Runt Rant

30ish. Married. Educated. Foodie. 311 Fanatic.

Joe Peace! The fan spotlight is aimed at you!

October 20th, 2014

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Aloha my fellow 311 fans! How is everybody today? I hope excellent and excitable of course! Another Monday is upon us and that means it’s time for the next fan spotlight. Let’s get to know Joe Peace!

Back in the 8th grade is around the time that Joe started listening to 311. He remembers the day he first heard the band because it was also the same day he met his best friend Ryan Meyer. The melody of the album Music made him fall in love. Since he first heard them, Joe has been to 20 shows. His favorites are split between 311 Day 2014 and the Friday night show in Atlanta this past summer.

Joe loves all of the music that 311 creates, but some songs that stand out to him and mean a lot are “Don’t Dwell,” “Starshines,” “Random,” and “Eons.”  When he isn’t jamming out to 311 he listens to a variety of other bands. “I love all music as long as it’s true.”  He said his father got him into hybrid music with his favorite funk/rock band Mothers Finest and that transferred to the hybrid music acts of his generation. Some of those bands are Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and of course 311. Other musicians Joe loves are Kid Rock, David Allen Coe, Black Label Society, Bob Marley and Snoop Dogg.

Born and raised in a little town called Woodstock, in the state of Georgia, Joe still resides there. He spends his time as a chef and has been cooking for 15 years. “It’s one of my passions in life. My other is live concerts. My ultimate goal is life is to open a food truck and travel with 311 and cook.”

Joe may be a cook and love the art of culinary creations, but his guilty pleasure is a simple dish – cereal! As he says, “It’s my favorite shit on earth lol.”  When he is creating food though, he churns out award winning items. He’s won awards in Georgia for his wing sauce.

Interesting fact you may not know – Joe had his share of near death experiences when he was younger.  “When I was 8 I was attacked by a dog, ran over by my grandma in her Jeep Cherokee, and fell off the grand canyon, caught by my shirt collar by my brother and still alive. Pretty wild lol.”

Mentioned above, the Atlanta Tabernacle Friday night show was one of Joe’s favorites of all the shows he’s attended. He loved it so much he actually created a tattoo tribute of the two nights on his leg!

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Joe’s love for 311 runs deep in his soul so his message to them is a simple, “Thank you.”

As for his message to all you excitable readers out there:

“If you ever see me feel free to scream out Joe Peace! I love meeting new people especially at a 311 show.”

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Nice to meet you Joe Peace! I hope his story entertained you all and remember, if you see him at a show, simply holler out his name!

Until we meet again my friends, keep the positivity flowing! We need it and so do others.

Much Love! – The Runt

And the spotlight takes aim on Frank Fratto!

October 13th, 2014

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Yes my excitable friends, it’s that time again already! It’s time to meet another awesome 311 fan!! I hope you all had an excellent weekend, and oh yeah, Happy Columbus Day! Whether you are off enjoying a Monday holiday or stuck at work like me, let’s get on with it and meet Mr. Frank Fratto!

High school is where Franks story of his love for 311 begins. It was a time where alternative rock was becoming the music to listen to and Frank was in to it. His local station in Chicago, Q101, would play “All Mixed Up” and “Down” constantly, so he first discovered them thanks to the airplay. He bought the Blue album as a freshman and while he loved the sound, it wasn’t until college that he really, truly began his relationship with their music. He met a guy during that time that he says “re-introduced him” to 311. Frank only owned the Blue album and Soundsystem at the time, so his new friend played Grassroots, Transistor, and From Chaos for him. He immediately fell in love with all three albums, and he and the guy became great friends, remaining that way to this day.

From Chaos had a different impact on Frank. He spent a semester in California and bought the album while away, listening to it for what he says was “almost an entire month straight.” He says it’s, “The perfect mix of funk, rock, punk, ska, reggae, and hip hop influenced beats.”  One of his favorite quote comes from the song “Full Ride” – “Livin’ my life nice in pursuit of grooveology.”  Frank says, “It’s a motto I try to live by. I’m sure there’s an alternate meaning to the guys in the band, but I’ve always looked at it as living life the way you want to live it. Enjoying life, taking it for what it has to offer. Being happy.”

While From Chaos is his favorite album as a whole, his favorite song, the one that means the most to him, is “Strong All Along.”  Frank didn’t go into detail, but he mentioned he’s been through some rough times in his young adulthood battling depression, anxiety and loneliness. That is where “Strong All Along” comes in. “No matter what happened, any time I listened to this song I immediately felt very happy. Very fortunate to live the life I have lived. This song reminds me of how music transcends the instruments, vocals, and musicians and makes the listener actually feel something. It’s a simple, upbeat, catchy, poppy sing a long reggae song but to me it defines 311. It’s why they are my favorite band, why they put out great music, why they connect with their fans. The positivity. Believing in yourself. Believing that you can do anything you want to do.”

Since he fell for the awesome talents of 311, Frank has attended 16 shows and is grateful for every one of them. “I know some people have seen them a whole lot more and probably have done a lot more traveling than I have, but I’m pretty happy and consider myself very fortunate to have seen my favorite band multiple times in different places.”  Frank has seen the band play in Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, and then last year in International waters on the cruise.  Of all the shows and events he’s been to though, it’s 311 Day 2012 in Vegas that takes the top prize. “Epic is just one of the many words I would use to describe this experience. It was my first major 311 related event outside of concerts that I attended. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a Las Vegas guy, I don’t gamble, and it just never really appealed to me. I had to make an exception for 311 and I’m glad I did. I’ve been to several concerts, so I know the feeling of being with hundreds of other fans and feeling connected but the 311 day experience is beyond that. It’s the mecca of 311 fans, I’ve never seen anything like it. Getting off of the plane people were greeting me instantly with high fives, commenting on my 311 shirt, just making me feel very welcome. I met so many other fans that weekend in Vegas that I never thought I’d meet in my life.”

One of the fans he met was Michelle Roche. He made the decision to attend a fan party after the show on 3/11/2012 and while at first he had reservations about going because he is pretty shy and reserved, he’s glad he did something he doesn’t normally do. “During a random conversation at the party, I was briefly introduced to Michelle, a fellow 311 fan and Familia group member. I have to be honest, I don’t exactly remember everything that was said, but I do remember her eyes looking directly into mine. I left the party that night feeling more happy than I have felt in years.” After the party Frank and Michelle kept in touch, talking pretty much every day. Then Michelle went to visit Frank in June of 2012 and after that weekend he said he knew his life was changed forever. “We’ve been dating for over two years now, and I consider myself a lucky guy every day. I think you can understand why the 311 day 2012 experience was my favorite of the two events I’ve attended.” Yay 311 love! :)

Frank was born and raised on the south side of Chi-town in the Bridgeport neighborhood and now resides in the southwest suburbs of the city in Tinley Park (about 30 minutes outside of Chicago).  He is the oldest of five children in his Italian family (he has two sisters and two brothers). He now lives with one of his brothers and is very close with his entire family. “I come from an Italian family, so we are very close, we are very vocal, we enjoy spending time together, we love each other, and we love talking with our hands (haha). I’m the only real 311 fan in my immediate family, and although some of my family doesn’t understand it, they certainly can respect it.”

While not an athlete himself, he is a dedicated Chicago sports fan. “Growing up on the South Side, I was raised a Chicago White Sox fan, who are still my favorite sports team to this day. My dad used to take me to old Comiskey Park when I was younger to watch players like Harold Baines, Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, and Ozzie Guillen. I can’t go a year without going to at least a few Sox games and I enjoy watching them on TV too.”  He’s also a big fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bears, and Bulls.

Frank’s funded his passion for 311 by working hard at his job at the Illinois Tollway and has been there for almost 10 years now. He began his career in 2005 in the traffic operations center “working long and unusual hours.”  He was just promoted last year to the engineering department and he says it’s definitely helped contribute to his concert fund, as well as that he lives with his bro and isn’t married (yet!!).

Frank claims he isn’t really an interesting person and doesn’t believe he has anything unique about him, but I say F that, because we are all amazing human beings!  He’s had the opportunity to go on a couple of fishing trips in Canada that brought him once in a lifetime experiences. The first trip he jumped off of a cliff 40 feet high into a lake. Then his second trip, which was with his dad, he was lucky enough to catch a 46 inch Northern Pike that weighed almost 30 pounds! “Took both me and my dad to get it on the boat. For someone who doesn’t fish often, I’d say that’s a pretty cool thing to happen.”  Frank also has a photographic memory which makes him have a really great knowledge of movies, actors, musicians, athletes and sports. “I can remember things that many people may have a hard time remembering themselves. For example, you probably never knew that the lead singer of a punk rock band called Pulley (a band i listen to) also used to be a starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, named Scott Radinsky. Scott Radinsky still has ties to baseball as a coach, and still rocks out with Pulley at shows.”

No matter what anyone says, every one of us has a guilty pleasure. For Frank it’s that he’s a closet fan of bad 80’s music. “Everything from hair metal to contemporary. My girlfriend isn’t thrilled about it but I don’t care. I can’t help it.”  He also loves John Mayer’s music. “It’s funny because I used to bash him and wrote him off as another pop garbage singer when in reality the man can play the guitar and sing like no one I’ve ever seen.” Aside from some of his guilty pleasures, Frank says he really listens to a wide array of music genres. He credits dad for getting him into older bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.  He said it was when he was as young as 10 that he was exposed to the world of rock music. A few other bands he listens to often are the Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Incubus, Less Than Jake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, The Offspring, Rise Against, and Chevelle. Along with 311 Frank says, “These are the bands that make me who I am.”

Frank met 311 just once and it was very brief so he didn’t get to say as much as he’d like to them. “If I had the chance to sit down with them for a few minutes and actually talk to them, I would thank them first off for taking the time to meet and talk to me and thank them for their music and continuing to put on amazing live shows. Chances are that I would be extremely nervous and probably wouldn’t remember what it is that I wanted to say to them though, haha. I am curious to know when SA began to incorporate the use of turntables and what his influences are as far as records to mix in each of the songs. I also would like to know when the band started the applied science drum solo routine.”

And now his words for all of you awesome excitable people:

“I just want to thank everyone who has ever introduced themselves to me at shows, shook my hand, bought me beer, sent me posters, sent me music, and just acknowledged me as a person. I’m a genuinely nice guy, if you approach me at a show and say hello, I’ll say hello right back to you.”

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Well my friends, that is our brother Frank! I hope you all enjoyed his tale of his 311 love. Thank you, Merci, Gracias, for reading once again. It is my pleasure to introduce you all to each other and to learn more about each and every one of you! Until we meet again… “It’s alright…wherever you are right now…”

Much love – The Runt

 

 

 

Fear not friends, it’s time for a new 311 fan spotlight! Meet Dan Economico!

October 6th, 2014

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Hello again my friends! I’m sorry for the brief hiatus from spotlights last week. Technical difficulties! But don’t worry, I’m back and we’ve got a fresh new spotlight! So I’ll stop wasting time and get to it – Meet Dan Economico!

The year was 1999 and Soundsystem had just dropped when Dan became a fan of the 311 awesomeness. He had heard them on MTV prior to that but never really got fully into them, that is until he saw the video for “Come Original.”  “I then went to my friends house and saw her bro had two of the blue album so I ‘borrowed’ it and listened to the whole thing. After that I became obsessed!”

Since 99 Dan has seen the guys live 45 times. He’s been all over to see them, including cruises and 311 Day’s, but he says that 311 Day 2012 in Vegas has to be his favorite out of all of the shows he’s attended. “I got dead center rail for both shows and it was the first time I finally heard “Salsa” live. I waited 30 shows for that!”  So can you guess based on that last statement the song that means the most to him? “Just love everything about that song. The music, SA’s rap, everything!”

If he’s going to discuss some lyrics that he loves though, he says the chorus from “Too Much Too Fast” is where it’s at. “I just love to sing it, I wish they played this song more live!” And just in case you don’t know the exact lyrics off the top of your head:

“Too much too fast for the moment to last, I tumbled to you while stumbling through, How do I get my head up off the tracks, Listening for a train? Ah-ah, cuz that’s just no way to live, I’ve got so much love to give, much too fast ooh-ooh.”

Born, bred, and still residing in suburban New York, Dan works at A&P to fund his 311 addiction. He’s been with A&P for 18 years and is lucky to get 3-4 weeks off a year which he uses mostly for 311 fun. “I use about 80% on 311 events.” He also says he stands out in the summer crowd because he is covered in tattoos! (Which you can see some in his photo above). Tattoos are Dan’s other addiction and his guilty pleasure. “There’s not a month that goes by that I don’t get some work done. I always say I’m almost done but then I find some skin that I just need to get covered.”  Another guilty pleasure is that he loves pro wrestling. “I never go out on Mondays. Those are devoted to Raw ever since it started back in 1993.”

Dan doesn’t believe he has any interesting facts about him, but I know him personally and can tell you he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! He also has an impressive poster collection hanging up! Oh, he got to hop on stage with Green Day and sing “Longview” when they played in Connecticut in 2013. I know because I was there and took a picture!

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Besides 311, Green Day is a band Dan says he can’t live without. There are only a few others that get that type of love and they are Blink 182, New Found Glory, and No Doubt.

Dan has done the VIP meet & greet, so he’s had the opportunity to speak to the fellas on a few occasions. However, when I asked Dan if he could say one thing to them he told me, “I never know what to say, I aways freeze up!” Freeze time! He he, just kidding.

However, when it comes to speaking to all of you awesome people in 311 nation, there is no freezing there:

“I just cant wait to see everyone again in a few months for the cruise and have a great time with everybody – it’s always a party when 311 is around – they bring out the best in people!”

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Well said my awesome friend! I hope you all loved reading about Dan. It was my pleasure to write about a good friend of mine and tell his story to you all! Until we meet again excitables…”Stay positive & love your life.

Much love! – The Runt

 

 

Please give a warm welcome to our new spotlight, Ms. Angela Gonzalez!

September 22nd, 2014

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Well hey there excitable friends! It’s just another manic Monday and that can only mean one thing…the new fan spotlight has arrived! Say hello to our slinky sister Ms. Angela Gonzalez!

Take a trip with me back to the mid nineties. Angela was a mere 15 years old and was starting to discover different types of music. The youngest in the family, her musical choices were often influenced by her siblings.  It was her older sister who first heard 311 on KROQ and bought their albums on tape, so naturally Angela and her sister Rae “borrowed” them and made their own copies. “Hearing them for the first time was like a breath of fresh air.  It was different from what I used to listen to and I loved the fact that they had so many styles and sounds all rolled into one.  From that point on I loved them.”

A year later at age 16, Angela saw 311 live for the first time and fell even more in love. Not only was it her first 311 show, it was her first concert…period. “Their live show got me even more hooked and I’d see them and my other favorite bands as much as I could.”  Angela’s show tally is now at a whopping 84 and she’s kept all of her ticket stubs safely stored away in a book. All of those shows have meant something special to her but one of her favorites was in 1999 at the Ventura Theatre. “It was the first time I saw the guys in a small venue and spent it with my sister and great friends. I loved the setlist, and I was also lucky enough to meet Nick and Chad for the first time.”

We all know what it’s like to hear a favorite song live for the first time. Angela vividly remembers hearing one of hers. The song is “1,2,3” and it holds a special place in her heart. “I remember hearing it, then seeing it live for the first time, and just thinking WOW! Hearing it always puts me in a good mood and reminds me to surround myself with things and people that make me truly happy, not drag me down.”  One of her all time favorite quotes, that she hopes to one day soon have tattooed on her, is “Take on the love and the good karma.”

Angela is a born and raised southern California girl, although she now resides in New York. She lived in Cali most of her life, except for a few years when she attended George Mason in Virginia, where she obtained her B.A. in Psychology. She just transferred from the west coast to the east this year to be with her boyfriend Joe, who she met through their mutual love of 311! Their goal is to eventually move back to southern California. For now she resides in the east and works at W.B. Mason, which she says is, “A nice change of pace and scenery from healthcare.” Even though she’s only been at her new job since June, she’s already known for going to a lot of concerts!

I mentioned earlier that Angela has some siblings and one of them is her sister Rae. What you may not know is that Rae is Angela’s twin! Her full name is Rachel and they’ve been best friends “since the womb.”  Angela says, “She’s the person that ‘gets me’ and has always been there for me and with me through everything. Even though we are across the country from each other, we still have our twin moments, which makes us feel even closer.”

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Do you love movies? Probably not as much as Angela! “I’m a movie quote fanatic. I talk to my twin in movie quotes a lot of the time and we will quiz each other on them.”  She really loves the horror of psychological thriller genres, which she says she inherited from her mother. When not watching movies, or listening to 311, Angela can be found listening to some classic rock like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, The Doors and Queen. She also likes a good mix of other bands such as Passafire, Angel’s and Airwaves, U2, Coldplay, Bush, Sublime, The Lumineers, and Coheed and Cambria.

311 has brought so much to Angela, including love, and for that she’d like to tell them:

“I would just want to say thank you so much for choosing a life of creating and playing music that so many people love, and for bringing so many memories and wonderful people into my life.”

As for all of the wonderful positive vibe merchants who are reading her story:

“I am super lucky to share the love of 311 with you all, and to have met so many of you throughout the years. The music brings us together but the memories always bring us back for more.”

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That’s a wrap on the story of Ms. Angela Gonzalez! Thank you for reading and I hope you all loved hearing the tale of her relationship with 311! As we part, remember this…we are a group of positive people, given the honor of spreading the love and message of unity that our favorite group has gifted to us. So make sure you extend that each & every day of your life! Keep on rockin’ until next time!

Much love! – The Runt

We have a bearded brodel in the house! Meet Anthony Colenzo!

September 15th, 2014

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Hello, hello! Glad you came back for more my brodel & slinky friends! A new week starts and the spotlight takes aim at a new excitable! It’s time to learn all about bearded brodel Anthony Colenzo!

Turning 13 is a big time in a persons life. You officially become a teenager and progress into young adulthood. It was at this age that Anthony became a 311 fanatic. “Use of Time was playing and it was the first time a guitar solo really took me for a ride. I felt what 311’s music was giving off.”  His love for the band was really sealed when at 15 he was moved from Florida back to a town he had no recollection of in upstate New York. “It was tough on me and 311 became my outlet.” Anthony said that no matter where he went, 311 was in his CD player. “What drew me to the sweet elixir of 311 was they just had everything I wanted in music to be honest. The hard chugs, funky bass lines, catchy sing alongs and some feel good reggae, on one album. It was nice not having to change the CD in my CD player. Ever.”

As far as number of shows for Anthony, he said he believes he hit the “double nickel” this summer at the Pier 97 show in NYC (that’s 55 for any older folk out there like me, who aren’t hip with the lingo haha).  Of those shows, I forced him to choose just one that was his favorite. “Hard and weighted question but 311 Day 08 has to be my favorite. A setlist binge, I was seriously mainlining 311 for the first time after going to so many shows before that. After that I said I was never missing another 311 Day. Ever.”

Favorite song? Anthony said they all are, each and every one.  They all have some sort of special meaning to him in one way or another. “It’s a real glitch trying to figure out what song means the most to me. I’ll listen to the whole discography and disappear for a while.”  Anthony even has difficulty naming favorite lyrics because there are so many that he loves. “SA is the dopest dude ever and Nick just makes magic happen. When they harmonize is when it’s on. For a while I wanted ‘Trust your instincts and let go of regret’ tattooed on me but that hasn’t happened…yet! ‘I believe we came from the same cloud, two drops in the ocean’ because my lovely queen has that tattooed on her. The list goes on!”

Anthony was born in Utica, N.Y. but raised until the age of 15 in South Florida. He was 10 years old when he really got into the skater/punk lifestyle and it was during this time that he was fully introduced to 311 when they released the Blue album. Anthony still resides in Utica and he likes to rep his roots. “What makes me, me, is my city here in Upstate NY. We’re all a bunch of rockstars not on tour, except some of us who rock out all summer long and turn up the heat in the winter! 311 reps their hometown, so I do the same.  I have a whole leg tattoo sleeve of Utica and my father who is a hometown great in Utica. We have our own beer and we drink it proudly, Utica Club is our own Golden Trophy.”  Anthony is an Agronomer by day (a groundskeeper) and a supervisor for a private security company by night. He also says he picks up odd jobs when he doesn’t have security gigs. “Security is my 311 fund I guess we’ll say, because one job is for the bills and one’s for play and other bills.”

If you know Anthony, or have looked at his picture above, you can see that he has one hell of a beard and he says it’s one thing that makes him pretty unique. “I can grow a great beard! I hear it’s a guideline for prospering beards.” He’s also really good at Scrabble and was in a Pepsi commercial with Mike Piazza back in 1998!

Guilty pleasures of his include Paramore and The Cranberries. “Something about those ladies rocking a stage.” For T.V. it’s any cartoons, but particularly Looney Toons. He also loves all of the Toy Story movies. One thing he listed as a guilty pleasure, which honestly is more cool than anything, is that he recently picked up engraving as a hobby. “So I can make some neat fan made trinkets for some of my friends made through this 311 Nation.”

311 is his number one band to listen to, but who are number two & three? “Before 311 it was Lagwagon. Still on my bucket list to see them.”  He also is really in to Meshuggah, “I just can’t get enough, they are soooo good. I saw them at the HOB in Boston before the cruise in 2013.” Recently he started getting into instrumentals like this band El Ten Eleven. “They’re just awesome.”

It’s obvious that 311 impacted Anthony in a positive way like so many of us, so to the band he would like to express his gratitude by saying, “I’m happy I’m awake during this time period and I didn’t miss this incredible journey, thank you.”

As for all of you, excitable nation:

“To think you’ve only had your best day so far can be endless in positive thought. The world needs more people like us and we should keep this scene alive. Always remember, you’re awesome.”

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Fantastic ending words Anthony! So I’ll simply give my thanks for reading again my friends. Keep on livin’ & rockin’ the positivity!

Much love – The Runt

 

 

A new 311 fan spotlight arrives! Meet Evan Stern!

September 8th, 2014

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Greetings and salutations my excitable friends! Welcome back for another edition of the 311 fan spotlight. This week we feature Mr. Evan Stern!

Does anyone remember the MTV show 120 Minutes? Well Evan Stern does because it is that show that brought 311 into his life. “Homebrew was the video and it blew my mind. I had never heard anything like that before and I was intrigued.” Shortly thereafter the Blue album was released and Evan was hooked.

Losing count of the tally of shows that you’ve attended is easy to do when you’ve been seeing them live since 1996. “I saw my first 311 show in May of 1996 at the Roseland in NYC (scalped a ticket for $20, I know right?).”  Evan then saw pretty much every show in the New York area for the next decade and a half. “I think the only one I skipped was the Sprite Liquid Logic Tour with Jay-Z and Hoobastank. I am not a big fan of Jay-Z.”  Evan’s favorite event he’s attended is the popular choice of 311 Day 2014 in New Orleans. “It was probably the best single performance I have ever seen…the energy, the setlist, the overall performance.” He also loved the second cruise was amazing, especially because you have to factor in the beach show. “That was an amazing experience.”

Evan has a special connection with the song “Homebrew” since it is the song that introduced him to the band. “It holds a special place in my heart.”  One of his favorite quotes however comes from the song “Get Down” – “In the now is why we’re here.”

Growing up in Queens, New York, a mere 15 minutes from Shea Stadium, you can probably guess that Evan is a big Mets fan. He attended school in Manhattan, which he says is, “As awesome as you’d expect it to be.”  After high school he “floundered about” until he “finally got some sort of degree that said I was good at art or something.”  He now works doing research and development for new product and business ideas. “Basically somebody has an idea, we help them figure out what to do with it. I research products, draft patents, build presentations, and write copy – a regular jack-of-all-trades. On the side, I dabble in graphics.”

Evan’s dabbling and creativity have made him many peoples go-to person for graphics, which he says is humbling. “There are a lot of other great artists out there, but to repeatedly get people asking for YOUR assistance is pretty fantastic. It’s nice to have that kind of appreciation amongst your peers. I just wish I had the time and focus to say YES to every request.”

Something cool that Evan owns? A custom 311 LEGO set with a stage and all.  Something cool he got to do? He was once on a game show called AOL Gold Rush. He said it was an internet show so not many people know about it, but he got to fly to Vegas and L.A. on someone else’s dime. “I was on Entertainment Tonight, The CBS Early Show, and in a few other lesser media outlets, including TV Guide. Won $100,000 and got to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Also met some rad people who are still friends today.”

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When asked what guilty pleasure he has, he answered, “Well, I really dig Barry Manilow. He writes the songs that make the whole world sing.” Aside from the smooth crooning of Barry, Evan says his number one band is the Beastie Boys. 311 comes in second and then The Bouncing Souls land at number three. “I also really love me some good hip hop (not that crap on the radio), punk, hardcore, ska, reggae, jazz, funk, soul, and pretty much anything except electronic and most country.”

Evan would like to tell the guys of 311, “Keep doing what you’re doing. We only get one trip through this crazy thing called life, so make the most of it. Do what you love. Unless it’s illegal…then just do it with discretion.”

His message to all of you awesome excitable fans is a simple one:

“Don’t stop believin’. Steve Perry said that. It’s good advice.”

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And so ends another 311 fan spotlight my friends. As always, thanks for reading. You keep reading, I’ll keep writing! Until we meet again…

Much love – The Runt

Lillian Valdes! You’re the next contestant on the 311 fan spotlight!

September 1st, 2014

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Hello my 311 companions! Happy Labor Day to you all! I hope you are having an excellent long weekend and are loving life as summertime winds down. It’s time to aim the spotlight on another amazing 311 fan! This week we introduce Ms. Lillian Valdes!

Lily’s story begins in Miami back in 1995, when the University of Miami radio station played “Omaha Stylee.” Lily says, “It was love at first listen. I called the station to find  out who that was that I had just listened to.”  It wasn’t until a few months later when the video for “All Mixed Up” came on MTV that Lillian’s love for the band was set in stone. It was this that made her a 311 fan for life.

While she has no clue as to how many shows she’s seen, she does know that she has attended every South Florida show since 1996, as well as been on the cruises and 311 Day. She mentioned that if she is going to travel for any regular tour show, it would definitely be to Red Rocks. Her favorite show/event? Well she says she’s enjoyed every single show she’s been to but there are a few that stand out of the crowd. “My very first show in 1996 with Goldfinger opening up (my sister took me), Guavaween in Ybor City, FL in 1999 (I hopped on a Greyhound bus with one of my friends and we had a blast), House of Blues in Orlando, FL in 2000 (I went by myself but got to meet Nick, SA, and Chad that day), and the first 311 Caribbean Cruise (the energy was electrifying!).”

Lillian’s favorite song or one that means the most to her changes depending on the time in her life. “Different songs mean different things to me. It all depends on how relatable it is. Right now I am feeling “I’ll Be Here Awhile.”  It’s an anthem of survival and being able to depend on loved ones when you need it most.”  One of her favorite quotes from a 311 song though is “I’ve seen the other side and I say I’ve been insane and I won’t ever be the same.”

Lily is a first generation American in an all Cuban family. She was born, raised, and currently still resides in Miami, Florida. Even though she grew up in a Spanish speaking household, even her Abuela (Grandmother) knew who Tres Once was! Lillian currently works as a finance assistant at a major car dealership but hopes to finish up her degree in special education. She went to school for radio and T.V. broadcasting when she first graduated from high school and worked at the rock station WZTA for awhile. However they eventually changed the format and there are now NO rock stations in Miami! While she loved radio she said she needed more job security in life and that’s why she left it. She loves her city and loves her culture and says, “So, here I am livin’ and rockin’ in sunny South Florida with my boyfriend Steven Weis.”

Having lived only twenty minutes from the ocean her entire life, you would think Lillian would love to swim right? Wrong! She doesn’t know how. She vows that she doesn’t have any talents…”I’m not a good singer, I can’t play an instrument…I do enjoy dancing though and I’m pretty good at it.”  She also says that she’s great at being comedic relief in awkward or tense situations.

Lily is an avid pop culture and trivia junkie, so she has a vast amount of pop music knowledge. She also said, “ I enjoyed the shit our of NKOTB and The Backstreet Boys.” She can spend hours watching detective shows like The First 48 and Snapped “I love a good murder mystery. Is that morbid? Lol.” She also has a passion for makeup, although she buys a lot more than she actually wears.

An eclectic taste in music means that the other artists she loves are all from various music genres. “If it makes me feel something; sadness, happiness, the desire to act like a fool, the I like it.”  Some of the people she’d pay money to see live are Nonpoint, Fiona Apple, Portishead, NIN, No Doubt, Tool, Lady GaGa, Jimmy Buffet and Queen. “This world wasn’t ready for Freddie Mercury. He was so far ahead of his time.”

Face to face with the guys from 311, Lily would simply say, “Thanks for making music that has been a driving force in my life through the very sad and incredibly happy times. And also for introducing me to so many of my friends.”

To all of you, my excitable friends:

“I cannot wait to have most of you here in Miami in February! Shout out to the Florida Familia (especially my roomies)! I’m so happy we’re connected.”

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That is the story of Lillian Valdes! I hope you all adored her story.  If you are headed to her home town in February, find her and say hello! I know I will be! Thanks for reading and enjoy the day!

Much love! -The Runt

 

What’s the time? It’s new 311 fan spotlight time – Meet Dave Coultas!

August 25th, 2014

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Welcome back excitable nation! Another Monday is upon us and that means it’s time to recognize another member of the positivity posse. This week we feature Mr. Dave Coultas!

Dave’s love for 311 goes back to the year 1994 when a friend of his, who lived in Nebraska and went to high school with the guys, told him to go see the band because he knew Dave would like their music. Low and behold his friend was right. “It blew my mind and I was hooked instantly.”

Just the other day, on August 15th, Dave celebrated his 25th live show in Salt Lake City, which is where the picture above was taken. Of the 25 shows, it’s the cruise in 2013 that Dave says truly changed his life. “I had never really done anything like that up to that point in my life! The fun I had on that boat was unmatched and when I came back the positivity lasted for months! I also felt so confident that I asked Brooke DaSilva out and we’ve been together ever since!” Dave and Brooke have been happily in a relationship for almost a year and a half now. Dave said, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but with her because we’re soul-mates.”

Dave is born, raised, and still residing in Portland, Oregon (he currently lives in North Portland).  During the winter of 94 he lived in Park City, Utah. Currently Dave works for Toyota Motor Sales and just celebrated 19 years with the company. A single father of a 10 year old special needs son named Ewan, Dave says that he has learned a ton from him over the years and continues to do so on a daily basis. He also has an 11 year old Staffordshire Terrier named Jango, loves the Portland Trailblazers and Kansas City Chiefs, and is a self-proclaimed “major Star Wars geek.” He even has a tattoo of Boba Fett somewhere on his body (location not disclosed! Haha).

His beard is what Dave says most people say sticks out in their minds when they hear his name or think about him, but that isn’t the sole thing making him unique. He mentioned that he can literally talk to anyone because he is very laid back and easy going. “I always tell people that I could have fun at an insurance seminar, hahaha.” Dave is also a huge fan of professional wrestling, but when not watching that he’s additionally is a “mega fan” of Seinfeld.

When not jamming out to 311, some other musical interests in his life are The Grateful Dead, Phish, Beastie Boys, Swollen Members, Jurassic 5, Bad Brains, Cake, Fishbone, RHCP, Black Sabbath, Snot, Hieroglyphics, and Del the Funky Homosapien.

Dave loved The Grateful Dead enough to follow them around for years. His favorite 311 song is “Off Beat Bare Ass” and he says he relates to a lot of the lyrics because of his travels with the dead. It’s just the song that hits home for him. “I also get pretty fired up when horrible criminals are released to make room for someone who has sold marijuana. It just touches all the right buttons for me and it is also my favorite 311 song!” One of his favorite quotes though comes from “Paradise:”  “Music’s what I need to keep my sanity.”

Dave has just one thing to ask the band: “After all these years what keeps 311 going?” Feel free to answer guys if you are reading! :)

His message to all of those who love 311 as much as he does:

“If I could give a message to all the fans reading this it would be what I’ve always done myself which is be yourself. No matter what anybody thinks. I’ve been the same guy since I was 18 and I try to practice kindness and positivity as much as possible with the hopes that karma brings it back around. And it has for me in my life. Treat people the way you want to be treated I guess. I know for sure that it’s always not going to be positive and will be bumpy but keep a level head and move forward towards the positive. It’s worked for me so far.”

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That’s all for this week’s spotlight folks! Thank you to Dave for taking part in this fun and to all of you excitables who keep coming back and reading! It’s an honor to be able to write about all of you awesome people each week. Until we meet again….”It’s time to get down, boots to the ground!”

Much love – The Runt

 

 

Ladies & gents, the new 311 fan spotlight focuses on Mr. Patrick Hillin!

August 18th, 2014

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We meet again my excitable friends! Right about now you might be looking at the photo above and thinking many things. I can assure you, this weeks fan spotlight is as interesting as the photo! Let’s not delay and get to it. It’s time to meet Mr. Patrick Hillin!

Let’s travel back in time to Patrick’s high school days. He and his “brother from another mother and fellow 311 junkie” Dan Millican were playing what they like to call the “sit up” game. “Basically, we had to sit up on a futon and the first one to lean back lost and got punched.”  As they started this game, Dan put on the Grassroots album to listen to as they played. Patrick had never heard the CD before. After a few bong hits and a couple of songs in, he turned and looked at Dan. “I look over and I’m mesmerized because he knows every fucking lyric, even the SA lyrics, and he’s just steady sitting there singing and rapping along. This goes on for almost the entire CD, him lost in the music, me lost in his singing the music (remember the bong rips). All of a sudden he looks over at me and says, dude what the fuck! How long have you been sitting back?!”  Patrick then got punched (a few times) and the two of them laughed for what he said felt like hours. That’s when Patrick says he became a real fan of 311.

Patrick’s show tally sits at 17, which includes 12 regular shows, 311 Day 2010 & 2014, and the third 311 cruise. It was hard to choose his favorite, however he said it hands down is the cruise. “Being able to be there with Jeremy Rawlings and Dan Millican, who are my brothers for LIFE, was incredible. Then of course there were three 311 shows, Rebelution, my introduction to Bad Rabbits, getting chocolate wasted in a banana suit off of non-stop soft serve ice cream, pizza sammys, no means yes and yes means anal, all of the wonderful people I met, free beer day, and of course the most amazing part: Getting to high five and take a picture with 311, dream come true. Every time I look at that picture I get pumped! It really captured the level of excitement running through all of our veins, truly amazing.”

“Omaha Stylee” is the song Patrick says he loves the most, but not for any sentimental reason or anything. “To me, that’s just raw 311, pure energy, throwing out MAD props to their (grass)roots and going hard in the process. That’s what it’s all about.” His favorite lyrics however come from “Freak Out” – “To all my friends, it’s not the end, the earth has not swallowed me yet.”

Some people live in one place their whole life. Others move around and Patrick is one of them. Born in Dallas, Texas, he lived there until he was 6, and then headed west. He has lived in Thousand Oaks, California, Tucson, Arizona, Washington, D.C., and then finally he returned back to his place of birth. If he had to pick one place that was his favorite stomping grounds, it would be Tucson. “Yeah it’s hot but there’s no humidity, the mountains and wildlife are amazing, tons of good golf, and monsoon season in the summer is fantastic. Every night in the summer, around the same time, the storm clouds come rolling in over the mountains and it POURS for about 2 hours with some kick ass lighting storms, and then it’s done. After that it’s nice and cool outside and the sweet smell of the desert makes you never want to go back inside. So yeah, Arizona was my favorite.”

To fund his 311 addiction, Patrick draws civil and structural plans for commercial construction projects. As he said, he gets paid to sit around and draw all day. “I have been fortunate enough to have my name on a lot of big projects in the greater DFW area. It’s pretty great to pour months of hard work into a project on paper and then a year later be driving down the road and see it constructed. Other than that it’s all the same old stuff: work hard to play hard, love everyone always, don’t be a dick.”

Patrick was asked what makes him unique, and he said he can’t think of anything. However something you may not know about him, which I believe makes him unique, is that his 4 front teeth are all fake as the result of a bike accident when he was 12. “I went right over the handle bars and face planted hahaha. I woke up in the hospital with one front tooth missing and now all four up front are fake.” Patricks guilty pleasure lately is something different that some of us (like me) would not be able to handle. “Lately, for whatever reason, I’ve been eating a lot of sardines, right out of the can. I have no clue why I ever started doing this, but it’s been going on for about 3 weeks now and I can’t get enough. Sardines.”

Patrick would like to give a shout out to 311 and deliver this message to them: “You guys are my musical heroes, I fucking love you, but will you please play some Skynard?”

As for his message to all of you in the universe of 311 fandom:

“You look good out there **slaps butt** good game, keep that shit up.”

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Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading again folks. Without you, I would be nothing. Each and every spotlight thanks you as well! Leave some love in the comments if you feel inclined. Until next time…”Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it.”

Much love! -The Runt

 

Ladies & gentlemen, direct your attention to our spotlight on Ms. Vanessa Holliday!

August 11th, 2014

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Hello my excitable friends! I hope you had an excellent weekend full of positivity. Here we gather again to read another fan spotlight. This week we feature a fabulous lovely lady, Miss Vanessa Holliday!

It was Vanessa’s friend in middle school who got her loving 311. Her friends older brother would drive them around to activities before they had their licenses. “He was constantly blasting 311! I have to admit that at first I wasn’t really into them, haha. But they grew on me pretty quickly!”

With her show tally right around the 75 mark, I’d say her love for them grew tremendously! She doesn’t know the exact number but she has held on to all of her ticket stubs over the years. Picking her favorite show though she says is a tough one. “Transistor is my favorite album by far, so Pow Wow was an amazing experience event-wise, but the back-to-back Orange Peel shows in Asheville, North Carolina in 2009 still always stand out to me as my favorite regular shows to date.”

Vanessa has the title of her favorite song, “Time is Precious,” tattooed on her ribcage in her parents handwriting, so you can tell it holds a special place in her heart. “I definitely feel that this is one of their more lyrically mature songs and it’s one of my absolute favorites!”  She also LOVES the song “Galaxy” off Transistor. “I don’t think any other song comes close to it in a live setting!”

The Washington, D.C. area is where Vanessa has lived all of her life, minus when she was attending Virginia Tech and living in the mountains of southwest Virginia. She funds her 311 habit by working as an outside sales representative selling datacenter IT to the Army. Her residence is about to change though when she moves to Denver, Colorado, where she got a house with her awesome boyfriend, whom she met through 311! “Should be an exciting new experience!”

What else is Vanessa into? Well she loves classic rock and says Led Zeppelin is her favorite band from that genre. She also loves blasting hip hop music in the car and can get into pretty much anything except top 40 pop and country. Her guilty pleasure is reality T.V. and she calls herself a “reality T.V. junkie of epic proportions.”  “All the bad shows are on my DVR including (but not limited to) Dance Moms, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Bad Girls Club, Real Housewives…and many, many more!”

Vanessa prides herself on being physically fit and she is very active. “I love lifting weights and striving for excellence in all aspects of fitness. I also have a guilty obsession with Zumba, so I try to attend a class at least once a week!”

The other love in her life besides her boyfriend and 311 is her miniature turtle Yoda! She bought him at a beach store in Myrtle Beach for a dollar and was told he’d only live about 6 months. Six years later and he’s still with her! “He’s surprisingly pretty active and it’s fun to watch him splash around in his tank!”

Vanessa’s love for 311 has brought her a ton of fun over the years, helped her find love and also a ton of friends! Her message to them is this:

“Thanks for all the awesome memories and experiences I’ve had over the years as a result of traveling for your shows!  I’ve met all my closest friends as a result of being a fan of this band, and I’m very grateful for that…now if I could just get some of those friends to actually live in the same timezone as me, everything would be perfect haha.”

And to all of you out there loving 311 as well:

“See y’all in Jamaica ;-)”

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That my friends is Vanessa! I hope you all adored her story! So Denver excitables, make sure you give her a warm welcome once she gets there and if you see her on the cruise, make sure you say hello!

Until next week my friends, keep livin’ & rockin’!

Much love! – The Runt

 

 

 

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