Change Yer Life (c’mon, we changed ours!)
by on May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

what’s it like to record a bella’s bartok album? let’s just say it’s as intimate as being in a bedroom.

in fact, let’s take it one step further: it is being in a bedroom. we recorded the album in a bedroom. yes. but not just any bedroom: my bedroom (“shoo, you meddling kids!”).

ahh yes, you can picture it now. the six of us arm in arm around a microphone, slugging whisky and shouting the vocal tracks for “so calm, relaxed”. jesse recording the dulcet tones of his mandolin for “ramona” from the snuggly comfort of my bed. the quivering flames of candles, held high in a midnight vigil as we commemorate the parting of loved ones in recording the mournful horns of “the walking dead”. mmm. you just can’t get that magic in a corporate studio. (they usually don’t have beds in the sound room).

van writing

it’s not exactly rolling stone

being the owners of the studio, we had full creative control over what we wanted the album to sound like. which was sweet. if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s called “change yer life”, and please do check it out HERE. praise for the album includes but is not limited to the picture on the right. incidentally, if any of you readers want to record at our studio, or know someone who might, hit us up at

but! enough about our recent past; let us turn to our near future! we’re juuuust about to head out on tour, and as such I feel it is my prerogative to make some predictions. then, when (and if!) we get home, I’ll check back in and we can decide whether our hypotheses were correct. deal? deal.

also, if you’d like to place bets, I am down. (I here refer you to our illegal black books runner,

first, buffalo, new york, a city you more astute readers will recall as the whereabouts of what, in a previous story, I called “the weirdest gig ever” (it involved a man in a tuxedo playing bach pieces on piano while wearing boxing gloves). my prediction for buffalo is simple: we will be so excited to play our first show of tour that we will expend all our energy, collapse simultaneously, become hospitalized, and spend the rest of tour taking painkillers and staring at our hands.

c cro tub

“I don’t need no one but you, harry”

then onto fort wayne, indiana, which, if we’ve recovered somewhat from the last prediction, will see itself the stage of the following scenario: asher and dan, upon arrival and in an innocent attempt to make friends, become involved with the local drug cartel and lose their fingers one by one in a series of ransoms that the rest of the band cannot afford to pay. jesse falls in with a dungeons and dragons league, quits the band, and devotes his life to the construction of d&d campaigns and the consumption of spicy chili doritos. crisco finds true love in the form of a one-legged, eyepatched, mustachioed dave matthews band enthusiast, and makes plans to live out his life with her in indiana, happily ever after, but is betrayed when he realizes her so-called “love” for dave matthews band amounts to nothing more than a strong preference for the man’s music, at best. thusly unable to start a family with her, he falls asleep in a bathtub, the goblet of fire (the book, not the actual goblet) clutched tightly to his chest. amory and I play the show alone that night, and we sound just ok.

jess zomback

(artist’s rendering)

then a weekend-long stint in traverse city, michigan! my prediction: the shows will go wonderfully, and we will afterwards meet a long-haired, smokey-eyed seductress who will offer us a place to stay for the night. we will accept, stay up all night partying, and arise at 1 pm the next day to find that the seductress has vanished, jesse has become a zombie, and all of our kidneys have been harvested.

then to muncie, indiana, where I predict the local population, isolated from the outside world, will have, over the past few years, been fomenting a preternatural obsession with bella’s bartok such that when we arrive, we are lead by horse-drawn chariot to a sphinx-shaped castle that the town has built for us called “chateau ramona” (don’t blame me for the awful, multi-lingual, cat-related pun; blame the inhabitants of muncie, indiana). after a few days in this ostensible paradise, things go sour as the townspeoples’ obsession begins to border on deification: we barely escape the ritualistic sacrifice (“to bring you closer to the one true god: prince!” shout the people) with our lives.

determined to press forward, we head to cleveland, ohio! my prediction: the city is a welcome change for us. the people are not insane like they were in muncie, nor kidney-harvesting like they were in traverse city; they’re just… normal folks. we feel at home. however, we are unable to play the gig because we’ve forgotten all our songs, having instead the theme song from the drew carey show (“cleveland rocks! cleveland rocks!”) stuck so far in our heads that it consumes all of our mental real estate.

then on to the bullfrog brewery in williamsport, pennsylvania. my prediction is again a simple and reasonable one: asher gets hit by a plane. he’s never really been the “good luck” type. HOWEVER: the remaining members learn that the bullfrog brewery has been working on a secret beer, one that can revive the spirits of even the most having-been-recently-hit-by-a-plane among us. we pour this very beer upon each of his chakras and, much in the style of finnegan’s wake, he is magically restored to full health, bursts to his feet, and is heard to shout, “BARTENDER! ANOTHER ROUND!”

chrip trophies

I earned these babies

after playing at a festival in bellows falls, vermont (for which my prediction is just that everything is fine and nothing weird happens for once), we return home for one last hurrah: lefty’s spring fest in greenfield. I expect all of you readers to be in attendance, if not for the awesome beer, then to witness the last of my predictions: so ecstatic shall we be to come home to our most adoring friends and fans that we will accidentally orchestrate the largest group hug of all time. the guinness world records people will be in attendance, and will award everyone involved with a medal, which, upon closer inspection, will be made of chocolate. we will eat our chocolate together and rejoice. I will be given several trophies.

ok, then! the polls are open. place your bets now.

and I’ll see you there?

– fancy kerrigan





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