new website, tour, paint, Marys

My dearest friend:

In my new effort not to bury the lede, in response to those SERIOUS indie rock fans (you know the type – work in IT or a record store, like Sentridoh better than Sebadoh, think Pitchfork is important, have XY chromosomes) who have called me (inarticulately) long-winded, circumloquacious and/or crazy, here’s the actual news.

First, several days late and several dollars short, we’ve launched the new website at There are seven more shows on the exhaustive world tour. See those here: Also, our UK/European label is making vinyl.  I will get you info about ordering when I have it.  We’re also on facebook now (, and encourage you to become a fan, because we’ve disabled the forum on the new website. So this will serve as the de facto way for you to vent your frustration at us. Well, me. Joe’s afraid of facebook. And more sensitive than I am.

The west coast shows will feature John Cunningham opening, which is such a don’t miss that I am actually breaking my own no-fly rule to attend San Francisco and L.A.  The Midwest and Toronto show(s) will feature Kate Boothman. The Chicago and Minneapolis shows will also feature me on security and hospitality. (That’s it. You can go now. The other three of you who enjoy seeing the insider machinations of Dorchester’s most dysfunctional indie label this can read on.)

Yeah, we know the new website missed the release date, but it’s August, and Felony, our web guy, is married now and has a job and isn’t the carefree geek he was when we started this venture with him back in 1965.  Plus, I have a JOB, at which I work BILLABLE hours. As much as I’d like to sit around all day answering twitter DMs from Pernice fans (Yes, I AM talking to you two.) there just isn’t enough revenue in that to support Charlie in the manner to which he’s become accustomed. You’ll notice that we’ve carried over most of the content from the old site (because seriously, why would I delete my blog posts?) but, be forewarned. With all the money we made from you pre-ordering the new CD, we bought a FANCY new video camera, and we’re going to use it as soon as we figure out how it works. I expect that you’ll soon not have to settle for the text-based beration between the artist and I you’ve grown accustomed to.  You will actually be able to SEE me rolling my eyes at Joe during our daily conference call.  Also, you might see more of Charlie drinking out of the toilet or licking his winkie. That stuff NEVER gets old.

So, the first four tour dates were fun.  I thought the shows were really good, considering Joe never practiced once (“Get off my back. I could play right now and it would only be a minor trainwreck.”), and it was nice to meet a lot of you. For the most part, you were a pleasant surprise – well-mannered, with good personal hygiene and firm handshakes. With the exception of the one guy in Philadelphia who tried to hug me (Seriously? What on earth would give you the idea THAT would be smart? Did Joe put you up to it? “Oh, no, man, don’t believe that stuff about her skin burning if someone touches it. Urban legend. She likes it. No, really, she NEEDS it actually. You’d be doing her a favor.) the whole human contact thing was relatively painless. 

As expected, the blind date I orchestrated between Joe and the Walsh Brothers was a huge success, and really came back to bite me in the ass as they ganged up. I’m not complaining though, because I had my own room, no matter how hard they knocked, and also, I learned a lot. For instance, cougars do exist, and they really like the younger, softer-headed Walsh Brother. Also, I learned more anatomical names in four days than I did in the whole summer I substitute taught 6th graders in an award-winning pre-life-of-crime program at a school in my neighborhood. Enriching. Jose, on the other hand, could not escape the relentless tree fort mentality as easily as I, and let’s just say that if he finally loses it and murders them all in their sleep, there’s not a jury in the world that would convict him.

I’ve gotten a few emails recently critical of our decision to let a paint company use “Weakest Shade of Blue” in a television commercial First of all, where were you when that ad first started running, about ten years ago? But more importantly, I hear your objections, and feel badly that you think we sold out. But only for a minute. Because then I remember that we could buy your house with the money we made from that decision (provided your house is a double-wide trailer with a leaky roof somewhere in the northernmost part of Maine or Idaho), and the bad feelings go away.

So, Joe won’t tell me anything about the next record. Last I heard, it was close to done and we might release it next year, but I have no idea if and when it will come out. As a result of this lack of movement, while he’s screwing around, I will be enlisting all of the Ashmont Records family to help me with MY artistic project, which I’ve been trying to do for years - “Stations of the Cross: The Musical.” I have most of it worked out.  I’m not entirely sure who’ll play the lead yet, but Peyton and James will play the two thieves. Or maybe that should be the Walsh Brothers. The story will start with the betrayal and move into the stations, so Belitsky will play Judas (NO, not because he’s Jewish, smartass. Because he’s swarthy. The traitor is ALWAYS swarthy. Musicals 101.) I’m thinking Menck for John the Baptist and Pat for Simon of Cyrene. And no, I won’t play Mary Magdalene myself. Maybe I would have 15 years ago, when I first wanted to do this, but now I’m too old.  Any of you who’ve ever read anything I’ve written, or saw me in the 8th grade May Procession at St. Brendan’s or have seen me in short sleeves, KNOW I’m a big fan of both the Marys, but I’m just not right for the part. No one’s going to buy a middle-aged, Irish-complexioned Mary Magdalene. Not sure what to do with Bob either, as he is also old. So, anyway, that’s what’s up next for us, available on DVD, CD and as a book. Maybe an HBO special.

Thanks to all of you who’ve purchased or written about the new record and the book, as well as all of the radio stations that have played it.  We really appreciate the support. It would warm my heart (if I had one.)

Your faithful servant,


Dorchester, Massachusetts

Blog post by Tripp from the Grifters, who I adore

Blog post by Tripp Lamkins, who I adore:

So I've seen 2 different interviews now with Bruce Pavvit and Jonathon Poneman where they describe the grifters as being at the center of 'the dark years' at Subpop. That they signed us for too much money (even giving out numbers.. which I thought was an industry no-no) and that we were pretty good but not deserving of that kind of money..

well, first off, Bruce was barely even involved with the label the whole time we were there. All the employees at Subpop described Bruce as being this crazy guy who lives out in the mountains and every now and then he would send them some band and say 'sign these guys, they're great' (anyone remember Chixdiggit?) and then everyone at the label had to do so, apparently begrudgingly. They essentially described it as being saddled with him. 'but he's the co-founder of the label so what're you gonna do?'.

secondly, maybe Subpop could have made a return on their investment in us if they, oh I dunno, TRIED! They barely did any advertising. I told them they should take out an ad for us in some Fantagraphics comics (which they used to do all the time) but they didn't. I think they maybe bought some tiny ad space in an issue of Magnet.
They chose Last Man Alive as the 'single' from the record. And we had a big fight with them about it. Well, I had a big fight. Dave seemed pretty pleased with the decision. They tried to placate me by saying that it didn't really matter because nothing we chose would ever really get any airplay. If thats the case why NOT pick a song that is maybe at least SOMEWHAT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BAND'S SOUND! And why then spend $50,000 on a video that will ALSO NEVER BE SEEN OR HEARD.?

Maybe it was because they were such amazingly inept business people? OR maybe they wanted us to tank. Why did they make SO MANY wrong decisions regarding Aint My Lookout? Why did they let Those Bastard Souls do a major tour with Sebadoh exactly when we should've been out touring supporting the record? Me and Scott and Stan were told that Sebadoh didn't want to get blown off the stage by us every night... I have to kinda think that blowing Sebadoh off the stage every night MIGHT'VE BEEN A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT THE NEW RECORD!
But that was Dave dicking us over more than Subpop, they just let it happen.

And what happened right before Full Blown Possession came out? Almost the entire staff left Subpop and a lot of them ended up at Matador. There was a so-called mutiny supposedly spear-headed by Poneman. it seemed to us that they were trying to get out of their deal with Warners by losing a lot of money.

Like I said, maybe they could've made a return on their investment if they'd been better business people. Maybe they didn't want to make a return. From what I saw when we were with them they never worked anything. They had a hit with Sunny Day Real Estate but that was because SDRE did it themselves. They built their own fan-base and did all the hard work (as did we) and then all Subpop had to do was squirt out some records for them and they sold themselves. But we never saw them get off their asses and work anything. What I saw was the staff of Subpop flying all over the country and the world and staying at THEE most posh hotels in whatever city they were in. They friggin LOVED playing Record Company when it meant traveling with the gold card.

So lay off the effing Grifters Pavvitt. Not that you were there but we threw you a friggin touchdown pass with Ain't My Lookout and you fucking fumbled it ON PURPOSE.

And at the same time we had to contend with Dave's not so secretly-scheming to advance TBS. I've read articles where people are saying we'd run our course and that Ain't My Lookout was a bomb. Well let me tell ya it was really hard trying to eek out a little success when your label is sitting on their fat asses doing nothing and at the same time one of the band-members is plotting their exit and stealing tours from you.


griftertripp, Thursday, 31 July 2008 15:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

I will say that Joyce Linehan was a great friend to us and I feel truly believed in us and fought for us.

griftertripp, Thursday, 31 July 2008 16:13 (1 year ago)


My speech at Interim House fundraiser May 2008

My name is Joyce Linehan, and I am the President of the Board of Directors of Interim House, as well as the oldest child of Yvonne Linehan, in whose honor we gather here , on what would have been her 75th birthday, to raise money for Interim House, which she founded in 1972, and ran until her death in 1999.  On behalf of my brother David and sister Gail – as well as the staff and board of Interim House, I thank you for being here.  It means a lot to us to be able to look after our mother’s legacy, and we’re able to do it because of you.  We’re humbled by your presence here, and your generosity.

A few weeks before my mother died, she said, and I quote, “Joycie, you’re going to be president of the Interim House Board.  Don’t worry, you really don’t have to do anything – just go to a couple of meetings a year, and sign some papers sometimes – just make sure that Angie can run the house the way she wants to.”  I wondered – why me?  Her other children work in fields closer to hers than I do.  She certainly had many trusted friends in and around recovery that would have been better choices.  And let’s face it – the closest I’ve ever actually come to working a program was the time I developed a 12-step marketing plan for a Mark Lanegan record.  But here we are, almost 9 years, a couple of fundraisers, several grant proposals and dozens of hours of tutorials on ADA compliance later, and I don’t think I am being disrespectful when I say that my mother had an interesting relationship with the truth on this subject.  But lately, I’ve begun to realize the mad genius that was my mother.  She installed in this position the person close to her who had the least aversion to asking for money.  So here we are.

So far tonight, we have raised over $25,000 toward improvements at Interim House, and by the end of the evening, after all of you have bid on the great items in our silent auction on your left there, we hope to raise much more.

I just want to take a minute to thank my friends who helped to plan this event.  I was amazed how quickly  you all responded when I asked for help.  I am going to read your names and I ask that you all stand to be recognized and embarrassed.  Ami Bennitt, Bing Broderick, Scott Childress, Michael Creamer,  Judy Curley, Toni Elka, Deb Farrar-Parkman, Tom Johnston, Susan Krause, John Maxson, Cathy Moylan, Joanne Ochs, Donna Penn, Anne Renehan and Matthew West.  I am grateful for your creativity, energy and ability to lift heavy objects, and fully expect to be asked to reciprocate (just not this week, okay?)

A little bit about how the rest of the evening is going to go.  In just a minute, we will be presenting the Yvonne Linehan Awards for Public Service in Substance Abuse Recovery to three men who have worked tirelessly on behalf of the staff and residents of Interim House.  After that – high rollers take note -  Rep. Marty Walsh will present a live auction for two very special items – a pair of tickets to sit in Theo Epstein’s personal box for a Red Sox game this season, donated by Theo’s A Foundation to be Named Later, as well as a guided tour of the White House with Congressman Stephen Lynch, including lunch in the member’s dining room  (he’s buying).  Then, the silent auction will close and you can check out your booty.  Following that, please join us in the lounge next door, for readings by five of my favorite writers, who all graciously volunteered their time to be here– Michael Patrick MacDonald, George Pelecanos, Joe Pernice, Tom Perrotta and Warren Zanes.  I am not sure what each of them is reading from, except for Warren, who told me he’d be reading from his new book about his experiences as an American living in Cleveland.  Oh, and Joe is reading from his new book that has a not terribly charming female character that works for a large independent record label  that he swears isn’t me.   And of course I believe him.

But right now, I have the honor of introducing a man I admire very much who is going to present an award to another man I admire.  In the spring of 2006, then-candidate Deval Patrick spent a day in Dorchester, visiting various agencies and groups and listening to people’s concerns.  As part of that day, we arranged for him to have dinner at Interim House, and I got to eavesdrop as he sat with about 10 residents, listening to them talk about their struggles with addiction, and relaying some very personal stories about his own family’s struggles with the same issues.  Granted, I was a strong supporter before, but watching him with these guys gave me the assurance that he understood the issues around substance abuse  - knew that it was a public health issue more than a law enforcement issue – understood the ways that it feeds into other issues like domestic violence, crime, child abuse and so on – had seen for himself the damage it could do to families.  As I said, I was already voting for him anyway, but I think it’s safe to say that anyone in that house who was still sober come election time voted for him as well.  Please join me in welcoming, the Governor of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Deval Patrick.

Now to present the next award, please welcome my little brother – Dr. David Linehan.

To present the final award, please welcome the Executive Director of Interim House, Angela Fonseca.