the life of a musician is almost nothing like it seems, when viewed from afar. well, the sex and drugs, and the incessant partying, and the crowd surfing, and the adulation, and the music, and just the sheer rockstardom of it all, those are all ever-present, but… ok, maybe the life of a musician is exactly what it looks like from afar. but there’s something else, something that can’t be captured even in recounting every detail, something simultaneously deeply personal and... more»
’tis all too often that we (bella’s bartok) are asked some variant of the following question: “how do you DO that every night?! the jumping! the screaming! the sweating! don’t you all get TIRED?! don’t you get SICK OF IT?! doesn’t it make you want to quit this wacky band and take up a nine-to-five so you can spend ten or twenty years in a cubicle where physical movement is nigh on outlawed just so you can get the decade or two of rest you so surely need... more»
ok. so. none of the stuff I predicted happened. however.
no one who bet me their life savings got it quite right either. so everyone wins? or… everyone LOSES, that’s the phrase I’m looking for.
but more importantly than who won what amount of money from bella’s bartok is this: we made it home from tour! alive! again! and despite the fact that many of my predictions regrettably did not come true, some OTHER, possibly even COOLER events did come to pass, and so it is with... more»
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... more»
let me just check my notes. ah, yes. fascinating. oh, that was a fun one! ah, yes, I definitely… remember… that night…
ah, hello! I didn’t see you come in. what’s that, you say? you’d like to be privy to these tales of suspense, love, hardship, and triumph by which I am currently so enraptured? then gather ’round, my treasured chum, and I shall wet your literary whistle, imparting only the most dramatic, the most comedic, and the most memorable moments... more»
now that i’ve got your attention,
BELLA’S BARTOK NAKED HOT TUB PARTY!
seriously. but we’ll get to that.
so on the seventh day, god told us to rest. but then we set off on tour leg part deux to pittsfield, ma, to a place called dottie’s coffee lounge. sounds unassuming, right? sounds like the sort of place where people wouldn’t pack the house and crowd surf and drink way too much beer and have an impromptu mid-set strip show, right?
it was the very... more»
handsome new members, flashy new instruments, bangin’ new tunes, and (perhaps most importantly?) a NEW VAN.
fuck that old van.
we’ve missed you. have you missed us? if you have, then you’ll have noticed, throughout the course of your incessant pining for bartok-related news, that we haven’t blogged about nothin’ since like a year and a half ago.
all that changes… NOW!
o, but where to begin? the handsome new members, i’d wager.... more»
something changed this weekend. none of us are sure what it is. i can describe all the stuff that happened to us, but that won’t quite do it. whatever changed is something slippery and ethereal and resistive of the confines of words. if you twisted my arm for an explanation, i’d probably say that each of the members of the band sacrificed his or her sense of earthly selfhood in favor of becoming one with the amorphous organism that is bella’s bartok, in much the same way that... more»
we made it back! alive! just like the movie.
oh, except jesse (we had to eat him (just like the movie)).
anyway, it occurs to us that you may be wondering, “hey, bella’s bartok, just what exactly is it like to be on tour?” since there is not yet any kind of way to blog smells, we shall do the next best thing: sounds! (zounds!)
just for fun, here are three minutes of the countless hours we spent barreling down the interstate at seventy miles to the hour in our precious... more»
no wonder sufjan stevens has like hell of songs about chicago. it’s THE GREATEST.
i have a crush on this city. we all do. if you know her, don’t tell her. if you don’t, she’s that wonderful, humble girl who sits in the back of class. you’ve never found her terribly attractive and you think you know everything about her before you’ve ever even talked to her. when, one day, you do, you realize she’s as complex and interesting as anyone, but what really... more»
we have seen things. things that’ll change a man. will we all return with Post Tour Stress Disorder, unceasingly shivering in imagined coldness, forevermore prone to leaping in anxious fright toward the nearest window at the mere mention of this… bella’s bartok? the question remains unanswerable.
or, more accurately, the answer is no, we are having THE BALLS of a time (it’s like having a ball, twice).
we played in wassaic on whacking day (formerly known as saint... more»
we are on tour.
but what does this mean to you, the curious fan? how will it affect the mindless humdrum of your everyday life?
an inquiry by photograph.
firstly, it means that we are all trapped in a van. the van is called van-essa, or otto van bismarck, or sean van deusen, or occasionally woody harrelson, and is pictured here.
nextly, it... more»
we all almost died this weekend.
i mean we all almost die every weekend, but expecially this weekend. we set out on saturday at about five to perform at the bulgarian bar in manhattan, one of those places, maybe the main place, that we feel really at home at. we took like four cars. mine was the only one that made it.
snow was the problem. which sounds lame, because you’d think we’re a band of such caliber that we could overcome puny old mother nature. well, we did, in a way. kind... more»