Category Archives: Music

R.I.P. Jonnie


Jonnie Scheiner killed himself on Tuesday, August 17, at age 19. I taught him for over six years, first as percussion instructor, then as band director. He grew from a tiny, amazingly talented 6th grader to a pain in the ass who quit the marching band I directed, in almost the exact same way I quit during my high school days. He literally held together the drumline during his time. If it wasn’t for him, we never would have made it through a long, humid, hot parade in Washington, DC on July 4, 2008.

Jonnie Scheiner at Band Camp 2006
Jonnie Scheiner at Band Camp 2006

The morning before I heard the news, I thought once again that I should contact Jonnie and we could go out for lunch and just talk. We had some catching up to do and things to put behind us. I regret I will never get that chance, and although his problems can’t be directly attributable to me, as I grieve I feel that somehow I am partially to blame. Jonnie left the band on bad terms, but he tried to be my friend afterwards. As he got older,we fought and disagreed; that’s how your teenage years seem to work. It was hard for me to process what I felt as betrayal for supporting him all those years. Until that point, I was one of the few that was on his side. And now, I just can’t seem to process that he’s gone, that no one will ever be able to appreciate the talent that he had on the drums, in music.

It’s completely regrettable to me that his last words to me, on Facebook, were how much he missed me.

Jonnie Scheiner backstage at Cacophony
Jonnie Scheiner backstage at Cacophony

He was always tormented, there was always some sort of drama in his
life, and apparently just had a bad breakup with a serious girlfriend. I read the words on his Facebook, thinking it was just another piece of drama in his life. And then, as I read the eulogies coming in from friends and family on his Facebook page, and those on his brother and mother’s Facebook wall, I can only believe he didn’t know how many lives he touched.

Powered by ScribeFire.

The First Annual Eddie Awards!

That’s right, folks, according to our “research”, people like year-ending lists. So we, by which I mean “I”, came up with some things that happened, were purchased, or created by me this year.

Best advice– “Shit happens” – from (former…) Champ Car owner Derrick Walker at the final Champ Car Grand Prix of Long Beach. Mr. Walker stands to lose several million dollars of personal money in a sponsorship dispute.

Album of the year“Pretty. Odd.” by Panic at the Disco. Amazing Beatlesque work from an “emo” band.

Most Disappointing Album:  “Viva La Vida”, by Coldplay. So yeah, looks like their 15 minutes ran out just before X&Y.

Brewery of the year: Founder’s Brewing. Probably the only good thing to come out of Michigan this year. Their beers are heavy and expensive, but worth every damn dime.

Concert of the year: Minus the Bear, Webster Hall, 10/25/08.

Homebrew of the year: Simcorillo IPA. I didn’t brew as much as I would’ve liked, but this was a highlight.

Trip of the year: Washington, DC with the Secaucus High School Marching Band.

Trip of the year excluding chaperoning 40 kids: The final Champ Car race ever at Long Beach, Ca.

Movie of the year: I, uh, didn’t see any movies this year.

Most Addictive Website: Facebook. Twitter comes in a close second here, but the amount of people with whom I’ve reconnected makes Facebook a complete and utter timesuck. Also, my Twitter feed now updates my Facebook status, so it’s win-win!

Powered by ScribeFire.

How to Get a Free Drink in New York City

This past Saturday night I saw Minus the Bear at Webster Hall. It was an awesome show; they are a very tight band that brought the crowd through a wide range of emotions. I was damn surprised that their drummer plays a basic, clear fiberglass Ludwig four-piece set with only two crashes, a ride cymbal, and hi-hats. His sound is generally much fuller than the equipment portrays. It’s great seeing bands in small venues, where you can actually see the performers’ faces instead of resorting to a big screen.

Afterwards, with time to kill before my train home, I went to my most favorite place on Earth (ok, my favorite bar at least) for some libations. Despite the large crowd in this oddly laid out location, I grabbed a seat at the bar, and had my first beverage. As I was consuming my second, a girl came up to me, “Excuse me, sir”.

Oh boy.

Long story short, these four girls were out for a bachelorette party (… at the Blind Tiger?!). As part of the bride-to-be’s scavenger hunt, she was required to kiss a man’s scalp. I guess scavenger hunts are what people do at bachelorette parties? As a male, I am used to bachelor parties consisting of severe intoxication that is generally paid for all day the next day, and barely clothed women asking for money at expensive locations to which I normally don’t go.

So, being the intoxicated good sport I normally am, I took off my hat, and tilted my head towards the woman who will probably only remember kissing my sweaty pate (I was at a concert, y’know) because of the photos her friends took.

As I wiped the last bit of lipstick off my head, the bartender placed an empty glass upside down, and she said “your next beer is from the lady wearing the tiara”.

I chose that delicious beverage as Avery Brewing’s Reverend Belgian Quad. A stellar way to finish right before I stumbled to the train station. I was considerate: it wasn’t the most expensive beer in the place, and as I left, I both thanked and congratulated the bride-to-be.

And I wasn’t even that hungover the next day.

Powered by ScribeFire.