Monday, October 15, 2018

Big changes.

I'm moving in 2 days and have a ton of concerts this week so life has been a little hectic. But I'm also pretty excited to close this chapter of my life and move forward. And I had an encounter this weekend that I don't want to go into but it was incredibly positive and cathartic.

I'm feeling good about things in general. 2018 has been a rough year, but the horizon is brightening.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Feeling decadent.

I move next week. It's only across the street so that's lots of less stress. But I'm treating myself (mainly because the move is, well, so short) and having the movers pack my stuff. I mean, there are certain things I'm gonna pack myself (teddy bears, expensive artwork, erm, personal items) but holy heck, I love the idea of a bunch of folks just tearing through my house and packing everything in three hours.

Less than a week an counting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

I've never gone this long without writing (here).

So.

House is sold.

I'm moving.

Across the street. (I am not a fan of change.)

Mich and I speak sparingly, but at least we speak.

I'm still figuring this out, but I feel less lost.

Once I land a new gig, I have a feel everything will right itself. But I've managed the worst of it.

I hope she has too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

TFW your first meeting with your ex-wife is captured in print.


It had been online forever, but it was a slight shock to see me and Mich's first meeting make the jump from digital to paper. Especially jarring considering our divorce just became final a few months ago. At the same time it's extremely flattering (though I don't come off as well) to see that moment ambered in time. When I saw it I texted Mich—we now communicate, but still rarely—and both of us were a bit taken aback, I think. But I'm glad it's there. My marriage was a failure, but my relationship with her was not.

And for the record, Jess got it right; no one got in Mich's pants that night. But she did still stay over at my place afterwards, and it was the beginning of one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Last night my new girlfriend read the piece, and she laughed. There are funny bits in there! It felt pretty neat to be able to share something like this with her, and have her response be a positive one. Divorce itself sucks, but this piece reminded me of the beginning, and all the good things therein.

Also, while the names have been changed in this piece, I did totally get Mich's name wrong when introducing her to Jess.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Still gathering my thoughts on Riot Fest.

One thing I've been enjoying about writing for different media outlets has been the return to me following my muse instead of just filing something as quickly as possible. So instead of rushing to type up a few quick notes about a couple various bands, I have the luxury of actually sitting on my thoughts for a day or two in order to write something more (I would hope) thoughtful and substantial. I think people care more about the festival experience as a whole, and less about a bunch of quick thoughts on this or that band's setlist. Given the response to my Lollapalooza write-up, I think this thinking is probably right. Is that gonna change how other media outlets sprint to get words up ASAP for fear they'll miss eyeballs? Probably not. But I do think it's the right approach, and I think as time goes on it'll gain more traction. In other words, we'll move back towards the days rock writing was actually writing. That makes me happy.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Solid contender for one of the best albums of 2018? Fer sure.

Photo by John Londono
The new Fucked Up has been on constant repeat for me. They really expand their sound waaaaaay further than the shouty punk you probably know them for with this one. It's long. It's ambitious. And I haven't tired of it yet.

I can't think of anything more punk rock than fearlessly messing with your recognized sound to achieve your artistic ambitions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Go! Summer ain't over yet.



I wrote about these folks a while ago and posted this tune's audio, but didn't even realize there was a video for it. To celebrate my return to regular writing in this space* (and in advance of me listening to their forthcoming new album, which I just downloaded) here's is Valley Lodge's "Go." And yes, you'll totally recognize the song and not realize how amazing it is after the first super familiar intro.

* It's been a rough summer. But I'm starting to feel optimistic about the future. I mean, I have to. And part of that is returning to regular writing again. I'm actually slightly embarrassed that after 15+ years of posting every weekday I stumbled, but again, it's bee a heckuva year. I think y'all needed a break from me as much as I needed a break from writing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Radio silence.

Yeah. The first time I haven’t written daily since 2002. Sue me. It’s been a rough year. Heck, I haven’t even been writing concert reviews. (Which is funny, because I’ve spoken them to folks and they’re like, “That’s totally complete! Just type it out!”)

Anyway.

So after 16 years I dropped the ball for a few days. But I’m back. So, stay tuned.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Digging deep into the rawk with The Dirty Nil.



The Dirty Nil are an Ontario-based trio that realize the fundamentals of a good rock song is melding massive hooks with even more massive guitars. I know, sounds simple, huh? But believe me, it ain't.  I've been listening to their upcoming Master Volume, and it's the kind of album you put on first thing in the morning to rev up for the day, or last thing at night because there's no reason to stop the party.

They just released a video (above) for "Bathed In Light," Master Volume's opener, and it gives you a good idea of where the band is headed. Trust me, the rest of the album is just as good.

Oh heck, here's another taste of what to expect.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

My thoughts on Lollapalooza 2018 are now up!


Head on over to Third Coast Review for my recap of this year's Lollapalooza. After years of rushing to do daily recaps it was nice to take some time and try to write something a little more comprehensive about the fest as a whole instead of just running through notes on a million bands. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Post-fest funk.

Something no one ever seems to write about is the series of blahs in the days that follow attending a large festival. This is especially true of a festival that stretches across, oh say, five days for me. It's not a depression, per se. It's more that your body and brain have been running on overstimulated overdrive for more days in a row than it's used to, so there's an inevitable recovery period.

For me that recovery usually takes a day. Historically I take the Monday off any festival off to recharge. But I must be getting older because now it's day two and I'm still run down. Maybe it's just because I'm still in-between jobs, and in the past I sort of willed myself to recharge a little faster? I don't know. But it sure is making me feel old to see Pickle the Kitten being more active throught the day than I am!

Monday, August 06, 2018

I survived another Lollapalooza.

I have a full review coming later this week—I was covering solo so need a little more time to write—but I'm still alive. Luckily my legs don't ache as much as usual, but I'm still exhausted. I'm heading to the shower now in the hopes of washing (most) of Grant Park off me and feeling slightly more human again.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Bittersweet.

I've been to every Lollapalooza since its inception, save two. This will be the first time in ten years I'm going without my longterm Lollapalooza companion, and the first time ever I'm going solo. I'm two days in and it's already a bit of a different experience. I'm trying to enjoy the newness, but it's still a little weird.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Interesting Lolla stats.

Aerial shot of Lollapalooza 2016 courtesy of Soaring Badger Productions
According to Vivid Seats...

  • Average Ticket Price: $423 
  • “Get-In” 4 Day Pass: $564 
  • “Get-In” Day 1 Ticket Price: $245 (Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Khalid) 
  • “Get-In” Day 2 Ticket Price: $225 (Bruno Mars, The National, Post Malone) 
  • “Get-In” Day 3 Ticket Price: $202 (The Weeknd, Vampire Weekend, Logic) 
  • “Get-In” Day 4 Ticket Price: $161 (Jack White, Odesza, Lil Uzi Vert) 
  • Average Distance Traveled: 444 mi 
  • Price Change Since 2017: +3%

Sooooo, it appears Arctic Monkeys > JackWhite. Hmmmm....

Also, my cheat sheet to surviving Lolla from last year still applies.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Lollapalooza!


Who's going?


Here are my must-see bands that aren't headliners. Understand this is with the caveat that the undercard is mostly unknown to me so I'll still be wandering around taking in new music and hoping someone knock me out.
Thu 08/02/18 2:45 PM - Stars, Grant Park
Thu 08/02/18 4:45 PM - Franz Ferdinand, Grant Park
Thu 08/02/18 6:45 PM - CHVRCHES, Grant Park
Fri 08/03/18 1:50 PM - Post Animal, American Eagle
Fri 08/03/18 2:30 PM - Taylor Bennett, Perry's
Fri 08/03/18 3:45 PM - LIZZO, Tito's Handmade Vodka
Fri 08/03/18 7:30 PM - B├śRNS, Lake Shore
Sat 08/04/18 4:45 PM - LL COOL J, Bud Light
Sat 08/04/18 5:30 PM - Carly Rae Jepsen, Lake Shore
Sat 08/04/18 5:40 PM - morgxn, BMI
Sat 08/04/18 6:45 PM - St. Vincent, Bud Light
Sun 08/05/18 12:45 PM - The Regrettes, Grant Park
Sun 08/05/18 4:30 PM - The Aces, BMI
Sun 08/05/18 5:30 PM - Manchester Orchestra, Lake Shore
Sun 08/05/18 7:30 PM - Chromeo, Lake Shore




Thu 08/02/18 3:45 PM - The Wombats, Lake Shore

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

'Preacher' v. Anne Rice.


Yet another in a series of brief posts because I think I'm suffering from general writing fatigue yet still have Lollapalooza staring me in the face for most of the remainder of the week. Still trying to figure out my mode of coverage, but I think I'm going back to my old school timestamp stylee because, after a few years of being told I couldn't, I now can again. Yippee!

Anyway, this week's Preacher features a secondary story that absolutely lampoons the Anne Rice style of vampire lore, and it's a gut-buster. I grew up on Anne Rice (I worked in a bookstore when the Interview With A Vampire / Lestat craze was first peaking and admit I completely fell for the series for a while) but holy hell is this some funny stuff.