Two Years of Trainwreck’d [Exclusive!]

2nd-anniversaryIt has been two years.  Two strange, trying, yet overall, pretty good years.  Awakening to say the least.  It was Independence Day 2011 in a hotel room just outside of Biloxi, Mississippi where I found myself surrounded empty bottles of cheap vodka and cartons of take out Buffalo wings and a feeling of longing and a great deal of loneliness.  I was once again displaced from my loving family, albeit on two months this time around.  I was fresh of the release of the collective works book for charity that I had been pouring my every waking moment in to for the the better part of 7 months.  In fact, I had just completed one of these “questionnaire based interviews” with College Magazine about the book, and something struck me: I’ve got nothing else to do.  Well, nothing is a bit of a stretch as I always had the wonderful man known as Andy Fenstermaker and his blog Fensepost in which I had been a minor character at for around 3 years.  I loved Fensepost, and I still consider it to be the finest music blog on the interwebs.  But, I was longing for something more.  Maybe it was some sort of control factor I was searching for.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that is what it was.  Almost certain.

And somewhere between e-mail conversations with dear friends Tyler Averett and Chris Eaves, and the loss of a very dear friend, It was decided that I should venture out on my own.  So, I stole the title of one of my favorite indie folk songs that never was, and made it happen.  I stuck to my known format with a review for The Coffin Collectors, and we were off and running.  And since then, we have managed to produce countless interviews, features, and album reviews that we couldn’t be more proud of.

And now we are here, two years in to the game.  And though we have had the consistency of Harry Caray on the WGN actually reporting what is happening during a Cubs game, I think we have had some great things happen over the years.  And one of the things we have developed as  a key point of TWS is finding out what makes people smile (all credit due to one singular interview I read that was conducted by author/musician Jess Gulbransson at another former stomping ground known as Crappy Indie Music The Blog! who asked this question once, and has stuck with me since.)  And with that in mind, I decided it would be fun to invite back a few friends of ours that have been featured on this site over the past two years.  Some old, some new.  Hell, even some brand new folks who will surely be around for the long haul.  I asked each of them one simple question:  What was the last thing that made you smile?  I know for me it has been the last two years spent behind laptops in various cities hammering away at this little web site.  Thank you all for joining in the madness and continuing to rubber neck at the wreckage.  I can’t wait to see what we have in store for the coming year, and maybe the formable years to come.  Hell, I don’t know if this trip will last that long, but isn’t it pretty to think so?  Enjoy!

(P.S.  there are various links throughout the following content that will send you along a journey back in time over the last two years to various relevant stories and features related to the contributor at hand.  Enjoy!)

Addison, Brin

Brin Addison (musician, Guilt Monkey)

“I used my wife’s vagina as a hand-puppet to sing a song this morning.”

Angel, Vanessa

Vanessa Angel (actress/fashion designer, Weird Science)

“Watching my beautiful daughter singing at the graduation ceremony from her elementary school.”

Botterill, Andy

Andy Botterill (musician/poet)

“A photo my wife Harriet took of our daughter Daisy lying on her bed last night in her pink pajamas with a big cheesy grin on her face…”

Bukowski, John

John Bukowski (musician, Ebony Sorrow)

“Seeing Mouth of the Architect last night, playing 4 songs from their amazing new record.”

Capozzi, Catherine

Catherine Capozzi (musician, Darling Pet Munkee)

“Finally repairing my Fuzz Factory after 8 years and using it to record and play! It sounds amazing!”

Jeremiah Chechik
Jeremiah Chechik (filmmaker, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)

” Jenny Slate’s comedy and both my dogs, pickle and scooter.”

Cope, Lindsey

Lindsay Cope (blogger, Love Lindz)

“A 1 a.m. phone call from a good friend with a crazy-awesome story about an acquaintances drunk, inept, split personalities. There’s nothing like late night phone calls that make me laugh until I cry!”

Dobi, Dan

Dan Dobi (filmmaker, Please Subscribe)

“My dog at the beach!”

Doyle, CaitlinCaitlin Doyle (musician, Smooth Hound Smith)

“Being on tour for two months and coming home and seeing our dog. Damn I missed the crazy ball of fur!”

Dye, Cameron

Cameron Dye (actor, Helliversity)

“My son Mason dancing in his wheelchair to my playing and singing our own bastardized version of John Lee Hooker’s ‘San Francisco’.”

Eaves, Chris

Chris Eaves (writer/director, Sound Skript Entertainment)

“[My girlfriend] Jill and my week ago trip to Stevenson, Washington in the Gorge along the Columbia River. It’s a small town, with nothing going on but a lovely charm. It was a beautiful day. Jill got a small swirl ice cream cone from a roadside vendor. The small was still bigger then any one person could handle. It melted all over the place. It was the first real day that felt like summer and I was happy to have shared it with Jill.”
11 Michael J. Epstein
Michael J. Epstein (musician/filmmaker, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling)

“A picture of a grumpy turtle.”

Faith, Elsa
Elsa Faith (musician, Madame Torrent)

“Receiving a text message from a loved one whom is 17,000 miles away but that message erased the distance.”

 Feigh, Ryan

Ryan Feigh (writer/blogger, The Portland Mercury)

“I was checking my instagram feed, and saw that my little sister Alison had took a picture of my sixty-something-year old parents in MN. The photo wasn’t anything special aesthetically, no filters were used, and it wasn’t necessarily a very flattering picture, considering they were both squinting into the sun. But it was good to see my parents happy and together, thousands of miles away from me. So I smiled.”

 Geoghan, Jim

Jim Geoghan (writer/producer, Family Matters)

“I was having lunch today when three dolphins swam by.”

Giaratta, Kali

Kali Giaratta (musician, There Is No Mountain)

“Trying a bite of [my husband] Matt’s homemade salsa.”

Grey, Robin

Robin Grey (musician/poet)

“Teaching a uke student how to play a song from The Jungle Book.”

Haley, Doug

Doug Haley (actor, Hot Bot)

“Today was Fathers Day…and I was left with a huge smile on my face thanks to a friend of mine who I’m not even very close with.  My friend Christie Burson-who is also an actor, asked me what I was doing after the BBQ or where my Dad is today and I said I don’t know…he has never been in my life but I know he lives in San Diego somewhere.  And she said well have you ever wanted to find him?  And now that I am old enough to take care of myself….and I feel solid and comfortable with who I am…I thought sure…now that I’m responsible for my life and I’m on a path that I love…maybe I’ll make an effort in the near future.  And she left…and then she texted me a few min later saying that she knows we don’t know each other very well but if I was to find him she would be happy to go with me and be at my side because that must be scary and intense and if I needed someone with me…it could be her.  And I was so touched by her honesty and her sensitivity…it made me smile the entire remainder of my day…when people are that kind, and that gracious…how can I not smile?”

03 Alexander Hallett

Alexander Hallet (musician, Bodi)

“Seeing the kids at the Faraja orphanage in Kenya smile.”

Kramer, Vince

Vince Kramer (Bizarro fiction author, Gigantic Death Worm)

“Getting Anakin Skywalker to fuck Obi-Wan in the ass so well during their lightsaber battle.”

 Maupin, Lelah

Lelah Maupin (musician, Tacocat)

“This message! Does that count?”

 Minne, David

David Minne (musician/blogger)

“My daughter Sayla tickling my feet.”

Haviland MorrisHaviland Morris (actress, Sixteen Candles)

“This question.”

Nyberg, Ola

Ola Nyberg (musician)

“When I saw my son.”

 O'Grady, Katie

Katie O’Grady (actress/producer, Rid Of Me)

“It’s not usual for an adult to be tickled, but this morning my fiancé got me in a tickle attack that got me giggling so hard! Everyone should be tickled…no matter how old!”

 Palumbo, Mark

Mark Palumbo (musician, Tenderkill)

“I was caught day dreaming at work and told “wake up! shift’s not over yet!” the long arm of reality made me smile.”

Prez, VJ

VJ Preziosi (comedian)

“Making jokes with friends at work. If I make other people laugh, I make myself smile. Simple as that.”

Ragel, Jon

Jon Ragel (musician, Boy Eats Drum Machine


Ragel, Jon 1

Frederic Raphael

Frederic Raphael (author/screenwriter/filmmaker, Eyes Wide Shut)

“Every morning when I wake up, in whatever glum or torpid mood, I look at my wife and she is smiling at me, because she is someone who has always known how to be happy (which does not entaill that she always has been) and I smile back, in admiration and gratitude. So there, as they used to say.”

Redford, Corbett

Corbett Redford (musician, Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children Macnuggits)

 “My cat Alice discovering, and subsequently disapproving of, a new toy.”

 Rice, Bob

Bob Rice (DJ, 88.1 KYRS in Spokane, WA)

“Locking eyes with a friend that I had not seen for many years, and then sharing a long energy exchanging embrace!”

Richard Riehle

Richard Riehle (actor, Office Space)

“I’m still fortunate enough to wake up smiling at the possibilities of a new day. And the possibilities have been turning into wonderful experiences, the rewards of saying ‘yes’.”

Romanos, Robert

Robert Romanos (actor/musician, Fast Times At Ridgemont High)

“Watching a jazz jam with awesome musicians at my coffee shop.”


Roze (actor/writer/director, Dead In 5 Heartbeats)

“The last thing that made me smile was my wife, Candace. She is my one true love, my teacher and partner.”

Sessions, Steve

Steve Sessions (writer/director/composer, Torment)

“Whenever my dog works hard with paws and teeth and nose to arrange the bedcovers in a little nest before snuggling into it, I smile. I don’t want to laugh out loud because it snaps him out of his ritual – he looks at me like, ‘what?” – so I grin quietly the whole three minutes of tugging and pulling and pushing, and through him circling and settling down, followed by his long sigh before he closes his eyes to sleep. Why this produces a smile, I’m not sure. It could be tragic – he’s running a program in his brain written long ago for tall grass, and is helpless to it. But it’s so damn cute.”

 Tremolo King, Phil the

Phil The Tremolo King (musician/composer)

“Your message asking me what made me smile.”

Victoria, Samantha
Samantha Victoria (writer/director, Summer O’Horror)

“Hearing my favorite song on the radio, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” by Fall Out Boy, because it reminded me of seeing them perform live.”

Jess Walter

Jess Walter (author, The Financial Lives of the Poet)

“For Father’s Day my kids made archery targets with things I (jokingly) hate on them, including our cat.”

Anna Lynn Williams

Anna-Lynne Williams (musician, Lotte Kestner)

“I recently resuscitated an old b-side and starting playing it again. It’s called Bee, because after I’d spent the whole afternoon recording the song, I discovered a bee had been sleeping on my sweater. I was just running through it with my boyfriend to play at a show tomorrow night, and when he started singing along with me on it for the first time I couldn’t stop smiling. Harmonies make me smile.”

Williams, Timmy

Timmy Williams (comedian, Whitest Kids U Know)

“On the last day of the 2013 Whitest Kids tour, Darren and I decided to fake a fight in front of the other members of the group as a prank.  Since we’re the only two parents in the group we decided to make it about parenting  The fight went well and after dragging it out just long enough (the other guys thought Darren and I were about to throw punches) we started cracking up and let them know that we had just fucking owned them.  It was a great fun moment with four of my best friends in the world and made me smile ear to ear!”

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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