"She was a good friend who was dating my other friend at the time. They didn't know I was I love with her; I was involved in my head. I didn't really tell her until after I moved to L.A. I called drunk one night, saying, 'I'm in love with you.' She just laughed at me."

It was also in the City of Angels where he started collaborating with fellow musical savant Rick Schaier, a rambunctious keyboardist and drummer whom Brand met through MySpace.

Schaier contributed some drumming and keyboard work at the tail end of the recording sessions with Breen. Collins later used the songs to help persuade Epic Records to fund his start-up label Modern Art, which released the Tigers' recordings as separate EPs titled Black Magic and White Magic in March 2008. After the discs proved popular on college radio (including with the influential Nic Harcourt of Santa Monica's KCRW), Brand and Schaier started collaborating on what became Miniature Tigers' first full-length effort, Tell It to the Volcano.

"The more time Charlie and I spent together as musicians, he started trusting my ideas more and vice versa," Schaier says. "It didn't feel like a conventional studio situation, but like three guys kinda fucking off and making an album organically."

That album got into the hands of Ben Folds, who picked Miniature Tigers as his opening act for an 11-city East Coast stretch in February. The piano-playing power-pop star told South Carolina's The Post and Courier that he dug the band and wanted to expose his audiences to something they'd never heard.

Now, the band — with bassist Lou Kummerer (who works at New Times) and guitarist Darren Robinson — has a chance to make a big splash at South by Southwest. Those who know them are betting on it.

"I think Charlie's finally kinda feeling comfortable in his own skin onstage and offstage," Breen says. "And Lou and Darren are just solid players and music veterans who balance out Rick and Charlie."

While Brand doesn't have any plans to produce a follow-up to Volcano anytime soon, he believes it will go in more experimental directions with less of a metaphorical bent. The next album also may not be as drama-fueled, Brand says, because he's grown happier and more confident in recent months, especially after touring with Folds. No longer does he worry as much about his voice or flubbing a guitar line onstage.

"I'm much more of a happier person now because I have a purpose in life: doing music," Brand says. "I've been in a great mood for the last while. There still are times where I don't like myself, though."

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Robert_Lindblad
Robert_Lindblad

Hubbard: Scientology is a power-and-money-and-intelligence-gathering game. To use common, everyday English, Scientology says that you and I and everybody else willed ourselves into being hundreds of trillions of years ago --just by deciding to be. We willed ourselves into being ourselves. Through wild space games, interaction, fights, and wars in the grand science-fiction tradition, we created this universe --all the matter, energy, space, and time of this universe. And so through these trillions of years, we have become the effect of our own cause and we now find ourselves trapped in bodies. So the idea of Scientology "auditing" or "counseling" or "processing" is to free yourself from your body and to return you to the original godlike state or, in Scientology jargon, an operating Thetan --O.T. We are all fallen gods, according to Scientology, and the goal is to be returned to that state.Penthouse: And what is the Church of Scientology?Hubbard: It's one of my father's many organizations. It was formed in 1953, basically to avoid the harassment of my father by the medical profession and the IRS. The idea of Scientology didn't really exist before that point as a religion, but my father hit upon turning it into a church after he started feeling pressured.Penthouse: Didn't your father have any interest in helping people?Hubbard: No.Penthouse: Never?Hubbard: My father started out as a broke science-fiction writer. He was always broke in the late 1940s. He told me and a lot of other people that the way to make a million was to start a religion. Then he wrote the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health while he was in Bayhead, New Jersey. When we later visited Bayhead, in about 1953, we were walking around and reminiscing --he told me that he had written the book in one month.Penthouse: There was no church when he wrote the book?Hubbard: Oh, no, no. You see, his goal was basically to write the book, take the money and run. But in 1950, this was the first major book of do-it-yourself psychotherapy, and it became a runaway best-seller. He kept getting, literally, mail trucks full of mail. And so he and some other people, including J. W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding Science Fiction , started the Dianetics Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And the post office kept backing up and just dumping mail sacks into the building. The foundation had a staff that just ran through the envelopes and threw away anything that didn't have any money in it.Penthouse: People sent money?Hubbard: Yeah, they wanted training and further Dianetic auditing, Dianetic processing. It was just an incredible avalanche.Penthouse: Did he write the book off the top of his head? Did he do any real research?Hubbard: No research at all. When he has answered that question over the years, his answer has changed according to which biography he was writing. Sometimes he used to write a new biography every week. He usually said that he had put thirty years of research into the book. But no, he did not. What he did, reaily, was take bits and pieces from other people and put them together in a blender and stir them all up --and out came Dianetics!

Taken from the June 1983 Penthouse interview with L. Ron Hubbard Jr.

==================================================================================================================================under 2000===========================================================Hubbard: Scientology is a power-and-money-and-intelligence-gathering game. To use common, everyday English, Scientology says that you and I and everybody else willed ourselves into being hundreds of trillions of years ago --just by deciding to be. We willed ourselves into being ourselves. Through wild space games, interaction, fights, and wars in the grand science-fiction tradition, we created this universe --all the matter, energy, space, and time of this universe. And so through these trillions of years, we have become the effect of our own cause and we now find ourselves trapped in bodies. So the idea of Scientology "auditing" or "counseling" or "processing" is to free yourself from your body and to return you to the original godlike state or, in Scientology jargon, an operating Thetan --O.T. We are all fallen gods, according to Scientology, and the goal is to be returned to that state.Penthouse: And what is the Church of Scientology?Hubbard: It's one of my father's many organizations. It was formed in 1953, basically to avoid the harassment of my father by the medical profession and the IRS. The idea of Scientology didn't really exist before that point as a religion, but my father hit upon turning it into a church after he started feeling pressured.Penthouse: Didn't your father have any interest in helping people?Hubbard: No.Penthouse: Never?Hubbard: My father started out as a broke science-fiction writer. He was always broke in the late 1940s. He told me and a lot of other people that the way to make a million was to start a religion. Then he wrote the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health while he was in Bayhead, New Jersey. When we later visited Bayhead, in about 1953, we were walking around and reminiscing --he told me that he had written the book in one month.Quoted from the June 1983 Penthouse interview with L. Ron Hubbard Jr

 

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