone feeling fine. Ended the month celebrating Halloween in Oakland dressed as a bum/bunny still on tour.


We headed down the California coast then turned left into the desert and spent a few days in lovely Tuscon, wound way back to Chicago, touched base with reality then dove back into road reality and went all over with the lovely Cowboys.


Finished up the Nobunny tour, came back home, played a cap-off Nobunny show with the Twin Peaks boys, played a cap-off Today’s Hits show, celebrated the holidays in Omaha, had a nice year.

How Many Shows Was That?

  • Slushy: 12
  • The Lemons: 9
  • Today’s Hits: 18
  • Pinheads: 2
  • Nobunny: 78
  • Pookie & The Poodlez: 15
  • Cookie: 3
  • Gymshorts: 9

Total shows in 2016: 146

Unless I was in some other bands I’ve forgotten.

How Were Those Predictions?

Let’s take a look at last year’s predictions for this year and give a letter grade.

  • Tour tour tour: Yes, I did this, and yes, I made my prediction with playing in NB in mind. Toured 3 continents plus a whole bunch more. A+.
  • Make Lemonade: This cryptic bit alluded to making the most with the Lemons. We released an LP on Burger Records and a cassette on K Records in 2016. Not bad! A-.
  • Eugenius ambitious: Last year I had an idea for a new band called Mr. America that I quickly decided didn’t need to exist. Oops! Maybe it did. F+.
  • Smile like a candle: The dentists at A Brush Above will turn your $999,999 smile into a $1,000,000 smile. They give you a dollar! A.
  • Compassion: Woo-wee, I made a prediction that I will be nice to people? I think I did ok? Write me and let me know. B-.
  • Stand up: Did not perform and didn’t really anticipate performing but I saw some and thought up some pretty bad jokes and heard a lot of really good jokes. C-.
  • Vote: Just as I predicted, I voted for the Senator from Vermont in the primaries but was not allowed to in November and I was very sad all summer and fall but see above about compassion and treating people with dignity and respect and not feeling overwhelmed about an inability to control things that are bigger than oneself. What a year. A.

Any Predictions for 2017?

  • Will there ever be a new Slushy record?: Yes, and this could be the year! You never know!
  • Are you still in Nobunny?: As of today yes, let’s keep it going, petition your local rabbit to keep me in the warren! Sounds like we will doing even more touring in 2017. Can 78 shows be topped? Easily.
  • How’s Chicago?: It’s pretty great if you just mentally block out all the of things that are terrible. I’ll probably still live here when we ring in 2018.
  • Heard any good jokes lately? A lot, including this gem. What’s a baby’s favorite grain? Quinwaaaahhh!! (A+)
  • Grow up: Maybe this is the year I buy a little place of my own and settle down and put all these rocknroll dreams to rest. I’ll need a minute…
  • Get in the van: 2 months last year had no tours, and 4 months only had a little bit of tours. That’s like half the year! Jeez. Time to join some more bands.
  • Get a band, make a record, tour that record, make that band: That’s the goal, I’m the kicker, I’m the goalie.

Okay don’t forget I love you.

Rememberies 2015

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Holy smokes, that was an interesting year, am I right? Probably one that’s better off being sealed up in a concrete box, loaded onto a fishing boat and dumped overboard once we hit international waters, sinking sinking sunk all the way down in the muck and darkness and dankness of octopus dens.

But we can’t do that, “2015” is just a concept of our own creation and time marches on step by step with infinity.

So what happened in 2015? 211 shows in 6 bands in 1 year, not bad. What didn’t happen in 2015? No new Slushy music. Sorry about that, I got uninspired then I got busy!

Now let’s go remembering!


We’ll start the year off fine. Well, 2015 started off with me having NO idea what was to become of Slushy, but that changed very quickly when 3 days into the year we (Kenny, Justin, James, and I) played a (last-minute, I believe) set at the Auxiliary Arts Center. Were we good? No. Were we great? Probably. Did I fall off the stage? Definitely. We played last on a solid bill, so all the folks were riled up and they really went for our “let’s play these 2 chords back and forth for 3 minutes or til we get bored” approach, and us fellas said “sure, let’s keep doing this bullshit.” So it was settled. Meanwhile, The Lemons were finishing up some new tunes for a new tape, “Everybuddy’s A Lemon” on Bufu Records and booking a 3 week tour to take us out of Chicago and down to Florida to avoid spending so much time in the cold that our hearts froze. That was a smart move. At the end of the month, James, Kelly, Esther and I piled into the Lemvan with our spirits high, and picked up Dr. Paul in Lexington.


You’re my little Valentine. We hit Florida on the 1st of February and jumped in the ocean the moment we saw it. It was Super Bowl Sunday and there was a blizzard in Chicago. Played for no one in St. Augustine but served up 13 scoops. Stayed in a very likely haunted hotel!!! Salt life melted my heart then rolled into New Orleans, saw the Bulls win and hit the streets. Is there a better feeling to be in New Orleans during Mardi Gras with your heart full of love? If there is, I haven’t met it. Walk with your spine straight, friends. By the time we got home, we were sick of each other, and that was the beginning of the end. I enjoyed it. Hung around Chicago the rest of the month, trying to stay warm and sane.


I’m gonna march you down the aisle. Before we knew it, it was time to get back on the road. Mope Grooves came to town, they are a band I really dig, and we played with them at Cole’s the night or two before we left for SXSW. All 5 Lemons got in the van this time, although I think we picked Kelly up in Peoria where she was staying with her folks and where we played our first show. Yeah, that was it. Ask me about it in person some time. St. Louis, Tulsa, lots of driving I think?

Our shows in Austin were great. Look up “Lemons SXSW” if you don’t know what happened. I think there were 5 or 6 or 7 or 8, a lot of shows and really all of them top notch, even the one by the pool, where I played in jeans but nearly wore very tiny white-with-green-polka-dot trunks that I had gotten from Brent the last time I was at SX, in 2012, but Max talked me out of them (out of wearing them), so jeans it was. We dropped Max off at the airport after our San Antonio show (there’s something there I’m supposed to remember, it’s on the tip of my something), and that was it for the Lemons. So long, folks! We were in Bowling Green, KY, when my grandpa died.


You’re the easter bunny when you smile. Gerald James Steenson. I don’t know if that name will appear in any history book ever written (it would be a very “niche” one, no general studies here, but if you’re interested in, oh, the electrical engineering of mid-century Omaha, you might run across it some day), so I’m writing it here. If you’ve ever read the Beatitudes and thought “sure, nice in theory, but no one can actually live a life like that,” you friend would be wrong. If you haven’t read them, go check into a hotel, find the clock-radio on the bedstand, open the top draw, and pull out the book in there. If there are multiple books, pull out the good one. Flip it a little more than halfway through to Matthew 5:3 or Luke 6:20 (slightly different versions of the story but the nut is the same), or just go to the index and look up “Beatitudes” or “Sermon on the Mount”. Good stuff. Anywho, I was back in Omaha for much of April just being with my family; that’s what family does. What else? Oh, toured with Leggy! That was great, did the one-man sing-song thing in some basements and other dank spots. Also learned the importance of being gentle, another 2015 life lesson.


Maybe if I ask your dad and mom. I don’t remember much about the first half of May, because on the 18th I fell down a complete flight of concrete stairs, giving myself a concussion that lasted for …. five months? A while at least. Broke a tooth, too. Then it was my birthday the next day. But let’s think … Oh! James and I did a short tour along with Hollow Mountain, which was fun, a lot of rap battling over tracks (Gourmet Jerk vs Slushy vs Dr Paul vs Missing Hearts). Got back from that on the 17th, broke my face on the 18th, birthday on the 19th, then funk city, man. Don’t remember a lot, just going to shows and hitting myself in the head A LOT and being dizzy all night just for fun. Head trauma isn’t a joke, more 2015 life lessons there.


I’m gonna ask you to the junior prom. Boy, really seemed like it was going to be Today’s Hits year at this point. The 2 Guapo boys were rolling strong, gigging a lot, and recording a record with Brian Fox. I tried walking in the rain and that was a big mistake, and folks were generally starting to worry about me. I can’t blame them and I thank them for being considerate enough to notice a guy in a precarious situation. Y’all are life savers. Slushy played at La Cubierta, great spot, great tacos! The Lemons did a quick tour with the Gooch Palms around the Midwest, including a nice show in Fargo and one at the Pastime Gardens. Also Max and I finished recording the Lemons LP, “Hello, We’re The Lemons” at some point in June.


Like a firecracker you’re aglow. Busy doing nothing, just taking it all in, no direction, no plans, no clue. Had a barbeque and walked along the sulfur-smoked-out 606. Went to the beach a lot and felt a lot of love. Man was that a drag. James and I did a pointless weekender, which really plumbed the depths of “what the hell am I doing with my life” for each of us, I believe, or at least myself (don’t want to put words in your mouth, James, just grapes!). Anyway, decided to pull my head out of my ass, and actually focus on having a better understanding of myself, which is harder than it sounds and so I went down down down the rabbit hole.


On the beach you really steal the show. Somewhere around this time, I was hanging out at Bric-A-Brac Records talking to Nick about this and that, and he asked me what I thought about the possibility of him, Sammy Meyer and me trying out as the new backing band for Nobunny. Now, this is not a question that you pretend has real-life, real-world consequences, that if you tell one guy that “yeah, that sounds like a good idea” it will actually happen. But one must prepare for success, so the three of us found a rehearsal space and basically started a Nobunny cover band hoping that we might have the mustard on the dog to get the gig. Fingers crossed!! Also went to the Casino once or twice I think.


Light the candles on your sweet 16. Thanks for crossing those fingers, turns out we got the gig! We actually practiced with Nobunny, and then next thing you know we were all Nobunny. Really a magical feeling. But rewind a little, the month started with the Hits Boys heading to Michigan with the Luzers for a trio of real stellar shows, plus some coffee and hoops all over. Fun times. Anywho then the bunny boys were getting ready to go and before you new it we were in Madison with The Hussy and Real Numbers and Pookie and Chev and Shelby! 5 shows culminating at GonerFest and then I saw Quintron and danced for 6 days straight. Nick ate a black-bunned hamburger too.


Romeo and Juliet on Halloween. At this point, I was frantically spray painting guitars, ripping sleeves off of shirts, stepping in dog shit, aka trying to get ready for tour. Pookie came back on the 10th or so and we began our best-friendship. Jen was hired as our driver/mercher/MVP, and that meant Nick had to stay in Chicago to run Bric-A-Brac, and that meant Pookie!!! Hi Pookie! We left for tour on the 13th (I really have no recollection of October before then, but probably just being a nice boy) and the first tour went through the 31st. This is Nobunny I’m talking about here. It was kinda nerve wracking at first, we had up to two but probably zero practices before we left. But by the time we got to Salt Lake City we were fire (sorry St. Louis, Lawrence and Denver, we just weren’t quite ready for ya but we gave it our best!). We went to Canada, another good face-to-face story. Actually this all is. Halloween was in Dallas, I was an army bunny and it was awesome. Hi Steph!


I give thanks you belong to me. Woke up on the first day of November in a baller hotel room in Dallas with a nice view and a nice hangover. We were all exhausted (even Nick, who flew down for 1 show and the drive home) but we weren’t even an hour out of town when we saw the first Shenanigans (make that Shenaniganz) of tour, so we had no choice but to stop. But it was like an arcade, with lots of games and tickets to win crap, so we played games and won a bunch of crap! After we got back to Chicago, we had a week before we left for the rest of tour, so Pookie stayed with me and we started a bad punk band and recorded some bad punk songs, and drank lots of coffee and daydreamed. Then we left again for tour and went all over the other side of North America and sang songs and made people happy and made ourselves happy and it was great. Ask me for specifics, every day was an adventure. We got home on the 29th and Today’s Hits and Slushy both played at the Whistler that night and it was great.


You’re the angel on my Christmas tree. Pookie flew home and I had a lot of time to think about everything, past present and future, kind sifting through everything sitting around inside me collecting dust, all the goodness that I saw in the world, all the rest of it that I know is out there too. Hung with Mentz a lot cuz he’s a good kid and really one of the best. Talked to Max a lot because he’s up there too. See, I’m very lucky, and even though I knew this, I maybe didn’t appreciate it as much as I could have, and I needed a rollercoaster of emotions kind of year to make me appreciate that. Experience and perception are two different things that, to the individual, are hard to separate. Eh, you know what I’m getting at here. It’s like my friend August said, “I just feel all alone because I don’t have any friends,” and I says to August, I says “Hi, I’m Chris, I’m your friend.” Simple as that. Once I realized I didn’t require the constant validation of other people in order to be happy, I quickly realized that being happy on one’s own is no good, happiness is a communal feeling that is the frequency made when two or more souls harmonize. Also, I went to Nebraska for Christmas.

The End.

Hey! What about 2016?

Well, my track record for vague predictions is pretty lousy. Last year I made 7 predictions: 2 get a yes, 1 gets a not really, and 4 get a nah. Oops!! Oh well, let’s shoot for 7 more:

  • Tour tour tour, 3 or 4 continents. Right now just plans to tour one.
  • Make lemonade. Life gives you lemons and you think you’re just gonna have lemons forever? No way, give those pups a squeeze and throw out the rinds.
  • Eugenuis-level ambition. Ever hear Eugenius? It’s Eugene Kelly’s band after the Vaselines broke up, but it was called Captain America for a little bit till he got sued. Folks called me the All-American Boy on the first Lemons tour, which was nice, but I’m not really a boy, I’m a man, and you call a man Mr. America.
  • Gonna let the smile shine like a candle. My mom is really sad about my chipped tooth, which I totally get, that smile was a one way ticket to everywhere and now I just look like a chump. Working on it, ma!
  • Compassion. Meeting people is easy, and so is not being a stupid stuck up dick if you pull your head out of your ass. Good advice, self!
  • Stand up comedy. I mean, I doubt it, but maybe.
  • Vote for Bernie. And if for some insane reason he’s not an option, Jill Stein. For all things that you hold dear, vote progressive politics. Maybe you feel the same way.