The 20,000 or so words that have been spilled on this site are an eclectic bunch of utterances. What do they say about us as a website? You be the judge. Below is a word cloud of everything written here. The bigger the word, the more frequent the use. Enjoy.
NOTE: Our regular Features writer has taken a “leave of absence.” Instead, we here at weareallbeards.com have tried to piece together an article from the notes and audio recordings we recovered at his apartment.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” I’m pretty sure this was originally said by James Cameron. Regardless, it is apropos to my final upcoming interview with The Beards.
However, I do not merely say this on my own behalf, whereas this assorted “murderer’s row” of miscreants does make for an interesting afternoon, there is also one among them that the staff at weareallbeards.com has yet to have had the pleasure of meeting with. (Note: my editor strongly objected to the phrase “obligatory pleasure”)
The final interview of this series is with the bass player, Amy Askew. In the same way that I believe myself the “monster slayer,” it also crossed my mind even before our talk that Amy, too, spent many an evening of practice gazing into the abyss that is The Beards. What I hope to be able to answer with some certainty is whether or not Amy has stared too long into that same abyss, and what, if any, toll has it taken on her.
Amy was nice enough to invite weareallbeards.com into her home and even offered a tour of where the band practices.
Beyond the above introduction that was already finished, what follows is what we could recover from a digital recorder and notes of that Sunday afternoon. Any edits, additions, omissions will be clearly marked in italics. The audio begins with some normal testing of levels and a short description of the house.
WAAB: Relatively normal looking home on a very “American” type street. Like if Norman Rockwell were alive today and not such a phony, he would paint this street. There is an outer door, and I can see an inner door too. I am not sure if I am supposed to go into that door or…
Knocking can be heard
WAAB: No answer. Guess I will go into the second door. Now, am on the front porch, there are various items of little interest. Pretty normal fare. There is however one rather interesting item. There appears to be a particularly high powered video camera that has been rigged up with what looks like a night vision lens. I am going to take a quick look through…Yes, yep. It does appear to be pointing at the house directly across the street. Interesting. You know what, none of my business. Probably just nothing.
Knocking can again be heard. This is followed by quiet barking. Soon, a muffled voice. The sound of the door opening.
Amy: Please, come in. Delilah, shush! Be quiet! WAAB: Amy, Amy Askew? Amy: You can call me Madame Askew. WAAB: Right, sorry, Madame Askew. Amy: Come on in. Don’t mind Delilah. She might try to lick your leg; it’s a thing. We can’t seem to get her to stop, but it’s better than some alternatives. WAAB: No problem. I had a dog just like this when I was younger. Amy: Really? Well, how about that. Can I get you something to drink? Beer, water, I don’t know what else we might have. Something harder, I guess, if you want. WAAB: No, I’m actually okay right now. Amy: All right, just let me know. By the way, what you got there? WAAB: This? This is just a digital recorder. It’s so I don’t have to take as many notes. Helps make it all a more natural conversation. Also, if I start narrating about something I see, don’t mind me, it helps with the article later. Amy: By all means, narration is something I am quite used to, remember, I am friends with Jake Kerby. Also, I know what a digital recorder is, you remember that I have been playing live music for the better part of a decade. I was asking more specifically. That a Tascam DR-40? WAAB: Right, sorry, I didn’t mean to assume you wouldn’t know. Also, I have no idea, it’s just what the website provides. Amy: Don’t think nothin’ of it. WAAB: So, would you like to sit down somewhere so we can talk or… Amy: Sure, let me just make sure…
Amy’s voice trails off. The sound of the front door closing is heard. A short while later Amy can be heard saying something loudly away from the recorder.
WAAB: Are you sure you have time right now? If you have to deal with your kids, we can reschedule. Amy: The kids won’t be a problem in the least. Say, how would you like a cookie? I just pulled them out of the oven about twenty minutes ago. They are probably right at that perfect point of cooling on the rack. What do you say? WAAB: Really, it’s not necessary. Amy: Oh…okay then. Just thought you might… WAAB: You know what? A cookie sounds really good right now. I would love one. Then maybe we can talk a little about The Beards. Amy: Absolutely.
There is a break in the recording
WAAB: So, you used to play in a different band? Amy: Yes, right. For quite some time. WAAB: What was the name again? Was it The Shaggs? Amy: The Shaggs? No. WAAB: Really, I could’ve sworn my notes said you were in The Shaggs? Amy: Nope. I was in The Clutch. WAAB: The polka band? Amy: No. Well…no. WAAB: No polka? Amy: Nope. WAAB: What type of music did you play? Amy: Why do you want to know? WAAB: Sorry? Amy: Why are you so interested? WAAB: I’m just trying to get some background info. That’s all. Amy: Now, look at you, you haven’t even touched the cookies I brought out.
The recorder is left running. The sound of a cookie being slid of the plate is heard.
WAAB: Wow! Amy: What, what is it? You don’t like it. Too much ginger? Not enough snap? WAAB: No, it’s not that. It’s just, this tastes…almost exactly like what my mother makes. Like, exactly. Amy: Well, aren’t you just the sweetest thing? WAAB: You know, if the offer still stands, do you think I could get something to drink? Amy: Absolutely, what’s your poison? WAAB: Water would be fine. Amy: Fine, but not great. How about a glass of milk to wash the cookie down? WAAB: If it’s not too much trouble… It’s funny, I ended up leaving it off the website, but when I interviewed Joe, he went off for like ten minutes on milk. But he kept putting air quotes around the word “milk.” He said he drank multiple glasses before every show. Said it helped to “coat his throat” making it easier to sing. Amy: Right. Yeah, he really likes milk. WAAB: Wait, why are you putting air quotes around “milk?” Amy: Sorry, I missed what you were saying. Anyways, I hope you’re okay with raw whole milk. That’s what we drink around here, and I always forget that most people do not have a taste for it. WAAB: Actually, I grew up on a dairy farm. I used to love drinking fresh warm milk. It’s a shame it’s so hard to find. Where did you get it? Amy: Joe has a guy WAAB: Right.
There is another break in the recording. Based on notes, it appears the recording picks up after a tour has already started
Amy: Watch your head here. Don’t want to knock yourself out. WAAB: Now, what’s up here? Review sketch of staircase in notes.
According to notes, the stairs down into the practice space branch off and go up to a door leading to the backyard.
Amy: That just leads to the backyard. It’s not very interesting WAAB: Just going to look out on to what might inspire … Hey, look at that. I think Jeff is in your backyard. Amy: Is he? Interesting? Now, back to the tour. WAAB: Yeah, it is Jeff.
Knocking on the glass can be heard.
WAAB: I don’t think he can hear me. I will say, you all seem to be very at ease around one another. What is he doing back there? It looks like he’s setting up a couple of big tanks. You guys installing something? Amy: Not sure, you’d have to ask Jason. WAAB: That’s right; you are married to the keyboardist, Jason. Amy: That is correct. WAAB: Is he around today? Amy: He is. He’s somewhere. I can’t always keep track of where he goes. He’s very mercurial. WAAB: That’s actually how I would describe most of the members of this band. Amy: To whom? WAAB: Sorry? Amy: To whom would you be describing the members of this band? WAAB: Nobody, it was a figure…You do all know that I am interviewing you for a website, right? Amy: Of Course… This way.
Break in the Recording
WAAB: So, this is where the magic happens? Amy: Indeed. This is where we have been practicing pretty much every week, at least every other, for the last year. WAAB: So where do each of you operate? Amy: Well, Jeff obviously sits there at the drums. Jake is off to his left; I am off to his right. Joe sits there on the piano bench and Jason is over there. WAAB: So, Joe always sits? I have noticed that Joe always is sitting at shows. At practice too? Amy: Yes, he has very weak bones. That’s why he drinks so much milk. Sorry, can you excuse me for a minute? WAAB: Absolutely, go right ahead… The practice space is the quintessential band lair. Review notes to see sketches of how it is laid out. Chords crisscross the room connecting each musician seemingly to the other and all of them to the board. One just feels more creative when they are in a space like this. There is original art on the wall and a giant white board filled with random drawings, song titles, lyrics, and the occasional phallus pointing out specific songs for some reason.
Amy: Sorry about that, Jason was Sk-typing me. All rights reserved. WAAB: He was, how did you know? Amy: Oh, right, you haven’t used mobile Sk-type. All rights reserved. WAAB: Fascinating. It looks like…like… an old pager. Amy: Sure, yeah, it was a pager at one time. Jason repurposed them so that they can receive alphanumeric messages instead of just the old numeral only pagers. WAAB: Have you found it to be a viable form of communication in the modern world? Amy: Sure. I mean, he is limited to something like eighteen characters, so a lot of my time is trying to figure out what he is trying to say, but it’s better than nothing. WAAB: What did this last message say? Amy: Nothing. WAAB: C’mon. Let me see if I can figure it out. Amy: Fine. WAAB: Let the record show that the last message sent read HWMCHLNGRTLTNKRDY. Okay, that looks like …How…much…longer…tilt…tilting…til…until…tnk…tink…tank…tank…ready. How much longer until tank ready? Right? Amy: That’s what I got from it. WAAB: That’s kind of fun. I bet Jeff would like those. Amy: Jeff LOVES mobile Sk-type. All rights reserved.
A muffled sound can be heard on the recording that turns out to be the front door opening.
WAAB: Is that someone coming in? Were you expecting someone? Amy: Well, there are certain people that whether you expect them or not they tend to… Jake: DID SOMBODY SUMMON JAKE KERBY?! WAAB: I assure you no one did. Jake: What are you doing here? WAAB: Pot kettle black. Jake: And? WAAB: And what? Jake: Look, I don’t know why you keep showing up at places I am going before I get there, but it’s getting old. Then you make some seemingly racist comment about pots and kettles. Besides, I got a Sk-type requesting I come over. All rights reserved. Amy: Hi, Jake. You get the same one I did? Jake: I think so. WAAB: “How much longer until tank ready?” You thought that meant you should come over? Jake: Umm, it clearly said “How much longer until Kerby.” I figured I would make my way over. WAAB: There is clearly a “D,” not a “B.” Jake: “D?” “B?” Who gives an “F?” Am I right? All I know is that I’m here now. Amy: Glad to have you. Was just showing this guy the space. WAAB: Right maybe we can get back to it? Jake: Back to what, where are we going?
The sound of someone coming down the stairs can be heard in the background.
WAAB: Jason? I’m so happy we could actually meet face to face. Jason: I’m walking home earlier, and I see this tiny spot on the pavement. It’s moving, more like vibrating. I walk over to it. It’s a hummingbird. It must have run into one of those big picture windows. It’s not dead, but it’s also not really living. I take it home and lay it on the dining room table. I warm up some sugar water and dip my finger in it. I hold the drop of warm sugar water just above the little hummingbird’s beak until it drinks it. I do this like ten times until it perks up. It’s still in rough shape, but it’s doing better. I leave for a few minutes, and when I get back the little bird is standing on its own. When it sees me, it flies away, but it’s inside, so it just hovers there in the middle of the room. I take a shoebox and a cookie sheet and I try to capture it against the ceiling so I can release it, but I push the box too hard and end up crushing the little bird. It’s just so fragile. Jake: Nice work, Lennie. Amy: Jake, knock it off. Jake: What? I’m just saying, you shouldn’t let him around any rabbits. Amy: Jake! Jake: Fine. Fine. Amy: Jason, we were going to let our friend here listen to the new recordings. Do you think you could set it up quick? Jason: Sure. Won’t take but two minutes. WAAB: New music?! That’s fantastic. This is never before released music? Would it be okay if I put a small clip on the website? It would get people excited for the release. Amy: I don’t have a problem with it. Just know this won’t be the final mix. It’s still really raw. WAAB: Absolutely, people love this “bootleg” type stuff. Jason: Should be all set. I have to get back upstairs. WAAB: It was nice to meet you, Jason. Jason: I’m happy for you.
Various sounds can be heard leading up to the start of the music. The voice on the recording is Joe. The music could best be described as elegiac. We have transcribed the words to the best of our abilities.
Joe’s Voice straining several octaves higher than where he normally sings:
The sun has disappeared again To rise another day The moon is here to light our path It always knows the way.
The sheep are resting The cows asleep The farmer’s in his bed Song in your heart It’s time to turn The lights off in your head.
The music comes to a close, and there is silence. The recorder does not turn off. There is just quiet for nearly a minute.
Amy: Are you okay? WAAB: That song, where did you…how did you…that’s impossible. Jake: This is about to get good. Amy: What’s the matter? You didn’t like the song? WAAB: I don’t understand. How could you know that song? Amy: Sorry, I’m confused. Oh, hold on, Jason just Sk-typed me again. All rights reserved. Jake: I got it too.
There is a break in the recording. When it begins again, there is a noise heard that appears to be the door to the backyard opening. This is only assumed since the next voice you hear is Jeff’s.
Jeff: Tanks are ready. What are you making of Jason’s Sk-type? All rights reserved. Jake: Let’s see HRYMMSSTRTNG2SMLL. Hairy…Hooray…M&M’s…Mimes…Strong…string…too…smile…small…too small. Jeff: Strings too small? Maybe? Hurry my…or humming…humming! Hummingbird! Hummingbird string too small?! Jake: I don’t think that’s right. Jeff: Sounds right to me. Jake: Hummingbird string too small? Really? Jeff: You have a better idea? WAAB: Can we get back to that song? Where did you guys hear that? Amy: What do you mean? We wrote that. WAAB: There is no way you wrote that. That song. That song was what my mother would sing to me before bed. Nobody knew that song but she and I. Jake: Is “she and I” how you should phrase that? Amy: Jake! Jake: Sorry, it just sounds wrong. Amy: I don’t know what to tell you. We wrote that song a while ago. WAAB: No, you didn’t! There is no way there could be that big a coincidence. Amy: What are you saying? Jeff: Hummingbird’s starting too small? Hummingbird starting to smile? Jake: Ooh, I like that one. WAAB: In fact, this whole day has been a little strange. First, that dog. That dog wasn’t just like my dog, it was damn near an exact clone. Then, you happen to have made cookies that I have had only one other place in my life, and that is in my mother’s kitchen. You serve me whole raw milk, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal most places to sell that, yet you just happen to have the thing I loved as a child, and then that song. That song that only two people in the world know about. I want to know how in the hell you have all this information. What are you up to?
There is a break in the recording. The tone of the voices sounds more agitated. There is an uneasiness to the conversation that was not there before.
WAAB: So, tell me about your influences. Amy: We’re fans of a lot of different music. It would be too limiting to just name a few. Jeff: Hooray, my missus is starting to smile? Hairy mimes stuttering two miles? No, that can’t be right.
WAAB: How do you guys come up with your song ideas? Amy: Inspiration it all around us. We just pluck it from the ether. Jake: This is beneath me. I’m gonna get going. I’m gonna go ask Jason what that last message meant. Jeff: Hurry, M&M’s treating to a smile? Jake: Yeah, I’m sure that’s it. WAAB: What is one thing the band would want their fans to know about them? Amy: I’m not sure I want to answer that. WAAB: Okay, moving on. Amy: Oh, you’re not going anywhere. Jeff: Hairy mimes starting to smile. Joe: Hurry, mom’s starting to smell.
There is an audible gasp. The sounds of equipment being knocked over can be heard.
WAAB: What the hell, man? How long have you been sitting there? Joe: If you are sentenced to torture for a crime, yes, that is a cruel punishment. But the mere fact that somebody is tortured is – is unlawful under – under our statutes, but the Constitution happens not to address it, just as it does not address a lot of other horrible things. WAAB: What does that even mean!? Amy: Don’t mind him. He has a thing, like Delilah. WAAB: You people are crazy. I have to get out of here!
At this point, the recording gets really choppy. We have transcribed what little could be made out. There is a lot of yelling and the sound of various things being broken or knocked over can be heard. We have to the best of our ability tried to recreate what happened.
Amy: Where do you think you are going?
He is running up the stairs to the back door. Pounding on the door can be heard
Jeff: No getting out that way, that way is locked. Don’t you worry, you’ll be back there soo…
Running up the stairs into the main part of the house.
Jake: IS SOMEONE TRYING TO RUN BY JAKE KERBY!?
There is a large thump. It sounds as if the recorder is underneath the two struggling men.
The voices are muffled.
WAAB: Get off of me! What is wrong with you?! Jake: Who’s the black kettle pot now?!
There is more struggling. Then there is a break in the recording. When it begins again, more stairs are being climbed. There are no notes for this part of the house, so we can only guess.
WAAB: Somebody help me! Amy (from a distance): You’re not getting out up there.
Jason’s voice can be heard singing. It is weak and muffled, as if through a door.
The sheep are resting The cows asleep The farmer’s in his bed Song in your heart It’s time to turn The lights off in your head.
The sound of a door being broken down can be heard. In the commotion, only one last thing can be heard.
WAAB: Oh, God! Mom?!
This is where the recording ends.
This is also where our exclusive interview with the members of The Beards ends. We here at weareallbeards.com thank you for your continued patronage of our humble little site. Check back often for updates and show schedule.
On a hopefully innocuous side note, if anyone has seen said writer around town, at home, really at this point anywhere, please email us at weareallbeards.com with that information. We have also set up a 1-800 number you can call with any information.
“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” I could not agree more. With whom I am agreeing, I’m sure it would be simple enough to discover. I haven’t the time, unfortunately, so I will instead move things along.
Initially, the staff at weareallbeards.com was in correspondence with the keyboard player of South Dakota’s flavor-of-the-month, The Beards, about a potential interview.
Due to confusion on our intern’s part, we believed the interview was going to be conducted over Skype. As it turned out, Jason Askew, the keyboardist mentioned earlier, had requested that the interview be conducted over Sk-type.
A cursory search of the term brought me deep down a rabbit hole where I emerged on the other side having learned a great deal about calcium-activated potassium channels and how they work with the nervous system. Of course, to say that I “learned” would indicate I remember any of it. I do not, but I did find out what the cast from Charles in Charge is up to (It’s not good).
After searching for some time, it turns out Sk-type is a proprietary piece of IP that Mr. Askew was working on. He had to mail us a copy of the program on five and half inch floppy disks, there were eight of them! Luckily, we were able to track down a disk drive still in working order.
Jason described the program thusly, “It’s like Skype, but without any cameras and no talking. Instead, you just type things back and forth. As you type, it tells the other person that you are typing. When you hit enter, the whole message is sent to the other person almost instantaneously.”
In our near tediously long exclusive interview with The Beards, what follows is our Sk-type session with Mr. Askew as it was written.
Mr. Askew has also informaed me that certain parts of the interview will not display properly on a modern “smart” phone. He suggests you turn your phone horizontally for the best viewing experience.
WAAB: Hello? Mr> Askew? J_AsQ: Yes, Hello WAAB: It’s Nice to “meet” you. J_AsQ: Likewise. I trust you were able to install the program without any difficulty. Do you have questions? I understand the technology behind it can be a bit intimidating at first. WAAB: No problems. I mean I don’t go all the way back to the CB simulator, but I’ve been in many a basic chatroom. J_AsQ: Sorry, I don’t follow. WAAB: I just mean…I mean…this is a chat room, right? J_AsQ: I am rolling on the floor laughing right now. Basic chat room? I assure you this is much more. WAAB: Wouldn’t it just have been easier to use Skype? J_AsQ: What’s that? WAAB: What’s what? Skype? J_AsQ: Skite? Are you saying Skite? WAAB: Why are you pretending not to hear me correctly? The words are written right in front of you. You can clearly read the word “Skype.” J_AsQ: No, it’s just strange. It’s just it sounds so similar to my program Sk-type (all rights reserved) that it’s hard to believe I have never heard of it. WAAB: Very hard to believe. Moving on… J_AsQ: Do you have to go already? I should have sent Mobile Sk-type (all rights reserved). WAAB: Nope. Still here. I just mean I would like to move on to other topics. J_AsQ: Interesting. WAAB: What’s that? J_AsQ: Nothing, I just Jeeved that thing you were talking about, what was it again “Skyle,” and I’m not getting any Butlers. WAAB: I didn’t really understand much of what you just wrote. First, what does “Jeeved” and “Bulters” mean. Also, why do you refuse to copy and paste the word “Skype.” J_AsQ: Well, the second question is easy: I HATE LARRY TESLER! That sellout rushed Ctrl+c Ctrl+v to market and it will be a cold day in hell when I start using them. Your first question should be obvious. “Jeeved” is kind of the catchall term people use for when they run a search on AskJeeves.com. Butlers are the results. WAAB: So, like when you “google” something, as in “I ‘googled’ the answer.” J_AsQ: Sorry, I don’t follow, did you say “Goodled”? WAAB: You know what, never mind. J_AsQ: “Goonled”? WAAB: Let’s chat about music, shall we? J_AsQ: Absolutely. WAAB: One recent reviewer said of The Beards music, “they are actually pretty good. Like, honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but they are actually kind of fun to listen to.” When you hear that kind of fan reaction, what do you say to it?
J-AsQ: Anyway, what was it you were asking about again? WAAB: Your recent reviews. J_AsQ: Right, well I mean, it’s like all things. Like, when you are working on something like, let’s say, Sk-Type. Sure, are there going to be people who give you more neutral reviews? Absolutely. There are going to be people who say, “Are you serious?” or “No one will ever want that EVER,” or even, “Jason, did you hit your head again?” But, it’s when you push through the more tepid responses that you get to the people who really get it. You know? So instead of, “That’s one of the worst ideas ever.” You instead get, “Oh, I get it, it’s ironic. Like when someone in there twenties brings a forty pound typewriter to a coffee shop.” WAAB: Are you saying Sk-Type is meant to be ironic? J_AsQ: What?! No. That’s ridiculous. I was using it as an example. WAAB: Right, but besides you, does anybody use Sk-Type?
J_KerBling: DID SOMEBODY WRITE JAKE KERBY?! J_AsQ: Hey! It’s Jake! What’s up Jake? J_KerBLING: Little of this. Whole lot of that. (SMALL IMAGE OF HANDS CLAPPING) WAAB: Mr> Kerby. What an increasingly shrinking surprise that you are here. J_KerBLING: You know, I get that a lot… And that, and that. (SMALL IMAGE OF FACE WINKING IN A SUGGESTIVE MANNER) WAAB: Why are typing out those descriptions? J_AsQ: Oh, yeah, you’re really going to dig this. So, I had this idea that I would include a bunch of little pictures that were about the size of a capital letter, I haven’t been able to figure it out yet, so the typing is a place holder. Anyways, they would be of common emotions that people would want to include in their Sk_type rather than having to spell it all out. So, like an electronic image letter, but I wanted it to have a foreign sounding name. WAAB: So, you mean emoji? J_AsQ: No, that kind of sounds ridiculous. I have it down to two. I was thinking either VerrSchreibGlucks or ShonaLitirs. WAAB: Really? J_KerBLING: I pushed for Kernel. You know like Kerby mixed with like the small piece of corn that you eat off the cob. WAAB: But, kernel is already a really big part in the world of computers. And, it is also, literally, the small pieces of corn that you eat. J_KerBLING: I know, right? (SMALL IMAGE OF HAPPY FACE WITH EYEBROWS GOING UP AND DOWN) J-AsQ: C’mon Jake. I told you it is impossible to make VerrSchreibGlucks move in any way. J_KerBLING: I know. Sorry. (SMALL IMAGE OF A SAD PUPPY) WAAB: Can we get back to discussing some of your recent shows? J_AsQ: Sure, what do you want to know? WAAB: At this point, anything that has anything to do with music.
J_AsQ: Hey, Jeff. Tank’N_PuZZ_247: What’s good to know? J_AsQ: Same as it ever was. Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Cool, what we doing tonight? You guys wanna come over and watch my home movies? J_KerBLING: Can’t tonight. Hot date with a hot date. #wife (SMALL IMAGE OF COOL GUY IN SUNGLASSES GIVING A THUMBS UP.) Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Wow. Did Jason figure out how to make VerrSchreibGlucks move? (SMALL IMAGE OF LOCAL MAN SOLVING LOTS OF PUZZLES) J_KerBLING: No, he hasn’t. My Cool guy wasn’t supposed to be moving. J-AsQ: Jake, why are you using the pound sign? Are you trying to make a phone call? I told you that Sk-Type can’t make phone calls. J_KerBLING: Sorry, forgot about that. WAAB: Hey, do you guys mind if I jump in here? Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Woah, who the heck is WAAB? WAAB: Hi, Jeff, we met earlier at lunch, I’m from weareallbeards.com. Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Elaine? WAAB: No. Do…do you remember meeting a woman for lunch? Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Why, are you not a woman? Waab: Nope. I’m a man. J_KerBLING: What!? (SMALL IMAGE OF DISAPPOINTED GUY ON MOTORCYLE WITH REALLY BIG MUSCLES BUT NOT SO BIG THAT THEY ARE GROSS LIKE THOSE GUYS THAT HANG OUT IN GYMS IN CALAFORNIA) Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Elaine can be a man’s name. WAAB: Have you ever met a man named Elaine? Tank’N_PuZZ_247: I haven’t not met a man who wasn’t not named Elaine. WAAB: You know that means all men are named Elaine? Tank’N_PuZZ_247: I don’t think that’s right. J_KerBLING: Yeah, that’s definitely not right. I know plenty of guys not named Elaine. Waab: No, I’m not saying all men are named Elaine. Jeff is! J-AsQ: Nope. It was you. I can see it right here on my screen.
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Me again. Any of you have a safe deposit box? J-AsQ: Sure, what for? WHAT_GOLF_IS: What are their policies on hazardous material? J-AsQ: I don’t know. What is it for? WHAT_GOLF_IS: Actually, I don’t know if it’s classified as “hazardous material.” Tank’N_PUZZ_247: I’m Back. Hey, Joe. So, are you trying to hide something? WHAT_GOLF_IS: Maybe. I don’t know. J_KerBLING: If you need something “lost,” I gotta guy who can get things lost. He also takes great pictures. Just ask what’s_his_name at that stupid site that’s always bugging me. WAAB: You know, I’m still here, and we never even invited you for an interview. You were just there, and you keep showing up. J_KerBLING: No, I don’t think that’s how it happened. J-AsQ: Joe, what do you need a safe deposit box for? WHAT_GOLF_IS: I’m not sure I do. J-AsQ: Hey, man. If you’re in trouble, we got your back. WHAT_GOLF_IS: Thanks. Oh, crap. I have to go. (SMALL IMAGE OF A COILED PILE OF CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM THAT HAS EYES AND A MOUTH AND IS CLEARLY MEANT TO LOOK LIKE SOMETHING ELSE)
-8:58 CONNECTION TO WHAT_GOLF_IS LOST
J-AsQ: Wonder what that was about? J_KerBLING: No idea, but you know him. J-AsQ: Quite the mystery. Tank’N_PUZZ_247: Yes, a…mystery. Or what one might call a… (SMALL IMAGE OF A MAN RIGID IN EXTREME ANTICIPATION) J-AsQ: What the heck is that VerrSchreibGluck supposed to be? What is wrong with you, sick-o? Tank’N_PUZZ_247: No, nothing like that. It’s just that, you know, another name for a mystery is… J_KerBLING: Enigma? J-AsQ: Conundrum? WAAB: brainteaser? J_KerBLING: Dilemma? J-AsQ: Riddle? Tank’N_PUZZ_247: No, you idiots. It’s a…
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Hey, How many teeth do you all have? Tank’N_PUZZ_247: 32 J-AsQ: 32 J_KerBLING: 36 because I have all my wisdom teeth. (SMALL IMAGE OF MAN STANDING ON TOP OF OLYMPIC PODIUM BRUSHING INVISIBLE DUST OFF OF HIS SHOULDER) J-AsQ: Why, what happened? How many do you have? WHAT_GOLF_IS: Well. After hearing your answers, I would say an alarming number.
-8:67 CONNECTION TO WHAT_GOLF_IS LOST
J-AsQ: Have you every noticed if Joe was missing any teeth?
J_KerBLING: Not that I know of.
WAAB: I don’t know if you noticed this, but your clock is broken. It’s showing an unreal time. J-AsQ: Yeah, Y2K. WAAB: As in, the year 2000? J-AsQ: What else would it mean? Tank’N_PUZZ_247: Away From Keyboard. (SMALL IMAGE OF TREE. SMALL IMAGE OF WATERFALL. BIG BALLOON LETTERS “AHH”) WAAB: Look, I just need to get one real answer about music, so I can justify all the time I have spent. Can you just give me something? J-AsQ: I can try, what are you looking for? WAAB: Anything. Anything. J-AsQ: I’ll give it a shot. So, in most modern pop music what you have are just a series of ascending or descending consonant tones. The melody could just as easy be random strikes on toy piano because the safety with which the song is composed leaves very little that wouldn’t sound right. It’s like playing a harmonica in the right key for a simple country song. It sounds good because you can’t really make it sound bad. It’s what the ear wants, and that’s not always a bad thing, but it can be a boring thing. So, that opposite of consonant tones or notes are dissonant tones or notes. There’s a whole lot of science behind why these don’t sound good together, but you can Jeeve that some other time. You will find hundreds of Butlers. Here is the thing, though. Consonance and dissonance are not a simple coin. Sure, they define each other, but there are areas of grey. A gradation of dissonance. Basically, you can have a note that sounds just a little bit off, and that can make it really interesting. Instead of always giving the ear exactly what it wants, you give it something to remind it how much it liked the other thing. That’s what I’m trying to do on Keyboard. Was that okay? WAAB: (SMALL IMAGE OF A HEAD EXPLODING) J-AsQ: That’s gross. Tank’N_PUZZ_247: Away From Keyboard. (SMALL IMAGE OF TREE. SMALL IMAGE OF WATERFALL. BIG BALLOON LETTERS “AHH”) WAAB: Weren’t you already away? J-AsQ: He’s not going to answer. When he writes that it means he is not at his computer and most likely is in the bathroom. J_KerBLING: Damn! Is it 8:75 already? I have to get going. Can’t miss my date or my wife will have my hide. (SMALL IMAGE OF A POLICE OFFICER.)
-8:75 CONNECTION TO J_KerBLING LOST
WAAB: Well, Mr> Askew. As much as this has been one of the longer days of my career, I have to admit is has been a pleasure. J-AsQ: Laughing out loud. (SMALL IMAGE OF LAUGHING FACE) WAAB: Something funny? J-AsQ: I was just thinking of something my father used to tell me. WAAB: Oh yeah, what was that? J-AsQ: He used to say, “You probably shouldn’t have been here for that. That was really terrifying. Don’t tell your mother. Actually, don’t tell anybody.” WAAB: Well, on that note. I think I will be going. Can you say “thanks” to Jeff for me when he gets back? Tank’N_PUZZ_247: “gets back?” I’ve been here the whole time. WAAB: Sorry, I thought you were, never mind. (SMALL IMAGE OF EMBARASSED MAN) Goodbye, Jeff. Goodbye, Jason. Thanks again.
This concludes part 4 of our ongoing interview with The Beards. See you back here soon for the conclusion.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” That’s not me who said that. It was someone else, but I am too lazy to look it up right now. Let’s just say it was Abraham Lincoln. Mercifully, after Mr. Kerby left our offices, we were delighted to receive a response in the affirmative to our lunch invite concerning Mr. Jeff Wesner, the drummer for South Dakota’s house band, The Beards.
When we arrived at the restaurant, Jeff was already sitting at a table near the front window watching passers-by and waving to many of them. After the last two interviews, it was a welcomed sight to see a happy, calm, normal human being.
What follows is part three of Weareallbeards.com’s (WAAB) ongoing, exclusive interview with The Beards. We decided against heavy editing practices and tried our best to lay out everything as it happened.
WAAB: Jeff? Hi, I’m from weareallbeards.com. I think we spoke earlier on the phone.
Jeff: Sure, hi, welcome, have a seat. Some of my friends call me Jerry. WAAB: Thanks. Sorry if I’m a little late, it is hard to get out of the office on time. After Kerby left, we all needed a few minutes to decompress. He can be intense.
Jeff: Right, sure, absolutely. WAAB: I hope you didn’t wait to order.
Jeff: No worries. I have plenty of time before I need to get back to my tanks and my puzzles. WAAB: Okay. (Looking at the menu) I wonder what’s good.
Jeff: Don’t know, I’ve never eaten here. WAAB: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought that we cleared this place with you. Somebody said you had eaten here many times.
Jeff: I’ve been here plenty of times. WAAB: Sorry, I don’t follow. Jeff: People love coming here. I’ve been here plenty of times. I just have never eaten here. WAAB: Well, you’re welcome to have whatever you’d like; the website is paying. Jeff: Thanks, that’s nice of you, but it’s not that. I don’t eat many places. WAAB: Interesting, do you have dietary restrictions? Jeff: Sorry, I’ll be right back, I have to use the bathroom. WAAB: By all means.
Jeff leaves out the front door and disappears around the corner of the building. He appears a minute later.
Jeff: Sorry, what were you asking? WAAB: I was asking if you had dietary restrictions.
Jeff: Right. Yes. But to be more accurate, no. WAAB: Again, sorry, but I don’t follow.
Jeff: I have dietary restrictions, but they are entirely self-imposed. WAAB: Oh, so you’re like a vegetarian.
Jeff: Yes, like a vegetarian. WAAB: So, you’re not a vegetarian?
Jeff: (After a long pause) How do I put this? I am what no one calls a racially sensitive fallen fruitarian. WAAB: We’re not going to talk about music today, are we?
Jeff: Is that why we’re here? WAAB: Why did you agree to come to a steak house?
Jeff: You can’t stop a thing from the outside. WAAB: What is that supposed to mean?
Jeff: Not supposed to mean anything; It just does. WAAB: So, what is a racially sensitive…
Jeff: Fallen fruitarian. Right. Well, it’s not so much about “what it is.” It’s more like “What” it is. WAAB: Those aren’t the same things?
Jeff: Not even close.
WAAB: Okay, so “What” is it. I mean, I’ve heard of fruitarians before. It’s when someone eats only fruit because fruit is sustainable?
Jeff: Exactly, but to be more accurate, no, not at all. See, plants want to spread their seed, so the plant puts the seed in the fruit. They don’t have legs, I do. I put their seed in my tummy; I walk somewhere else; I plant their seed in that new place.
WAAB: By “plant,” you mean…
Jeff: Yes, George, that’s what I mean. WAAB: Two quick things. First, why did you just call me George? Second, how are you “planting” the seed, doesn’t it just go down into the sewer like for the rest of us?
Jeff: First, I don’t think I did call you George. Second, it only goes into the sewers if you use modern plumbing. WAAB: You don’t use modern plumbing?
Jeff: God, no. WAAB: Okay, but what about the rest of it, what makes a person a “racially sensitive fallen” fruitarian?
Jeff: Sorry, I just have to use the bathroom real quick. WAAB: Again, okay, sure. Jeff again leaves through the front door of the restaurant and is back a minute later. Jeff: Sorry. So anyway, I only eat fruit that has fallen off, I won’t eat anything that’s been picked. Also, I won’t eat any fruit that is a color we associate with race. WAAB: So, what, you won’t eat anything that is red, yellow, brown?
Jeff: And white. WAAB: Why white? How can that be racially insensitive?
Jeff: It’s mostly because I don’t like white nectarines and white peaches. WAAB: So you can only eat, what, blue and green fruit?
Jeff: Perfect, but to be more on point, no. I also eat purple fruit, but the fruit has to fall off naturally. It cannot be picked or shaken off in any way. WAAB: That sounds really limiting.
Jeff: Horribly, don’t ever ask me over for dinner.
The waitress arrives at the table.
WAAB: Hi, hello, I will just have the lunch special, but I will have pretzels instead of onion rings, thanks.
Jeff: Those pretzels are going to make you thirsty. WAAB: Sorry, what? The waitress turns to Jeff. Jeff: Nothing. Turns to the waitress Hi, I will have the avocado and green pea mash with green apple slices in a black currant glaze. And you know, what the hell, it’s my cheat day, I will also have the elderberry and purple fig salad with the plum dressing on the side.
Waitress: We, literally, have none of those things.
Jeff: Honeydew and lime plate?
Jeff: Box of raisins and some one hundred percent purple grape juice?
Waitress: I can get you a Minute Maid juice box.
Jeff: (shaking his head, defeated) Eighty-six.
Waitress: You want eight six juice boxes?
Jeff: (insistent) Eighty SIX!
WAAB: I think it means no. Waitress: Do you at least want a glass of water?
Jeff: I can list ten living microorganisms in your tap water right now. One, Cryptosporidium, first of all, it’s a living thing. Second, it will give you crazy diarrhea. Two, Rotifers, those aren’t gonna hurt you, so why you gotta hurt them? The waitress turns to leave WAAB: I feel bad eating in front of you. Are you not going to have anything?
Jeff: I’ll probably just chew on my beard. I soak it in blueberry pulp every morning. That’s why I’m always gnawing on the thing. WAAB: So, maybe while I’m waiting for my lunch we can actually talk about music. There is a commotion at the back of the restaurant.
Loud Voice: DID SOMEBODY SAY JAKE KERBY? Jake Kerby appears at the back of the restaurant. He walks towards the table that Jeff and I are sitting at. Jake: (Still loud) EVERYONE IN THE RESTAURANT LOOKED AT JAKE LIKE COMMON PEOPLE LOOK AT THE X-MEN, BUT ONLY IN THE GOOD FILMS, LIKE X-MEN 3. Jake pulls up a chair and sits down at the table. WAAB: Mr. Kerby, how strange to see you again. Jake: You are welcome. Look, I know you guys are really low budg’ so, I had a guy, cause I know a guy, come over and take pictures of me while I took a nap. Very tasteful, very peaceful, I had him send them to your people. I also printed a few for you. WAAB: Thanks? Jake: Of course. (Jake looks over at Jeff.) What are you doing here? Jeff: Kraemer’s interviewing me for that website. WAAB: Why would you call me that? Jake: Ignoring the journalist who is so far out of this depth. Right, but I mean why would you come to this place? They don’t have your hippy dippy stuff. Editor’s note: For those not following our exclusive series of interviews, refer back to interview two for an explanation of the typographical choices for Mr. Kerby’s sections. WAAB: Sorry, that might actually be my fault. Jake: Jake can’t remember addressing the journalist. WAAB: Sorry. Jeff: It’s not hippy dippy. I told you, it’s the right thing to do, and if you tried it you would like it.
Jake points out the window and we all see a familiar face. It’s lead singer Joe Raiche. His hair is a mess, and his clothes are torn and filthy. It’s only been two hours since we last saw him, but he looks like he has seen months of hard living since then. Jeff knocks on the window and waves him in. Joe enters and stands next to the table. Jeff: Are you okay, man?
Joe: Why do you ask?
Jeff: Because you look pretty rough, and I think that’s dried blood on your ear.
Joe: Don’t worry, it’s not mine. What are you guys doing here?
Jake: This guy, Jake motions to feeble journalist with bad posture, is interviewing Jeff. Jeff is trying to get me to eat bird food.
Jeff: It’s not bird food.
Jake: You know what, maybe you are right. Jake suavely motions for the waitress like they do in movies and places like California.
Waitress: Yes, sir. What can I get you?
Joe: I would like some raw bacon.
Waitress: Sorry, what was that?
Joe: Bacon, I would like some raw bacon.
Waitress: Sir, I don’t think we can sell…raw…
Joe: Can you at least check? Waitress leaves WAAB: Aren’t you worried about getting botulism?
Joe: First of all, botulism is like chicken pox, once you have it, you can’t get it again.
Jake: I told you that’s not how it works, that’s not how any of that works.
Joe: Second of all, I’m not paying to have them cook it, that’s where they get you.
WAAB: While I have you all here, maybe I could ask a couple questions. Joe: Probably not, I have to get out of here.
Jake: Sure, did you do some digging and find out about my other awards, honestly, at this point I feel like it’s embarrassing for other people. WAAB: No, nothing like that. I want to talk about your upcoming shows.
Jeff: Sure, but I have to “run” and plant a blueberry bush.
Joe: Right on. WAAB: Is that a euphemism? And why air quote “run”?
Jake: No, it’s exactly what he’s doing. Has he not told you his old “plants don’t have legs, I do” speech? It is creepy as hell. WAAB: Sure, okay, whatever works. The waitress returned with a plate of raw bacon. Joe: Perfect, hate to be a pain, but do you have a to-go box?
Waitress: Sure, I’ll go get it.
Joe: You know what, don’t worry about it, I’ll just put it in my pockets.
Joe rolls the bacon up and shoves it into his pockets. He pulls out a large wad of paper and places some of it on the table. He leaves quickly. Returning in the direction he came from. After he is gone, I pick up the paper he has left behind. WAAB: What is this? Jake: It’s probably cash from Zimbabwe. He converted all his assets a while ago. WAAB: This is a ten trillion dollar bill. Jake: Yeah, it’s worth about seven fifty. You know what, I should get out of here too. Got things to do. Jake moved towards the exit. As he did, he started to speak loudly again. Jake: AS JAKE EXITED THE RESTAURANT HIS PRESENCE PERMEATED THE ROOM LIKE THE MUSK OF AN AARDVARK. WAAB: You already used that one. (I spoke quietly to myself, but somehow Jake heard and returned to the table. He looked really angry.) Jake: What was that? WAAB: Nothing. Jake: No, what was that? WAAB: I just said that you already used that line when you left our offices this morning. Jake: What line? WAAB: The line about the musk of the aardvark. Jake: So? WAAB: So, nothing. I was just pointing out that you already used it. Jake: But so does the aardvark. WAAB: What? Jake: So does the aardvark. WAAB: I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Jake: So…does…the…aardvark. Jake turned to leave once again. Jake: AS JAKE EXITED THE RESTAURANT HIS PRESENCE PERMEATED THE ROOM LIKE THE MUSK OF AN AARDVARK.
The waitress arrived with my food. I tried to eat as much as possible before Jeff returned so as not to eat in front of him. After a few more minutes, Jeff returned to the table.
WAAB: Everything good to go. You get that blackberry bush planted?
Jeff: Blueberry, and yes, it will have a happy home. WAAB: So, if you weren’t a drummer, what do you think you would be doing? Jeff: You know, I always wanted to pretend to be an architect. WAAB: But not actually an architect?
Jeff: No. WAAB: Okay. So, how do you feel about the band? I mean overall. It’s pretty rare for people in a small town to find one another and to work well together.
Jeff: You know, it’s so nice when it happens good. WAAB: Right.
Jeff: Hey, did Joe and Jake say where they were going? WAAB: Jake said he had errands. Joe just left. He should have walked right by you.
Jeff: I saw him. He was wrestling with a manhole cover. Almost had it off. WAAB: Well, unfortunately I have to get back to the offices. We have a skype interview setup with someone that can’t be rescheduled. Guy was very particular about the time.
Jeff: That’s cool, I have to use the bathroom again anyways. And, I should be getting back to my tanks and my puzzles. I miss my tanks and my puzzles. WAAB: Well, it was nice to meet you, Jeff.
This concludes part three of our ongoing exclusive interview with The Beards. If you made it this far, you might as well keep coming back for more. We hope you do.