Sid Cases The Place

November 7, 2013

Here’s another booking request e-mail (seriously) from the former manager of the former the Fucking Hotlights from Buffalo, NY (see previous post for the back story). Notes: 1) Lasagna may or may not be a real person’s nickname, or at least a close approximation. 2) This was sent to another band the Hotlights were supposed to play with. 3a) This e-mail was 100% unnecessary (the show was already booked and the two bands talked on a regular basis) and 3b) this was written prior to the viralization of the epic Foo Fighters tour riders – and likely without any knowledge of who the Foo Fighters even are.

I was told to write to somebody named Lasagna. Nope.




My name is Sid Selleck. I move talent. I am currently working with a band called the Fucking Hot Lights from Buffalo, NY, and I’m told you liked their set and that you made plans to set up a show for 4/20. The boys aren’t supposed to make decisions; that’s what they pay me for. But considering the circumstances, it doesn’t seem like they did too much harm, so let’s get to work.


Let me remind you that I do not make claims or requests of my own, and that I only represent the wishes of my clients, the Fucking Hot Lights.


A few quick notes about compensation. I generally work in Euros or hundred dollar bill amounts, so if in passing I mention a sum that sounds wrong to you, it’s just that I’m working on a different speed, so let me know if something seems off and I’ll set it straight. Also, all payments come up front. Sid Selleck delivers, the Fucking Hot Lights deliver, and we don’t wait on door-counts to get what we’re worth. Dig it or I take my business across the street. 


There are going to be a number of issues related to set up and accommodations at the show, so why don’t I start by asking you a few questions before we get down to the particulars.


Broken down a bit, but in no order:



1) How many other bands are you planning to put on the bill?

2) How far are they willing to go? (I think you know what I mean. Not so much the Lasagna kid, but one of you should know what I mean or this will probably be a short relationship.)

3) What time do doors open? 

4) Are there any sound ordinances in Rochester? If so, how strictly are they enforced?

5) How long do you personally want to play? We’re open to suggestions. 

6) Have you ever heard of a band called NKB? I’m hearing good things in central NY these days from these guys and I was just wondering if you’ve heard about it at all. Thoughts?



1) What’s the name of the location?

2) What kind of neighborhood are we talking here? Is there a gang presence? (There is no “wrong” answer to this question.)

3) Does the venue serve alcohol? If not, is alcohol permitted on the premises? If not, why not?

4) How large is the building? How many floors? How many rooms on the main floor? How many exits? 

5) What is the square footage of the main concert space? What is the listed capacity?

6) Are there storm drains in the floor of the main space? If so, how many?

7) Are there televisions in the main room? Can they be removed easily?

8) What are the audio-visual capabilities (i.e. projection screens, strobe lights, smoke machines, dvd players, free-standing computer consoles, cash registers, disco balls, dvd players, SmartBoards, etc.)?

9) Are minors allowed on (or within 1000 feet of) the premises?



1) How do you feel about me bringing my own?

2) How many bouncers, bartenders, and site staff are we talking all-told? What will their locations be before, during, and after the show? (Come to think of it, a lot of this could get sorted out by you just drawing a few detailed maps or schematics of the location with small dots or something representing people, refreshments, dvd players, security, merch tables, safes, fire exits, secondary audience areas (VIP rooms, couches, etc.), patio limits, etc, etc, etc.)



1) What are the 3 closest 3+ star hotels? 

2) Of these, which has brunch?

3) Are there meal-bed packages we can take advantage of? 

4) What time do bars close?

5) What time do liquor stores close?

6) Where are the all night pharmacies?

7) Where are the all night “pharmacies”?



1) Do you have a lawyer?



Pleasure to be working with you. Get back to me when you get solid answers; don’t rush anything. Don’t worry about what time it is, I have the rest of my life staring at this fucking thing. 


Sid Lives

November 7, 2013

Hey all, 

So I used to carry gear and sell merch for this amazing band from Buffalo called The Fucking Hotlights (google ’em) and they had the most amazing manager. Real cool guy (if you don’t mind being shouted at a lot) from Utica, NY, who came to one of their shows and used to be in the biz and just loved it, apparently, enough to come out of retirement. I helped him and them when they went on tour and I just found some of his old booking/promotion e-mails. I doubt he even knows my name at this point, so I think it’s kosher to post some of them here. Even if not… it’s just pure gold. (Some names redacted due to a a level of profanity and weirdness I’m not sure they’d be cool with.) Enjoy. xo JD

Dearest Ms. ****,


Greetings from something called the Buffalo Tourist Lodge… I am not from the area, though I have stayed with friends and family in and around the city several times over the years… I am not sure if you have ever seen the Tourist Lodge in your travels (I can only hope you’ve made the right decisions in your life that would keep you away from this horrid place), but needless to say this is the last time I will book a room in an unfamiliar city without first seeing a decent, recent picture of the lodging space. In fact, I am unsure if this is even a legal, working, fire-inspected hotel and not some organized crime front that I had the misfortune of stumbling into, short of cash and options; I used to be able to tell a mob-sham from miles away, but through the years my senses have dulled, my business has changed, I have turned over a new leaf, and I no longer have my finger quite so close to the pulse of the underground as I did so long ago. Yet here I am, sheltered in your city from the inclemency of the season, if not so protected from man’s barbarity.


I am writing to you out of desperation and frustration and several other “-ations” I have yet to find time to verbalize. Ms. ****, I am a talent manager (the aforementioned new leaf, overturned). I came to actively work in this business late life (I am 43 and feel a bit like a Ph. D. student who suddenly decides his true passion is for the sea), but I have worked in and around different aspects of concert promotion and rock ‘n’ roll management from the time I was about 8 or 9 years old. At that time, you had to know quite a different set of people in order to get your band booked or played than you do today, but alas, it appears there will always be gatekeepers. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to alert your magazine’s editorial team to the band I am working with, the band that drew me out  of semi-retirement and pressed me into full-time rock work. The band is called the Fucking Hot Lights (crude, perhaps, but vividly accurate). I am not in this for money; I have money enough to survive for the time I have left. An old business associate turned me on to this group of young Buffalonian men and asked that I shepherd them a bit as a return favor to him for good services done to me many, many years ago. I have tried to do him this kindness by contacting your editors and asking that they send someone, anyone, to one of the boys’ shows. Though your social calendar has made mention of their concert dates, there has been no word, no photograph, no review dedicated to these boys. I have reserved guest list spots for ******** reporters and/or photographers at no less than three (3) Fucking Hot Lights shows, with no result, no appearance, no reply even. 


I don’t want to seem as though I am blaming you. We have never met or spoken before, and I don’t believe any of my previous attempts to contact the magazine were directed towards you (though I can’t be sure; some days the e-mail load is so heavy I send my mother 3 messages asking how she’s doing before I realize I actually have to be there, physically, in Utica, to operate her computer and answer my own questions for her… ah, how the mind betrays us when we need it most). That said, Ms. ****, I have reached the end of my patience with this process. I am writing to you one final time, in the hopes that your spirit be moved by a man, an outsider but a lover of Buffalo, trying to promote the future of your city and its arts – a man ignorant of the right people, the right crowds, the right parties – a man, simply put, who has given the remainder of his life to the arts, and not just any art, but the uniting, democratic, big-armed hug to the world that is embodied in a ridiculously talented rock ‘n’ roll band, Buffalo’s native sons the Fucking Hot Lights.


The boys are playing at Merlins this Friday with Raunchy Sex & The Cool Kids (I have no knowledge of either of these bands, and cannot speak to their quality, but the boys assure me they’re a good time). As far as I know, doors are 7ish with a modest cover, likely around 5 or 7; I don’t remember the exact details off the top of my head but I saw the show mentioned in a Merlin’s ad in your latest issue, so you should have all the info you need. I will put ******** down for two guest spots. If no one shows this time, I will be forced to end the band’s relationship with your  publication and move them on to greener, more professional pastures. If you could pass on one message to your bosses who have thrice denied me, it should be this (and keep in mind, none of my anger is directed at your fair personage, specifically; as I have said, we have not met) — this: “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL DOESN’T BOW TO THE PRESS, BUT VICE VERSA. WE PULL THE WORLD ON ITS AXIS BEFORE YOU AND WE WAIT FOR NO STRAGGLERS. OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS– DON’T BLOW IT.”


I apologize for the coarseness of my words, but I am a man moved by urgent forces. Wishing you well and a happier Monday than the Tourist Lodge has so far afforded me,




Sidney Selleck

Manager, The Fucking Hot Lights

My favorite event of all time anywhere ever is coming up, the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. There are tons of amazing vendors, too many to name, and two days of literary appreciation, readings, sales, and other events. If you’re anywhere nearby check it out. Also, specifically check out the Cage Match table to see some of my work. Cage Match is a zine/anthology that features wonderful artists and is put out by my friends Bobby and Matt at Bad Drone Media. Last year I wrote a poem about toast, blood, and cotton balls, because that’s what Matt told me to do. This year, the only poem I wrote during my summer in Pittsburgh that wasn’t totally depressing, Christmas Lights Are The Stars of the Firework World, will be featured.

Check out all the info by clicking on the Small Press Fair link and support Cage Match and all the other hundreds of hundreds of artists that are going to be totally awesome there.

There is a great student piece on higher education and the myth that our social institutions can be run as a business at no cost in Canisius College’s student paper, The Griffin. The article puts the lie to the Six Sigma ideas that have sparked a national debate in recent years and were put in practice in Western New York by Erie County Executive-turned-Congressman Chris Collins. When you approach social institutions with the same criteria as you apply to private organizations designed for profit, the unintended consequences generally affect those the institution was designed to serve in the first place:

In four years, I have seen Canisius transform not from a college to a university, but from a college to a business. But what happens when you treat students like customers? Well, when you run a bad business, your customers leave. The end-all result is a sophomore or junior who cannot maintain his or her already minimal scholarship, who is now a transfer student or a college dropout. But Canisius still wins in the end, netting north of 50 grand from each dropout, which means more subpar scholarship money for more future under-qualified students.

Check out the whole article and let me know what you think.

The View From The Porch

August 26, 2010

It’s too cold here.
It’s too gray and cold.
Look at that motherfucker
spit on my front lawn.
Hey fuck you, man.
No one respects anything on
this block– not the laws,
not the homes,
not their friends,
and certainly not themselves.
Fuck these bro’s.
You are parked illegally!
Get back in that goddamn
car and move it into a
legal space, you jackass!
You boy, Eli, you BOY!
Last night I took the dog
out and let him shit on
the front steps. I didn’t
even pick it up. What
the hell is the matter with
me? What kind of life is
this? Why is it so fucking COLD?
Somebody fucked up somewhere
and now I have to LIVE
with this goddamn climate.
God damn it I gotta go
to the store. Fucking wind.
GET A JOB! Go put
out candles in a Mexican
church and make everyone get
scared. Something! Get outta here!
Every day with this fucking
wind. The FOG moves in
this town.
Oh God, now it’s you.
Thank you, person-with-a-nice-car,
for reminding me how poor
I am. Every damn day with
this. I GET IT! Leave me
God, it’s cold.
Was that a snowflake?
God, damn it. It’s snowing.
It’s fucking snowing again.
It’s goddamn April and here
we are with the snowing again.
God, this town sucks. I have
18,000 things to do right now
that I could get done easily
like a regular person if I could
just get on a goddamn train
and go downtown and do them
and be done with it, but as
it is I’m going to spend all
day walking to get to one of
them, maybe, and now I got
snow on my hands.
I’m moving. Seriously. This is it.
This is my last winter in
this goddamn town. Does it
snow in Brooklyn? Who cares;
at least there’s vegan tacos.
Why can’t I get a good taco?
Now I want a taco.
Damn it.

Leave it to the Buffalo News.

Residents of a several-block area of the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood started noticing something odd appearing on their streets, and around their homes, early Thursday afternoon:

Pink-streaked snow.

Pink champagne it wasn’t, but the mystery grew.

What was it, and where did it come from?

“It’s just weird. You’ve got pink snow,” said Phyllis Wesley from her Orlando Street home.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said mail carrier Mark Reed before continuing his rounds on Peabody Street. “It’s very colorful.”

The state health department said there was no immediate risk that they were aware of.


Another day, more Ramen, more reflection. I’m reusing the fork from yesterday to lighten the massive load of dishes I need to do before I move out of my apartment. My December rent is only partially paid. The remaining balance will be left with my keys when I leave on Saturday, the day my landlord and I agreed would be my last. My security deposit will remain in his company’s account.

I’m packing most of the rest of my belongings into black trash bags (Irish luggage) between sentences. There’s an Arctic cold front coming through in a few days. My electric bill (which also pays for my heat) is some where in the mid-hundreds; hopefully I’ll be out of here before they cut me off.

My heat doesn’t work as it is: the vent (placed near the ceiling, for maximum efficiency) just blows room temperature air. It’s been running at full blast for three days and the temperature has risen only a few degrees, if at all. It’s hard to tell. I’m in and out so much I don’t remember just where the little clear plastic stick on my temperature gauge was when I checked it last. Somewhere close to sixty. It’s somewhere close to sixty right now, but hope makes me think it’s a bit higher than yesterday. 

Why all the cataloging of the horrors and the kvetching and this worrying, oh, the worrying, and for what? Well, mostly because all we’ve been hearing for weeks is how no one knows what’s going to happen with the economy, but everyone’s scared. Rich people are scared, companies are scared, auto workers who make double or triple my salary are scared they might start making only half again or twice as much as me– what happens to folks like me working 40 hours a week like everyone else, taking home between $150-250 a week? Are we ahead of the game? Will our class of jobs simply get larger? Or will our jobs disappear? Will they be taken by some of the newly underemployed?

When things are at what you believe to be their worst, you tend to tell yourself that they can only get better. Things are pretty rough right now for people like me. Belts are tightened, hands wrung out, brows permanently furrowed. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. And I don’t want handouts, I don’t expect immediate prosperity, I don’t want something I haven’t worked for– but is it too much to ask that things are at least prevented from getting any worse?

Of course it isn’t. Problem is, no one has a clue how to make that happen. Barack Obama was elected president in November and the nation felt a wave of hope. For a little while. One of the unmentioned (at least from what I’ve seen) effects of the Bush hangover will be a tremendous cynicism, worse than post-Watergate, and one that certainly won’t be salved by Reaganesque smiles and speeches that prod our ego.

Amid all the converging catastrophes we’ve heard about so often lately, even if Obama can figure out what to do with his time in office, how will he get any of us to actually believe he’s capable of it? How will he prevent infighting and cynical politics from derailing his plans? How will he do all that while keeping the original spirit of his actions intact? 

These aren’t new questions, but as the chill descends and Buffalo prepares for another hellish week of trial-by-ice, hope and answers seem harder to come by, like that extra $50 late charge for the rent or the few degrees between chilly and cold.

Stay warm.