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The Countdown Begins

The following was found pinned to the "Community Services" bulletin board at a local "Food Lion:"

ALL RIGHT, YOU PUKES, we are taking a short break from our intense, NON-STEROID-fueled, powerlifting regimen to set you straight on a few things:

Number one: We DO NOT use steroids.

Number two: It is NOT true that one of us suffered a prolapsed colon during her recent attempt at a dead lift.

Number three: On Tuesday, November 18, 2008, we UNLEASH the BRAND-NEW first single, “PALE BRIDE,” from our upcoming record, “Love, Hate and Then There’s You.”

Wait, what’s that, you pukes? What? You’ve already been listening to Pale Bride for several months on our Myspace page? What the—?! Are you TRYING to make us angry? Are you a nerd or something? Do you want us to come over and beat you and your computer in a NON-STEROID-induced rage? No? All right, then: you’d better buy our brand-new single. It’s on colored vinyl—that’s right, VINYL, you pukes—with the non-album track “Falling in Love” as the b-side.

Number four: If you have to use a powercage when attempting a particularly heavy squat, you are a SPINELESS PUKE.

Number five: We just got finished filming the video for Pale Bride. Keep an eye out for it. It features Jason stretching his acting chops and several close-ups of our NON-STEROID-altered bodies. Beautiful. When we watch it, it makes us go into a rage and then, after a while, sink into a sobbing fit. And then into a rage again.

Number six: Our testicles have always been this size.

Number seven, you pukes: On Tuesday, February 3, 2009, we UNLEASH our new record, “Love, Hate, and Then There’s You.” THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS, PUKES! POWERLIFTING!

The Von Bondies

I want to be made.


Hello, bastard children. Yes, you. I'm talking to you. I was thinking... I want to start a gang called "Don Blum's Bastard Children." For short -- and to confuse the scheming villains that surround us, the prying ne'er-do-wells -- we will refer to ourselves in public as "DB's BC's." And we will pause and wink knowingly before and after we say it. Except for me... What will I do? Well, I will continue to refer to myself in the third person both in public and in private. Oh, this is going to be fricking awesome. We will fricking rule the countryside... Ha ha ha! Ha HA! Ha! HA... Ha. Holy crap, that was good, wasn't it? Because it was all a joke... But being a bastard is no joke, friends. And I honestly never knew my biological father. Never met him. I needed to tell all of you that. And what's more: if I do ever meet him, I think I will punch him in the face... Yes... Hmm... I suppose it's true, then, what they say: at the heart of every joke is a kernel of truth. A painful kernel. Am I spelling "kernel" right?

But I shouldn't be using this journal as a platform to work out my private demons in such an undignified and public manner. That's what I believe the MTV show "Made" is for. Have you seen that thing? What am I saying? Of course you have. No, this journal is supposed to keep you updated about what we've been up to. Well, we are in the middle of recording our record. We've amassed a couple dozen songs and are putting them to tape, in between bouts of eating greasy Chinese take-out food and drinking energizing and refreshing beverages. Lately, we've been recording at Tarquin Studios, which is run by a man named Peter Katis. His studio is located on the third floor of a huge Victorian house in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Marcie, Yasmine, Jason, and I live in separate bedrooms on the second floor of the house. And the kitchen and living room, with its ridiculously large "HDTV," is on the first floor. Peter lives in a whole other wing of the place. At night, when we're done recording for the day, he retires to his side of the manor. It's kind of like being the guest of Count Dracula or something, except without any frightening crap going on. Unless you count seeing the rest of the band first thing in the morning as frightening. Which it is. Hell yes, mothersucker! Score one for the Dee-Double-Bee-Sees!


The Tour

This is a tour diary, right? Well, since I haven't yet written about any of the shows on the tour we just finished, I will now list some observations for each date. My memory is poor, however, so bear with me...


It is our luck to start the tour on the hottest day of the year in Iowa. It is so hot that, when the wind blows, we actually feel even hotter, which is incredibly confusing and annoying.

It's our first show with Morningwood, an intense band from NYC fronted by an intense woman who put on an intense show. They get the crowd excited and dancing, which we normally have to accomplish with TASERs and fire ants.

We meet some kids who have driven all the way from Madison, Wisconsin, to see us.

After the show, a drunken older man dressed in tie-dyed clothes comes up to me and begins telling me about a guitarist that I have to hear. He tells me that the guitarist was very young and played with a famous 70s rock band for a little while and then was murdered over drugs. We talk about this for a while. I tell him I will remember the name of the guitarist and check out his music when I get home. But you know what? I have forgotten it.


The heat continues to torment us, like a bad perm. (Actually, I don't know what that means, as I have never in my life had a perm. And I never will. Unless it's an afro perm. And I'm not sure if they even do those anymore.)

Morningwood are great live. They are also friendly, great people. This pleases us immensely.

During the show, there is a punk-rock kid who is bleeding all over the place and jumping all around. At one point, he comes up on stage and bashes my cymbal with his head. At least, I think it's the same guy. It's all a blur. Reminds me of what it must have been like in the 100 Club in London in 1976. After the show, we meet him and his brother and girlfriend. They are awesome.


It has started to rain, so now it is even more humid. Earlier, while waiting in the parking lot for the club manager to show up and let us in, we see a man watering his lawn lavishly. This despite the looming black storm clouds gathering overhead. "It's going to rain, jackass," I yell, and he stops and looks angrily toward us. Then it begins pouring. This man is a jackass.

Two of our friends from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who have been slowly making their way across the country to their final destination, New Mexico, and have temporarily taken up residence in Omaha come to the show. One swears that he sees a girl giving hand jobs to people underneath a coat on a couch in the next room of the venue. I don't know if I should believe this. I guess that's good, huh? Is it our music that makes people act this way?


Still raining heavily.

We meet a kid named Kale who is extremely young and very precocious. He and his sister come to the all-ages rock & roll shows in Lawrence whenever they can. This makes us wistful. If only we had been into rock & roll when we were 10. Instead, we were still playing with Barbie dolls. And by playing, we mean laying the Ken doll on top of the Barbie doll and then laughing knowingly, even though we had no idea what it meant. We would also knit flashy things for Barbie, like some nice scarves and, once, a pink Chanel suit. Then we would bury them alive in the backyard because they had been naughty dirtybirds and because those who sin must be taught a lesson.

Marcie and Yasmine join Morningwood on stage during a song about horses. At one point, I look up and see Yasmine and Marcie running wild in circles on the stage.

We get a bunch of people up on the stage during our last song for a sing-along. It feels like a jamboree or benefit concert or something. I feel bad for the three goth-looking kids who watch this from the side of the room. I bet Peter Murphy never did sing-alongs.

We meet some friendly kids who have driven several hours to see us. We talk with them after the show, and they try to convince us to come to a party with them. But we have to start driving toward New Mexico and reluctantly leave. We also have to say good-bye to Morningwood, because it's their last show with us. It doesn't seem to matter how many shows you play with another band, you're always sad to say good-bye.

More to come...

Reality TV

I'm supposed to be writing about the tour, which means I should be telling you about the three shows we've played so far. But I want to write about something else instead. I'm sitting in a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, this very instant watching Yasmine agitatedly pace around the room. She just sliced her finger open when she reached into her bag and accidentally dragged her hand across her leg-shaving razor. She keeps pausing every few steps to say some swear words and examine the cuts, which look pretty deep. Now she's heading toward the sink. Okay, now she's running some water over her finger. This is like watching a nature program in which the camera crew, being careful not to impose on the reality of the situation, follows a wild animal around. Now she's asking me for help. She keeps showing me the blood dripping down her hands. I'm trying to retain journalistic distance, though, like a professional documentarian. I therefore do not respond to her and continue recording my observations. She's angrily saying my name now. Her voice is rising something awful. All right, now she's hitting me on the head with her fist. This is a very different Yasmine from the one I ate breakfast and watched the shuttle launch on television with this morning.

Check out time

We're in East Hazel Crest, Illinois, right now. We're about to leave for Cedar Falls, Iowa, where we have a show tonight. I like East Hazel Crest so far. When we entered the hotel at 3 this morning, the woman at the front desk cheerfully greeted us. As she explained room rates and check out times to us, a moth fluttered about the fluorescent light above her head. Suddenly, it swooped down and attached itself to the spot on her face right next to her right nostril. She paused for a moment and then freaked out, slapping at it and making a subdued squealing noise. When the attack was over, she looked up at us sheepishly. Jason tried to make her feel better by telling her that it happened to him all the time. Which is true: I see it happen to him all the time. It is the damnedest thing.

The Zoo

Even though our show in NYC is now nearly two weeks in the past, I'm still going to tell you a little bit about the trip. Although I must say, as a general rule, it's not good to live in the past. Unless you're a widowed old lady who lives all alone in a ramshackle old house with only 17 cats to keep her company. Then you might need the memories of the past to keep you going. But I am CERTAINLY not an old lady! Or am I? Hmmm... Who really knows? (You see, I'm laying the groundwork here for my plan to deal with the day I get tired of touring: I'll force my great-grandmother -- whom I've never met in my entire life, incidentally -- to fill in for me. Yes, I love a good plan.)

Okay, I'm not going to describe the actual show (you can go to spin.com and look in the photo galleries for their take on the event) but instead tell you about our extracurricular activities in the city. Only, I'm going to leave out all the stuff that could get us into trouble because of its embarassing/decadent/illegal nature. So that leaves us with my trip to the "Bronx Zoo." I went to the "Bronx Zoo" and saw the "monkeys and apes." I also "rode" the "Skyfari, the Asian Monorail, and the Bug Carousel." Then I moseyed into the "Butterfly Garden." But I didn't like that so much; in fact, I was kind of shocked by it. So I went over to spend some time "in Tiger Mountain." The evening ended with me locked in a bathroom throwing up. And I think I heard someone crying.

PS: Our message board has been revamped. So drop on by.

Oh my god, not in the face.

Are you ready for a new installment of "The Tour Diary of the Von Bondies?" No? Too bad, mother-suckers. Today I am going to tell you a little bit about our bassist Yasmine. Some of you already know that she joined the band recently, last September, when Carrie left us to move out to Los Angeles and a more normal life. Yasmine cautiously stepped into Carrie's large shoes and has been regretting her decision ever since. No, I'm kidding. I made that joke because I have low self-esteem. Really, Yasmine couldn't be happier being in the band. Right, Yasmine? Right.

Before she moved out to Detroit to play music with us, Yasmine was a student in Monterey, California. I think she was studying theater and art and all that crap, but that doesn't matter: everyone knows that school is for losers. I always tell kids, "Stay out of school." Anyways, a while before that, she played bass in a band called the Starlite Desperation. Years ago -- I'm talking right around the turn of the last century -- Starlite, who are from the West Coast, moved across the country to live in Detroit. And that's how we first met Yasmine. Jason and I would go see them play, and Yasmine would floor us by doing all these crazy poses on stage, bending over backwards while playing and jumping up on top of tables, kicking things off them and so on and so forth. Who knew back then that she would be doing that kind of stuff for us today? I certainly didn't. And if you had told me that back then, I would've taken out my pocket knife and cut your throat from ear to ear. Then I would've peeled the skin of your face up from your neck, stretching it over the top of your head, giving you a horrifying aspect. No, I'm kidding... Low self-esteem...

You know what? I'm going to stop typing now. I creeped myself out by imagining someone with their face peeled up over the top of their head. Good Lord.

So I'll end by telling you that Yasmine runs our MySpace site. So go over there and be our friend, mother-sucker. It's myspace.com/vonbondies.

Don VB

The birds and the b's!

Listen: Eye know this is supposed 2 b a "tour diary," but screw it, man. Screw it! We're not on tour at the moment. We r, in fact, in the middle of working on songs 4 our next record. And what can I say about those songs? Let's just say that I'm currently composing a piece that features a ten-minute drum solo. But I'm going 2 digitally replace all the drum sounds with samples of various cats and dogs "meowing" and "barking." My god, Eye think u r really going 2 like it this time! I'm a-call it "Civil(lie)za(shun) Re(seed)ing in Blue, (Numb)er 12." Or maybe "Cun-Funk-Shun." Can't decide on the name right now. It's not important.

Also wanted to tell you: The MF'ing animals in my back yard are freaking out. I saw three rabbits running all around the yard hot on each other's heels. It seemed like two of them were doing some sort of mating ritual: One would abruptly stop running, sit there, and then jump up in the air as the other one rushed at it and passed right underneath. Then they would start running around again. I have to admit: watching these freaks jump around like this made me laugh like a child. I started cheering this on. But I soon became annoyed, because the third rabbit was always trying to rush into the middle of things and spoil the moment. I guess rabbits have complicated love lives... I also saw two squirrels chasing each other around and making hissing and clicking noises at each other. I'm pretty sure this was also a mating ritual. Hmm. Reminds me of a girl I once dated. Ha! That's what we call a zinger in the business.

The business of jackassery.

My god, am I so blind that I never noticed all this MF'ing debauchery going on in my own back yard before?

Next tour-diary entry hopefully will be less crappy. But let's face it: crap is all you get from Don Blum.

Okay, now I'm off to watch "Requiem for a Dream," which my friends tell me is ultra depressing.

Don VB

Albuquerque, here we come.

My god, I haven't written anything here in such a long time. It seems like eons have gone by. Eons. Please forgive me. But all is not lost: in the past few months, I've aged in the same way that a fine alcoholic liquid ages inside a barrel or a cask or whatever. I'm smoother now. More mellow. And yet, oddly, I now possess a more intense ability to fuck you up.

So we're doing a short tour in July starting in Iowa City and ending in San Diego.
Nearly all of these shows are in cities we've never been to before. A voyage of discovery, it will be. For us and for the audiences, too, because we're going to be playing a bunch of new songs.

Here's the info:

Sunday, July 24 - Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City, IA - 5pm doors/ALL AGES
Monday, July 25 - Sokol Underground, Omaha, NE - 8pm doors/ALL AGES
Tuesday, July 26 - The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS - 8pm doors/ALL AGES
Thursday, July 28 - Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM - 7pm doors/ALL AGES
Friday, July 29 - Club Congress, Tucson, AZ - 7pm doors/21+

*The above shows are all $8 in advance, $10 day of show

Saturday, July 30 - Street Scene '05, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA - ALL AGES

See you there, suckers!
Don VB

Nov. 20th, 2004

Saturday -- Day Off, Jackson, Mississippi

The parking lot of the hotel is filled with SUVs sporting gleaming rims. The explanation, someone tells us, is that BET is videotaping some hip-hop-related event in the area. While walking into the lobby of the hotel, I pass two men dressed in hip-hop garb. They actually stop dead in their tracks and stare at me as I go by, as if they had never encountered a skinny Asian dude before and I might do something bizarre at any moment. I wave at them. I’m sorry, but that’s the most bizarrely Asian thing I can muster up at this point. Has anyone ever heard of Jin? He’s a Chinese rapper who’s part of the whole Ruff Ryders thing. Jin, you have some work to do... Has anyone ever heard of Ha Jin? He’s a Chinese writer who’s just put out a new novel. Ha Jin, you have some hip-hop to do...

Later, on the television, we see footage of the Detroit Pistons starting a brawl at a game. Apparently, some fans got rowdy and provoked some of Detroit’s players, who raced into the stands and started punching everyone in sight. Then security whisked the players out of the stadium while drink cups, ice, and soda rained down upon them like rice at a wedding. Who says fans can’t get involved in the game?