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Meet the Faces of MS: Amanda

Crash Safely has been introducing you to all of the bands, studios and items you can win this year, but there’s one group of people we’ve been omitting, and they’re the most important group!

That would be MS patients, their family, friends and bandmates.

It can be tough for MS patients to publicly talk about living with it, owing to misinformation and the unpredictable nature of the disease.  MS is different for every single person who has it, and that means that  it’s harder for people who don’t have MS to fully grasp what’s going on.
Our first interview will be from in-house here at Crash Safely.  If you have MS (or are close to someone who does) and want to participate, please drop Amanda a line!  You can participate anonymously as well.    Speaking of Amanda:

 

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What lead your MS diagnosis?

My dominant arm was sore and getting harder and harder to use.  After a while, that soreness crept down my arm to my side, to my leg.  The whole time, I was convinced that a) I had slept “wrong” and b) I had suffered some strange workplace injury. There didn’t seem to be any reason for what was going on.  I had an EMG (which feels really weird) and an MRI.  The MRI showed what was going on. When I was told it was MS, I was relieved.  All of the other tests were coming back negative and I was starting to believe that maybe I was going crazy.

What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve run into, professionally and personally, in dealing with MS?

Professionally has been a little harder than personally.  I’ve had some issues after full disclosure of MS at work, mostly with people not really understanding what I’m talking about and equating the phrase “chronic, demyelinating neurological disease” with a sudden, drastic drop in my intelligence.  Because my MS medication is an infusion, I have to have a talk about leaving work at a certain time every month to get the dose.  I’ve actually come up with a way to talk about that without saying that I have MS, but it still seems to make people think that I just want a long weekend. When one of my coworkers accused me of that once, I told her that I would gladly trade what she thought I was doing with what I was actually doing.  I’ve also invited people who questioned me on the infusions to tag along with me.  Unsurprisingly, no one took me up on that offer.

Personally, it’s been hard to adjust to the idea that I have to be aware of more. I’m doing much, much better that I was when I was diagnosed, but I still have to think about things that could mean the difference between me doing something fun and having to stay home.  How hot/humid is it out? Did I get enough sleep? Do I have enough time to eat/drink something before I head out? How far is the walk?  When I get there, will I be able to sit down without looking like I got something special?

I’ve had random strangers treat me horribly with regards to all of those things.  For a while, I needed to use a cane full time to walk around and I had people yell at me on the T because they didn’t want to give up their seats.

That can make you just a little bit grumpy.
That can make you just a little bit grumpy.

Has public disclosure of your MS hurt you in any way? If so, how?

It’s been more of a challenge professionally, and only then with the infusion talk.  I’m at a point where I figure there’s a big neon sign above my head that says I have it, so I forget that people don’t know.

What would you like people who know nothing about MS to know?

You don’t “catch” MS.  I didn’t do anything to cause it.  MS is a part of my life and there’s not much I can do about that (much like there’s not much I can do about my skin color).  I know it’s meant as a compliment, but “you look great!” can sound like a slag (unless you haven’t seen me in a while, then hey, I’ll take it as a compliment).  Why does it sound like a slag? Because, from my perspective, it sounds like you’re expecting that because I’m sick, I should “look sick.”  Living with MS is exhausting and expensive, even if you have really amazing insurance.  You have your PCP, a neurologist, medications, probably some kind of physical and occupational therapy. MS meds are speciality meds, so that means they’re on the highest copay tiers (and there are no generic equivalents right now). Probably mental health professionals. MRIs. If you take an injectable medication, there are extra costs there too (alcohol swabs, biohazard bins, proper disposal of the sharps). These are all for maintenance, so when things veer off track, it gets even worse.

 

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Up for Grabs: Death Wish Coffee Gift Set

Coffee.  It’s a favorite drink of ours and we’ve had quite a lot of it to share over the years.

This year, we have  the strongest coffee you can buy.

What are you trying to tell me?
What are you trying to tell me?

 

Death Wish Coffee has an awesome name, awesome coffee and awesome logos.  How could we possibly pass them up?

 

They take their coffee very, very seriously (as do we).

Death Wish Coffee presents The Janitor from Death Wish Coffee Company on Vimeo.

 

They also have a coffee from Zakk Wylde called Valhalla Odinforce Blend.

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Which also has awesome artwork!

 

Coffee+ Rock’n’Roll+Great Graphic Design.  You can get it all with our Death Wish Gift Set!  It comes with:

 

5 lbs of whole bean Death Wish Coffee

Ground Death Wish Coffee

Death Wish T Shirt

Death Wish Thermal Mug

Cool spoon rests, coasters and stickers

 

We may even see about brewing up some Death Wish for the Early Birds at one of the shows as well!

Death Wish Coffee- who needs sleep, anyway?

Pete D

Meet the Bands: Pete Donnelly

It’s strange how things work out.  The Figgs have a  two thirds majority of Petes.
Those Petes are the same Petes headlining the first night of Crash Safely this year.

They'd probably agree with this
Not these Petes, but they’d probably agree.

Pete-Donnelly

Pete D is not only the bassist in the Figgs, but a session musician (playing with the likes of Shelby Lynne and Lauren Hill), former NRBQ member, engineer and producer.  Someday, we’ll figure out how he manages to sneak sleep into his schedule! Pete will be in town at the Midway on August 25th before returning with Pete Hayes (and rumor has it, John Powhida).  Check out his cool music video for “Can’t Talk at All” below, and don’t forget to grab tickets to 9/27′s show!

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Meet the Bands: My Own Worst Enemy

It’s hard to top the write up that Magnet recently did on My Own Worst  Enemy, that’s for certain.  Like pretty much all of the bands playing Crash Safely this year, they’ve had a lot going on, including a 7″ single that came out over the winter and Porchfest more recently.  We adore MOWE, and you should too!

My Own Worst Enemy

 

You can get a preview of what they’re up to by seeing them at Store 54 on 8/9.  Maybe you can put in a request for this gem from last year’s Crash Safely:

 

 

 

Grab your tickets to see them on  10/10 at Crash Safely!

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Up for Grabs: Gibson Les Paul Future Tribute

Looking for a new guitar, but haven’t found “the one” yet?  Why not attempt to win a Gibson Les Paul Future Tribute in Wine Red at Crash Safely?

 

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You know you want this.

The Future Tribute is a 2013 model that has the following attributes:

  • Mahogany body with solid carved maple top
  • Mahogany neck with new Asymmetrical profile
  • Rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays
  • Zebra-coil ’57 Classic humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge
  • Steinberger™ gearless tuners

It’s not as heavy as other Les Pauls and has a really nice tone.

It comes with a gig bag, truss rod wrench, an owner’s manual and a lifetime warranty.

 

Learn more about the Future Tribute model and check out a quick rundown of it here (a quick note: the model we have doesn’t have the Min-ETune):

 

 

This will be up for bidding at each of the shows, as well as online and will be taken home by the lucky winner on 10/17!

 

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Meet the Hosts: Cotton Candy

Chances are, you still remember the words to all of those ads that ran in between your favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

For instance, if I started to say anything about Meow Mix, you may just start doing this:

 

 

It’s stuck in your head  now, isn’t it?  Fortunately, Cotton Candy understand.  This is their third year participating in Crash Safely, and this year, they will be hosting the second night of shows on 10/10.

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They’ll not only host, but play some of your favorite jingles, including, yes, that Meow Mix song.  They’ve even made their own video for  their version:

 

See if they’ll take requests!  Grab your tickets and get ready for a fun night!

photo by Micah Gummel

Meet the Bands: Watts

 

Watts have been super busy this year!  In case you’ve missed it, they’ve played with Cheap Trick and The Standells, in addition to a run with Sidewalk Driver and The Silks (who just played with fellow Crash Safely participants Township).

photo by Micah Gummel
photo by Micah Gummel

Amazingly, Watts found the time between all of these amazing shows to record, and there’s a new single on the way on the 29th!  Check it out here:
http://kingyumrecords.bandcamp.com/album/flash-of-white-light-exclusive-white-vinyl

Crash Safely will be your chance to get up close and personal with the band ( and score one of their cool new shirts)!

Grab your tickets here, and we’ll ask Rocky to save you  a spot at the bar!

 

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Meet the Studios: Peerless Mastering

So, you’ve recorded your sure fire hit single, congrats!  There’s only one problem…

 

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It was recorded on this bad boy.

In fact, you’ve got a ton of music you’ve recorded and you’d really like to release it to your adoring public soon.  You’re listening to these tunes, wondering how on earth it’ll ever come together to be that magnum opus you just know is sitting on those recordings.

Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering will save you!

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Peerless has been around since 1995, and has been working with the likes of Spoon, Roky Erickson, Lightning Bolt and tons more. You probably own many recordings mastered at Peerless!

Now you can join their fabulous client list through the silent auction!  You’ll be able to bid on time with Jeff to master your single at Peerless!

 

 

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Meet the Bands: TRiPLE THiCK

As always, we have a bunch of great acts playing Crash Safely.  We wanted to highlight everyone on the bills this year and share some little known facts about them all.

TRiPLE THiCK just celebrated their 15th birthday a few weeks ago (which makes us wonder how they’ve managed to sneak into the clubs they’ve been playing this whole time).

 

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Better card these guys.

This year will be TRiPLE THiCK’s third appearance at Crash Safely, but they actually hold a record for something else with us.  They’ve managed to score the most amount of studio time in our silent auctions (including video production)!

In fact, here’s a tune they recorded during their run at Zippah – “She’s A Keeper”:

 

Want to win your fair share of studio time?  It may just be time for you to ask these guys how they do it!

 

Catch them on Night #3 of Crash Safely- 10/17. Tickets are already available! It’s our only 18+ night as well, so get on that quick!

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Kittehs! (I mean, posters!)

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Have you seen the latest posters from Nicole Anguish at Daykamp Creative? Check ‘em all out above!

We’re obviously big fans of cats.  If you head to the Crash Safely Instagram, you’ll see I’m not joking about that.  It’s possibly comprised of  75-80% cat photos.  Soon, you’ll be seeing these kittehs* all over  town.  Come up with creative names for them!  There may or may not be a prize in it for you for best cat name.

Ronnie Lane
What do you mean “may?”

Speaking of prizes, Gibson started my morning off with a bit of a surprise.  I just happened to be home this morning when FedEx came around.  I wasn’t expecting anything, so I must have looked like I won the lottery when the delivery driver handed me this:

Well, the box that had this in it.
Well, the box that had this in it.

He was excited.  You’d think it was his guitar, he was so happy!  “That’s a great one,” he said, “beautiful color.  Enjoy!  Happy 4th!”

I did request a donation from Gibson, but I wasn’t expecting to hear back from them for a while.  I’ll take a surprise Les Paul delivery as confirmation that they want to help out! You’ll be able to bid on this beauty as the silent auctions are announced, and we’re planning on having this be something that will be picked up at one of the shows, so if you’re the lucky winner, you can start playing it immediately.  You could also take it with you to your studio time winnings as well, which we also keep adding to the list of winnable things.

*I know that's not how it's spelled.  It's cute.