Hello friends. Happy New Year to all. I hope that it is a healthy and prosperous one for you all, thus far. We were fortunate enough to ring in our new year on a positive note with all of our old Jersey buddies this past Friday night - thanks to all of you who came out to that show, and our sincerest apologies to those who had their belongings tampered with or carried off by unseen malefactors. There is some lesson here about personal responsibility and looking after the good of the community, but I will leave it to you to decode - smart kids like you shouldn't have too much trouble.
If you were at the show, you also maybe heard me saying something about how it was our dearly beloved bassist Ian Graetzer's last show with the band. Well, the reason that I said that was that it was true - Ian isn't in the band anymore. Shocking, I know, considering that Ian has been in the band since the very beginning (in fact, he and I were the two guys who decided to form the group) and been present for every glorious victory, every bitter defeat, and all the innumerable, interminable hours in between. Not anymore, gang.
"What is the deal?" you may be asking, "Do you guys, like, hate each other now or something?" No, we don't hate each other. In fact, the months since Ian announced his departure plans (yes, the months!) have been some of the happiest and friendliest in all of our organization's history. The simple fact is that Ian is a man of multitudinous passions, a man who is full of ideas and ambitions and who is always generating plans and schemes and million dollar ideas, a man for whom the road of life is going to be long and carefully, considerately trodden, with many rewards and adventures for the picking along the way. For the past five and a half years or so, we were blessed to have the use of this brain, to be the beneficiaries of these passions and this unstoppable iron will. Ian gave more to our organization than most any band could ask of most any man, but now the time has come for him to spread the wealth around, give some of his other interests and aspirations a chance. Between his future plans (which is not for me to speak of, besides that I don't fully understand them, but I can say that they have something to do with the world of visuals rather than sounds) and his ongoing position of power and responsibility at the venerable Kingsland Printing, there just aren't going to be six months of this new year where Ian can put all of his concerns aside and sit around the van like we have always done - at this, his heart would make a mighty protest, and far be it from Titus Andronicus to make another protest at that protest. Know what I am saying?
I guess what I am trying to say, for the record, is that we still have great love for Ian, and the appreciation we feel for his efforts over the years would be slighted by any attempt to condense them into a pithy, internet-ready sound byte. We are still friends, though - in fact, he has agreed to continue making our t-shirts, so you need not fear going to any TA concert in 2011 and being made to feel like you should be a t-shirt that wasn't Ian Graetzer quality. We shall continue to peddle these shirts because we shall continue to believe in the man, and offer him our sincerest support and best wishes for all of his future endeavors.
What does this all mean for the future of Titus Andronicus LLC? Well, it certainly does raise a lot of questions, most of which are presently without answers. Besides being the bass player, Ian historically handled the lion's share of our business operations, so his departure leaves two rather gaping holes. We will take moves to fill them swiftly and expediently in this new year, but I don't have any particulars to share with you now. Soon enough.
How soon? Well, I can tell you this - it has recently been revealed that we, Titus Andronicus, will be playing a concert on February the 10th, 2011, at the Mercury Lounge in NYC, a benefit for Willie Mae's Rock Camp for Girls. Our Amy has been involved with this organization for a while, and it will surely be a great pleasure for us to lend our support to this most worthy of causes. I mean, come on - taking young kids who maybe have been taught their whole lives that they shouldn't be loudly expressing themselves and giving them the tools and the support to loudly express themselves? Sounds awesome to me! Also appearing will be Care Bears on Fire, Toy Sugar, and Deux Chattes. Tickets are twenty bucks, and rightly so, because hey - teaching the young ladies to express themselves isn't free (it will be when I am president, wait and see)! You can buy them here. This will be yr first chance to see Titus Andronicus' new bass player in action, whoever that turns out to be. We are sorry to reveal that this show is 21+ - never a fun thing, but shit, it is for the money. Really, this time, it is!
All right, so. To summarize: Ian is not in the band anymore because he wants to do other stuff, and we hope that doing all that other stuff brings him a great deal of happiness and success and fulfillment. We shall continue to think fondly of our time together and remember all the things he did for us with considerable gratitude. For our part, Titus Andronicus will stride boldly into the future. Stay tuned to see us doing that.