In Which Our Hero Comes Clean, Feels Much Better Afterward

This is a purty small town, rock and roll-wise. Buy the right studded wrist and belt accessories, belt sand your jeans, down a few shots of Jack at the right bar, stare into the ether like Rain Man, and you'll meet anyone relevant to Seattle's rock scene within two weeksthe stand-up dudes, the ambitious, the assholes, the egomaniacs. Once I took my leap of faith from neurotic straightedge elitist to neurotic boozer, user, and loser, I found a niche in this bordello of blood rather easily. All of this "networking" pretty much extinguishes the soul, body, mind, and spirit, but it's great for rock journalismwhy, just think of all those scoops I've broken in this very column; for instance . . . um . . . uh . . . let me get back to you on that. Point being, I often know members of the local bands I write about, some more intimately than others. This can constitute what we in the biz call a conflict of interest if those relationships affect my criticism of their work. Until today, those details were locked in the furnace of my malfunctioning black heart. I cannot in good conscience withhold them any longer.

Let us say, for example, that if I give Limp Bizkit's Results May Vary a four-star notice, you, the reader, should assume that I am giving you an objective, tamper-free assessment (as a fucking lunatic), and not that (a) Fred Durst is blackmailing me with a transcript of an out-of-print interview I gave in the '70s asserting my admiration for Hitler, (b) that I am sleeping with Fred Durst, or (c) that I am trying to sleep with Fred Durst. So although Easter is far, far away, as a confirmed, albeit nonpracticing, Catholic, I'm about eight years overdue on the confessional/sacrificial aspect of Lent. The truth hurts, but it's something you need to know so we can move on together. Any shame or wrath I incur will be irrelevant compared to maintaining your respect.

(One caveat: Considering that I am constantly, inadvertently teetering on the precipice of Ruining People's Lives with the "online diary" candor of this column, I have made an arrangement with Godfor one week onlyto put His hand down and stay my pen whenever I'm about to write something idiotic or incriminating.)

T.J. COWGILL, guitarist, TEEN CTHULHU: Recently asked his thoughts on a good place to hide [HAND OF GOD] in my car.

JENNY JIMENEZ, bassist, THE CATCH: Hugged her, at length, in front of her boyfriend. Nodded sagely when she (possibly inebriated) exclaimed, that I was a "cutie."

CORY MURCHY, bassist, MINUS THE BEAR: Tried to scam him into subletting shitty apartment a few years ago. Inquired about knitting prowess for my ex-girlfriend's zine. Engaged in philosophical discussion about merits of Zima.

ERIN TATE, drummer, MINUS THE BEAR: Went to his apartment at 2 a.m. to listen to the Mars Volta and [HAND OF GOD], which is totally natural and appropriate when listening to the Mars Volta.

ARLIE CARSTENS, guitarist/vocalist, JUNO: Um, I'm subletting his attic. Moving on . . . .

NATE MENDEL, WILLIAM GOLDSMITH, bassist and drummer, THE FIRE THEFT: Watched 10 minutes of The Bourne Identity on their Baghdad-size tour bus. Did not introduce myself, but shared meaningful eyebrow raise during tense sniper sequence.

DEMIAN JOHNSTON, guitarist/ vocalist, PLAYING ENEMY: Ridiculed his bowling abilities. Am often victimized by esoteric, drunk, late night text messages. Have so far demurred frequent, late night invitations to "chill" at Wingdome.

LEONA MARRS, keyboardist, HINT HINT: Bandaged my profusely bleeding left ear after I took a chopper off the noggin during Sunday pickup softball game. Passed on information about her acupuncture work to Seattle Weekly staff. I think we're even or something.

ANNA OXYGEN, vocals/instruments, ANNA OXYGEN: Straddled drum machine in back of her truck en route to post-softball group dinner at El Gallito.

JOHN ATKINS, guitarist/vocalist, MAGIC MAGICIANS: Made small talk on Brooklyn shuttle bus to JFK Airport. Has possibly given me discounts on cocktails, but I might have been drunk, or worse, and imagining things.

KIM WARNICK, bassist/vocalist, VISQUEEN: See above, strike airport part.

JESSE ROBERTSON, keyboardist, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES: Employed [HAND OF GOD] to help him ease up and lose his karaoke virginity.

BEN CLARK, vocalist, THE LASHES: Worships sweat of my fingertips as I compose Mixtape, although solely in interest of publicizing band and securing superstardom and all of its spoils. Frequent administrator of "man hugs" and Pine Street lap dances. I'll elaborate on this some other day.

God, that was rough. Every cavity of my body is throbbing in the wake of that purge. Maybe something lighthearted and trivial next week, if you're still around to read me. XOXO. [HAND OF GOD].

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