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December 18, 2007 - Slight updates + The Soft Box?

Well, unfortunately I don't foresee being able to get much done with the site this week, and the way things are going, likely next too. But I'll do as I can. I've gotten a couple of song updates up, specifically for the NEW songs, including those new ones found on that 'Sleshinger' album from the MOG site. Without lyrics there's not much to add to those but basic notes. I do have lyrics up for "All I Was Looking For Was You" and "White Noise." As you look through the songs, if you catch incorrect lyrics or can make suggestions for the questionable areas, please let me know. I've also updated the "Modern World" lyrics from the new version, which is growing on me more and more with each listen. Alright, well have a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate.

Before I forget, I added what could be another possible album title to the music page. The new version of "Modern World" says 'The Soft Box' in the place of the release title. Draws a quick reference to the Doors' album 'The Soft Parade,' but who but the band knows at this point - interesting title in the least.

December 15, 2007 - V5

Not that it really needed a new version so much so as activity, but here is V5. The end of the year has been busy at work and with all the holiday related stuff; it's put me a bit behind so there are still a few pages missing. Give it time and they will come online. In the mean time please check it out, and I appreciate thoughts and suggestions, so if you have any, please feel free to contact me at erik at blackrainonline dot com. Anything to make things better.

December 14, 2007 - New music info posted

We've all been made aware of new music discoveries over on the FBTB forum. First TexasYesFan points out that the guys have added a new recording of song "Modern World" to their MySpace page. According to him this is more in line with how the guys have been performing the song live. This new version of the song features some different lyrics also, and this new recording indicates a likelihood that the band will include it on their next release.

Also our old friend Tyler (fourloonies) has pointed out a Fastball album listed on Tony's MOG page as 'Sleshinger.' This is presumably the set of recordings the guys did with Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger in late 2001/early 2002. Five of these songs were featured in the Revolver demos or released on 'Keep Your Wig On.' Tony has recorded and released his own version of "Too Much Information." The other songs, "Best Friend," "Even If It Takes A Lifetime," "Rearranged," "Invisible Girl," and "It's Never Gonna Be That Way" remain unreleased. The song title for "Best Friend" surfaced in early 2002 under the longer name "Would You Like To Be My Best Friend" and is supposedly a Miles/Tony co-write. Adam Levy recorded a version of "...Lifetime" for his 2003 album 'Get Your Glow On.' Hopefully the guys will release some of these other songs in the future as well, either officially or via MySpace. Thanks for posting the info guys.
Linkage: Fastball @ MySpace | Tony's MOG page

December 13, 2007 - Miles auctions guitar

Miles is auctioning off his Epiphone Airscreamer electric guitar on eBay. The guitar was made as a tribute to Americana, the Airstream trailer and cult band Trailer Park Troubadours. The body of the guitar is shaped like the popular Airstream "Bambi" trailer - complete with a volume control knob for a hub cap - that has been a familiar sight on America's roadways since the 1960s, and the model is officially licensed by the Airstream company. The Epi Airscreamer is also an official artist signature model for the Trailer Park Troubadours, the cult band that glorifies the "trailer lifestyle" with such songs as "I Live in Aluminum" and "It Ain't Home Til You Take the Wheels Off."

The Airscreamer guitar features a pair of EMG humbucking pickups, a push-pull pickup selector switch in the volume knob, maple neck, chrome-plated hardware, an "aluminum" color finish and the Trailer Park Troubadours' logo on the headstock. The guitar comes with a soft case gig bag, and the has been signed by Miles, Tony, and Joey. This guitar was previously featured when Miles played it at a show at the Housing Works Used Bookstore & Cafe back in 2004. View and bid on the guitar here.

December 10, 2007 - Don't Tease Me, Bro - Tony names new release

Has Tony slyly posted the possible title for Fastball's next release? In his last few MOG postings, Tony has tagged them with "White Noise" from the album, tentatively titled 'Don't Tase Me, Bro!' ("Don't tase me, bro" was a statement made by a University of Florida student while he was being forcibly removed by police from a forum at which John Kerry was the speaker, in September 2007). This may be Tony just messing around as it seems an odd and unlikely title for an album. But then again, how many of us fans really thought the guys were going to call their last album 'Keep Your Wig On.' Hopefully we'll receive further word soon enough. Thanks to dedicated fan Giles for the tip off. Much appreciated.

December 08, 2007 - Fastball on "The Way" to the Top 100

Will Fastball make the cut in VH1's upcoming 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s series? The series premiers Monday, December 17th. Check VH1 and local listings for air dates and times.
Linkage: VH1 100 Greatest

December 07, 2007 - The Wine Runneth Dry? (Updated)

Originally Posted 12.03:
As a curiosity note here, it's been nearly a month since our last pod-class with oenophiles Miles and Tony. When's the next MPW's coming?

Update 12.07:
Miles updates us with a posting on the FBTB forum, that they've been sort of avoiding the drinking so that they can have full focus on their music writing/recording. But don't fret, he promises all that they will get "drunk again" soon.

December 04, 2007 - Scalzo site goes under? (Updated)

Originally Posted 12.02:
Is Tony's personal site on the outs? Heading to the site, one is directed to a GoDaddy holding page. It is unknown. It may be that the registration on the domain name has lapsed and is possibly awaiting renewal. The domain still reports as being unavailable if one tries to register it. While Fastball is front and center for Tony right now, I can't imagine that he'd do away with his own personal site, unless the cost for hosting, etc was just too high compared to the site's worth. Seems unlikely, but hopefully we'll get an answer to the question from DPR in the Fastball forum.

Update 12.04:
Well apparently Tony's site will indeed be no more. DPR explains that the site "went offline on 11/28.  The focus now for Tony is entirely with Fastball, so it was decided by Tony and I to let the website go." Sad to see. Even though there wasn't much activity the last several months, as Tony has moved away from his solo work back to Fastball, it was still a useful resource, as was it also a sharp looking site.

November 20, 2007 - Rally Report

In a very much goofily titled posting to his Mog blog, Tony passes news as to how Saturday's Obama rally gig turned out. The band played prior to the presidential hopeful taking the stage. While a few Fastball fans were going solely to see the band play, unfortunately for them, the majority of the crowd could care less about who was strumming the guitar and singing on stage. Unfortunately this would be the expected downside of playing such an event. Tony does note that the tame crowd was a good thing for the secret service agents posted about. The guys also got to hang out with Obama a bit at their cabin in the Texas Hill country (for tequila shots and Jenga?). For Tony's post, pics, and fan reports, check out the forum on FBTB.

In other interesting news, FBTB now has a "Shit List" and the first (?) entry on said list, news station KXAN in Austin. Seems the station made the mistake of calling Fastball "alternative rock." I don't know if that bothers me that much. It seems that the Fastball of the last several years has defied traditional genre labeling, but I guess I wouldn't call them "alternative rock," seeing as I might classify some bands that I don't like as such (ie: Nickleback). No offense intended, but I had a good laugh at that comment. Funny stuff.
Linkage: Fastball The Band

November 15, 2007 - Fastball to play political rally.

According to a new post to the official site and forum, Fastball will be among the bands providing musical support at a political rally for presidential candidate Barack Obama. The 'Countdown To Change' event will take place this coming Saturday [11/17] at The Backyard in Austin. Doors to the event open at 3:00pm and ticket cost is $25 per guest or $15 w/ valid student ID. Purchase tickets here. Further details on when Fastball is playing are expected on the official site when they become available.
Linkage: Fastball The Band | Barack Obama '08

November 11, 2007 - New demos online now

Hop over to the band's MySpace to check out the demo for "Out Of My Head" (recently featured in the MPW's EP4) and an alternate take of "Every Time She Walks."
Linkage: Fastball @ MySpace

November 7, 2007 - Wino Times EP4

Well the fourth installment of the MPW's went online yesterday. In the this installment the guys pop into a local wine shop with friend Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols. Courtney is apparently quite a wine connoisseur and was full of interesting insight. From the age of grape vines to 16th century music, it was an interesting show. They played the song "Genius" from the Dandy's first record 'Dandys Rule OK?' as well a 16th century musical piece, and they closed the show with an old Tony 4-track demo of "Out of My Head." Really interesting, check it out in the Winos' Episode 4.
Linkage: Moderately Priced Winos; Dandy Warhols

October 29, 2007 - Wino Times EP3

In the latest installment of Moderately Priced Winos, the guys discussed Lemmy Kilmister (notable founder/bass player for Motörhead), Tony's dog running away, and a bit about their current recording work. The band finish up by premiering their recently recorded song "White Noise." "White Noise" is not exactly a new Fastball song - according to Tony, it's one that they have been working on over the last few years. Led by Tony on vocals, it has a "James Bond-ish" rockin' vibe to it. It is likened to some of the heavier Tony solo stuff and feels like it could have been a possible contender for one of his EPs. It feels really great with the full FB experience, and it is definitely a step outside of past studio recordings the band has produced, which is a good thing. A good many of the "Revolver" and 'Wig' tracks were like that and have generally been among the fans' favorite tracks. Guys, we love to see you evolve! It's a great song check it out in the Winos' Episode 3.
Linkage: Moderately Priced Winos

October 21, 2007 - Wino Times EP2 - They drank up the wine, then got to talking

The guys' second episode involved a 2004 Patrick Lesec Chateauneuf du Pape and Radiohead's new LP 'In Rainbows.'  The latest discussion was less about the wine, and more about the dis-personalization of music purchasing, the difference between buying a digital album and buying a physical record and the process of playing each, Radiohead's "you choose the price," and more. Of course this could be due to the fact that Miles had computer problems and the bottle of wine had been consumed way before the actual podcast. The guys finish off with an acoustic version of new tune "All I Was Looking For Was You." Check it out for yourself. And check out the new Radiohead, it is quite good.
Linkage: Moderately Priced Winos ; In Rainbows

October 12, 2007 - Wino Times EP1 - Welcome to Moderately Priced Winos

As if the guys don't have enough to do with writing / recording new music, and playing out shows, Miles and Tony have taken to the web scene again to revel in one of their mutual loves, with their new podcast/blog the Moderately Priced Winos. The tastes, aromas, and even history of a type of wine. They also talk about and discuss topics with guests who join them in the studio in front of the computer. For their inaugural episode, they hung out with Mike McCarthy, notable producer of Spoon, ...Trail of Dead, and of course Fastball last LP 'Keep Your Wig On.'  Of course they discuss the wine, but they also had some discussion of John Lennon, being his birthday (10/09). They discuss other misc. music stuff, then finish the bottle with a live cover of "I Dig A Pony" in honor of JL.

August 23, 2007 - More Recording / More Shows

In an update from Fastball The Band, the guys have added several new shows, with more planned for the future, including (hopefully) a larger tour, to feature the new material they are working on in the studio. Also reported, the guys have been back at Aerie Studio in Austin to record more material, including new song "All I Was Looking For Was You."

July 27, 2007 - Miles' fingers 'Walk'

Hanson's 4th major studio outing (and 2nd release on their own independent label) hit stores this week. Through the years Hanson has garnered much respect and a large (primarily international) fan base, quickly breaking part with the "bubblegum pop" image associated with their major label debut. With each successive album their songwriting and musicianship has grown and matured. This album is no exception, a well-balanced mix of rock and pop. The only notable difference is a new vocal presence with drummer Zac taking lead vocals for songs primarily penned by him. While he does a good job at the task, his vocals don't seem to carry the same impact as those of his brothers.

As previously reported the guys tapped Miles (among others) to help in the writing / recording of the album. At the time Miles' actual involvement was unknown, but it was speculated that he had helped co-author a song or two as he has written with them in the past. This is not the case, and Miles' involvement is relatively small. Miles provides a guitar solo for the Zac penned "Running Man," a piano driven pop rocker. The 18 second bit of Miles guitar work, is perfectly on point with the song, and gives the relatively simple song, that extra edge. Even if you're not a Hanson fan, I think every Fastball fan can find something to enjoy on the album. Do yourself a favor and check it out, you may end up surprised.

July 20, 2007 - Fastball Writing / Recording

Okay, the big news for the summer, Miles and Tony have been out in California doing some much anticipated writing and recording. Yes you heard right! Despite the back and forth comments over the last several months about Fastball writing, recording, or releasing anything, finally we see signs of the band pushing forward with new endeavors. Miles and Tony have recently returned home from a week of writing and demoing new material in Santa Barbra, CA. So far the guys have several songs; three titled so far include, "Little White Lies," "She's Got the Rain," and "It's A Free World After All." The official site states that the band will be heading back to the studio sometime in August to do some proper recording of their new material. And all indications are that the guys will continue their writing ventures, with the ultimate goal of releasing some new songs and hitting the road.

June 27, 2007 - Tony Releases New Album Online

Several days ago Tony released, via his website and MySpace page, a new e-album. This untitled release consists of 12 songs, available for purchase (download) via his site. Those familiar with Tony's prior EP releases will recognize half of the material already. The rest are all newer songs, some of which have previously featured in the audio players on Tony's site and MySpace page. At $0.99 a piece, it's a cheap way to get new Scalzo material, and for those who couldn't get their hands on one of those EPs to have some of that material as well.
Linkage: Tony Scalzo Online Store

June 20, 2007 - Goodbye online

The guys have recently uploaded a demo for the 'Harsh Light' song "Goodbye." The demo features just Miles and the piano. It's always interesting to see hear the progression songs take from their initial beginnings through produced studio recordings. Check it out at the band's MySpace page now.
Linkage: Fastball @ MySpace

May 20, 2007 - Miles & Tony to guest at Durango Songwriter's Expo

Miles and Tony will be guest speakers at the Durango Songwriter's Expo, a bi-annual event hosted in Santa Barbara, California. The expo is designed to help those interested in becoming songwriters, and who want to be professional songwriters, and it features panel discussions with artists/songwriters and even offers songwriting workshops where interested parties can work on co-authoring songs with other people. Miles and Tony will be featured speakers in the songwriting workshop held on June 1st. They will also perform as part of the special finale concert on June 2nd, taking the stage with the other special guests from the event.
Linkage: Durango Songwriter's Expo Site

February 26, 2007 - Rumors Abound, then not, then again

Well pin another rumor to the board for the on again/off again topic of whether Fastball will or will not be recording anytime soon. This time Miles posts to the band's MySpace page that Fastball will be recording soon. He further, slightly elaborates more on the FTB forum, stating "Hopefully we'll record something this summer." While still nothing definite, the continued mention of FB recording is good news.

Also congrats to Guy and the Gang for their success with 'Tijuana Dreams.' The album sold out of CDBaby's shelves in under a week, and it's easy to see why. This is a fantastic album, a definite departure from the style of the first album. If you're skeptical then sample it on iTunes first, but I think you'll find it to be a superb set of recordings.

February 16, 2007 - Oh Baby, We're off to Tijuana (if only in dreams)

Well it's official, 'Tijuana Dreams' now graces the virtual shelves over at CDBaby. Reasonably priced at a mere $12.97, there's no excuse to not get your copy today. And hey, buy one for a friend at the same time and and score an extra 30% off today.Click to: Buy now from
Linkage: Small Stars Official

February 13, 2007 - Stars in the News

The Small Stars were recently featured in a newsbite on News 8 Austin. News 8 music reporter Andy Langer, spoke to Miles about the band, their live shows, and the new record. Miles indicated that he wanted the Small Stars to be different than what he had done with Fastball (who Langer refers to at one point in his report, as "his old band"). He says that he wanted to do more than simply come out on stage and play, that he wanted to put on a show. Miles also goes on to state in the interview that he did not realize until after the new Small Stars record was finished, that the songs had a markedly different style and theme. For the online report and video link, click here.

February 12, 2007 - Um.....

Hum...just returned from viewing the conundrum over at Fastball The Band. Seems that Doug resigned as the site's admin late last week to focus on Tony's revamped site and to pursue more personal interests. But now he's back, if only partially, until the band can find/approve someone new to take the reigns. Not to remain quite, the person [temporarily] left in charge over at FTB, quickly got on the horn about a new Fastball show during March in Mississippi. And further yet a posting appeared on Feb. 11 that only leads to further questions about a possible future Fastball effort. Miles and Tony apparently have co-written one song as of sometime recent, with Miles apparently having a stash of possible FB tunes himself. This leaves fans begging for some clarity as to what the band's intentions are.

In the meantime, in addition to the new FB date, Tony now has a slew of Machine shows lined up for the future, with more expected to come. And on Tony's site you can tune-in to new song "The Last Word" on the music player at the bottom of the page, and on his MySpace, the new song "Blue Bird of Happiness" is now streaming. The Small Star's sophomore effort 'Tijuana Dreams' is expected to be available online at CDBaby within the next week, so be sure to grab that early. And as it is with the Stars, I'd expect to see quite a few more live shows out of them coming soon.

February 6, 2007 - Miles takes a 'Walk'- Tony to Ready Solo Album - Fastball LP not likely

In a Feb. 2 article on Hanson and their forthcoming album, it is reported that some sort of contribution by Miles will be featured on the record. It was reported in 2001 that Miles had done some songwriting with the brothers for their last album. This contribution failed to appear on the record, possibly due in part to the band's split with Island Records and related legal proceedings, or simply because it didn't fit. It is very likely that a song written with Miles during that time is what would be featured on the album. 'The Walk' is released in the US on May 22. Linkage: Hanson Official

In other news, Tony has returned from Cali with a fresh disc of recordings. He states in a post to his forum that "Halfway Girl," "Forever Girl," and a country song called "Hold Me Up (In The Morning)" were all recorded. As for plans, Tony plans to finish up and release his solo album, hopefully for release in May. Tony also plans to resurrect his Machine with Joey on drums and Harmoni on bass for some regional Texas shows. He also plans to head back out to California for further recording and some west coast machine shows as well. Bad news is that, despite previous comments, Tony does not see a new Fastball album in the foreseeable future. He apologizes for all the raised hopes, but it seems that the guys' are still going strong with their individual endeavors at the moment, and they haven't yet reached the point where they can reconvene as a group and start writing new Fastball songs.

Disappointing for FB fans, but with the Small Star's new album available online in the next few weeks, and a full album from Tony on the way in Spring, there's still a lot to look forward to in '07.

January 23, 2007 - While you were out...

...things happened. Tony gets a facelift while out in LA...err, well his site does anyway. Yes has undergone a transformation. Gone is the old, and now in its place a sharp elegant site, full of grunge sensibility. Well done Doug! As an added bonus check out some new live recordings of new tunes "Forever Girl" and "Halfway Girl," on the audio player at the bottom; also check live video clips of "Forever Girl" and "In The Morning" on the videos page.

In other news, it would seem that the Small Stars have finally landed a home for their new album. The record will be release on Feb. 9 at Stubb's in Austin. Hopefully details of online purchasing will be coming soon. Until that time head over to the Star's official and check the studio recording of "Sweet, Sweet, Sweet" playing on the homepage.

January 8, 2007 - Valentine for Tony

More new music news from Tony's camp. Tony met Kathy Valentine from the Go-Go's at a recent New Year's Eve party. The two have apparently struck up a friendship and according to Tony she had a lot of good ideas. They have since spent a week writing, so far yielding one co-written song. She and Tony plan to continue writing and possibly do some recording in the time period prior to Tony leaving for SoCal. The combination should lead to some good music to come, and is more good news to go along with Tony's upcoming writing/recording ventures in California, and the continued speculation of new Fastball music.

Tour dates have been updated with a long string of dates for the Small Stars, as well as updated info. on the Good's reunion show.


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