Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My friends, they have talents.

I've hit the point where my incredibly talented musician friends literally just make music for themselves. Lizz sent me these tracks a while ago and I only recently got a chance to listen to them and was (as usual) blown away what she, Blake, Nixon, and their drummer whose name I can never remember (but he's talented!) can put together.

Of course what Lizz didn't tell me is that they quietly released the track for free LAST JUNE. That's kind of how I can tell old musician friends from new ones: the old ones never even tell me when new music is out because they don't care. Of course they want people to hear it, but they don't need to lean on the exposure I can give them in order to attract other people to validate their art. They just do it.

And I find that inspirational. And it's kind of how music should be, right? Do it for yourself, and if other people come to find it ... well that's just gravy.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pick yourself up, kid.

I watched the Olympics for the first time tonight and 1) sat in awe and 2) realized that when you fall, or stumble, or fuck something up that the best thing to do is learn from your mistake but don't let it hold you back.

This post brought to you by Stuart Smalley.

Friday, August 12, 2016

My job(s).

I just celebrated my third anniversary at my 9-to-5. And I still really like my job. I’ve been lucky to move around quite a bit over the last couple of years and have touched pretty much every account, so that’s been rewarding. And the people I work with are great. I tend to always like the people I work with—I’ve also been lucky in always being surrounded with smart folks who are actually really good at what they do—but at this company the teams have always been uniformly amazing.

And I still get to be creative with my work at Chicagoist, so that helps keep me satisfied too. I’m in more of a senior advisory role there now, and less of a day to day writer, which was a bit of an adjustment at first. But now we have have a full time team there that’s killing it so I feel our A&E coverage is in excellent hands.

I think if there’s anything that’s lacking it’s more on my end: I need to let the people around me know I appreciate them more than I do. I can be snarky and sarcastic and sometimes I forget to temper that with the forthrightness that allows people to know how much I respect and admire them. That’s something I’m working on. In fact I even took a colleague out to lunch this week, and that’s something I’ve never done, believe it or not!

So I’m a lucky dude, and I always treasure that. I think I just need to do a better job of letting the people around me know that’s how i feel about them too.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Big choruses save lives.

Another track often used to fight my Bummer Summer™ mood is this one. It has one of the most epic, perfect sounding choruses and it always makes me feel triumphant and happy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Crap summer.

It's been quite a few months, and aside from festivals and friends this summer has been rough. So I've listened to this song a lot. It is one of the most perfect pieces of pop and so sunny and uplifting, it's just thing thing to brighten my mood when everything else feels dark.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

It took a while at the Apple Store but I have a new phone! Thank god I paid for AppleCare+. Being untethered for almost three days was a little refreshing though.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Cellphone free!

OK, not "cellphone free" in the good way. My phone decided to go for a swim Saturday afternoon so I've been without one since then. It's loss meant I wasn't getting any texts so my Sunday plans kind of blew up, and the first Apple Store appointment wasn't available until this evening so that's the fastest I can (hopefully) get a replacement. Believer you me, I am extremely happy I laid out extra do for AppleCare+ coverage.

But while I do feel disconnected and a little anxious, now that everyone who needs to know understands I'm not avoiding their calls or texts, it is a little liberating. I'm usually constantly checking email, socials, news feeds and all that—probably even more than the average person—so while their is a smidge of FOMO right now I think the breather is doing me good. I even had to read a book on the bus to work this morning!

It's certainly forced me into some self-reflection over the last fews days, since that's the only thing I have available to fill time that would usually be spent on my phone. And no, self-reflection is not always awesome but it's something I need to do more of. It's been a rough summer.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Big and buzzy in the summer sun.

Navy Gangs, photo via their Facebook page
My serotonin levels feel low today so I need to amp things up with music.While digging through my playlist of albums sent to me for review consideration I hadn't listened to yet I came across the self-titled EP of NYC's Navy Gangs.

It's over too fast, but it's four songs tread the lines between pop and shoegaze without ever feeling sleepy. The opening track "Special Glands" grabbed my attention immediately, the the following songs settle into a slightly easier, loping vibe.

So let's see if this can reset those brain chemicals.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

What happened to the song of the summer?

My company's holiday party is today and a call for song requests went out, and I was trying to think of contemporary tunes that are dominating summer this year—and there aren't any. Some songs are popular on the charts but none of them have that universal cross-over / permeating pop culture appeal the traditional songs of summer have had in years past.

What is going on?!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

On repeat. All day long.

By far one of my favorite Lollapalooza moments this year.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

LCD Soundsystem loves us more.

I danced myself clean, for sure.
I was fortunate enough to be able to score last minute tickets to the intimate LCD Soundsystem show at Metro last Saturday. It was the second night of a two-night stand and I was just comparing setlists and realized we got two more songs than the previous night did! In fact, Friday's set was exactly the same as the Sunday night Lollapalooza headlining set, so I'm pretty happy we got into the Saturday show! It was also special for me since the last time I saw the band was at Metro and that was one of my favorite shows of all time. Saturday's show did not disappoint or tarnish that memory. I danced so much it was really hard to walk the next day.

Now what are the chances of ever seeing them in a room the size of Metro again? Pretty much nil.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Lollapalooza 2016 stats.

True love is giving your wife your C3 wristband.
Over the last four days I've racked up quite an impressive number of stats!

Miles walked: 47.02
Air-conditioned bathrooms used: 2
Portapotties used: 9
Cheese fries eaten: 2 1/2
Chubby Wieners hot dogs eaten: 3
Leghorn chicken sandwiches eaten: 1
Dominos pizzas ordered: 1
Blisters formed: 0
Legs wrecked: 2
Water consumed: gallons
Cigarettes smoked: 3 1/2 packs
Bands seen: 43
Number LCD Soundsystem concerts seen: 2
Number of women seen suspended by hooks pierced into their backs swinging over the audience: 2
Anxiety attacks: 2
Ponchos worn: 1
Ponchos given away: 1
C3 guest wristbands given to my wife: 1
Times better the media area was than just about any other area on the grounds: 100X
Number of tears cried by the media upon learning nest year's fest is also 4 days: gallons

Friday, July 29, 2016

Day one down.

Apparently this years Lolla uniform is no shirts for dudes and teeny tiny shorts and half-shirts (bras?) for girls. It makes me feel ancient.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Here we go!

Four days of Lollapalooza. Will I survive? Not drinking will certainly help but OH MY GOD WHY FOUR DAYS?!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Quiet before the storm...

Lollapalooza. For four days. Will Tankboy survive?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Currently binge-watching...

Winona Ryder in Stranger Things, and no, she's not an axe murderer.
I've been trying to keep myself occupied and not going out, so I've been gorging myself on movies and television shows for the last couple months. The one I'm currently ripping through is the buzz show of the moment Stranger Things and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. There already seems to be some sort of backlash (which I swear is more based on the show's instant popularity and not it's actual quality) so ignore that if it's dissuading you from taking it in.

I can admit I'm the perfect target demo though, since the series draws it's inspiration from the '80s that formed so much of my original cinematic experiences, but again, don't let anyone tell you the show is simply driven by nostalgia.

I'm only halfway through, so I'm trying to avoid actually reading much about the show. It's so difficult to avoid spoilers nowadays, huh?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Guess who I'm seeing this weekend?

The Blake Babies! And they chatted with me ahead of their show so check that out!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I had better weeks, I’ve had worse weeks.

When I look through the early years of this site everything seems so exciting and dramatic. As one would expect the person over a decade older looks at that other guy with a bit of wonder. For all the craziness that was actually such a simpler time. Sometimes I’m jealous of that other guy, and sometimes I think he’d be jealous of me.

This is a week where I think we’d be a little jealous of each other. Because I’m going to see Hall & Oates tomorrow night!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gotta get amped!

After so much writing last weekend I realized how little I’ve been writing lately, compared to my past. One of the reasons is physical, but the other has to do with my general motivation. Summer is usually a when I feel energized and excited but this year I’ve been unusually sluggish. I was always the one pushing Mich to get up and at ‘em to the gym in the morning and lately I’ve found I’m having a hard time doing even that much that early in the day.

I’m working on it but it feels weird.