Another lackluster summer is in full swing, and you know what that means. It's time to get the band back together, brah.

            Exactly three years, one week, and two days ago, the hottest hip-hop/rock/ska fusion band to ever emerge from a suburban basement rocked your school cafeteria one last time. That now-infamous "farewell" concert marked the end of a grueling two week-tour across town, including every church basement, YMCA, and all-ages club in sight. So fresh.

            Now, three years later, you know what needs to happen. But wait, times have changed. You can't just unleash the same tasty riffs that ruled the West Side back in high school and expect it to stick. It's time to do a little research, scope out some new digs, and make sure your game is tight from top to bottom. Follow these three simple steps, and your old band will be back on the scene in no time.


Tunes

It may be hard to believe, but you don't need to end every show with a 10-minute jam-out of "Crash Into Me." Tres lame, I know. But it's important to give the people what they want. On that note, you may as well scrap your entire old set. It was totally badass when you guys clicked on those "punky" Maroon 5 covers, but lightning rarely strikes twice, my friend. It may be best to leave that little bit of magic in the past.

            As a simple rule of thumb, try to avoid the whole "fusion" thing altogether. I know having turntables, a horn section, two drummers, four guitar players and a human beatbox seemed like a good idea at the time, but you may want to rethink the lineup this time around. Besides, Jared scored that sweet summer internship and won't be able to practice much on weeknights. Total drag, nobody played a six-string bass in camouflage shorts like the J-man.


Look

Speaking of shorts, you'll definitely to update the old wardrobe. On the plus side, this step is fairly easy. Round up everything you bought between 1999 and 2003, and get rid of it all immediately. Cargo shots, aviators, visors, wide-legged jeans, hair gel, and beaded necklaces are most certainly a no-go. For phase two, simply raid your younger sister's closet for skinny jeans, grow a beard, buy some dress shirts, and maybe throw in a tight leather jacket and white Wayfarers for good measure. Oh, and don't ever go to your old barber shop again. Try cutting your own hair for that "I don't give a fuck about anything but I'm still going to judge you" look. Classique. One last thing, if anybody mentions going barefoot so they can "feel" the music, kick them out of the band immediately.


Gigs

Depending on your new direction, you may want to circumvent the whole venue thing altogether. Every club in town has been deemed "lame" by the scenester clique anyway. Simply find a house party, list it on your Myspace page, get drunk, and play. Trust me, the more blindingly intoxicated you are, the better. Turn your amps up way louder than necessary, and make sure that shiny new chest piece can be seen through your white v-neck. Chain smoke, spout incoherent drivel into the microphone, and glare vehemently at your bandmates for the entire set. Politely telling people in the crowd to "eat shit" for spilling your beer is also a nice touch.


Follow these three simple steps, and your old band will be back on top in no time. And hey, there's always next summer if you fuck it up and go down in flames.