Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shepard Fairey's teamed up with Art Alliance and it's ... pretty cool!

D*FACE "Grim Tales (2013)" is showing  at The Provocateurs. Photo by me.
I had a chance to participate in a roundtable with Shepard Fairey yesterday and it was great. It was sponsored by Hennessy since he collaborated on a bottle design for them. They're also helping fund an exhibit he's curating that's in Chicago for the next few days, so that meant the opening chatter was all about booze (which I couldn't find more boring though I appreciate their support of the arts in this way) but by the time the mic was passed to me we were all discussing his art and his philosophies. He's loquacious in the best way and it was great being there.

If you live in Chicago or are here for a certain large music event, the exhibit—titled Art Alliance: The Provocateurs—is only open through Monday and I really suggest you check it out. The works of 40+ artists are up, ranging from Keith haring to D*FACE to Mark Mothersbaugh to Fairey himself. Tickets are available here and a portion of the proceeds benefit Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education. Also, if you've got an extra couple of bucks lying around I believe all the pieces in the exhibit are for sale. Just in case you want some new art instead of, say, a new car.

One other totally cool and free byproduct of this is that Fairey and three other artists have done live mural installations around the South Loop! Taking the art to the streets, maaaaan! Seriously, I plan on checking them out and so should you.

  • Shepard Fairey's mural is at 916 S Wabash Ave.
  • Retna's mural is at 33 E Congress Pkwy.
  • Cleon Peterson's mural is at 634 S Wabash Ave.
  • Pose's mural is at 72 E 11th St.

If you do make it out to see any of this stuff, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Here's a great quote from Mike Myers about fame.

This is an incredible collection of words making a really strong point super succinctly. The sort of verbal bravado my own previous sentence completely lacked. Anyway, see if this hits you between the eyes like it did me.
My advice to young performers is don't want to be famous, want to be legendary. In many ways fame is the industrial disease of creativity; it's a sludgy byproduct of making things. — Mike Myers (to Marc Maron)
Perfect.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lolla on the horizon.

I'm already exhausted, and Lollapalooza is still days away. And I'm not exhausted (or filled with anticipation) in a good way. But I do admit I'm deeply curious to see what the festival looks like this year since it completely sold out before a single band was announced, leading me to wonder just what kind of crowd I'm in for.

We'll see.

Monday, July 28, 2014

So, how did the big weekend go?



The weekend was a major success.

Both our families got along great, and I dare say everyone had a terrific time all weekend long.

We're exhausted but couldn't have been happier with all the love coming from and traveling between our families.

And there was cookie cake!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Take me out to the ballgame!

Click to make BIG!
Mich's dad treated us all to a Cubs vs. Cards game this afternoon. While I am sports agnostic her family are HUGE Cardinals fans, so it was fun to see them take in a game at Wrigley instead of the St. Louis stadium. Sadly for them, the Cubs won—over the course of a REALLY long game— but we still managed to have fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Parents weekend!

It is time! Mich and my families are coming together to meet for the first time! Which led me to wonder, how the heck did it take this long for this to happen!

A happy byproduct? After 5 years of living in our coach house I finally unpacked the library and all my books and (the fraction of publicly visible) CDs are nice and tidy! Not alphabetized, but tidy.

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!