Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Worlds Collide: Black Rebel Motorcycle Call.

I was a big fan of The Call in high school and over a decade later fell for another band, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club without realizing the two were connected. You see, The Call's frontman Michael Been turned out to be BRMC singer Robert Levon Been's dad! The elder Been passed away in 2010 while working backstage for his son's band, a job he had taken up after disbanding The Call. I know, it's sad but I like that father and son were working together up to the end.

Robert joined the remaining members of The Call for a one-off show and they recorded it to release as a live album later this year on September 2. I've been listening to it today and am struck at just how similar the son's voice when compared to the father's, leading to a slightly chilling (in a thrilling, positive way) aural resurrection of Michael Been fronting the band he created for one last time. I also like to think it brought things full circle for Robert as well, combining his own musical legacy with his dad's. You can stream "I Still Believe" from that show below as a taste of what to expect from the album as a whole.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival is a wrap!

The tip jars backstage; choose wisely!
My final thoughts on this year's Pitchfork Music Festival are up on Chicagoist, if you're interested. It was a pretty mellow year all around and while I think I felt a bit blah at times over the actual weekend, in retrospect I actually did have a really nice time. Is it a bad thing I didn't feel challenged by the music more? I'm still not certain, but as an overall experience it was a rather pleasant couple of days.

You can check out the daily breakdowns of the acts Chicagoist covered Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you feel like digging a little more deeply into our coverage and missed it when it initially went up.

Did you go to the fest, and if so what were your thoughts?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lesson learned.

Thank goodness I figured out that taking the days off before and after a music festival goes a LONG way towards helping you function like a human being again.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Everything's getting hectic, getting crazy, getting wild.

Mich and me by late August.
We've hit that portion of the summer where things speed up and simply do NOT slow down again until late August. Today I'm slammed at the 9-to-5 in order to leave everything in a good place since I'm off for the next few days for the Pitchfork Music Festival. For the first year I didn't make myself the point person to create our on site coverage, but I still had lots of juggling for previews and will have my hands full editing on the run and getting stuff up quickly over the next few days. And still writing, just not thousands of words a day. It's still fun but ... whew!

And then, Mich's and my families are coming in town next week to finally all meet each other for the first time, so it's not like I get any time to recover from P4K before scrambling to prepare for that.

And then there's Lolla. I'll be honest. I'm still on the fence about going to Lolla. I don't know if I can physically and mentally do it. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pimp my 'hood!

A-yup, this is where I live. We're not this slick, but I do like it here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 P4K Music Fest!

Summer music festival season officially kicks off in Chicago this week with my 2nd favorite fest (sorry, but Riot Fest has now taken the number one spot)! This means I get to see old friends I never see—both local and from out of town—in one spot while drinking beer and listening to fine music in the Summer Chicago sun. 

Can't wait!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oh, woe! What is this that has draped its dark veil over the existence!

Who filled my limbs with wet sand? Why has all motivation seeped out from my toes and into the ground, fleeing from me and fighting any attempt at reclamation? Why is my vision inged with grey, the corners growing ever more vignetted? Even items that have brought me joy when I reflect upon their appearing in my future have grown dull and reflect no happy glint as they cross my mind's eye. What immeasurable despair could so swiftly drive the malady into the chilled core of my bones?

Oh, that's right, it's Monday.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's a Candy Hearts kinda Thursday.

Kip turned me onto Candy Hearts and they are aimed right at my sweet spot. Super catchy, great vocals and amped to 100 MPH or more. I did a more extensive write-up on 'em here, but you can get a taste of their sound below. We're going to the show tonight and I'm hoping it's as good a time as I'm expecting.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

And on the 8th day...

Photo by me
Editing photos for a post on Chicagoist about Hall and Oates and I came across this one. It is awesome.

I’m calling this one “And then God said let there be Hall, and let there be Oates. And it was good. Nay, GREAT.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

You won't believe what follows this headline! Well, yeah, you probably will. But that's because we've built up a relationship and I respect you.

Clickbait-y photo by me. 
You can write a compelling headline without resorting to clickbait.

In fact, what is now described as click bait began as good headlines, because they drew a reader in and paid off with something valuable to read. Nowadays people have grown skilled at writing the thing that draws you in without bothering to spend any time on what they're drawing you in to read. This is no good for anyone; not even the person trafficking in clickbait winds out because it's—honestly—not a sustainable business model. 

But all is not lost. Gawker was once the king of click bait headlines and now they've realized that writing strong pieces beats a shocking headline with no pay off. Buzzfeed is struggling to write nice longform original stuff but are so afraid of commitment that they still bury it under clickbait, meaning most people never see it. And there are numerous in-between sites trying to balance the two, but the honest truth is if you write a headline to draw people in and there's nothing of value on the there side they won't trust any of your content. 

Don't worry though, i think we're about to witness the dawn of snappy headlines paired with great content again. You know why? The internet has the number of click bait content producers and they are going down. Not tomorrow, but soon.

Monday, July 07, 2014

This long lost David Foster Wallace interview from just before 'Infinite Jest' BLEW UP is both heart breaking and astounding.

WBUR in Boston recently uncovered a long forgotten radio interview with David Foster Wallace conducted February of 1996. Wallace was gaining acclaim and his work in Harper's was certainly turning heads, but at the time he didn't even know if his debut novel from a few years earlier was even still in print. So it's incredibly interesting to hear him speak at this time sine it's a little more candid, and even emotional at times, than later interviews. His view of American politics is so simply true as to be chilling, and his prescient view of where we were headed as a culture is astoundingly spot on, 18 years later.

I'm still absolutely heartbroken we lost his talent at such an early age. I think one of the things that struck me most about him, especially as I've discovered I finally have the time to read as ravenously as I used to, is just how rare it is to find any writer who manages to write more than one interesting thing that deeply resonates in the heart and the brain like his work did.

MP3: David Foster Wallace on The Connection with Chris Lydon, February 1996

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Celebrating our new patio set and toasting the the U.S. declared its independence! Patriotism and patio sets for the win!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Glorious. Beautiful.

Just had the loveliest day in the most unexpected of places. I'll tell you about it later, but it just served to remind me that part of getting older is accepting that change happens and doing so in a way that makes a positive impact on your life.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

So this is what relaxation feels like?

I've gotta tell you, having a solid week off work does wonders. It's amazing.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Vacation! Adventure!

Who is this crazy lady and what is she doing?!
We have a car for a few days so we decided at the last second to continue our travels and explore the wilds of Milwaukee!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

E.A.G.L.E. C.L.A.W. ... caw caw!

It's magnificent, isn't it?
At the 9-to-5 the "employee of the month" award is called the E.A.G.L.E. C.L.A.W. It originated as a way for the account and project management teams to show their appreciation for the other groups. The recipient gets a ridiculous trophy that gets passed around all year, accumulating one totem from each winner. Surprisingly, last month, I was the recipient of this honor!

Also, as part of the award, you get your face Photoshopped into some creepy background. The hilarious thing is that when I first saw this I was trying to figure out how they got a high school photo of me. Because I looked REALLY similar to that back then. I mean, REALLY SIMILAR.

I hate being the center of attention—which probably makes no sense coming from a guy that has fronted bands, and climbed on bars during karaoke and loves throwing quips out in the middle of meetings. But in all those cases I get to control the attention, and when something like an award unexpectedly pops up I end up blushing and hemming and hawing and stuttering and looking totally goofy.

But I have to admit that winning the award actually did mean a lot to me. I truly enjoy where I'm working and I love that the people I work with genuinely enjoy what they are doing and truly enjoy each other's company. So to get a tip of the hat from my peers did make me a little, figuratively,  misty eyed.

Today I pass the award on. I was honored to have it towering over my desk for the last month but it's time for someone else to bathe in it's glow. And what did I add to it? A button from my failed presidential campaign (but that was O.K. because I'm cool with the guy that won).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

An unexpected summer jam, courtesy Grimes.

I liked Grimes' last album and thought it was an interesting and unique take on the state of R&B and electronic pop at the time. She's got new material coming out this year and I admit I wasn't really expecting much until I heard this "throw away" she reportedly wrote for someone else that wasn't used so she's just giving it away for free.

NOT what I expected. Now I'm stoked to see what she's got up her sleeve. This could be pretty fucking cool.