Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Upcoming shows in January

It feels weird saying "We have shows coming up in January," because it doesn't quite bear the same emphasis as "WE HAVE SHOWS IN JUST A TWO WEEKS!"

The first show is Saturday, January 5th -- the Peterson Productions Battle of the Bands at The Saloon at NC Music Factory (AKA, Charlotte Battle of the Bands).  Our time slot is some time around 9PM. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at our website:

I'll hand-deliver your ticket or mail it to you.

The second show is the very next Saturday on January 12th. This is the one we really need your help on. This is the second round of Gorilla Records Battle of the Bands at Tremont Music Hall and once-again, our time slot is based on pre-sale tickets, so we really need our fans to buy tickets NOW.  "NOW" means immediately after you finish reading this blog post. Or even sooner. Seriously. Go buy a ticket now and then come back to finish reading the rest of this blog.

Are you back? If so, that's because you purchased your ticket for $10 at  I'll hand deliver it to you as well.

To review:

Saturday, January 5th @ 9PM
Peterson Productions Battle of the Bands
The Saloon @ NC Music Factory

Saturday, January 12th @ TBA
Gorilla Records Battle of the Bands
Tremont Music Hall

Get tickets for either or both shows at

Finally, as an aside to our existing and loyal fans. We won't be playing any further battles of the bands after these two. We promise. No more pestering you for pre-sale tickets. Or begging you to help us get a good time slot. We will be playing real shows with real "doors open" times and the only thing we'll be pestering you to do is to show up, pay the cover at the door, and have a good time.

I speak for all of The JackKnife Barbers when I say that we're looking forward to a wonderful 2013 and continuing to entertain your ass for fun and profit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Declaring Peace on The War on Christmas

Years later, I still stand by these sentiments that I wrote one December. Here is why I wish you Happy Holidays.

(Begin Letter)

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but no, there is no "War on Christmas."

If you are the sort that becomes angry when wished a "happy holidays" instead of a Merry Christmas, then this is for you.

I appreciate a Merry Christmas. It makes my heart glad that you want me to have an enjoyable day on both Christmas Eve and Day (Dec. 24th and Dec. 25th), but just as Jesus would tell us to go an extra mile, I wish that all of the holidays are happy for you without regard to whether or not you celebrate them.

The eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 11th this year. Lasting just one day more than a week, I hope this festival of lights brings much light to your life whether you are Jew or Gentile.

The ancient feast of Saturnalia was celebrated by the Romans from December 17th through December 24th each year as a feast featuring the reversal of roles between servant and master. My wish for you during this time is that those you serve show appreciation for the hard work and support you provide to them.

Winter solstice, celebrated by many pagans and neo-pagans, is December 21st. During this longest darkest night of winter, I wish you much hope, light and warmth in your home.

The Nordic tradition of Yule (from which we derive many Christmas traditions and decorations) is celebrated for 12 days starting on December 25th. This is the celebration of the birth of the unconquered sun -- a celebration that the sun has re-emerged from its waning winter slumber and the darkest nights of the year are behind us. I wish you renewal and hope for the future at this time of merriment. (And hope for those of us suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. This is an African American celebration of the first fruits of the harvest with a focus on family and self-improvement. During this holiday, I hope you find joy with your family and greater understanding with those around you.

When I wish you a Happy Holidays, it is not that I am excluding Christmas, minimizing Christianity or declaring war on your beliefs. I wish you a happy holidays because I hope that you find joy, peace and happiness in every day of the holiday season, whether or not you celebrate every day of the holiday season.

Even if you wish only that I have a Merry Christmas, may all of the holidays bring you happiness. Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and may New Years Day find you at least slightly hungover.

(End Letter)

I've been taught since elementary school to say "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings," and not in some sort of war-on-Christmas, liberal, god-hating, politically correct way. For me, it's about economy of words. There is more than one holiday celebrated at the end of the year. It's easier to simply wish all of your holidays happy than try to guess which one you'd prefer.

That being said. I wish you a Happy Holidays and hope your entire season is bright.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Epic Weekend Update

The JackKnife Barbers had an epic adventure this past weekend.  Playing two shows back to back isn't an experience that I'm unfamiliar with, but the excitement of having our first official gigs since moving to Charlotte was rather energizing.

Our first stop was Spindale, NC for a show at The Ultimate Basement with Red Band Mercenaries, Pinko and (Snuff)alufaFUNK.  The Ultimate Basement is sort of an all-ages club/game room with a huge stage and rather massive sound system.  We had a blast exploring Spindale and rocking out with the aforementioned bands.

We even had time to drop by Plaza Barber Shop in Forest City for a photo shoot.  Plaza Barber Shop is a nearly 100-year-old barber shop with vintage chairs and decor.  You can see the photos on our Facebook page.

Our second show for the weekend was the Gorilla Records Battle of the Bands. Facing some fierce competition, we still managed to come out on top and make it to the second round.  I'll keep everyone posted on when the second round will be.

So what's up next for The JackKnife Barbers?

We'll be playing the first round of Peterson Productions' Battle of the Bands on Saturday, January 5th at The Saloon at NC Music Factory.  Tickets are just $5 and can already be purchased via PayPal or your credit/debit card at

Beyond that, we'll be working on two brand new original songs for you at our next rehearsal, and even muddling through our first cover song as well.

We'd like to thank all of our fans and friends for making this weekend such a success. We're looking forward to a great new year and further opportunities to rock your ass for fun and profit.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

(Mustache) Waxing Philosophical

I was asked today about mustache wax and what I recommend to style one's whiskers. I've had brief conversations about this in the past, but never really put it into words permanently.  Since no one is sponsoring me (yet), I'll refrain from naming brand names.

Amongst all forms of mustache wax, there are only really two types. Both are made with some amount of beeswax but perform very differently.  There are various differences from one brand to another within these two types, but by and large, 99% of waxes can be put into one of these categories.

Water-soluble opaque wax packaged in a tube
This is the sort of wax I currently use. It comes in a small metal tube and is sometimes packaged with a tiny comb.  The brand I prefer produces this wax in neutral/white, chestnut, brown and black colors. I wear the chestnut colored wax, but I have tried the other colors as well. Neutral/white makes my mustache look like it's going grey. Black is fun around Halloween.

To apply the aforementioned wax, one puts a small squeeze onto the finger and works it into the whiskers. I saturate my mustache with the wax, but some gentlemen may prefer just a dab to twist the ends.  I then comb it through the mustache to ensure even coverage and follow by twisting my mustache into shape. Afterwards, it is likely that one will need to use q-tips to remove the excess smeared wax from one's face.

This wax stays moderately moist for about an hour, but by lunch time it has hardened into a nice stiff, rigid mustache. It remains slightly pliable and I can curl the ends into a tighter curl as the day progresses. Too much fidgeting with the mustache will eventually cause the wax to lose its hold. As mentioned, the wax is water soluble and can be washed out in warm water quite easily.  It must therefore be applied daily to a clean mustache.

Semi-hard wax in a tin
This wax appears to be a dark honey color and is packaged in a small tin.  When applied, it is actually quite transparent and the natural color of the mustache will shine through.  It is semi-hard and can be softened with heat. The overall smell is that of honey because the major component of this wax is beeswax, and the scene goes well with pipe smoke, cigars and whisky.

To apply, one must heat the wax with a hairdryer (or hot plate) and pinch out a small ball of wax. The wax can be worked into the mustache while simultaneously warming the whiskers with the hairdryer. Comb through as the wax cools and then twist and style.

This wax will stay pliable all day and although it provides a good hold, it will never fully stiffen into a rigid mustache. This can be beneficial if you like futzing with your whiskers all day, but is a pain if you want a tightly curled mustache.

This wax can only be removed in part with warm water; in the absence of soap, one's daily shower will only slightly reduce the amount of wax in one's mustache. The addition of the tiniest amount of extra wax every morning will keep your mustache manageable for weeks.  If your mustache falls out of style during the day, simply re-heat with a hairdryer, comb to redistribute the wax, and re-style. To remove the wax, wash with a clarifying shampoo and hot water vigorously.

Bonus: Homemade semi-hard wax
You can make your own semi-hard wax in the fashion of the second type by melting and combining two parts beeswax to one part petroleum jelly.

Whether going for full Dali-style handlebars or just a little twist, the key to mustache grooming is persistence, dedication and a little bit of wax. Which wax you choose should be based on its ability to maintain your style of 'stache while fitting with your lifestyle and personal grooming habits.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Of Battles and Broth

If you didn't already notice, The JackKnife Barbers left everyone relatively alone during the Thanksgiving weekend. Our fans were free from incessant posts about "buy tickets now" and "please help us now." We hope you enjoyed your short reprieve because I've returned now with the resolve of a musk ox in free fall and the passion of a short-haired house cat.

You are running out of time to buy your ticket for the Battle of the Bands on Dec. 8th at Tremont Music Hall. Our time slot is based on OUR pre-show ticket sales. The more tickets we sell before the show, the better our time slot.  If you're planning on buying a ticket at the door, you're an asshole because you're not helping anyone. Get your ticket now at or send me at email at

Seriously. If you buy your ticket at the door at 10PM, it's likely that you've already missed our set because we ended up going on at 5:30PM because you didn't buy a pre-show ticket.

Now that I've made that clear, I'd like to say that I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was lovely and that you binged on an obscene amount of turkey (or tofurkey for our vegan friends) and copious amounts of stuffing and potatoes.  What should you do with the leftover turkey? Make turkey sandwiches like a goddamn American! Pick that carcass clean!

And then...

..make turkey broth out of the carcass.

I smoked my turkey, so the carcass has a lovely hickory aroma to it.  Simply follow this recipe:

1 turkey carcass
5 carrots
1 onion
3 stalks of celery
1 head of garlic (yeah, one FULL fucking head of garlic)
Salt and pepper to taste (you can taste, can't you?)

Fill a stock pot with enough water to thoroughly submerge your turkey carcass, bring to a boil. Add the rest of the aforementioned ingredients and cover the pot. Let it boil for four or five hours or until the bones of the turkey fall apart in your hands.  Continue to add water as necessary.

Strain out the bits and pieces and store in your fridge.  You can also pour it into ice cube trays and make turkey broth ice cubes.  You can use these cubes to quickly add flavor to soups or to simply whip up a quick cup of broth when you're in the mood.

Alternatively, turkey broth ice cubes add a fun element to any party when mixing cocktails for that guest that has overstayed their welcome.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Battle of the Bands at Tremont Music Hall

Gorilla Music has booked The JackKnife Barbers to play a Battle of the Bands at Tremont Music Hall on Saturday, December 8th. Our time slot is based on how many tickets we sell. The more tickets we sell, the later the time slot.  The show starts at 4PM and runs until mid-night, so you can see how important that is.

We will be reporting our ticket sales to Gorilla Music one week before the show, and that is when we will be able to tell everyone what time slot we'll be playing.

It's incredibly important that you get your tickets early.  The tickets are $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door on the day of the show.

You can either get your ticket by emailing me at or by going to and ordering online.  You can pay online via credit/debit card or PayPal.  I'll be happy to mail you your ticket or hand-deliver it.

Please check out the Facebook event page at:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Upcoming Shows in Charlotte, NC

You've been missing your JackKnife Barbers. Where can you see us perform next?

When: Friday, December 7th @ 7:00PM
Where: The Ultimate Basement in Spindale, NC
With whom: Red Band Mercenaries, Pinko, and SnuffalufaFUNK
How much: All ages - $5
For more info:

When: Saturday, December 8th (time slot to be announced)
Where: Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC
With whom: Battle of the Bands by Gorilla Music
How much: All ages - Presale $10, Day-of-show $12
For more info: Our time slot is based on ticket sales. You can order your tickets on our website at via PayPal. Please include either your mailing address or other contact info in the comments section when ordering.

When: Saturday, January 5th (our time slot is between 9:00PM and 10:00PM to be announced)
Where: The Saloon at NC Music Factory in Charlotte, NC
With whom: Battle of the Bands by Peterson Productions
How much: Presale $5
For more info: You'll be able to pre-order your tickets for this battle of the bands from our website about three weeks before the show.

Don't forget to check our Facebook page ( for continuous updates, and check out our website ( for pre-ordering your tickets. As always, follow me on Twitter @mattstacheband for my repetitious rantings in 140 characters or fewer.

The New JackKnife Barbers

If you've seen the website lately (, you know that something is afoot. What you might not be able to immediately tell, is that I've moved to Charlotte, NC. The Tallahassee-based JackKnife Barbers are no more, and I've re-formed the band in Charlotte with all new members, save myself -- I'm still the same Matt Stache.

Several things to note:
  1. The band is no longer "Matt Stache and The JackKnife Barbers," but rather we are simply "The JackKnife Barbers."  This fits onto flyers and whatnot much easier, and is easier for consistent branding. I reassure once again that I am still Matt Stache.
  2. We're back to being a power trio. Drums, keyboards and guitar.  I'm doing the old left-hand bass routine again and routing the bass out to my trusty 200-watt keyboard amp with the big boomy 15" speaker while the rest of the keyboards go through the rotary amp.
  3. It's considered really bad form to make a numbered list and not have a third item. So, here's a third item. Suck it.
Charlotte is mostly a cover-band town, and it has been a sincere challenge to put together an original band. While Tallahassee was 90% original, in Charlotte, the mantra is "You'll never make it as an original band. Here, join my cover band instead."  Thankfully the new Barbers don't agree with that sentiment.

We've played a handful of open mic nights and open jams here, and the response has been incredible. It does seem like this town really needs a fresh sound and is actually hungry for something unusual.

We've got a number of shows coming up soon, but I'll post about those in a subsequent blog entry.