The Quotable Johnsons

March 12th, 2007 |

Here are a few choice phrases that were heard around my house this past weekend. Feel free to use them at your next office party or open mic night.

“I can’t believe I shredded my finger into my omelette.” – Angel Johnson, upon finding that her new cheese grater actually works on skin too.

“Dangerous Frogs of the Flying Dutchmen” – Riley Johnson, when asked if he knew who the guys on the TV were. They were actually the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“Potato salad is a disgusting midnight snack” – Drew Johnson, after learning the hard way that potato salad is a disgusting midnight snack.

“That was the most gay move I’ve ever seen—and I’ve seen guys make out.” Angel Johnson, after seeing a commercial for a radio station that showed a man dancing in a way that men aren’t supposed to dance.

I found this beat-up picture of The Drew Johnson Band and it brought back a horrible memory. The night this picture was taken was possibly the toughest gig I’ve ever played. I had a wicked case of laryngitis that didn’t really peak until the afternoon of the gig. I almost couldn’t talk at all. People would walk into the club (The Firehouse) and come up to say hi and gasp when they heard me try to say hi back. “What are you going to do?!?” Just what any idiot would do. Play the show. Which I did.

My singing voice didn’t sound quite as bad as my speaking voice but that was only because I was able to push harder when I “sang”. That gig did some serious damage to my pipes and extended my no-talking run another week. Good times.

Drew Johnson Band

The Sundays – Blind

March 10th, 2007 |

Does anybody remember The Sundays? I’m pretty sure you’ve probably heard at least one of their songs whether you know it or not. Thanks to public restrooms and elevators you probably know their song “Here’s Where the Story Ends.”

The album that was released after the album containing that song was called ‘Blind’. I have for years listed that album as one of my top ten favorite albums but I’d sort of forgotten about it until today. I was in the bathroom (where else?) at work and heard one of the songs from ‘Blind’. I stood there at the sink listening and hoping nobody would walk in and catch me getting all nostalgic in front of the mirror.

Here is the video for the song ‘Goodbye’. It’s my favorite song from that album. It definitely sounds dated but it’s so beautiful. I’ve always said that women are capable of imparting a level of beauty to music that men are not. Here is part of my evidence.

Yes I know what you’re thinking – “What language was she mush-mouthing?” I’ve never heard anyone who is harder to understand than Harriet Wheeler. I’ve heard this album at least 5,000 times and I recognize maybe 30% of the lyrics as actual words. I can, however, sing along to the entire album phonetically. No kidding.

Art Of The Choke

March 8th, 2007 |

Tuesday night I was having a conversation with my uncle about professional athletes who quickly rose to prominence and then choked. Not like  an “Awww rough game there tiger” choke . Like a “What ever happened to whats-his-face” choke.

For Cardinals fans the first person that pops into our heads is rookie phenom turned cautionary tale Rick Ankiel. I’m sure most of you know the story: 20 year old pitcher, mid-nineties fastball, wicked curve ball. He started Game 1 of the NLDS in 2000 and unraveled in a most ineloquent way. He threw five wild pitches and right before our very eyes he actually unlearned how to pitch. Not only that, he even went so far as to unlearn how to throw a ball where the catcher could catch it.

The Cardinals’ farm system has spent the last seven years trying to rehabilitate this once unstoppable force.

During our conversation about chokers, I asked why we never really see this with artists. If Rick Ankiel had been a guitar player he would have walked on stage at Madison Square Garden in front of a sold out crowd, turned up the volume on his guitar, and then impaled himself on the headstock attempting to play a G chord.

There are many instances where artists write great music for years and then for some unknown reason begin to write garbage. U2, Van Halen, and Tom Waits are a few right off the top of my head. I can’t exactly explain this situation either but it doesn’t really parallel the Ankiel story.

Maybe throwing a ball in a straight line is harder than playing guitar. So much harder, in fact, that you can actually spontaneously forget how to do it. That’s all I can figure.

I’m not only comparing musicians but any kind of artist. Can a photographer forget how to compose a shot? Can a painter forget what color blue and red make? Can a writer forget how to use punctuation?

So what’s the difference?

I don’t know.

I asked you first.

I’m sleepy.

I never should have asked.


Dr. Pepper’s Malpractice

March 7th, 2007 |

If I learned that it would be possible to inject Dr. Pepper directly into my veins I think that would be reason enough to conquer my fear of needles. I’ve done some reading about Dr. Pepper addiction and one guy actually suggested that the secret ingredient in Dr. Pepper is a narcotic.

My name is Drew Johnson and I’ve been Pepper-free for three days.

Have you noticed that the only brand of soda that is ever sold out at the grocery store is Dr. Pepper? I have. Yes sir I’ve noticed. You betcha I have. Does anyone find that odd?

After I quit smoking I decided that the best way to congratulate myself would be to go out and find me a brand new stimulant. And the Dr. was just what the Pepper ordered.

It became clear to me that I had a wee bitty bit of a problem when I realized that I was drinking about two 2-liters a day. That’s more expensive than smoking! But of course I smoked the $1.29 a pack death-sticks from Dirt Nap Bob’s.

So I’m three days in and it looks like I’ll probably survive. The diet root beer I’ve been drinking doesn’t exactly back-hand my pleasure receptors the way I’d like but it’ll have to do.

Bring On The Banner Ads

March 5th, 2007 |

The number of people who visited this website in January of 2007 is ten times the number of people who visited in January of 2006. Then the traffic increased another 33% from January to February of 2007. That means there are approximately 13 regular visitors to my site each month.

Seriously though, I’m kind of stunned at the increase in traffic. So thanks. And to show how much I apprecitate your kindness I’d like to slap a bunch of banner ads all over this puppy.

Have you seen the movie Transamerica? I don’t remember exactly when I saw it but I’m pretty sure I was still in The Formula Kid because I remember thinking that I was definitely going to do a solo album after hearing the soundtrack to that movie.

That music was so haunting to me. I remember most of it being old gospel/blues type stuff. And I knew then that there was an atmosphere to that music that I wanted to create on my solo record. It’s odd that I would actually go on to become a Christian before getting a real start on the album. The song Going to Memphis was my first stab at capturing that mood. It’s not too bad. And by “not too bad” I mean extremely impressive.

Feathered Hair Causes Canker Soars

March 3rd, 2007 |

Slow news day. Bring out the idiot pics!

Most of the pictures I post of myself make me laugh in the same way they make you laugh. Not this one. I really am embarrassed about this one. This hairdo is inexcusable.

Drew and Angel

Whenever I grow up I’m going to buy a real scanner. Sorry.

This is me in front of Caesar’s in Vegas with one of the Wips from my fleet.

Drew Johnson with his Bentley

I expect to have my puter up and running within the next couple of weeks. It turns out the IRS is going to throw me a bone this year, unlike last year where they actually took 1,700 bones. As soon as I’m back in business I’ll post some more demos and will finally get back to recording some music.

A Milestone of Sorts

March 1st, 2007 |

This past Sunday marked a bit of a milestone for me. My church’s worship band played a song I wrote called “Jesus-Crazed Egobeasts Comin’ to Steal Yer Joy.” But I just call it “Hands to Heaven” for short.

My cousin Lisa is our worship leader and she mentioned to me almost a year ago that she had been wanting to start doing some original worship songs but no one had ever really taken the bull by the horns and written anything. So I decided to try my hand and it.

A lot of modern worship music is (stylistically not lyrically) pretty nauseating to me. Then again, a lot of all music is pretty nauseating to me so maybe that’s not really fair to say.

Have you ever noticed that when someone like Alicia Keys or even Destiny’s Child plays on an awards show they usually have some gigantic band backing them and they tend to do a bad Fusion Jazzed-out arrangement of their current single? There’s always lots of stabs from the horn section and the drummer is always doing some sort of Dave Weckl impression and if there’s any way possible to work it in there will probably be a choir. Well that’s what modern worship music often sounds like to me. But what do I know?

So I decided to try and cop that style except without all the flash. It started out as a “let’s just see if I can do this” project but I ended up being rather proud of the song. It went over very well in church and Pastor has it on his iPod so that can’t be a bad thing right?

The picture of the day was taken after a Drew Johnson Band show at The Side Door quite a few years ago. In the middle of the show I noticed that many people in the crowd were pointing and gasping. This was nothing new. My guitar skills combined with my stunning good looks command this sort of reaction all the time. But this time it was more of a grossed out kind of thing. I looked down to see that my guitar was covered in blood. As a result of my sloppy picking technique combined with a bunch of adrenaline I had scraped most of the skin off of the back of my index finger and it was splashing blood everywhere.

It’s hard to tell from this picture but the Jerry Jones (orange guitar) is also covered in blood. Sorry it’s so blurry but I’m not sorry for the ultra tough apples blanket.

Blood on the axes