Monday, December 31, 2012

No end of year ruminating here.

So long 2012, don't let the door hit you on your ass on the way out.

Hello 2013, I'm looking forward to a nice, healthy relationship with you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Your jam of 2013.

If you're not down with Free Energy yet, you will be. Don't get left behind! This album, Love Sign, is already stuck on repeat for me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I'm goin' hooooome.

Sitting on a plane waiting for takeoff and excited to be heading home to see my fuzzy lady-friends. Unfortunately I'm leaving my human lady-friend in St. Louis. Boo. Luckily I won't be without her for long since she's only two days behind me!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday cheer!

I hope everyone is enjoying their day off!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Need a bit of an eye opener?


Michelle recommends a cup of joe if you're looking for an eye opener!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm on vacation! So now what?

I don't have to be in the office again at the 9-to-5 until 2013. And I'm already filled with anxiety. What if something happens while I'm out? Will I be so far behind and buried when I go back in? How the heck do I actually take a vacation?

Of course the answer to all of the above is to simply take a vacation, since all those doubts are bubbling up because it's just been too long since I took any time off work that didn't result from me dealing with a concussion. Heck, even taking this time off doesn't see me dipping into actual vacation days!

So obviously I need to force myself to just step away, unplug and enjoy some time to myself. I'm not even sure I know how to do that any more, but I'm going to do my best.

I deserve it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Total Eclipse Of The Voice.

The Voice is far and away the best vocal talent show on TV. Sure, none of the contestants have gotten really famous yet, but at least they all have to be actually talented to get in (mostly). No, what makes The Voice so watchable is the judges. And it looks like it's going to be even more watchable next season. Here is why.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The return of Rancid?


So, like, I remember first hearing Rancid in my college record store in the early '90s* and asking the clerk about it since I was digging it. It was snotty punk, rude, but there was this sing-along quality t it that made it rise above what else was out there at the time. the clerk told me it was "some of the dudes from Operation Ivy's new band" and I immediately grew super stoked to hear the rest of the album. So I ran home, grabbed a few CDs I no longer listened to, sold them to a college bookstore down the street because they paid better, and then ran back to buy the Rancid album.

I stopped following the band after ...And Out Come The Wolves because they no longer really hit me in that sweet spot with the material that followed. It just grew more cartoonish to me. And to be honest, I thought they had broken up, but it appears as if I'm wrong. This shows how much they fell off my radar! Anyway, it appears they are still together and thriving and have released a new song that you can snag for yourself, for free, below. "Fuck You," is still pretty cartoonishthe song is called "Fuck You" for christ's sake—but I'm digging it's deranged sock hop vibe. I'm not gonna say the band's really reignited my interest in them, but it is a nifty little tune, and it's free! And now it's made me want to go back and listen to the stuff from their early years too.



*Also, and file this under "HOW CAN THIS BE POSSIBLY TRUE," Rancid is celebrating their 20th anniversary. Sheezus, I am old.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday party hats!

I think the best thing about Christmas is that the holiday party trains slams to a stop on that day. Sure, you've still got New Year's Eve, but that's one day. Hey, I like a holiday party just as much as the next guy or gal, but by this point in December I'm starting to get burned out.

O.K., see ya ... gotta head to another holiday party!*

*I actually love holiday parties, and the one this evening is no exception. Just to make that clear!

Monday, December 17, 2012

What do I have to say?

Occasionally I get requests from college students to interview me. I'm always flattered but also always confused because I'm not sure what I have to offer them? Because of that I almost always decline, worried I'll just waste their time. But you know what? Maybe I do know a thing or two and maybe I need to dig down and learn how to convey that because I have a responsibility to pass that sort of thing on.

Right?



Friday, December 14, 2012

Year end lists.

Here's the thing about year end lists; you should use them to discover stuff you missed and not think of them as reinforcing beliefs or choices you already had or made. That's my belief anyway. So if you're making one, make sure you focus on what really worked for you in the last year, and not what was just popular under critical consensus.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Share Breakfast.

I know I rarely feature my 9-to-5 work here, but I helped create this for my client and I am so proud of the result and the worthy program it's associated with. It's so easy to take action so share this with a friend!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A very special holiday message for you.

This cat like chocolate chip cookies almost as much as I do.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The epic ballad of Jesse Pinkman.

I can't believe this is the guy I play kickball with once a year. I think one can argue Jesse Pinkman has become the most interesting character in Breaking Bad, and while I feel things probably won't end well for him, I'm holding out hope that they do.

Friday, December 07, 2012

2012: My life in photos!

OK, so this isn't exactly 100% accurate, but I made a little automatic collage using Animoto. It combs through your Facebook photos and animates a couple together. I'm going to guess it's based on likes or popularity of the image? Anyway, enjoy! And if you feel like making your own, be sure to send me a link so I can see it!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

It's a fine vintage, the mash(-up) is from 2012.

Duh. Who doesn't do a super mash-up of the year's biggest songs nowadays? This one is pretty good though, and I'm sharing it because a) I still can't get used to the fact that Nate Ruess is now a bonafide pop star and b) Nate is butted up against Kelly Clarkson, making me now wish they do a MASSIVE duet in 2013.

Monday, December 03, 2012

The impending holidays.

Who here has pretty much from Christmas to New Year's off work? I'm using some vacation days to ensure I am and I plan on vegging out and taking in lots of movies and sedentary non-activity. And I'm really looking forward to almost everyone else I know being in the same position so I have no worries that I'm missing something or falling behind or anything like that.

I think I'll take advantage of that time to follow Pickle's excellent example, pictured below.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Surprising Fact Of The Day: I have never seen Mike Patton perform live.

If you've ever seen me perform karaoke then the above fact would indeed surprise you. Mike Patton is one of my favorite singers of all time. I know, I know, he's a pretty polarizing vocal presence but I fell for him way back when The Real Thing dropped and I thought he looked like the little, more psychotic, brother of one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've just about given up hope of ever seeing Faith No More live, but Tomahawk—one of Patton's many other bands—just released a video for a new song so hopefully that means a new album and a tour are coming along soon? I sure hope so.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

All smiles!

Today was a day of positive accomplishments both big and small. It was the kind of day where you realize that hard work does pay off in the end. It was the kind of day that warrants celebration, even if it is just treating yourself to BBQ and an early bedtime.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Taking the ski lift.

One thing about being a young (OK, not so young anymore) professional is getting through the slow trudge up the hill as you formulate your strategy and plans. Presenting is akin to reaching the top of the mountain after hours in the chairlift only to find yourself back at the bottom of the hill in a few absolutely exhilarating seconds.

It's always worth it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Art in motion.

Do you Cinemagram yet? You should. Then you could do something like this!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Pickle in a box!

I ain't gonna lie, I kind of wish I could just join Pickle the Kitten in her new favorite spot.


Things look so much simpler in there.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Buy nothing Friday? Why?

Like I said the other day, I think it's wrong to drag anyone in to man a register or ensure a rack or shelf remains filled at an ungodly hour. And if you are one of those peeps who wait in line to get into a store at an ungodly (yet reasonably ungodly a.k.a. 4 a.m. Or so) hour I'll be confused but ultimately, hey, it's your choice. But man, isn't it so much more pleasant to simply shop in the early afternoon on Black Friday after all the crazies are gone?

SPOILER ALERT: It is WAY easier to shop in the early afternoon. And way more pleasant. And still way cheap!

Also, who knew Back To School was on Blu-ray?! Not me. But now I own it!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gobble gobble.

Hand turkey time, y'all! Oh, and real turkey time for all my fellow carnivores. And something equally or more delicious for any vegetarians peeping these words right now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Black Wednesday y'all!

I'm looking forward to following this example.
Guess what? I have nothing planed at all this weekend! Yee-haw! I don't even have any shenanigans planned for tonight, which is highly unusual. (The Dead On are playing Township so I imagine if I do anything it'll be that, but that's not set in stone.)

Hm, I thought I had something more to say than that, but I guess I don't. The inside of my head feels scooped out so I'm going to enjoy the next few days as a chance to fill it back up again. The one downside to being a professional creative is that your main tool is between your ears and that tool needs a break every once in a while to make sure it's still kicking out good stuff!

Oh! I do have a public service message. PLEASE do not be one of those people who goes shopping for Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving night. It's one thing to drag employees into the store at 4 a.m. to man the registers; it's not fun but it's not completely disrespectful. Forcing someone to leave the family Thanksgiving meal and trudge straight into the store just so you can get a few hours jump on a competitor is totally soulless. Please don't support this behavior.

You can get better deals online nowadays anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The shocking truth about tryptophan ... REVEALED!

Are you ready for some truth? Can you handle the truth?! I think you can.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How do people find the time?

The title; have you ever asked that question?I never used to but more recently I find I actually do. It's crazy. I used to always feel like I had plenty of time to balance stuff out, but the last few months have changed all that. And it's a trade off I willingly accepted. The things I've been involved with during that time have been difficult, but the end results have been well worth it. Greater responsibility does lead to a bigger payoff, no doubt about it. I just need to figure out how better to balance accomplishment with free time again. I'll get there.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TGIF fer realz!

My plans for the weekend include doing just about absolutely nothing. I deserve it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

An epic day in two parts.

My morning started terribly for a number of reasons but the cap on it all was a cab I called never showing up, making me late for work on a day I could not be late for work. Luckily my collegues kept things running smoothly and the morning proved more poductive than I had even imagined it would. I work with so many smart people.

And immediately afterward I had to jump in a car, ride two states away and spend a couple hours practicing a presentation with some other smart people. So it's been a draining day. It's been challenging. But I'm optimistic all this hard work will pay off in amazing opportunities in the end.

But right now I'm exhausted. And need some sleep. See you in the morning.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Packing up my office.

No, not that kind of packing up. I'm just moving a few offices over. In fact I can see my new office's door from my current location. But still, packing up is always equal parts hassle and nostalgia trip. And I'm really going to miss my view right over Millennium Park. My new view is rad too, but it was cool seeing it and Grant Park and all that green laid out below me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Looking forward to the holiday!

I tortured the readers of Chicagoist with this last week, so I feel compelled to do the same to you!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vacation afterglows that last 20 seconds or less.

GalPal and I went out of town Saturday and Sunday, escaping to Photogal's farmhouse since she so generously offered use of it to us, and it was lovely getting out of the city even if it was only for 36 hours or so. We came back feeling refreshed and awesome and ready to tackle the world! But now we're back in the work week and both of us are already feeling sentimental for yesterday. (Hey, that could be a song lyric!)

Anyway, even though the work week has decided to come at me like a bull on a turbocharged rocket sled, my day brightened a few moments ago when I just happened to notice this happened .


So hey, if you're one of those 3,000 people, you have my sincere thanks for deciding you'd like to follow me. I hope sometimes I'm helpful, sometimes I'm amusing and that those times help outweigh the times I'm just being an idiot.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Escape to the country!

I need a change f scenery. A break from the city. A respite from the GO GO GO.

But not yet!

Tonight I go see The Dead On. And The Supersuckers.

RAWK!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Last minute plans...


I haven't seen this crew in years, and I just got offered a free ticket AND I've got cabin fever, so why not see Electric 6?


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Four more years!

That breeze you felt wafting across the U.S. this morning? That was a collective huge sigh of relief.

Also, just how kick-ass was Obama's acceptance speech last night?

Here it is again.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Election day is tomorrow.

I gotta admit I'm nervous.So get out there and vote. Honestly though, had I my druthers, I'd just sleep for the next twenty four hours (waking long enough to vote of course) and just skip all the nail biting and go straight to the winner.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Walking down Wilshire.


I'm in L.A. and just got back from working out at an LA Fitness (ha!) and this was my view while I was on the treadmill. Not bad huh?

I took the opportunity to walk a couple block and just take stuff in. This trip to L.A. has been pretty excellent, actually. Often this town depresses me but this time around I feel like I'm starting to see whey people do live here.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Album of 2013!


I'm calling it now! Well, maybe not, but my expectations for the new Free Energy are pretty, pretty high!

Dig the song? Listen again!

This may be the only time I post a flyer for an event at Neo!


Veronica, founder of Cream Team, is basically awesome, and she's hosting this, so you should go for that reason alone. The fact the entire evening is soundtracked by the bands that probably taught most of you youngsters how to dance is just gravy.

Dance yrself clean.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Inspired!


I did this today at work. We basically explored new ways to tells stories and apply it to the asks of the 9-to-5. It was altogether pretty awesome. It started off a little slowly but once it picked up steam, hoo boy! I'm so glad I work somewhere they decide stuff like this is important. Because it so very much is.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flying the friendly skies.

Via flightradar.comhttp://www.flightradar24.com/
I've discovered the latest website to simultaneously take my breath away and give me nightmares; flightradar24! The screengrab above is what the skies above the U.S. look like right now, and that's with most flight heading west actually being cancelled!

That's a lot of planes! So yeah, the visual freaks me out. But man is it also impressive when you consider the work and talents of everyone in the airline industry--from air traffic controller to pilots and everyone who supports them--that keeps that massive machine running. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Hood Internet.

I reviewed the new album from The Hood Internet today. Read it if for no other reason than to see a photo of them performing with Gus Fring.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Squeeeeeee!

A meeting I've worked really hard to make certain it went right went very well today. And now I'm exhausted but in a really good way. It's funny how a sense of accomplishment can drain you so completely on a physical level while making you feel like your soaring internally.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The new Taylor Swift is ... good?

Photo from her Facebook page
I KNOW! I AM SURPRISED TOO!

I am one of what seems to be only 6 music writers who haven't been taken by Taylor Swift's work up until this date, but that changes with Red. It's not because she's finally put out a piece of art. It's because she's dropped all pretense of country and struck straight for the deep red jugular of pure pop music.

Swift's album is mostly just terrific, actually. The only missteps are when she grabs at tropes (dubste? really?) that will obviously not age well and date those articular songs horribly. But the majority is good enough that I suspect it'll still sound pretty good to me a year from now, or even ten. And that's usually a sign that the album's pretty, pretty good.

Keep it up Taylor.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life is like a treadmill.

Sometimes the treadmill is set at 3.5. When you want a brisk run it's set at 7.5. Today it's set right around 175.5.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Boring Breakfast Brotherhood vs. The Crunchy Nut!

Remember when I went to L.A. a few months ago to do some work for a client? The fruit of that labor is now live and online! Check it out!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The earworm in me.

Blame Paul for this Friday's jam. I remember liking this video when it was on Popdust a while ago but had completely forgotten about it since I could find the track anywhere. Lo and behold while I'm listening to Mondo Salvo 50 this little gem pops up and totally makes my Friday. Between this and the new Taylor Swift this is a good week for tankPOP in my headphones!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I thought today was Friday again.

When you're insanely busy it's odd how your perception of time gets seriously warped. There have been a number of Tuesdays I was sure were actually Thursday. And I thought it was Friday todau until an email came through reminding me it was the office's Thirsty Third Thursday happy hour, the proceeds of which were going to a worthy charity. I thought it was weird to have a Thirsty Third Thursday on a Friday ... and then realized I was an idiot.

I am obviously in serious need of a vacation.

I am trying really hard to carve out a weekend to at least go to Michigan, either to a B&B or to Photogal's farm house that she's generously offered me use of if I want to escape to there.

Part of this is my fault. Yes, I'm super busy, but I'm also the kind of person who feels guilty about taking vacation time, even though I have plenty of it offered to me by the 9-to-5. I have to get over that and just schedule some time for myself to catch back up with myself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sometimes I forget that rock and/or roll is fun.


I went to see Mixtapes last night expecting a nice little pop rock show. I expected the band to be tight. I expected them to be entertaining. I did not expect them to be so good. Their records have these great doubled up girl/boy vocals and I was expecting the two people delivering those vocals to be somewhat twee. I did not expect a girl with a mostly shaved head who never stopped violently throwing herself around the stage and an equally animated dude playing electric guitar with his bare fingers. I did not expect a show to be so energetic and to see a room of kids so entranced and I did not expect to be reminded that music is supposed to make you feel all YEEEEEAAAAARGH YAY YAY YES YES YES!

I'm really, really glad I went.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's a music filled week.

Going to see Mixtapes tonight because Keep can't stop raving about them and I'm digging their current album. It will be an all ages show at 7 p.m. I will be the oldest person there.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Go see Yukon Blonde.

I saw this amazing band named Yukon Blonde last night. Their album popped up out of nowhere to surprise me a week ago and the show didn't disappoint. If you have the chance to see them on their current tour, do it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

I can't wait to open this for Christmas!

I ain't gonna lie. I'm stoked to see the new Quentin Tarantino flick. Why do I have to wait so long though?!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm on a train!


I'm on an train for the first time in, what, 15 or 20 years. I'm told at some points we reached a speed of, and I quote the conductor when I say "hold on to your hats, folks," 110 miles per hour. Sadly we are still over an hour delayed as far as reaching our final destination. At least the ride is comfortable though!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What do you call a sexagenarian at the top of his game? Bobby Womack.



Bobby Womack's solo album The Bravest Man In The Universe has stayed in relatively steady rotation on the tankPHONE since it was released earlier this year. Damon Albarn produced it, and while it looks like it was spurred on by the two men's work together on the last Gorillaz album, it is very much Womack's show here. One of my biggest concert regrets of this year thus far was missing Womack when he was in town a few weeks ago, and watching his performance above of "Jubilee (Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around)" on Pitchfork TV only reinforces that feeling.

Check out the whole four song set. It's definitely worth watching. And the new album is definitely worth owning.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Barack Obama Releases New Political Ad About A Big Yellow Menace To Our Economy

I worked this up to post elsewhere but was beaten to the punch, so now it goes here!

Barack Obama applauds Mitt Romney's daring for taking on a true enemy of the American economy. Forget about Wall Street, Sesame Street is a bigger threat!

 

Monday, October 08, 2012

Automatic For The People is twenty years old.

Remember these? They were called "CDs."
When Automatic For The People came out I was working at a one-hour photo place in the mall. I remember this distinctly because as soon as I bought the album I played it on repeat all through my shift that day. I was happy that it wasn't as ridiculously bad as the album that preceded it--no "Shiny Happy People" here--but I was also a little let down by its somber mood. But I loved "Drive," "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight" and "Man On The Moon" immediately and shortly thereafter the rest of the track grew to burrom under my skin and make themselves comfy in the back of my brain.

I bring this up not because I think this is a classic album. It's further down on my personal list of rating R.E.M. albums from worst to best  than it is on most other critics', but for some reason this memory brought the fact that at one time I actually listened to albums over and over and over again for eight hours stretches regularly. When was the last time you listened to a brand new album twice in a row? Or even all the way through twice in two days instead of just sticking your favorite tracks on a playlist?

I don't say any of this to come off as curmudgeonly. Instead it just threw into stark relief one of the main differences between then and now and it might help explain why so many bands get super big via the buzz machine only to disappear shortly afterward. Deciding on favorite tracks or the value of an album as a whole after only a listen (or, if they actually spend the time, two) can't help but elevate mediocre stuff to the top just by virtue of the sheer numbers involved. And hey, I'm not saying I have never fallen prey to this. But I do try my best to avoid falling into this trap and I think that may be one reason why I've stuck around as long as I have and maintained readers' trust when it comes to writing about music.

But this isn't about me. It's about you.

Listen to music enough to submerge yourself in it. I know we live in a world of never-ending deadlines, but they shouldn't hold true when it comes to listening to an album and really taking it in. Here's a rule of thumb to live by: if you listen to an album once and absolutely hate it you can move on,* but if you love it you should listen to it a few more times to make certain it actually holds up and didn't just hit an immediate nerve by mistake.

*And if you're a music writer you should still listen to an album you hate at least one more time. Unless it's 3OH!3. You get a pass on that one.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

On the road again, old skool mooziks stylee.

I drove from Chicago to Battle Creek, Michigan and back again today. I was in a car with no cruis control and--gasp--no auxiliary input for my tankPHONE! So I had to resort to an ancient and arcane mode of musical conveyance. I dug out one of my old books of CDs and trucked it along with me.

I do still get CDs, but  often immediately rip them and store them digitally at this point, so the discs I had with me were from back when I DJed regularly, meaning some of the discs in there were mix CDs from ten plus years ago. And you know what? It was a LOT of fun listening to and rediscovering music I had forgotten about. It's funny how a song or a band you can love so intensely at one moment in time can slip to the wayside over the years. But when that song comes back on, you remember exactly why you liked it. And sometimes you remember exactly what you were doing at the time.

AT the outset I feared the trip would feel like it took forever since I was hampered by having to go through CDs from one point to another, but in the end time flew by and it was one of my favorite drives I've undertaken in years.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I miss the old school Google Reader.

I know Reddit and StumbleUpon and all those cats are good for content discovery, but when you could share amongst friends within Google Reader I discovered so much more, primarily because I have a wide range of friends with truly divergent tastes and good eyes for spotting great stuff. It was like magnifying the number of feeds you had by the Nth degree without over stuffing your own feed.

Now yes, you can share to Google+. And I will concede that it's stream interface is really pretty. But not nearly as many people use it to share out what's in their feeds. Heck. Most of my friends share zilch on there. It's simply not as easy or intuitive to use as the old Reader sharing with friends mechanism.

So yeah, I miss that.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Chance encounters lead to smiles.

I literally JUST got a note from someone that read my review of Numero Group's power pop compilations telling me that his brother was in one of the bands and it made him so happy and the only reason he came across it was because his daughter left Chicagoist open on his browser.

That's so random and so cool.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Bye, Barb.

We found out this weekend that GalPal's co-worker (and her unofficial "office mom") Barb passed away this weekend. It was a stunningly unexpected piece of news that hit pretty hard. Barb wasn't old, but she had led a life filled beyond her years with adventure, many of it centered around her long tenure working at The Metro in it's legendary earlier days. She left rock and/or roll living long ago, but it's spirit always lived on in her and she was always fun to be around. I remember when I first met her I was a little nervous since I knew her approval would mean a lot to GalPal, and from what I heard I passed with flying colors.

When something like this happens it really does cause you to step back and take stock. You realize life is shorter than you ever imagined and there's no guarantees  you'll be around tomorrow so treat each day as a rapidly vanishing valuable resource. Don't take the people around you for granted. I know that sometimes I do and I act thoughtlessly at times because of that, but this event has caused me to realize that it's just so stupidly wasteful to behave that way.

As usual, Barb's still making an impact on people around her, even though she's no longer here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some thoughts on Billie Joe...

Photo by Jim Kopeny
So Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong flipped out at a concert, insulting a major force in the music biz and then subsequently apologized by checking himself into rehab. The timing couldn't be worse since the band just released the first in a trilogy of albums* coming out in the next few months and this certainly throws a LOT of sand in the gears of the promotional machine.

I got into Green Day a little later than my friends--it was somewhere between Kerplunk! and Dookie that I started listening to them--but it was still a hell of a long time ago. It actually flips me out to even think Armstrong is even over 40 since that makes me feel a little self-conscious about acting my age. I don't know they guy. I've never met the guy. But I like the guy. Even as he became a multi-zillionaire there was just something about him that didn't seem to change at all. To me, that was punk rock, even if their music was wholly welcomed by the mainstream. And I didn't find his "fuck you for telling me I only have one minute left to play" outburst weird at all. In fact, why wouldn't he react that way?

So I found the quick announcement he was sorry and had a substance abuse problem a little out of character. Is it true? Or, and sorry if I'm entering into tin foil hat territory here, is it an attempt to save a valuable brand (Green Day) from being pulled from the shelves by the corporation (Clear Channel) it insulted? I obviously don't know.


Either way I'm pulling for Billie Joe to come out on top.


*It's called ¡Uno! and it's not a rock opera. It's just a collection of quick little punky poppy songs. I'm digging it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Launching into the purely ridiculous.

I'm going to be honest and admit I can't decide if I love or hate the new Muse album. I've been following them since their debut since people from their label who used to hang out at Danny's in the '90s turned me on to their Radiohead-lite. Their albums got better and better, and while I never considered the band particularly deep, despite what Matthew Bellamy probably thinks, they hit all the right buttons with their grandiosity. Until their last album, The Resistance, which was pretty much just pure bullshittery. What killed it was the fact that Bellamy forgot that what makes his overblown epics delectable is a healthy melodicism, and The Resistance was bereft that crucial ingredient.

The new disc, The 2nd Law, brings that pop element back into the mix, but Bellamy has turned up the knob on the epic-o-meter to 12, rendering the results so over the top they make Queen sound like a skiffle group. But I have to admit its growing on me. Maybe it's because I can't help admire someone who has the capacity to transform overwhelming self-delusional self importance into something I can sing along to in the shower.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Politix.

I don't want to get my hopes up, and in politics years the election is still waaaay far away, but man, Romney is basically losing the election all by himself. Of course.



Nothing butt.

Today has been oddly rear-centric. First, Papa -ister Jake Dobkin chronicled the effects of a self-administered caffeine suppository. And then at tonight's Chicagoist writers happy hour talk turned to butt chugging (a practice I was gloriously unaware of until K-Rob described it to me). What does this mean?!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Slooooaaaaaaan!

Photo by Jim Kopeny
I'm going to see Sloan tomorrow! They are one of my absolute favorite bands of all time. In fact I think I own more tour t-shirts of theirs than I do of any other band. I've followed them since the mid-'90s and have yet to be disappointed by a single album or live show of theirs. And tomorrow promises to be doubly awesome because they're playing two sets of music; one set will be their album Twice Removed in its entirety and the other will be hits and other gems from their back catalog.

It's going to be sweet. If you're in Chicago you really should go! And if you're not and they come to your town, pick up a ticket fer chrissakes!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Catching my breath.

Today was one of those super productive days where you get a chance to finally catch up on just about everything you have going on. I could use more days like this!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Still relevant after all these years.


Ahead of upcoming Chicago shows this week from The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Sloan, I'm faced with the question over whether either band has any current relevancy. I'm not gonna give away my critical reasons behind my answer, you gotta read Chicagoist tomorrow and Thursday for that, but I ultimately land in the camp of "you're damn right they do!"

OK, here's a sneak peek; despite the '90s flaming out as music plunged into a sea of irony, I maintain that many bands from early in the decade always believed in THE MUSIC and shielded themselves with that belief.

Then again Sloan almost broke up after their second album and critics have long debated Spencer's authenticity, so maybe I'm way off. Then again, Sloan DIDN'T break up and Spencer showed fearlessness when it came to challenging fan expectation without so much as a single wink, so maybe I'm not way off at all.

Tune in over this week to see if I end up making any sense or crumble over my own internal conflicting opinions!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

The weekend has landed and boy it's a big one!

Yeah, I have no idea how I'm going to navigate all the stuff that's going on!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Date night!

This weekend is gonna be nuts (Bob Mould, Riot Fest, AV Club Hideout Block Party) so tonight we're keeping it low key and going out for dinner. And then I won't stop running until sometime late Sunday night. Whoo!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One of those weeks.

My timing is all off. Is your timing off? For instance I really thought yesterday was Thursday. Like, I felt it n my bones. So of course now I feel like today is Friday, yet the actual weekend is still half the week away!

Someone needs to reset my internal clock.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How I know I'm getting old.

I now take mini naps around 7 or 8 p.m., only to pop wide awake at 10, much to GalPal's chagrin.

Someone get me a shawl.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A reset.

So I spent the last week largely laying low. Yesterday was the first time GalPal and I even did anything social with friends since I smacked my head. And you know what? The time spent doing not much of anything helped me interrupt a few bad habits like drinking and going out and smoking too much. In fact until yesterday I hadn't smoked in over a week! (Which, incidentally, shows me that I may be ready to start cutting even further back and eventually quit for good.)

The whole thing filled me with the feeling that I had a chance at a new beginning. I don't want to come off sounding all grandiose, but the (metaphorical) air around me does have a new scent to it.

It's kind of exciting!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Well, that was quite a couple of days, huh?

Sasha the Cat made sure I got some rest this week.
I learned a few things this week:
After 1.5 days staying home from work (though, admittedly, I couldn't keep myself from working most of that time (but the rest I did get was well worth it)) I feel much, much better. Dont worry, I'm still taking it easy. GalPal has already threatened me with another concussion* if I don't. But I saw the doctor yesterday and he said while the post-concussive symptoms could last quite a while, aside from another blow to the head, I'll be fine. As for work, while staring at a computer may cause me discomfort he said it won't cause any lasting damage so if I want to just power through I can. So I am.

Overall the biggest thing this whole experience has taught me is that I just might be human. Breaking a limb, or needing stitches or anything like that is one thing; you know what it is, where you're at, and what to expect. Breaking your brain? Now that's scary. It's my whole livelihood! Heck, it's the thing that lets me be me. It kind of makes me feel, well, mortal. And it's not like I ever truly thought I was superhuman but I probably carried a little bit more of that youthful idea of invulnerability a little further in years than I should.

Hey, I'm not saying anyone should expect some huge change in behavior from me after this! But I may just be beginning to learn something in my old age.

And again, thanks to every single person (especially GalPal and Scott) who made an effort to look out for me. I truly, deeply appreciate it.

*Not really, but she has told me there's no way she's letting me not take it easy for a while.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The nicest public shaming ever.

Yesterday Scott Smith put out a public call for me to act like a rational human being instead of pretending I'm a TankBot.


It worked. I went home and took the first sick day I've used in my almost four years at the 9-to-5. And I'm taking another sick day today and heading in to (hopefully) see my doctor.

Thanks to all of you. I know I can be stubborn so I'm so happy you banded together to bring me to my senses.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I got a broken face, uh huh.

I think those are headed for my skull.
I can't decide if it was a good or bad idea to go into work yesterday. On the one hand it was unavoidable since there's just too much stuff that needs me going on right now, on the other my head feels like it's going to split apart. It's almost like my brain made a deal with me saying, "O.K., I know you need me today so I'll let you focus as long as you keep popping Advil, but hoo boy, tonight you better just lay down for a while." And I did, until I got antsy and decided to distract myself looking for old CDs in the basement, which my brain must not have minded because it let me finish the task before going, "Hey, that was enjoyable for both of us, but prepare to pay the price!" And with that my brain decided it was time to leave me grimacing myself to sleep on the couch.

Now I'm waking up and feel like I have a vise just pushing in on the sides of my head while and inflatable balloon pushes slightly outward from inside my skull. Time for more Advil. And another day of just dealing with it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

O.K. brain, let's do this.

I barely slept last night. When you're told to "rest your brain," and you're an over-thinker like me that leads you to spend half the night awake worrying that your brain is over-thinking stuff so much it will be even more damaged and useless in the morning. It also means you keep thinking off all the stuff you need to do which leads to non-stop late night ideating (and, once you slip into sleep, dreams about the results of that ideation) and it's like a closed track with Matchbox cars vrooming faster and faster until it takes all your control to keep them from shooting off the track.

Good morning!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Concussed!

I'll make this quick because each time GalPal sees me on my laptop I get a stern look.

Ow. My head on Saturday morning, twelve hours after my fall.
So, leaving the Hall & Oates show Saturday night, my body decided to slip walking up a ramp causing me to fall backwards and crack my head pretty good. It split open but the paramedics ran me though a few simple tests to make sure I was cognizant and told me it could probably use a stitch or two, but that wasn't absolutely necessary. We were out in the 'burbs and the thought of having to get home from a hospital out these led me to opt out of stitches.

So the next day I wake up, feeling understandably funky, but since I'm so convinced I can power through anything I went to brunch with GalPal. Then we met her mom, in town visiting with some friends, and hit the usual tourist hotspot like Portillo's and Navy Pier. Now I never do incredibly well at those place, they seriously freak me out, so I kept writing off the fact that I was feeling foggier and foggier and a little dizzy to the stress of the environments. Then we went to the Palmer House, where GalPal's mom was staying with her friends, and I started feeling even worse. If you ever been in the Palmer House you know it's a beautiful, peaceful place so now I knew it wasn't the environment, but I still didn't want to inconvenience anyone by telling them just how bad I felt.

GalPal is smarted than me though and told her mom what was up. And one of her mom's friends just happened to be a nurse so she looked at my head. And immediately went into a comforting but knowledgeably stern tone that I absolutely should have had at least a few staples but it was probably too late for that. She also thought I probably had a concussion and told me that she wouldn't tell me what to do, but if I was her brother she'd send me to the hospital immediately. She said while she doubted I had a tear or slow bleed she wouldn't take the chance of not finding out if I did.

So off we went to Northwestern Memorial. And if I can make an aside about that emergency room? They rocked. The staff was super polite, everyone took their time with me to make sure I got the proper diagnosis and treatment, and while I was there for a couple hours it was easily the quickest trip to an ER I've ever taken.

So they checked me out, said I definitely had a discussion and ran me through a CT scan to ensure there was no bleeding. Luckily the CT scan showed nothing so all that was left was to treat the concussion. Now a concussion is one of those things you always hear about but don't quite understand and since you don't play professional sports you just kind of assume it'll never happen to you. I guess at the most basic level in you brain the cells just kind of "stop," and this is what causes the headaches and general funky headspace. And the way you treat this is with physical and mental rest.

That's not as easy as it sounds.

Physical rest is one thing. I can take it easy, and while I'm a gym nut I can see skipping a few days or doing workouts that are mostly walking and super low-impact stuff. It's the mental rest I'm having a hard time with. The doctor told me I should try and tune out and avoid mentally taxing  tasks. He suggested trying to stay away from my cellphone or the internet (which is why GalPal wants me off the computer), and even TV watching should be avoided. I'm not supposed to read or write much; basically I'm supposed to put my brain on bedrest.

That's impossible! My 9-to-5 is completely driven by my brain (and some sketching skills, heh) and the idea of not thinking has thrown my brain into overdrive all morning long. Aside from zonking out and trying to sleep all day, I'm not sure what to do. I've never been particularly good at being the meditating type, and it is something I tried when I was younger and even more energetic and amped up mentally than I am now, but I just don't do well and mentally unplugging.

Also, I was just really getting into Gone Girl and now I have to hold off reading it for awhile!

Friday, August 31, 2012

You make my dreams come true, ooh ooh!

Tomorrow we are seeing Hall & Oates! Very stoked because it means good music and quality time with family and friends. Ooh ooh!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Walks of shame.

On the way to the bus, GalPal and I came across a couple very definitely practicing a walk of shame. Er, well, the guy was slowly riding his bike next to the girl he obviously brought home and she had that slightly confused, without a compass demeanor you get when you emerge into the sunlight unsure of just what part of the city you're in and which direction is north.* My initial reaction was to laugh inside at them both. And then I realized I was actually a little sentimental.

There's something about being in your twenties and waking up in a room you think is yours for thirty seconds until you realize it most definitely is not. And there's a (hopefully) cute person in the bed next to you. And they're probably pretending to be asleep for fear of having to talk to you, so you do the same before saying "aw fuck it" and rolling over to hug them or pat their hair or let them know in some other way you're awake and it's all cool.** And then you chat a bit before blearily heading outside ad if you're lucky they have a car and will drive you home but if not you'll end up walking blocks in the wrong direction before realizing your apartment is actually over that way. And oh crap, you spent all your money on shots last night o it's going to be a long walk and who knew people were up this early?!***

But you know what, maybe you'll see that person again and maybe you won't, but you're young and you can do stuff like this and you think you're totally grown up and this is what grown-ups do but, really, most grown-ups simply don't have the time.

And I realized that in some ways I'm jealous people doing a walk of shame because it means they have the time to do so and that's something I'll never have again.

*This is even more confusing in my neighborhood since a bunch of streets run into each other or are one way and jeez is it easy to get turned around if you don't know the area.

**Hopefully the next step is surreptitiously trying to find a piece of mail to learn what their name is, but sometimes that is the next step. Whoops.

***It's, like, 7:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Makin' muscle music.

All credit for this little gem due Alyson.


Muscles, muscles, muscles, what?!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I might be allergic to L.A.


I swear, every time I come to L.A. I at some point have an anxiety attack. The first time it happened I thought I was having a heart attack. Backstage at a talk show. That was pleasant. At least that time I was under a lot of pressure so I could understand why it happened. The other times I've been in town working on projects that were already pretty buttoned down so the stress far lower yet I still have anxiety attacks. It's weird. Luckily gor me GalPal is always there to talk me through them until they pass. Thank god for GalPal.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I can't get you out of my head.

Here are some suggested moves for the dancefloor this weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Because some days you just forget to eat for too long so this is the only thing you can do.

Sadly, none of the food at my company's summer outing was the kind of stuff I could eat. Luckily I was able to hunt this down.

And this



YUM!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The rotors on the wind tunnel have just begun to turn.


I have looked at my schedule for the next week and realize that this evening is the only one where I am unoccupied. Birthdays, shows, work parties, a Saturday that is actually quadruple booked, and video shoots occupy all my other time. So what does this mean? This means all I want to do tonight is hang out with GalPal and enjoy a quiet moment before the storm.

So hello day two of taco dinners at home wherein I shall eat three tacos, she will eat two tacos and we will dance around the house with the pets singing, "Taco Tuesday! Taco Tuesday!" Because, why not?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Music make my head go splodey.

The only thing that would have made this more personally surreal is if Avril Lavigne had suddenly popped onstage to duet.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What to do?

Wow, this is the first time in quite a while I have no plans for the next two days! Heading to meet GalPal in Wicker Park right now and the possibilities available to us are endless!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holding onto hope.

So Betty the Beagle is getting on in years. I keep trying to deny this but it's getting harder and harder to do so. She's got all these little growths on her now, and one in particular on her front gumline that I think is making it harder for her to eat.* Her back legs are getting weaker. She tries but sometimes has problems controlling her bladder. And she has a heart murmur that's severe enough that the vet wouldn't risk putting her under in order to remove the growth on her gums or anywhere else on her body. And this is all making me realize that Betty's not going to be around forever. And that makes me want to cry. (I'm even tearing up writing this since the thought is one that truly scares me.)

I've had Betty for so long I can't even remember what live was like before she jumped in my arms at the shelter the day I went with Photogal so she could "just play with some puppies and give them some love." I NEVER expected to adopt a dog but when those baby beagle eyes looked into mine I realized I was already her dad. And we survived those first few years together when she destroyed just about everything she could get her teeth on. And the stint of her barking for eight hour stretches when I wasn't home, driving my poor neighbors close to the edge of madness. And it has all been worth it. Every single second.

Now, of course, my family has a history of pets living well beyond their expected lifespan. Our dog Scamp made it into either his late teens or early twenties, I'm not sure which. And GalPal has said she fully expects Betty will be around for another decade. I know she's just trying to reassure me she's in it for the long haul, no matter what happens.**

Of course I hope GalPal's right and Betty lives forever. And I hope that some of Betty's lumps, especially the one on her gums, deflate as other have. And I hope Betty's happy and her legs are just weak but don't hurt. And I hope I don't just completely fall apart the day that I realize our time together has ended.

*We've, of course, had these tested and all is benign. Thank god.
**GalPal took a while to warm to Betty, understandably since she moved in during Betty's extended spells of barking and peeing in the house, but now she loves her just as much as I do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Twilight living.

Lately I've had real trouble sleeping through the night. I fall asleep and then my eyes pop open around 2 a.m. and then I have to decide if I should just get some stuff done and hope that tires me out before I have to actually get up at 5:30, or if I should just hope I fall back asleep. So I get up knowing the latter ain't going to happen.

 On the plus side I get more done! On the downside, well, I'm not asleep.

I've always been a night person, but I'm also oddly function simultaneously as an early day person so I'm not sure this is even a problem. Well, aside from cutting into snuggling time with GalPal. But then again she tends to karate chop me in my sleep so maybe this is all just self-preservation!

 Maybe that's it! My insomnia is merely protecting me. Yes!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fang Island's happiness may bust your eardrums but you'll love 'em.


I've been trying to find the time to write a proper review of Fang Island's Major, because it is 100% fun to listen to. It's a big rock and/or roll album that's actually equal parts ear shredding volume and pop sunshine, with vocal melodies that take hold of your mouth, pulling it into a smile. I missed them a few weeks ago when they were in Chicago and now I'm desperately hoping they swing back this way sometime soon so I have an excuse to write about them on Chicagoist. This is exactly the kind of band I love introducing people to because I know they will (most likely) instantly fall in love with their music and feel the need to attends every one of their shows.

Listen to the album below; I dare you to not become a fan.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What happens when you discover something first but hold onto it too long?

So I scheduled this early this morning before work to go up at the usual time of 3 p.m. for the Afternoon Diversion. I should have just pushed it live right then because at that point the video had just over 300 views. I had no idea it was going to sweep the web like wildfire. What's the use of being one of the first to discover something when you don't beat everyone else in posting it? And how terrible is it that I even have that thought running through my head when I should instead be thinking about how best to schedule quality content throughout the day.

Whatever, it's a delightful video.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Stop acting like you produce anything even approaching orignal content 90% of the time. Yeah, you.

The average music blogger?
Also, irony of ironies, this photo is
from  BusinessJournalism .org and
doesn't attibute the Flickr user the took it from
.
So it bugs the hell out of me that every music blog jumped all over the news the LCD Soundsystem Shut Up And Play The Hits DVD (and Blu-ray!) was coming out in October.

Why did this upset me?

Because they all acted like it was breaking news when the movie's been on pre-sale at Amazon for a while (I bought it a week or so ago) which means all these sites either just got a press release about it, or one of them wrote about it and everyone else decided not to attribute in order to make it look like they were "breaking" news.

Pitiful.

We live in a time where many, many people--too many of them professionals willing to blur ethical lines--either completely forsake or obscure any form of attribution when they write something.

Now it's one thing when a local music blog steals something from a post of mine, or does a local round-up and does everything in their power to link to any post but mine even if mine was up a week earlier. In Chicago they're upstarts and I'm reasonably established. And many of them just want to throw a "fuck Tankboy" attitude which is totally cool with me. It's what the new guard does to the old guard! Jeebis, I hope they think they're better than me because then that means they have a fire in them to be one of the best, and I can respect that. (O.K., sidebar, the more I think of it the more this actually isn't cool, on the non-attribution front, because it's just bad form. Take pot shots at the old guard and try to tear them down but you gotta cite them when you're writing something you discovered through them.)

No, I'm talking about larger music sites that rarely write anything truly original and base most of their news on press releases or cannibalizing another site's post, merely writing it in their own snarky voice instead of the snarky voice of the site they stole it from. And JESUS CHRIST, REALLY? WRITING FROM A PRESS RELEASE? How about doing two seconds of research to give some context to what you're writing. Or, better yet, do what I did after seeing Shut Up And Play the Hits and go online to see if there's a release date.

Be smart. Be inquisitive. Be a writer, goddamn it.

Hey, another professional music blogger, maybe?
Also, another image from  another site
that doesn't attribute where they got it from!
Let's stay with the LCD Soundsystem DVD for a sec and work through that. We all know James Murphy is very careful about his image and plans everything he does. His retirement of the band threw everyone into a tizzy but no one ever really talks about (and still seem to be more than willing to look past for drama's sake) the fact Murphy said he was retiring  the physical band. That doesn't mean LCD Soundsystem as a recording entity is finished. But talk like that detracts from te drama of the moment so why parse words and point that out? And when Shut Up And Play The Hits came out much was made about how it would only appear in theaters for one night! Which led people to believe that would be the only time they could see it. Which led lazy music writers to parrot that faulty assumption ad nauseam. And even when the documentary aired a second, third and fourth time people still acted as if it was some finite audio visual resource. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ALREADY ON PRE-SALE ON AMAZON.

Look, I'm glad nowadays everyone has access to being a content creator and has the power to exercise their voice and all of that, but fuck people, stop being so lazy about it in your search to constantly pump stuff out. People may think you're a trusted resource now but they will catch on, and you will go down. It might take a while, but it will happen.

So:
Research for context.
Attribute honestly and transparently.
Don't reblog press releases.
Ask questions before you write the exact same thing everyone else just did.

That's not the whole kitnkaboodle, but if you follow those basic tenets, and are willing to write lots of your own original content, you're on the road to being successful.

Please, I want you to be successful.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Is that Olympic fever? Naw, just a summer cold.

GalPal is wrapped in the Olympics and that's seriously cutting into my TV watching time! I jest of course, since how can you not appreciate the efforts of people who've worked so hard to get as close to perfection as they can?

I certainly do.

You wanna know which event totally blew me away that I never thought would? The hurdles. Watching men and women run at incredible speeds while making those jumps is the kind of thing that makes an average human leaden and clumsy. It's fluid poetry just skimming through the air.

Do you have Olympic fever? What caught you off guard with its impressiveness?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Tankboy on TV.

Fox 32's Good Day Chicago invited me on to share my thoughts on this year's Lollapalooza. I've been on the program a few times now so I'm pretty comfortable with it now, plus the hosts always do their best to make the guests look good, which I obviously appreciate!

Friday, August 03, 2012

The Tankboy sanctioned guides to enjoying Lollapalooza.

Justice
If you're heading to Lollapalooza this weekend then the reading below is mandatory for you! Stay safe, stay hydrated and, most importantly, have fun!

And say hi to me if you happen to see me running around, and don't forget to swing by that kickball game on Saturday morning. And if you don't go, or don't see me, tune in to FOX 32's Good Day Chicago around 7:55 a.m. when I'm slated to appear and sum up the weekend in five minutes or less. probably less.

The Tankboy sanctioned guides to enjoying Lollapalooza 2012:

The Official Chicagoist 2012 Lollapalooza Survival Guide
What to see on Friday
What to see on Saturday
What to see on Sunday
A preview of Perry's stage

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Blur on the brain.

The lovely lady to the right there showed up last Monday. I think it's safe to say that Blur's Bur 21: The Box is one of the kost expensive items of prerecorded music I have ever bought. But it's also the first time in I can't even remember that I felt genuine excitement at ordering, receiving and unpacking anything musical. Seriously, I felt the same rush as I did when I wold make new discoveries at Music Warehouse in the late '80s. Heck, it was even similar to when I'd get that fist box of ten tapes (eleven if you make your first order now!) from Columbia House.

I miss that feeling.

I also miss reissues and box sets actually living up to the pomp and circumstance that usually accompanies their release but I have to commend Blur for not failing to deliver on the promised goods. Granted, I already have most of the music in this set through years of hunting down singles and gathering fanclub singles back in the day when I was a subscriber to Blurb, but the wealth of unreleased material, the live shows, the hardcover book, the 7" single ... I mean, really, it's all just absolutely terrific. This is the epitome of "not for the casual listener, but if you're a serious or longtime fan this will not disappoint." And just when I thought I was giddy to the point of bursting I found out that the set comes with an online code that allows you to download al the music (saving me from an hour ripping this stuff so I can listen on the go without breaking out my Sony Discman) and other bonus materials, including the entire run of the fanclub's Blurb magazines!

Honestly, the whole thing transports me back to the days of waiting desperately until every Tuesday to pick up some new piece of music. Call me sentimental, but I really miss that.


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Can you see it slowly spread across the field?


One of the benefits of my office having a window is watching Lollapalooza as it builds up from nothing in Grant Park. I'm also a short walk from the box office so I was able to pick up my personal wristband today too and beat the lines! Also, I'm starting to get emails from friends coming in from out of town so that's getting me stoked as well. I have to admit that as recently as a few weeks ago I was still wondering if it was going to be worth it to kill myself for yet another long weekend of Lollapalooza but now that it's here I can't believe I had any doubts.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lolla-love you.

This is typically one of my most insane weeks of the year. Yes, it's time for Lollapalooza to descend upon Chicago. It is a week of lots of stress. It's a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of stress. Right now I'm struggling to write a couple pieces related to the fest by tomorrow night and there seriously are not enough hours in the day.

As far as covering the fest itself for Chicagoist, this year I'm not taking pictures for the first time since 2005 so at least I won't be running from one end of Grant Park to the other every 25 minutes. That's about a mile, and I can make it quickly, but thank god I don't have to this time around. In addition, I have a couple great writers handling the recaps with me so hopefully some of the burden will be off me there as well. In previous years it was usually me shooting and then writing with only one other person contributing, so this is going to be bliss in that respect.

Don't worry though, I have plenty of time carved out for the fun stuff too. I plan on checking out a few of the day lounges, our friend Dana Dynamite has offered to take us to see The Afghan Whigs' show at Metro and of course there's the annual Do312 Lollapalooza Celebrity Kickball Game!


And, of course, I took Monday off work to recuperate.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Is Tom Waits the Joker?

Kottke posted this amazing video from 1979 of an interview with Tom Waits on an Australian television show. Once you hear his delivery and watch his mannerisms I think it's more than fair to wonder if Heath Ledger stumbled across this same clip in his preparation to play the Joker in The Dark Knight.


Has anyone out there read anything that might corroborate this or is it just a really eerie coincidence?

Friday, July 27, 2012