Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rock Star Conversations

You may ask yourself, "Self, what do rock stars talk about over email the day before a gig?"

(first, please entertain me and just accept the fact that rock stars check email and that The Subsidies are in fact "rock stars"):

O'Gara's! Need I say more?!

The Subsidies are teaming up with Summit Avenue for a killer double bill at O'Gara's in St. Paul on August 31st! This is going to be one hell of a rockin' show, and you do NOT want to miss this one. O'gara's is infamous for good music and is one of the best venues in the metro. MARK YOUR CALENDARS RIGHT NOW!!! We hit the stage at 9:30, and Summit Ave will follow at about 11:30.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A solely devoted post


Earth to Rochester

The Subsidies made the arduous trek down to Rochester this past weekend and played at Rookies Sports Grill and Bar. While the crowd was, well, thin, we still had a great time playing. And water slides never get old. A few die hard fans came down to rock out, including Chris and Char Haschka, who, by the way, closed down the bar. Many props!

If you are a Rochesterian, err, Rochesterite, you need to check this place out. They get great bands, have a really nice sound system, a good stage, friendly (attractive) waitstaff, damn tasty cheese curds, etc. It's a little hidden, but it's worth the effort to find the place. Oh, they have a couple nice outdoor sand volleyball courts, too. By the way, Collin and I are part of a dominant volleyball team here in the metro. Our team is 31-16 on the season, and the playoffs start tonight (playoffs?! playoffs?!!!).

Thanks Minnow, Dave, Kevin, Lacy, and all at Rookies!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Subsidies Miles Program

We at The Subsidies HQ are proud to announce our new Miles Program, which will reward you for being a damn good Subsidies fan. Details of the program are yet to come, but the general concept is you earn points for various activities related to The Subsidies, and in turn, those points can be redeemed for great Subsidies prizes.

Sample activites:

-Attending a Subsidies show = 10 points
-Dancing for a full song = 1 point per song
-Wearing official Subsidies merchandise at a show = 20 points
-Displaying a 2'x3' sign that reads "Collin is HOT" at a show = 35 points
-Visibly not wearing a bra while at a show = 5 points
-Wearing a bra, but taking it off and throwing it on stage = 40 points
-Requesting "Freebird" or anything from Pantera = -10 points

The full list of activities and their corresponding point value will be released shortly, along with the items you can redeem points for.

Sample redeemable prizes:

- A hug that lasts just a little too long
- An official Subsidies thong
- A locket of blood taken from Grant's guitar
- An autographed Subsidies poster
- An autographed White Snake poster (autographed by The Subsidies)
- An itchy, yet treatable STD (based on Dave's availability)
- A brief glance up Laura's skirt.

Don't Be a Tool - Get Your Gear Soon

I have vivid memories, as a youth, of not being "the first" to have things; Girbaud jeans, pubic hair, hyper color shirts, nor transformers. One of the reasons for my being late in terms of acquiring goods was my having two older brothers who had to be "paid" first with gifts. My oldest brother would get a sweet pair of Jordans and pass them to my middle brother who would beat the shit out of them and finally, after wearing a hole or 6 in the sole, would pass said shoes on to me. Another reason, and more importantly I imagine, was that we, as a family, weren't rich. We weren't poor neither, but not well off enough to have every god damn thing I begged for, that's for sure.

Not being one of "those" kids with all the sweet gear to start each school year was and remained an issue for me throughout adolescence. I'd get a sweet ass pair of Guess jeans, but not until Dayton's had them on sale some time the next Spring - and these were the yellow or green jeans, not the money acid washed ones that my dad said he "could've made in the garage for me with a bucket of rocks and some bleach." He tried on 3 occasions, burning holes in my only good jeans, leaving me with cut off jean shorts. By the time, it seemed, that I received the desired material good, say a Rubix Cube, a DinoBot (Grimlock for sure) or a satin Georgetown Starter jacket, they'd be out of style and I'd look like one of those kids in Africa wearing a 1996 Utah Jazz NBA Champion hat or whatever losing team gear that we, America, shipped out.

To this day I still get shit from the "rich kids," such as our band leader Joe Lover who upon seeing my recently purchased mesh trucker hat said, "Hey Ashton, are you punking someone right now?" It's a tough deal, but it's my lot in life I suppose.

The point and what makes this relatively Subsidies-related is that we are getting to a point that many of our fans have purchased their Subsidies gear and will be wearing said gear this Saturday in Rochester, as well as next week at O'Gara's and all subsequent shows.
The Subsidies Classic Thong
Don't be me. Don't buy your gear too late and be "that guy" - be a cool guy - be like Grant and all those other cool kids and have the latest, greatest shit right! You don't want to be a square.

Well, I'm off to pick up my parachute pants.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heading down south

The Subsidies are heading down to Rochester, MN, on August 25 to rock Rookies Bar and Grill. This is an absolute party bar, and THE place to be on a Saturday night. Get your Subsidies gear on and sweat off a couple pounds with us. I've heard from several fans that they are making the scary 1-hour trek down from the Cities, so gas up the van and hit the road!

Swimming and Singing - Fun for the Whole Family

Karl Hassanamad - Associated Press

This Saturday, August 25th, local band The Subsidies, will be playing Rookie's Bar in Rochester as part of their continuing 2007 "Reliving Our Youth" Tour. The band, made up of brothers Joe and Dave Lover, Collin Hummel, Grant Wright, and Laura Van play an energetic/hip mix of music from the last few decades and today - ranging from QuietDrive to Johnny Lang to The Killers and more. Past crowds have enjoyed the band's energy and continued desire to do nothing but entertain their respective crowds ... get there early.

For those in need of accomodations this Saturday (one too many Red Bull vodkas, perhaps), Rookie's is connected, via futuristic "tunnel," to the Ramada Hotel in Rochester. Imagine starting your Saturday with a dip in the pool - and by "dip" we mean a crazy ride down the spiral waterslide of terror! Many a swimsuit have found their way up riders' butt cracks on this hellacious ride. With twists and turns, a rider never really knows where he or she may be, but know this; you will be scared.

Ramada Hotel & Conference Center -- Rochester, MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES

So... be sure to save some extra time before the show this Saturday to enjoy all that the Ramada, and The Subsidies, has to offer!

Ramada Hotel & Conference Center -- Rochester, MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES Ramada Hotel & Conference Center -- Rochester, MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rise from the ashes

As Collin so thoughtfully detailed below, my near catastrophic finger injury came close to ending my dreams of a rock and roll/pro football co-career. But, as I lie wrapped in ice, I have vowed to make a comeback of Corey Haim proportions. I WILL overcome my newly acquired handicap, in spite of the naysayers and children's screams of horror. I will overcome!

Oh, and it's my pointer finger. Come on Collin. I know UW-Eau Claire gives out free journalism degrees if you haven't "earned" a real degree after 5 years, but fact checking can be part of the job (unless you work for Fox News).

I want to thank you for all of the kind words and beautiful cards that I've received since my injury last Friday. With your undying encouragement, I know I'll be able to melt faces in Rochester this weekend.

Be the miracle folks. Be the miracle.

Football Career Over - Music Career in Jeapordy

Joe Lover, defacto leader of The Subsidies (Sub Sides) - a popular Minneapolis cover band, remains housebound today as he recovers from a horrific pinkie finger injury. Lover, 30, of Elk Mound, Wisconsin, a guitarist for The Subsidies, was doing his best Robert Ferguson imitation late Friday evening at a company event when he couldn't hang on to a thrown football (viewed by a large contingent of amused coworkers). Lover, known regionally for his penchant for all things Eagle Eye Cherry, said the accident was nothing more than a "bump in the proverbial 'road'," and that he would return 100% in time for next week's big show at Rookie's bar in Rochester.

"Technically I have 4 years of college eligibility remaining so I figured I'd see if I were in playing shape," recalled Lover as his wife, Janna, iced him down. "It seems my hands haven't stayed in "catching shape," said Lover using finger quotes to convey humor.
Lover, an excellent, if not braggadocios, guitar player, will need full use of his jammed pinkie finger the next two weekends as The Subsidies have two important gigs:

  • Saturday, August 25 - Rookie's Bar & Grill in Rochester - 9.30PM
  • Friday, September 31 - O'Gara's Pub in St. Paul (Split show with Summit Ave) - 9.30PM
Many of the songs covered by The Subsidies - ranging from The Killers to Kelly Clarkson - require excellent guitar skills, mainly due to their each having a guitar solo. A point which is not lost on fellow band member and defacto band sex symbol, Laura Van. "Joe better not wimp out, that's all I have to say," said Van as she practiced a series of sexy "looks" in her Ikea-purchased mirror. "He is the cog that drives the band, I suppose. If he's out, we'll be forced to rely on Collin's (Lead Singer) mouth guitar effects and I don't think anyone is ready for that."
She added, "Seriously, it's a jammed pinkie... get up and stop your bitching! I play in a mini-skirt!"

Lover, who vows to continue his football dream "soon," plans to spend the next week recuperating by laying around watching Tivo'd recordings of Scrubs and Dharma & Greg. "My wife will take care of me, if you know what I'm saying?" explained Joe with a wink.

No, not really Joe. Not really.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In defense of the fair... and Oscar rocks.


You're forgetting one very good reason to go to the fair this year. Apparently Jennifer Aniston has changed her name, taken up songwriting, and begun to tour. I'll be at the fair to watch on the 24th. Rarrrrr. Also, The Goo Goo Dolls and Lifehouse will be there that night too...

On another note, The Subsidies have been officially endorsed by Oscar the peekipoo Wright. See below:


"Best Days of Summer"

There's a disease spreading, people, and if we don't stop it soon and protect ourselves, we're all going to be sick - sick with symptoms like he- and she-mullets, greasy foreheads, too many kids-in-tow, ripped jean shorts, sweat stains, and socks-n-sandals.

This isn't a disease, like the Hi-Five or loose stool syndrome (LSS), one in which you can take a pill or a series of shots for and be cured, but a disease that can only be cured by ignoring the urge to participate or by ignoring your white trash friend's requests to follow them - follow them to hell.

This hell of which I speak - this disease - is known as "SFS" or State Fair Syndrome.

Every year around August 1, the local news media, specifically KARE11, begin their countdown to the "Greatest Days of Summer." Now, I put quotes around that title so you know for sure it is not of my making. I would imagine the Greatest Days of Summer being those days which I don't have to work and get to lay around at home, but I digress. The anchors will be simply jazzed to get back out to the grounds, around their faithful watchers, knowing these idiots want to be "this close" to their heroes. "Julie Nelson!!!!" "The Perk... Perk at Play, Perk at Play, Perk at Play!" "Oh ... my... God! Sven Sunsgaard! He's SO hot... and so not gay!"

For those of you who don't know, the State Fair is basically the world's largest, smelliest, and most pathetic food court - except this food court is outside, surrounded by bees and urine puddles. Now, people will try to sell you on going there to eat various foods off of sticks, but if I really need to eat cheese curds, I'll go to the MOA and have a batch, or better yet, drive to A&W and get a bucket full. "What, no stick?!"

Why would anyone want to sit in traffic for a few hours (in the sweltering heat), pay $20 for parking, walk a mile-and-a-half, wait in line for an overpriced ticket, all to hang around with a cacophony of Anokians? I'd rather get my teeth drilled sans novocaine.

Listen, I get that people have different interests. That's fine and dandy. I enjoy making sweet love to women. Other men enjoy making love to couch cushions, their cousins, or coke bottles. Whatever it takes, I suppose. But, the State Fair? I haven't heard one solid argument supporting a trip (much less yearly trips!) to the State Fair.

You want to see animals? Go to the Zoo. You want to see mullets? Go to Coon Rapids.

I was, to prove my point, going to show a slew of photos showing all sorts of W.T. at the fair, but to tell you the truth, the web is chalk full of these examples - just go to the official site for god's sake and browse year's past. I was looking at some photos and was thinking I was in a photo folder from 1987, but these photos were taken LAST YEAR... photos of way extremely overweight women covered in grease from the myriad foods (deep fried) they were consuming. There were others of families made up of mullets and mustaches (kids, wives, sisters, et al.). One photo showed a man petting a pig, all the while eating a god damn pork sandwich - on a stick no less! I don't get it.

"The concerts... man, you got to go to them (sic) concerts," said a coworker of mine who goes, on multiple occasions, each year. "We're going to the Merle Haggard/Trisha Yearwood concert."

She added, "And then we'll go back the next day to watch the News LIVE... My boyfriend, 'The Br*d," has been on camera waiving, twice! He's, like, famous!!"

Seriously, people go and sit at the KARE11 booth or any of the local news tents and WATCH the news live... hopinig to get on camera. "Hi mom...," or "Blaine rules!" they'll shout and wave and act like complete rubes. I fear that some outsider is watching and going, "Yeap, these people in Minnesota truly have yet to evolve."

This is my favorite...

"We go every year to people watch," said another of my coworkers. This particular woman goes multiple times a year, planning day trips during work. "Me and the To**er go, get 'dem (sic) beers, have too much food, and watch the rubes and white trash walk on by. It's the best. We go a few times!"

Sorry miss, YOU are the people who are being watched... not the watchers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"My concern is now in vain..."

Dear douche-baggilo from the Wine Box Race who wouldn't stop requesting Pantera and telling me how much cooler Strats are compared to Les Pauls,

I heard "Cemetery Gates" on the radio this morning and I thought of you. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs brother. We'll be sure to give you a shout out at WBR '08.

P.S. Laura says "Hi ;)" She lost your number and would appreciate a few more creepy txt messages so you guys can re-connect.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

Our New Poster Designer

Grant has taken over poster design duties for the band. Here's his first try. Thoughts? Even Grant can't get the band name right.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Won't Give In...

It appears or at least according to a recent study compiled by the Right-wing hate-rag Pioneer Press, that I am officially the last Minnesotan of legal age - 18 and older - to not own a boat. And yes, they actually named me - "Collin Hummel, 32, of Apple Valley, is officially the last remaining non-boat owner in the state after Larry Gerbins, 21, of Sauk Center purchased a 20-foot Lund WaveMaster." The study, in my opinion, was compiled by the Press with the help of Boat SuperStore "Forest Lake Motor Sports," to either show the over-abundance of boats in the state or simply another way to make me feel belittled - remember their 1999 article, which was retracted 2 weeks later, "Area Man, Collin Hummel, officially loses virginity through couch sex."? Let's just say they don't care for me much. Well, the feeling is quite mutual.

Anyway, as the official last person to not own a boat, I feel it's my duty to offer an explanation. You see, I am not - and I know this comes as a big shocker, considering my penchant for buying pink dress shirts - an outdoorsy type of guy. I'd much rather stay in a 4-pool Holiday Inn than risk a tick bite or a kinked neck from sleeping on the ground. And don't get me started on drinking lake water or pooping in a dirt hole. Buying a boat would really be me caving for the sake of simply owning a boat and that's something I am not prepared to do. I could afford it. Oh, don't get me wrong, if I wanted to I could buy the biggest damn boat out there. It's just, if I really need to go boating, I'll leech onto one of my many boat-owning friends and save myself the hassle of launching it and then cleaning it. Plus, if someone (maybe even me) falls off the boat and gets mauled in the propeller, it's the owner's fault and not mine - even if I pushed the person. Can you say "premises liability"?

Truth of the matter is this - I don't much care for boats. Oh sure, the roar of an engine is great as is sitting back and getting a great tan, but at what expense? Where do I store it? Whom do I invite? How do I even get the boat to a lake and what lake do I go to? Man, I'm pooping a little just thinking of all the responsibilities.

I have a friend, who we'll call "Big-fat Tina". BFT and her boyfriend, the Todder, recently purchased their second boat (I guess they weren't happy with one alone) - giving them a sport boat and a stay-over night boat. Oh, to be wealthy! Now as I lay comfortably on my couch, they are having to find 2 garages big enough to hold these wastes of money, as well as insurance, gas, friends to take out and try and impress, etc, etc, etc... It just doesn't appeal to me.

I received an email of support today from Amanda Tucker of Kenosha, Wisconsin. You see, Amanda is in a similar position to me as she is the last legal-aged woman to not own a Pontiac Grand Prix. She told me, "Collin, don't listen to those bastards. You hold tight and remain true to whom you are... I love you." The note trailed off and she started talking about sex stuff, but the point of her email still rings true; "Be Yourself".

I'm not buying a boat. I'm not going to the State Fair. I'm not doing that "thing" you oh so like...

When in Rochester...

I don't think I've ever met anyone who has actually gone to Rochester for any reason other than a medical one. I've heard it's a beautiful and properous city, but one which is known mainly for its excellent hospitals and talented girls basketball teams of the mid- to late-90's.

If you've ever needed a reason - a non-medical reason - to travel to the city of Lights (I think that's what it's known as??), then look no further than August 25th, 2007 - Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!

Minneapolis-band, The Subsidies, will be performing at the locally-famous Rookies Bar & Grill. The Subsidies (or the Subsides, per CityPages) plays a mix of tunes from the 60's - today, including covers of The Killers, QuietDrive, Lit, Jason Mraz, Rick Springfield, Bon Jovi, The Beatles, and more... The band brings with it, along with no known medical issues, a high-energy, high-octane fun-fest. What? That sort of made us sound like a tractor pull.

Anyway, doors open early and the music starts at 9PM. Come meet and party with Joe, Collin, Grant, Dave, and the sexy-as-heck Laura Van.
Stay after the show and party with the band and together, just maybe, together we can come up with an illness to stay around longer...