...and the livin's easy, Devoted Reader:
Here's the hotly anticipated SECOND INSTALLMENT of the One and Only Chris Milam Early Summertime Mailbag of Radaciousness:
Chris, I've got a question for you: how's the band coming...mate? Cheerio, and things of that nature... --Keith Richey, Birmingham England:
First let me say that, although Milam is an English name, I fancy myself a proud Scotch-Irish mongrelbeast. So, kiss off, you thieving tyrant. In the meantime, my band's still waiting with breath which is baited for an upcoming date. I was playing with a lot of good folks in Nashville before I hit the road, but I'll be in Nashville for the rest of the summer and likely early fall playing with a band. More soon.
Hey Chris, what's this I hear about you not liking U2? That's insane in my membrane. --Yancey Nanfred, Lake Forest Illinois
I never said I didn't like U2. What I said is that I hate U2. Listen, folks, if you want to back The Bono while he cures polio and fights the droughts and sponge-bathes old people, that's your perogative. I support The Bono's charitable endeavors. Just get off my TV. Get out of my radio. Stop pimping IPods like you owe Steve Jobs a favor. Stop citing "sexy Southern music" as your main influence when you won't tour in the South. Because folks in Montgomery ain't paying $150 to sit in the balcony and squint at Edge's bald spot. Just. Stop.
Milam, who would win in a fight of belligerent hotness: Halle Berry or you? --David Justice, Atlanta Georgia
Holy crap, David Justice! If I cared remotely about baseball I'd be marginally excited. Anyway, when Halle Berry fights me in a hot-off, I'd like to think everyone wins. Especially her. But mostly me.
What the hell is a hot-off? --Brandy Carlisle in Muncie, Indiana:
You've got me. But, spit-balling, I see a catwalk, a skeet shooting range, and lots of flexing.
Chris, have you caught any of the summertime blockbusters? --Gina Torino, Queens New York
As a matter of fact I have. I first went to Mission Impossible III, which was supposed to refer to the movie's espionage, but actually referred to whether or not Tomkat is believable as a functioning human being at this point. Then I went to see the Third X-Man Film (or X3, as practically everyone but me calls it) to show support for my wife, Halle Berry-Milam. It was not good, although I lied to her and told her I loved it so she would still be with me. And, finally, I saw The Break-Up because I wanted to see, on a big screen, just how enormous Jon Favreau's head has become. And it was big. Really big. So, to answer your question, yes, but I'm holding out for Miami Vice and (don't act like you didn't see it coming) Snakes on a Plane.
Speaking of "snakes," did you know that the Norwegian word for "see you later" is "snakkes" (pronounced "snock-ays")? Also, don't you find it strange that your letters from actual fans seem to be having a running conversation with you? --Your brother, Memphis Tennessee
I once met a Norwegian girl who taught this to me. I then adopted it to the English language as a "hip" new term for a "snack." Like, "Dinner isn't until 8:30, so I think I'll have a few snakkes this afternoon." Now go back to work.
Got any new bandnames? --Gene Albertson, New Albany Connecticut:
Here are a few that we've been workshopping:
Christown Milo and the Nuclear Silo Brigade
The Chimney Swept
The Lonely Lonelies
CMTrouble and the Death Rays from Hell
Ci-Ci Mizzle and the Men in White Shoes
The Pac Men
Pete's Hippo Patrol
(And my personal favorite....)
The Second Best Band You Will Hear Tonight
If you like, leave a comment below voting for your favorite, or offer your own if you think you can do better. But we all know that you can't, so just vote on one of these.
Where the hell did Widener go? --His sister, Everytown USA
I'm not sure, Sister. But I see you. Dancing on the stage of memory.
Chris, I heard you have a special lady in your life. Is this true? --Gabriel Bundt, Ontario Canada I've heard a lot of these rumors lately, so let me just put them to rest:
--No, I don't currently have a girlfriend.
--No, I'm not dating three of the four living Supremes.
--No, I wasn't in Tijuana last week with Lindsey Lohan's stunt double from Herbie.
--No, I didn't throw a glass of pineapple juice at Paris Hilton because she said sarcastically that she "liked my haircut."
--No, I don't like pineapple juice.
Honestly, people, summer's the time that I'm footloose and (on a good day) fancy-free. The sun's out, the water's warm, the skin's tanner, the hair's lighter, the bods are more aerodynamic--people were not meant to be attached from June to August. Let's use our heads a little.
Christophe, I heard you're writing a screenplay. What's it about? --Hal Turley, Greenville Alabama
It's true, Hal. It's a basic guy-meets-girl lovestory, only set against the fall of the Ottoman Empire. It's called LoveCushion and it's currently four-hundred pages long. I'm about half-finished.
In all seriousness, whenever I get a chance I put in a little bit more into an idea I've had for a long time now. With all the music-related work I've been doing lately, I haven't been able to invest as much time into it as I'd normally like, but hopefully I'll be done within a year or two. More on this later, but don't worry: it's very much a music-related project.
Heat or Mavs? --Mark Cuban, Dallas Texas
Heat, because I'm pretty sure that Dwayne Wade is the actual younger brother of Michael Vick, which would make him the third Son of God to walk among us. So, obviously he's not going to lose to a German dude and Eric Dampier, right? Right???
What's the next album sounding like? --Rick Grigsby, Ft. Lumber Florida
I'm confused. I'm not in the studio. Do you know something I don't, Rick? Well???
I can say that, ideally, my next album will be a double-album, which will take some time. Be patient. One disc will be acoustic, one will be electric. One disc will be more folkish, one will be more rockyourfaceish. Everything I'm writing right now sounds like the bastard child of Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, and My Morning Jacket. Some songs are done, more are on the way. All the while kicking it with a Band of Merry Men.
Why haven't you been blogging as much lately? --Teresa Hale, North Umbria Kansas:
Great question, Teresa, and probably my most frequent. I was on the road for a very long time and couldn't get to a computer for a proper spell. Then I got back, but Blogspot underwent maintenance for several days, preventing my blogabilities. Hopefully we're back and ready to rock, because I have a lot more on the way this summer.
In the empty loft,