Monday, December 21, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #49 - Holy Shit Sam!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Benefit Show For Samantha!

Episode #48 - Benefit for Samantha!

Friends of Smiley with a Knife,

We'll be heading into the studio next week to record. But before we do, we're going to play one last show for you guys at Hey!Cafe on Magazine street this Friday, December 18th. This show is very important to us because this show is to benefit our good friend Samantha Horn.

In 2007, she lost use of her legs and partial use of her hands in an accident. Her ultimate goal is to move back to the New Orleans area, but she would need improved mobility in order to do so. The "Roll 2 Walk" program is an aggressive physical therapy program that provides the education, environment, and exercise training necessary to help her achieve her goal of walking again.

Our goal is to raise $2,000 to help her pay for the "Roll 2 Walk" program. With your help, we can make that happen.
Here's the plan:
Greg Rodrigue of Fatter than Albert and Community Records now owns Hey!Cafe on Magazine St. (formerly Magazine Perks, next to Ms. Mae's)
We are going to set up in the middle of his tiny coffee shop, and we're going to play a full set.
The Rooks, The Craft Brothers, and Rabbit will all be doing the same starting at 7pm.
What we're asking you to do is to cram in around us, in front of us, next to us... heck - sit on my shoulders while we play if that's the only place you'll fit.
Wish Sam a happy birthday, and give her a little bit of money while you're squeezing into the last crevice of the room that you'll fit into.
Oh, and buy some coffee, "alternative beverages," food, or something from the art auction while you're at it.

If 100 people show up, we can pull this off at $20/head, which is feasible if you're eating, drinking, and showing some Christmas spirit.
If you're light on cash, the solution is simple - bring a friend! Your friend can help Sam out too! And hear us!

If you can't make it, you can donate online here:

Also, be sure to visit us every other day for our 60-second video series:

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #47 - The story of "Lucky Harms"

Episode #46 - Production Schedule?

Episode #45 - r2w4sh

Saturday, December 12, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK

Episode #44 - Polish Night

Episode #43 - Tired Text

Episode # 42 - Our Wish for Samantha

Thursday, December 3, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #41 - Happy Birthday Volpi

Live Vids 11/28/09 @ Bisbanos Lafayette, LA

Egyptian Porridge

Sexy Butcher

As The Blade Drops

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #40 - Upload Day

Episode #39 - Shakin & Bakin

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This week in shows...

Coming off of an epic Saints victory last night, I'm sure you're all hungover (in the best way possible) and ready to take a breather tonight. Don't sink too deeply into the couch, though, 'cause we've got a huge week ahead of us.

Let's look at this backwards from Sunday.

Sunday, December 6th, we're playing at the Contemporary Arts Center for the 50 people 1 question event. If you haven't seen any of our promo for this, scroll down and take a gander at 60 seconds episode #37. We'll be playing a score that we wrote to an 8-or-so minute short film that digs into a simple yet complex question: If you could have anything by the end of the day, what would you wish to happen?

Also performing will be our good friends A Living Soundtrack and the Craft brothers performing a score by Chaz Knapp.

On Saturday, December 5th, our compadres in Antenna Inn will play their final show at One Eyed Jack's. Sad, yes. But I think cramped stages and stressed sound men across the city of New Orleans will all crack open a beer and enjoy the savory flavors of a job well done after this one.

The night before on Friday, a good many of those handsome Antenna Inn fellas will be backing a certain Mr. John Michael Rouchell. I hear his name is John Michael. As in... Michael isn't his middle name. That boy's got TWO FIRST NAMES! Neal Patrick Harris, you watch yourself, 'cause there's a new game in town!

So then there's Thursday. What could possibly happen on a Thursday worth getting excited about? Unwed Sailor. Our heroes. At the Allways Lounge. A pretty awesome dig. We'll see you there, I promise you. That means you have to go too.

Then there's Wednesday. This one is a toughie.
There's an all-instrumental show at Cafe Prytania. Our brothers, our partners in crime, those rascally kids in Rabbit are playing at Cafe Prytania. The AcropoLions and Charlie McGinnis' lit-on-fire saxophone in Autotomii are both playing as well.
BUT our boys in Caddywhompus are opening up for CURSIVE at One Eyed Jack's.

Jesus... what to do here.

Hmm... we're going to practice hard and party hard this week. If we don't see you out at one of these shows, we'll see you on Sunday at the CAC. Behave yourselves.

Friday, November 27, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #38 - Double Header!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #37 - 120 seconds of real work on 50p1q

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Justin's Reeses French Toast

French Toast + 2 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups + Syrup = Excellent

Friday, November 20, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #36 - 50 People, 1 Questionable Riff

Episode #35 - Volpi's Sweater

Episode #34 - Happy B-day Jared

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #33 - Stage Banter

Monday, November 9, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #32 - RIP Jerry Fuchs

Thursday, November 5, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #31 - Russian Circles Field Trip

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #30 - The Beast

Episode #29 - SWAK's Fuzzy Math

Episode #28 - Jazzercise

Episode #27 - Maserati Re-Cap

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #26 - Beer & Anagram Night

Monday, October 19, 2009

A reflection on two years together, MASERATI

Tomorrow, we'll be opening for Maserati at Maison Musique on Frenchman Street. BLACKbELT will be opening the show, and we'll be sandwiched comfortably in the middle.

Before I get into the gravity or sentimentality of what this opportunity means to us, let me brief those of you who are unfamiliar with Maserati:

Maserati is currently on Temporary Residence, the record label that nurtured Explosions in the Sky into the unstoppable icons of post rock that they have become. While Explosions in the Sky is familiar to and loved by the general public for creating spiritually epic sound scapes that possess the beauty of slow-moving twenty-ton icebergs, Maserati conquers that skill and dismisses it as quickly as their namesake Italian sports car can flee a Mafioso crime scene. While they look the same on the surface to a casual observer, Maserati is, quintessentially, Explosions' evil twin - behaving with a fiery temper and a rowdy spirit that rarely emerges from their distinguished brethren.

Maserati operates with the precision of a highly trained stunt car driver, as their name appropriately suggests. With their faces lit a cool blue from the light piercing through Jerry Fuchs's acrylic 70's era drum set, this band has a knack for placing its listeners in the drivers' seat of their fantasy car - that blue glow transformed from the most humble of stage lighting to the dim radiance of an odometer reading 150mph. With each delay-drenched guitar line, muscular bass riff, and fist-pounding drum beat zipping by, listeners can hear the helpless drone of police sirens trailing behind them. Their songs echo the emotions of fast-paced victory as they weave from lane to lane, shifting in calculated movements that push that song-car to the edges of what physics will allow. With every dripping ounce of pun and double entendre unashamedly intended, Maserati's sound can hardly be described more accurately than as "driving music."

Below is a video of a live performance of their song "Inventions."

We cannot stress how important this show is to us as a group since it is coming along at such an exciting time for us in our development as a band. This past September marked the second year since the rebirth of Smiley with a Knife as an instrumental indie rock group, and this October - heading into Halloween season - marks our second year of live performance together in this instrumental format.

It's amazing to see how far we've come together in just two short years from our first show in the living room of a Halloween keg party to having opened for an impressive array of flagship bands in our niche with yet another such opportunity staring us down as we enter our third year together. We have a number of strong moves planned ahead of us as we roll through to the end 2009, including plans for recording, videos, touring, and of course more of the beloved 60 second adventures that you've so enthusiastically shared in.

Before we start our legwork for the rest of this fall season and lay the groundwork for our next year's work, though, come out to Maison Musique tomorrow night to help us celebrate two successful years as Smiley with a Knife and a victory for the instrumental and indie rock communities of New Orleans as a whole by welcoming Maserati with all your hearts, all your souls, and all your dancing bodies.

60 Secs w/ SWAK #25

Episode #25 - Avoid The Noid

60 Secs w/ SWAK

Episode #24 - The Almost Perfect Episode

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 minute episode

# 23 - We got crapped on

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK

#22 - Interview With A Volpire

#21 - The First 120 Second Episode

Sunday, October 4, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK

Episode # 20 - The Maserati Announcement

Episode #19 - We Can't Be Interesting All The Time

Episode #18 - Birminghamin' It Up

Episode #17 - Injury Report For Friday

Episode #16 - Typos

Friday, September 18, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK

Episode #15 - Aluminum Cannon

Episode #14 - Feed Me, Seymore!

Episode #13 - Strobin'

Episode #12 - Lyrics?

Episode #11 - Banantics

Episode #10 - We're going to Lafayette on Friday

Monday, September 7, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK

Episode #9 - Brotherly Light

Saturday, September 5, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK

Episode #8 - Riffs & Rubbage

Episode # 7 - Action Figures

Episode #6 - September Shows On Paper

Saturday, August 29, 2009

60 seconds w/ SWAK every other day #5

Episode #5 - cleaning before a show

Thursday, August 27, 2009

60 seconds w/ SWAK every other day #4

Episode #4 - Reading Rain-go-to-this-show

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zack Smith @ our 8/29 Carrollton Station show

Zack Smith, photographer extraordinaire and drummer for beloved New Orleans indie rock staple Rotary Downs released the following statement in regards to the role he will be playing in our show this upcoming Saturday:

I will be setting up a very unique portrait project this Saturday, August 29th - on the 4 year Anniversary of Katrina.

I have customized an old sign to become a portrait light box and will be photographing individual faces at a show in New Orleans. This is not just any show, this collection of fairly new New Orleans rock ensembles exemplifies the new influx of experimental and unique rock bands Post-K. I think this fresh scene is just at
it's beginning, and I will be there to shoot the faces of this renaissance.

Big Rock Candy Mountain
w/ Smiley With a Knife
w/ Caddywhompus

Zack Smith

60 seconds w/ SWAK every other day #3

Episode #3 - Pedal Bored

Sunday, August 23, 2009

60 Seconds w/ SWAK every other day #2

Episode #2 ---- Short People & Lesbians

60 Seconds w/ SWAK every other day #1

Episode #1 ---- The Pilot Episode

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Operation Kegger: Results

The results are in!
Our Operation Kegger video contest was an absolute success.

In the end, it came down to two videos.
For the win, we have Kelle Ory and Andrew Landry's lego-themed video for "The Executioner Says" with a total of 3187 views at the time that we checked.

Take a moment to view their winning video here:

Kelle and Andrew are now entitled to the following:
- They get a party with Smiley with a Knife and 50 of their friends
- They get a credit on our next album for helping us record extra sounds (like claps, screams, etc.)
- They get guest list passes to all of our shows through the end of 2010
- They get some free merch
- We're going to be doing a little interview with them to stick up on the blog
- We're handing their video over to Static TV

Congratulations to the two of them. We want to thank them for all of the hard work that they put into their submission. It looks awesome!

Our runner up is Sarah Devlin, whose video features cut-outs of the four of us playing "As the Blade Drops," culminating with our decapitations. Her video had 770 views when we checked for the count.

Take a moment to view her video here:

Sarah put forth a valiant effort, and we cannot thank her enough. Her video is awesome! As a token of our appreciation, we're inviting her and a guest to the party, loading her up with merch, and giving her video to Static TV to show if they feel so inclined.

Now that Operation Kegger is done with and we've declared our winner(s), we'll be coming out of hiding with four new songs for you guys.
They are named as follows:
- Nine Out of Ten Butchers Think That's Sexy (or Sexy Butcher)
- Randy Newman Says "Quack"
- Either Oranges or Ether
- Cosmonauts are not so Cosby Nazi

Keep and ear out for these songs at our fall shows. There is plenty of room in each for the occasional "whoo," clap, or scream. They are also all very easy to hum or whistle along to. Dig it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Writers' Block #1

In case you've been wondering how our writing process has been going since our last show, here's what you have to look forward to when we start playing again in the fall:

Also, if you missed our last show, here's a tad bit of what happened:

While we continue to write, we urge you to keep working on your Operation Kegger videos for us. We're going to start taking submissions on Monday, but you can turn them in at any time you want - even on the day that we tally up the views if you want.

We've heard a lot of huffing and puffing from people who feel limited by equipment needs but have a flurry of ideas. We've heard a lot of grumbling from people who have video cameras and time but nothing in the cranium to get them started. This is why we urge you guys to team up!

Also, anybody with a Mac will have iMovie (which is what we edit the SWAK videos with, ha!). There are also a number of PC programs that you can download for free off the internet to help you edit your masterpieces. You don't have to have the cinematic eye of Hitchcock to win this thing. Just tape one of your friends kicking a bunch of old men in the nuts in the mall and slap that over one of our songs. Whatever works for you. We literally spend 15 minutes shooting most of our videos and about the same amount of time editing them.

And in case you have no idea what we're talking about with this Operation Kegger thing, you can find a full description here:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Operation Kegger

We talked about Operation Kegger a lot before our Tipitina's show.
It was always in cryptic terms. Always shady.

Well today, we're here to clear all of the rumors. We're here to explain what your mission as part of Operation Kegger is. Before we get into the nitty gritty of this, here's a little video to cover the gist of what this is all about:

Okay, so now that we've got that out of the way, let's get into the details:

The Music
- You can use any song on How a Reign Comes to an End that you choose.
- If you don't own a copy of How a Reign Comes to an End, you can purchase the full album or whichever song you choose to use via Amazon
- If you don't own a copy of How a Reign Comes to an End, and you're too cheap to purchase a copy, please steal it from one of your friends
- Please do not use material from our This is What Happens When EP or anything of ours that pre-dates that release.
- Please do not alter our songs - especially please do not add any lyrics

The Video
- The video content should be all original material. Make sure that nobody else owns the copyright to it.
- You can use material from if you really need to use pre-fabricated video footage. Just make sure that the videos that you use from there are in public domain.
- Basically, don't use any copyrighted material besides the songs from How a Reign Comes to an End
- A note regarding decency: we won't accept anything overly violent, grotesque, or pornographic.

So you've picked your song, shot your video, edited it, and you're ready to submit. What now?
Send an email to with the subject line "Operation Kegger Submission."
Be sure to include your name, age, location, and a link to your video.
We'll need all of this information so that we can determine the plans for your party if you win.
You can post your video online whenever you want, but we won't start looking for it in our email box until June 1st.

Yes, you read that correctly: plans for your party.

If you get the most play counts by the time July 31st rolls around, we're going to do the following for you:
- Keg party (beer or root beer, depending on your age or preference) for you and 50 of your friends featuring a private performance
- Studio time with us to help record overdubs (crowd sounds, clapping, etc.)
- Guest list spots for the rest of 2009 and all of 2010 for EVERY show that we play. Each spot comes with a +1
- A copy of the new CD when it comes out. Yes, the one that you'll be on.
- Shirts, Stickers, Buttons, etc.
- Your video premiers as our Official Video for the song that you used at one of our Fall performances
- A video blog interview to be placed on our blog so that you can explain your concept, if you even had one

Sounds like a hell of a good time, right?
Well here's a few suggestions to help you on your way to partying like a low-rent rockstar:

- Make sure that whatever site you upload your video to keeps track of play count. We suggest YouTube. Myspace works as well; however, YouTube works on iPhones while Myspace does not.
- Vimeo has the best resolution on the web right now, but it doesn't keep track of play counts. If you would like to display your video on this site, we'd suggest holding off until after all of the plays are counted. Same with Facebook - they don't keep track of play counts either.

- If you work in teams, you will come up with better ideas, your video will get made faster, and you'll be able to spread it farther with more people behind it and pushing it.
-- Keep in mind, though, that if you work in groups, your guest list for the private party will still be 50 in total and not 50 per person.

- YouTube and Myspace both have areas for describing and tagging your video submissions. Once again, we recommend YouTube because they do not have a limit on the number of tags you can use while Myspace does.
- The more creative you get with your tags, the more searchable your video will become.

- Speaking of creativity, we suggest that you make your video incredibly creative. Come up with the most oddball concept you can think of.
- We also suggest that you make your video follow a story line that evokes a strong emotion. It seems like funny videos move up the ranks fastest, but your video doesn't have to be funny at all.

- The key to this is the get your video to move up the ranks. We will help you by posting links to your submissions on Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook, but we suggest that you take active steps to get your video noticed.
- Try submitting your video as a YouTube response to our video blog post.
- Email a link to the video to as many people as you can. See if you can get them to do the same for you.
- If you use Twitter, make sure that you build up some hype for your video on there.
- Create Facebook events inviting people to view your video.
- Submit your video as early as you can so that you'll have more time to let your play count rise.
- Pick a song from How a Reign Comes to an End that you think few others will use in their submissions. This may make your video stand out.
- Ultimately, you should try come up with a concept that will push itself. Remember that stupid "New Haircut" video on YouTube? It's hard to explain what that video has that makes people love it so much, but whatever it's got works.

Alright everybody - enough suggestions. We'll let you guys go on your merry way while we go off to write some more music for you!

Good luck everybody!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keep it funky, Gucci

It's absolutely amazing to us how people can speak so clearly and sincerely through their instruments. Sometimes a collection of the English dictionary's finest and most appropriate words with all of their definitions and connotations in tow are not enough to describe thoughts, emotions, and attitudes. This is why the four of us in Smiley with a Knife want to carry the flag of instrumental indie rock to the ears of all who understand this sentiment and agree so rabidly.

One thing that we've noticed in our journey through the world of instrumental indie rock is that, much like spoken language itself, the same phrases said by one individual can hold a vastly different meaning when used by another in the same tone and timbre. People with an advanced grasp of what they are capable of doing with their instruments have no choice but to release their inner being and personality through their appointed tools. Conversation is key, and the friends that influence us along the way help us to reflect upon the subtleties of our unique phrasings and styles as we observe theirs with bliss.

With this philosophy in mind, it is our great honor to announce that this upcoming Thursday, during our last performance before we begin our arduous writing journey, we will be inviting our dear friend Chris Guccione on stage with us to help us close out what has been a rewarding show season.

He eats and sleeps this shit, son.

Guccione's light-hearted, funky personality shines through in his playing in a way that is uniquely New Orleanean. He will be joining us with his unparalleled swagger during "... and There was a Pig Involved," cramming bounce and flare into every nook and cranny and adding pep to your step all along the way.

Oh no. You don't want to miss this.
Bring your dancin' shoes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Next move: writing

Our Monday show with Tera Melos, Caddywhompus, and NeckBeard was great.
That Nick Reinhart fella is a pretty photogenic guy. We were able to sneak this photo of him:

We played our asses off to a lot of new faces, which can mean only one thing - you guys have been spreading the word. Keep up the good work, 'cause we're going to need you to continue. We've got some really cool ideas coming up for you guys to chew on. Just you wait 'n' see!

What's next for us, though?
Well, since we've penned two new songs recently, we need to keep it up while we're on a roll. We know you guys aren't quite finished digesting How a Reign Comes to an End, but we've decided to go back into the kitchen to bake up some dessert.

We're playing one last show at Tipitina's with A Living Soundtrack and Antenna Inn (see the flyer below). That show is on May 14th, and it looks to be scrumptious.

After our Tip's show, we're going to be taking a break from the rigorous show schedule we've been keeping to write some new material. Expect to hear something a little faster, a lot thicker, a tad more epic, and a bit more conversational. You'll be in for some tasty digs - trust it, trust it.

Expect our show schedule when we return to be filled with wonderful new ideas and more diverse and exciting lineups.

Before we take this moment to creativise, we'd like to thank our sponsors:
- Every Louisiana and Texas instrumental band that we've met, helped, and been helped by over the past year and a half
- The Music Shed who has been gracious, generous, and enormously crucial in fostering nearly all of our productivity
- Our families and girlfriends who sacrifice quite a bit to help us make this all happen
- Jenny and Smokey for... being dogs... 'cause we love dogs
- And most importantly, You - for showing us unbelievable amounts of love and support, for being open-minded and willing to try new kinds of music, entertainment, and art, and for thinking that our wacky shenanigans are amusing and worth being a part of

We'll be posting more about the Tipitina's show soon. Until then, stay cool.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An episode of MTV's Cribs

We're over here at the SWAK house waiting for Justin to come back from a hunting trip. He's got a caveman-looking club thing that he keeps in his car at all times that he claims is meant for hunting wild boar. Crazy. We're not sure if he uses only that club to hunt these huge beasts, but we're cool with it as long as he comes back with all of his fingers working.

Anyway, once our very own Ted Nugent comes back, we'll be heading off to practice to gear up for our opening set tomorrow. Not just any opening set, though. We're opening for TERA MELOS!

This show is going to be amazing.
Tera Melos puts on an action-packed show. Nick Reinhart's pedal trickery is a finely choreographed rain dance that seems to work every time as bassist Nathan Latona and newest member drummer John Clardy drip-drop syncopation from every pore of their being. Look them up on YouTube to get an idea of how crazy these guys are. They make it rain. Like woah.

With this wonderful opportunity comes a note of sad news, though. Our friends in Good Day for an Air Strike will be hanging their hats up after this show. If you've never seen them before, this will be your last chance to catch it.

This show is all ages and the rock solid lineup is as follows:
Doors at 6:30
Caddywhompus hits at 7p on the stage
NeckBeard barrels through next on the ground
Good Day for an Air Strike takes the stage for their final set
We'll do the pee-pee dance with you on the ground before Tera Melos destroys the stage with a bang and a splash.

In other SWAK news, we're in a bit of a transition phase right now.
As many of you may know, Jared's mother moved out of his house. Then Pat & Volpi moved in.

Along with Pat came Smokey, the grey Cairne Terrior on the bottom left, and along with Jared stayed Jenny, the red fox-looking Finnish Spitz that Jared is holding. We've got 6 TV's in the house due to varied circumstance, but they've gone greatly ignored because we've had so much fun watching these two characters interact.

Their only beef with each other comes at dinner time or when some owner-dog loyalty issue arises. Other than that, we've seldom had to exercise our conflict resolution skills.

We have a YouTube clip up right now that documents their first encounter with each other. Go check that out if you get a second.

Who wants to see the rest of the house?

Jared only moved 1 room over; however, he's still living in a bit of disarray.

He's the only one with an actual bed, though.

Pat is settled in with his PS3 and direct access to the backyard.

Volpi has also taken the box spring/mattress right-on-the-ground option.

Volpi lives his whole life very simply, though.

With all of the computers, TV's, dogs, and moving, he prefers the backyard and some non-required philosophy reading. Let's take a moment to make fun of him.

How 1880's of you...

Mmm, Nietzsche!

Nice water bottle ya got there.

Just you wait. We'll have a whole post of Justin's greatest hits: a revue of portraits au la Volpi. He'll be thoroughly made fun of soon enough.

Speaking of Justin and living simply, Justin doesn't pay any rent, but he'll be living HERE quite often, most likely.

The only truly clean part of our house right now is the backyard:
When we get settled in completely, we'll probably do a lot of video blogs back here.

If you need absolute proof that we're not settled in yet, there's still a lot of crap in our poor kitchen. :( We'll be putting in a lot of time here after practice to clean up, organize, and take tally of what we need to properly operate:

poor kitchen. :(

That's the closest to MTV's Cribs you'll get out of us. We'll try to get back to you on Tuesday with a re-cap of the Tera Melos show. Until then, try to stay cleaner than us and we'll work on the same.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Unwed Sailor Re-cap, other crazy stuff

Last weekend was nuts. We opened up for Unwed Sailor and played in Lafayette... oh, and we played in Rob Landry's above-ground basement for his birthday.

Let's see here...
I've got a video from the Unwed Sailor show for you guys. It's right here:

When we went to Lafayette, A Living Soundtrack came with us. Perhaps it was their "scooby-doo song" floating in the air or the free coffee and cheap beer that Caffe Cottage offers to bands, but there were a lot of biscuits consumed on this outing. Where better for biscuit's than Mel's diner in the heart of Lafayette?

The ALS crew sat right in front of the dishwasher and made his job easy.

Clean plates o-plenty, and a badass shot of the four of them, too!
We ate more biscuits on the way home the next day at Cracker Barrel, but since all Cracker Barrels are the same, we felt no need to show you any pictures.

When we got back in town, we ran over to Rob Landry's for his birthday.
After we played a few of Rob's favorite SWAK songs, he tore the house down with his band NeckBeard. We took this very demon-like photo of him at the party:

By the way, if you haven't heard NeckBeard yet, they're super badass and you need to check them out. They're playing with us at the Tera Melos show (Monday 4/27 @ the HighGround) and at a show that our friends over at Southern Soundscape are putting on Friday at the Dragon's Den.

Speaking of this week at the Dragon's Den, we'll be playing there Thursday with Pumpkin and High in One Eye. That show starts at 7p. Do it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


My girlfriend hates them, and understandably so because they're loud, fast, spastic, and make me drive like a maniac. And that's exactly why all of you in the rest of the world out there should love them.
Here's a live performance video with their new drummer, who - by the way - was INCREDIBLE at both shows that we saw at SXSW:

Anyway, March is over and April is now upon us.

Oh, what what... Our show with Unwed Sailor was great. Those guys are always a blast, and we're super stoked about being able to play with a group that we look up to so much. We took some video of that, which we'll be posting soon. Our boys over at Southern Soundscape will probably be posting some video of that soon as well.

Speaking of posting media to this blog, that should get a whole lot more frequent and easy from now on as I (Jared) have an iPhone now. Fancy shmancy pantsy, eh? Yes.

If you're going to be in Lafayette tomorrow (Friday, Apr 3rd), go to Caffe Cottage. We're going to be playing with a Living Soundtrack and Magic Legs. It will be sick, and you'll love it.

EDIT: hmm... i guess it would help to tell you when the Tera Melos show is, right?
all of our shows for April are as follows:

04/03/09 - Friday - 18+ - Lafayette, LA - @ Caffe Cottage w/ Magic Legs and A Living Soundtrack
04/09/09 - Thursday - All ages - New Orleans, LA - @ the Dragon's Den w/ Pumpkin and High in One Eye
04/11/09 - Saturday - 18+ - Mobile, AL - @ the Blind Mule w/ A Living Soundtrack and TBA
04/17/09 - Friday - 18+ - Baton Rouge, LA - @ the Spanish Moon w/ Spring Break Shark Attack and A Living Soundtrack
04/23/09 - Thursday - All Ages - New Orleans, LA - @ Satchmo's in Loyola Underground (FREE!) w/ High in One Eye and NeckBeard
04/25/09 - Saturday - 18+ - Athens, GA - @ the Globe w/ A Living Soundtrack and TBA

And the BIG ONE:

04/27/09 - Monday - All Ages - Metairie, LA - @ the High Ground w/ TERA MELOS!!!!!!!

We love Tera Melos to death. If you have no idea who they are, we hope that you check them out.
We love Tera Melos to death. If you know exactly who they are, then... HOLY CRAP!!! WE'RE PLAYING WITH TERA MELOS

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Battle with the Flu

Hello internets world.
Pull out your fruity drinks, kick your feet back, and let us tell you a thing or two...

yes, like that. exactly.

Our story begins in a place not so far away, in Anywhere, USA - a place called Katy, Texas - where the Smiley with a Knife boys stopped in at a Starbucks for some refreshments on their treck to South-by-SouthWest in Austin.

Deciding that a caffienated beverages would displease him, Jared decided he'd rather some juice. And so while wearing his girlfriend's sunglasses over his regular glasses and wearing a quite ridiculous Marine Corps shirt with a horrible pun sprawled across it, he thought it a fine idea to order a Large ("We don't have large," said the passive-aggressive Starbucks employee) Strawberries and Cream - under the impression that it was going to be strawberry juice with coffee creamer in it.

Oh, mocking ensued as he looked like the most fabulous log-cabin Republican of them all.

But all joking aside, Smiley with a Knife got back from SXSW earlier this week where we played a New Orleans showcase with our friends Magic Legs, Man Plus Building, Hat Talk, I, Octopus, and Caddywhompus among others. It was great fun. We squeezed ever-so-tightly into Snake Eyes Vinyl on the east side of downtown.

Here's what it looked like:

The rest of the time we spent there, we got to see Tera Melos twice and Maps & Atlases too! Both of those bands are heroes of ours, and we want very badly to be associated with the Sargent House group that they are on. Maybe one day, but it's not entirely necessary for us to chase after.

Aside from that, Volpi and Jared got the chance to see Look Mexico, Constants, and Caspian at Plush, the holiest-in-the-wall-iest venue that any of us saw in downtown Austin. That's kind of sad, because some of the places that we've played make Plush the Austin venue look pretty damn plush.

Oh. It's probably also worth mentioning that we saw one of the worst bands ever in the Pita Pit that we ate at while we were there, too.

Anyway, we were looking forward to playing in Hammond on Saturday night, but both of our guitarists came down with the flu. To all ye Hammond folk, we apologize profusely. We will reschedule and have great times and profound laughter. It was pretty bad, though - neither of them made it to work on Monday and we had to cancel our Sunday show at the Dragon's Den with buzz-machines DD/MM/YYYY as well.

Hopefully Pat and Justin be better by the time our show with Unwed Sailor comes around next week. Speaking of which, that's going to be March 31st at the Dragon's Den, 10p, with NeckBeard.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bio Post

Smiley with a Knife has the ingredients of a New Orleans institution. Raised in Algiers, childhood friends Michael Volpi, Patrick Bailey, and Justin Vicknair have been romping around the Westbank as or with members of New Orleans’ punk/ska legends Fatter than Albert for years. During Fatter than Albert’s 2005 summer tour just one month before Katrina, the three agreed to an experimental project that for nearly two years hosted a rotating cast of temporary drummers. When the group recorded at Loyola University in the fall of 2007, they recruited the recording session engineer, native New Orleans drummer Jared Marcell, to permanently fill out their lineup. Marcell, a Loyola Music Industry Studies student at the time, graduated the following year with a management position at the Music Shed recording studio and rehearsal facility already in store. Smiley with a Knife as it is today was born, and since then the group has managed to successfully sear its own brand of quirky yet sleek instrumental indie-rock compositions with a uniquely New Orleans flair.

Smiley With A Knife's first full length, How A Reign Comes To An End, debuted in November 2008 and has garnered praise from local and regional press. On their behalf, there has been a tireless effort to unite the instrumental groups of the South East into an organized regional movement. With the beginnings of this instrumental armada, Smiley With A Knife initiated the first annual New Orleans Instrumental Fest in March 2009, a week before their performance at SXSW. Aside from their impressive local allies, SWAK has had the honor of sharing the stage with such traveling talent as Unwed Sailor, Tera Melos, Native, HEALTH, Maserati, Arms & Sleepers and Caspian.

While instrumental rock certainly is not a novelty by any means, it is indeed a refreshing medium that has taken a strong hold in New Orleans, and Smiley with a Knife has lead that charge in recent years. Sans singer, instrumental musicians cannot hide: they can't cheat or "pull a fast one." The sounds that radiate from bare, basic instrumentation will collapse if not buffed and buttressed by true musical ingenuity. Smiley with a Knife has pondered these tenets and faced these challenges head-on. They brew together the classic with the new, lithely striding along with sonic hooks and anchors to keep their fans and “to be” fans captivated. They blend the upbeat, joined-at-the-hip bass and drum combo mastered by bands like the Meters with the chilled demeanor of a definitive modernity established by bands like Explosions in the Sky and Maserati. The skills of Patrick Bailey (guitar), Justin Vicknair (guitar), Michael Volpi (bass), and Jared Marcell (drums) lie in their ability to pay homage to their influences and forbearers without reinventing the wheel. Their innovation stems from their ability to temper their more jocular, tickling tunes with other more eerily emotive numbers.

In August 2010, Smiley With a Knife released their new album, Long Now. People say it's awesome.