Friday, April 17, 2015

Holy Hasselhoff!

Really is there a better way to see out a Friday?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Springtime for your ears.

This is the time of year most of the hotly anticipated tune-age finds it's way into the wild. If the first months of the year are for sleeper hits, this is the season for blockbusters. And two of my favorite bands are releasing their first albums, one in over a decade* and the other after an almost two decade wait.** And neither one is Guns N' Roses!

And so far everything I've heard from both those bands and a slew of others has me thinking this is going to be a very, very good season.

*Blur. Duh
**Faith No More. DOuble duh.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jools Holland's people need to get with the program!

O.K., it's probably not Jools Holland himself I should blame for the Blur performance on his show being scrubbed from the internets. It's the stick in the mud BBC. But, c'mon, really?! I would totally watch the program's official stream—and even happily sit through ad preroll—but as you can see from the image above, that is not possible.

In other news I AM DYING to hear the new Blur album. My hopes are up. Advance watermarks may even go out this week, I am told. I can't wait for one to hit my inbox.


(Also, I am apparently some music crazy teenager in this post.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday night report card.

Last night's show, how was it you ask?
  • A+   Sam Vicari, who gave it his all and wasn't afraid to do so onstage
  • C   Second band, who probably should have opened and it would have raised their weighted score
  • B+   Colleen Green, who was solid but the air of "too cool for school" was a tad distracting
  • A   Upset, who did their best to bring it all back up and keep the energy going on a Monday night
  • A+   Mich, for going out on a Monday night and having a good tme

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rocking out on Mondays and Sundays.

Seeing these guys Sunday, photo of Local H by Katie Hovland
I am no real fan of going to see a show on either a Sunday or a Monday, yet this week I kick things off with a show at Beat Kitchen tonight, and end the week with a show at Metro on Sunday.

But they'll both be totally worth it.

Friday, April 10, 2015

176 albums so far.

I've listened to 176 new albums released (or soon to be released) in 2015. You certainly can't accuse me of not doing my due diligence before writing up bands!

That said, that volume of music does have the curious effect of being simultaneously exhausting and illuminating. With that much sound running through my ears when something stands out that's usually a good sign that it is really good.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Party planner.

You know for a guy that used to put on multiple events a week you'd think I wouldn't be so paralyzed at the thought of nailing down my own bachelor party! Isn't that ironic?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Tarts! Soon!

New project in the works! Ever since I realized the one and only "official" Ultra Sonic Edukators album was available and posted it up, I've been wanting to highlight a few other "hidden gems" of the scene. There were a LOT of bands that were great in Chicago in the late '90s and early to mid aughts that never benefited from the wider acclaim they probably would have received in a more "connected" time (like now).

Anyway, one of the bands I've been pursuing off and on over the years—The Tarts—finally gave me not only their blessing but all their recordings. So I'm in the process of making them all nice and lining up all the appropriate credits and such, but soon they'll be available for the world to hear! And I think that's really exciting. When you hear the recording I think you'll be excited too.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Update on my deteriorating body OR man am I old or what?

Saw the orthopedic specialist as a follow up about my aching body and found out there's nothing he can do for me. Physical therapy did nothing for me. So now it's on to another specialist. Which is super frustrating since I just want this pain gone already. The only good news was that since my MRIs look jim-dandy there's probably no threat of me  needing surgery.

So there's that.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Big weekend!

Knocked yet another big item off a looming checklist and I couldn't be happier with the result! Cryptic? Yes!

However Chase Bank did their best to make the experience miserable, but in the end I persevered and previaled!

Friday, April 03, 2015

Going to see these guys tonight.

Tonight is one of those nights there are a million shows in Chicago, but we picked OK Go to see over everyone else.

Hehe, I said "a million" above without even thinking about the connection of the video I was about to post. Anyway, here's OK Go when they were just a bunch of wee tykes still living in Chicago!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Now THIS sounds like classic Blur!

I stumbled across a stream of the new Blur album a few days ago and grew despondent as I listened to it ... until I realized it was actually just a collection of b-sides someone had packaged up and labeled as their new LP.  Their new video has allayed many of my fears the new album would be dominated by mopey Albarn ballads (not that I mind those) but instead sound like an actual collaborative effort. Yes!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


There's nothing more terrifying than a blank page. That's a belief Mich shared with me a few days ago when we were talking about the creative process in general. Me? The blank page only scares me if it stays that way.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On my way to bowling.

I have worked a lot of hours the last two days at the 9-to-5 at a rather hectic pace. There's a lot going on! So I happily head to the bowling media playoffs tonight. For a guy who basically didn't participate in bowling all that much over the last few years, I've really taken to it. I guess I finally found a team sport I feel O.K. participating in? And for me it's not whether I'm bad or good at it—I average 130 so I'd say i'm not embarrassing but not good—it's really about hanging out and having fun.

And tonight's the last game of the season. Then the media league turns to softball. Maybe in a couple years I'll like that too?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Big event!

We picked up my ring this weekend! Then had a Saturday Funday where we managed to not lose it at all! Well done, eh?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Creepy awesome Charli XCX!

I am really excited to see Charli XCX on the Lolla line-up—though also terrified she'll be relegated to Perry's stage—and this video is a good reason to explain why I like her so much. The fact she'd allow a collaborator to get this weird with a video tells me she should be around for quite a while.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lollapalooza 2015 ... initial thoughts.

Mich and I last year—star crossed Lolla lovers.
The Lollapalooza line-up was announced this morning and you can get my 30,000 foot initial take on Chicagoist. The headliners are mostly uninspiring but the rest of the bill is filled with unfamiliar names which means I'm either a) going to stumble across a bunch of great new bands or b) record companies have infiltrated the booking ranks and stocked the fest with crap.

So back to the headliners. More specifically one of the headliners. Metallica. And this isn't an indictment of Metallica, and I actually think it's genius to place them opposite Sam Smith, but the personal irony here is that Metallica was the headliner back when I decided to stop going to the original Lollapalooza since the bill under them marked the fest's complete departure from it's "alternative" roots into the lunkheaded mainstream of the time. Which isn't to say I didn't like Metallica; it was the bill as a whole that I found lacking back then. So there's a personal rib tickle going on here, not that I've entertained any notion that Lolla was going to ever go back to "edgy" territory.

So back to that undercard. I am hopeful that the listed bands will reveal hidden gems. Though I can understand if this viewpoint isn't perhaps shared by the general public. In fact I think this tweet makes an excellent point, probably not immediately evident to folks like me that are always in search of new discoveries and don't have to pay exorbitant ticket prices to do so.
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is it really only Tuesday?

I've been concentrating on getting more sleep at night. Historically I've never needed much, but my schedule was getting so ridiculous—a quick nap from 8-10, and then up again until 2 or 3 a.m. reading or watching movies—I needed to do something to force myself into a more regular schedule. So far it's working.

 You know what's not working?

THIS WEATHER. But sorry, I sound like a broken record.

 And yes I know we Chicagoans put up with this crap because summers here are glorious but you know what? The last few haven't been. And winter keeps chipping away at the warner months. And by this point I really am feeling a sense of desperation. It's a combination of "will this end?" and "amI just a fucking idiot for not having moved years ago?"

 I don't know.

 You know what I do know? Team Chicagoist bowls tonight! We won all three of our games last week as a three piece (meaning we alternated the four bowling position) which meant by the end all three of us were exhausted, but Benjy, Mich and I were all buoyed by our wins! Let's see if we can repeat that feat tonight.

 At least it'll take our collective mind off the weather.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy national puppy day!

While I certainly miss my number one pup Betty the Beagle, today has given me a big ol' smile since my feeds are filled with pictures of my friends' adorable pooches. And this couldn't come at a better time since Chicago woke up to A WHOLE BUNCH OF SNOW ON THE GROUND.

This winter. Seriously. Just stop it.