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.