“guitar / bass / drums / dreams”
Honey is an Pittsburgh based rock trio who are steadily gaining a following based on their early releases and energetic live shows. discover yourself what the buzz is when they host thier annual Holiday blowout lovingly called ‘A Crustmas Miracle‘ this Friday at Brillobox with newcomers Jiant Eagle and Good Sport.
I want to thank Joe Praksti (Guitar/Vocals), Pat O’Toole (Bass), and Evan Meindl (Drums) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
Joe Praksti: A terrific twofer from my favorite record store in my youth, Monroeville’s Target. Went in to buy American Idiot by Green Day and nabbed Demon Days by Gorillaz based on cover alone in one fell swoop. 2005 never looked so good.
Your last album bought?
Pat O’Toole: I think it was Make Believe by Weezer. Have to start somewhere. Evan Meindl: I actually believe it was Off the Deep End by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.
Joe: I’ve been doing some Christmas shopping and got an unopened copy of Utopia’s self-titled for a friend – highly, highly, highly recommend “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” for the uninitiated. But for myself I recently purchased Wu-Tang Forever by, y’know, Wu-Tang Clan. Picked it up at this thrift store in Boston called Urban Renewals for 99 cents. Still haven’t gotten the chance to spin it, but it is apparently an enhanced CD that features an interactive tour through the “Wu Mansion” when inserted into any CD-ROM system! My disc drive is kaput though, unfortunately, so if any good Samaritan out there wants to spend an afternoon with me touring RZA’s movie collection and the rest of the Wu Cru’s closets, hit me up!
Pat: Last one was Speed of Sound by Wings. “Silly Love Songs” is my JAM!
Evan: The conformist that I am, I have become an online streaming advocate through Spotify. Sadly, I don’t remember the last physical record I bought. I’m a bad person.
Favorite album of all time?
- Joe: Chipmunk Punk is pretty damn good if you ask me.
- Pat: ….Album by Girls.
- Evan: Nearly impossible to narrow down one, but possibly I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning by Bright Eyes.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Joe: Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse by none other than the Chanteuse herself, Mimi. You know, with a title that good, you really got to deliver, and unfortunately she came off way short of the mark. Losing another golden standard to becoming another cog in the industry machine, trying to adapt with the times. A tear comes to mind. At least it wasn’t as bad as Rebel Heart by Madonna though. That album is truly trash.
- Pat: AM.
- Evan: The last three Say Anything albums have broken my heart. Their first full-length is still one of my all-time favorites, so it’s hard to believe how rough the last few years have been for them.
- First concert attended?
- Joe: The phenomenal Backstreet Boys, my favorite group of my youth, played the abbo fabbo Mellon Arena (r.i.p. bb) during the first leg of their oft-praised, star-studded, yet tumultuous Black & Blue Tour (a prophetic title for the strain it put on the group). The woefully forgotten Krystal Harris opened the show playing easily forgettable tunes on a grand grand piano – she’d go on to score some would-be hits for the Princess Diaries, Legally Blonde, and Country Bears soundtracks to a less than crystallizing reception. Allegedly Destiny’s Child also played this show, but being 8 I must have been too busy picking the salt off of my pretzel to pay attention. However I do recall the Backstreet Boys treating the audience to a view of their backstage dressing rooms halfway through the show, and I believe it was the homie Brian Littrell whose room was filled with stuffed animals. Totally adorable. Would recommend for time machine enthusiasts: 5 out of 7 grapples. The pretzel was a little stale.
- Pat: I was late to the game when it comes to my first concert. New American Music Union in 2008. Went with Joe and Evan’s older brother Cam. Saw Spoon, Gnarls Barkley, The Black Keys before the Arena days, and The Roots. Evan: I saw Styx when I was four years old with my parents. I fell asleep during the show; I kid you not.
- Last concert?
- Joe: Honey just finished a weeklong tour of the East Coast with our good friends the Brooklyn-by DC-by Philly band Boon at the legendary house venue Kokomo (there’s a song written about it somewhere featuring heartthrob John Stamos) in the fair District of Columbia. Thoroughly good chaps with totally exceptional music – highly recommend, but you don’t have to take my word for it! I believe the last big production performance I saw though was The 1975 with Evan on Halloween. So good!
- Pat: Saw Kurt Vile and Wilco in August at Hals Island in Minneapolis. So good!
- Evan: The 1975, two nights in Pittsburgh. So good!
- Favorite concert ever?
- Joe: Hm, hm, hm, so one concert in particular really stands out to me – Cursive opening for Alkaline Trio at ye olde Club Zoo on March the Fifth, 2010. Right around the time of Mama, I’m Swollen, the greatest album title ever. Just a month shy of 17, Evan and I went without having any knowledge of Cursive whatsoever, and both came away from the concert completely floored by their performance. Seriously one of the most visceral, passionate performances I’ve ever seen a band give – they had the whole crowd in the palm of their hand, seemingly all attendees completely standstill and mystified throughout. After the show was over Evan and I decided to form a band together, and the rest, as the poets say, is history (not his story).
- Pat: Deerhunter at Bonnaroo 2011. Life changing.
- Evan: I remember being floored when I saw St. Vincent in Cleveland in 2014. That one has really resonated with me. Arcade Fire on the Reflektor Tour was pretty fantastic as well.
- Least favorite concert?
- Joe: I saw Bob Dylan play at the New American Music Union with Pat and Cam (Ev’s older bro). He was the last to go on for the whole event, and my expectations were pretty high. Age having taken it’s toll, however, the frog in his throat finally won the battle over his vocal chords and sang instead of Dylan. I finally realized what song he played by the time the last note of his swing-blues rendition of “Like A Rolling Stone” faded away into the distant ephemera fog of the South Side sprawl. Conversely, this may be my favorite concert I’ve ever seen, just for the sheer absurdity of watching an aged Bob Dylan sing completely rearranged songs to a crowd of teenagers who can’t even name all four members of the Beatles… or the Rutles, for that matter.
- Pat: The Shins. Highlight of the show was the guy in front of me doing coke off of his iPhone.
- Evan: I saw Kendrick Lamar in 2013 and the woman screaming at the top of her lungs directly in front of me for the entirety of his set really made it one of the most insufferable concert sets ever.
- Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
- Joe: While moving to the city has certainly emptied my pockets, it has repaid me back with so many different experiences that just keep multiplying each week. Pittsburgh may not be on the cultural map per se of current music trends, but I think, in my humble opinion, it is a hub for some of the coolest bands in the States – personal bias notwithstanding. You really only need to spend a weekend here to get a feel for that, so living here is quite the treat. Having been around the States a bit, I can say with certainty that Pittsburgh is totally my favorite city to be in, bar none. I’m a total sucker for this town, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- Pat: It’s been great getting involved in the music scene here. Everyone here is super homie and kind. Bloomfield is the greatest place ever!!!
- Evan: I’ve loved seeing how the support here for local music is evidently present. The fact that artists have the backs of venues, other artists, and the general public is sincerely heart-warming. It is really fun to be a band from this town.
Thanks, fellas. This was one of my most enjoyable reads on the blog. Thanks for the picks and the ‘flourishes.’