Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I had no idea how much the Bay City Rollers kick total ass.

Really, they do. And while I'm on the subject of that which is or was viewed as disposable pop I feel the need to make a confession to all of you kind folks. Now I love artsy, cutsie, indie, DIY chicks. I dig girls who are tough and have an attitude and a singular personality. Women who can be girly and still hold their own when the chips are down totally turn me on. That is why it is very difficult for me to make this confession.

I have a schoolboy crush on Kelly Clarkson.

Yes boys and girls, Tankboy is smitten with your American Idol. See, she's got me so looped that I even refer to myself in the third person. Why I should find her cute at all is totally beyond me since she -- aside from seeming to be a rather nice person given the circumstances she is under -- seems to stand for and be aligned with all that I find terrible about the music business though i do admit the lady has a terrific voice that actually has what is missing from most pop these days...character. But I mean she's a fucking processed pop star for Christ's sake! What in the unholy name of ABBA is wrong with me?
Drama Update...

All is good...I got a chance to talk things over with the girl involved and we both agree that gossip sucks.

In other news I'm in the market for a car right now...why? I can't tell you yet.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I am way too old for this.

I literally haven't had to deal with a situation like this since I was a teenager and it's really pissing me off.

I briefly dated -- more like hung out with -- a girl about a year ago. She was cool and we parted on amicable terms…which was rather remarkable since I suspect the reason she lost interest in me was due to my acting like a drunken lout one particular evening. You'd be surprised how many nascent relationships I botch that way since I think it's some sort of self-sabotage I inflict upon myself...but I’m getting off the subject.

Anyway this girl happened to have an ex-boyfriend in a local band and at the time I was booking a club full-time so, as a favor to the girl (and because the band wasn't all that bad) I gave them a few shows. As time went on I gave the band even more shows in bigger clubs when I went independent but for the purposes of this story all you need to know is I briefly dated a girl and because of my relationship to that girl her ex's band got one of their earlier shows in their career.

I recently was having a discussion with a friend of this band's and mentioned the events that lead me to work with them in the first place. Innocent enough I thought.

Today I get a scathing e-mail from the girl I briefly hung out with asking me why I would tell people that I "fucked and ditched" her! Now since we never really did anything more than a bit of making out you can imagine that this caught me by surprise and it's pretty obvious that the guy I was recently talking to -- who I don't really know all that well -- is either some kind of psychotic asshole who enjoys fucking with people or just an incredibly terrible yet imaginative listener prone to aural hallucinations. Either way I'm pretty pissed.

The most distressing thing is that people that know me well also know that I would never, ever refer to a past relationship with a girl in terms as crude as the ones attributed to matter how poisonous things may have gotten between me and a girl I just simply wouldn't speak that way about someone I was involved with in any way.

Believe you me when I say I'm going to enjoy asking the guy who started this whole thing just how he was able to interpret "hung out with and booked her friend's band" to mean "fucked and ditched the girl." You just do not say things behind my back because a) they will get back to me and b) I will call you on it and c) I am really unpleasant when I'm pissed...and I don't like being unpleasant. It makes me frown and who wants that?

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Grunt Work

Well, I'm in NYC again only this time it's much less fun. My friend that lives out here has gotten a job in Chicago so she's moving back to the Windy City. Because my parents own a big-ass Suburban monster of a truck I got drafted to drive out for the weekend and move all the big stuff back so I'm literally driving out here, resting briefly and driving back to Chicago.

I'd rather be in Chicago becasue I really want to see a show I set up at The Note with Rock-It Girl (ex-Veruca Salt/Bastard) and Sullen (kick-ass female led rock that will crush you) instead of being here in rainy, dreary New York. I know I know...I love New York but this weekend I really would rather be elsewhere. That and I mis smy dog since I don't get to see her nearly as much now that I'm working days. Grrrrr....

Now because I feel like it...

(these are conducive to positive, proper driving)

Go Back Snowball Calling Zero
The Flaming Lips Live at Kentish Town Forum 2003
Analog Radio This Is Grand
Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way (first half only)
Warrin' Factions and Betty's Butt
and Transferring From The "F" To The "U" Train
(all three are Tankboy mix CDs)


Anna Waronker Anna Waronker
A Camp A Camp
Bush Deconstructed
Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way (second half)
Wilco Live At Bumbershoot 2002
De La Sou AOI: Bionix (surprise!)


Mogwai Happy Songs For Happy People
Dead Meadow Dead Meadow


Tomahawk Mit Gas

I like all all the above music but, as I learned yesterday, some of it just isn't roadworthy if you want to stay awake / keep your sanity / drive safely / bop your head....and while I listened to the entire Tomahawk disc I wouldn't reccomend it since it puts you in a really agressive state of mind.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Jesus help these poor sinners. Please. With a lightning bolt. To the head.

Okay, I hate Creed just as much as any other sane focused individual but the idea of fans filing a lawsuit against them for an unsatisfactory concert experience is ludicrous. Does this mean that Radiohead now has to play Creep at every show or risk the ire and litigious impulses of their fans? Will Perry Farrell or Ryan Adams or The Strokes or (insert name here) be forced to perform sober and -- thus -- completely suck? What about the WARPed tour?

I hope the Cook County judge laughs these dolts right out of the courtroom.

Well last night's DJ set not only went really well -- culminating in a back and forth battle between me and Rudy that was a hoot -- but I made it to work on time!

Oh crap!

On the other hand...right when you think you have everything figured out and you're all set...ka-blooey!

Confused? Me too. I'll explain after it's all sorted out.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

As promised...

...I have posted reviews of the new Super Furry Animals as well as releases by Mogwai, Wilco, Analog Radio and Brad Peterson. Go read all the good stuff right now.

Friday, April 18, 2003

I have the Phantom Power!

Well actually I just snagged a copy of the new Super Furry Animals' new disc. I love these guys and they are definitely near the top of my list of favorites as far as currently active bands are concerned so you can bet your sweet patootie I'll post a review in the next few days either here or at Done Waiting's Lost In Guyville section.
Funny funny stuff kids.

Daisy posted this great list of the Top Lies told in Rock and Roll. Go there now.

In other news I am still adapting to the 9 to 5 lifestyle and learned today that I can no longer close out the Evil E and still expect to make it to work on time. I blame it all on the Makers Mark and thank my employer for being so understanding of me being two hours late.

I would also like to thank Betty The Beagle for waking me up this morning with her cold cold nose.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Is it me or are the walls breathing?

Happy 60th birthday to a drug that was always close to my heart as a young 'un. Sixty years ago today Dr. Hofmann ingested his first dose of L.S.D. and took a historic bicycle ride home.

Unfortunately I gave the drug up years ago as my older person neurosis and varied hang-ups took hold but I'll always have fond memories...

It was a long night DJing last night since Rudy and I both were on the wagon. I didn't really feel like showing up for my third day of work reeking of bourbon (not to mention one of the reasons I really wanted a day job was to cut waaay down on the late nights) and Rudy had an early meeting today that he really needed to be fresh for. However I can tell you that right around 11:30 or 12:00 both of us felt our resolve breaking down as our sets seemed to stretch endlessly before us and the clientele around us grew more inebriated.

But we stood firm!

I am so proud of us.

Speaking of Woolworthy I just set up a show for them out in Columbus, Ohio with the help of Robert Duffy over at Done Waiting. Thus begins our dream of helping bands book DIY tours across the country hop-scotching from one musically minded community to another. More details on the show will be posted in the next few days.

Now I have to prepare to take a meeting with some market research folks. I feel so professional.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Everyone's Just Workin' For The Weekend

Yup, so I've gone through my first eight hour while-the-sun-is-up working day in, well, a really long time. On one hand I felt God was snickering a bit in my general direction since today also happened to be the first deliciously warm and sunny day of the year but on the other hand I really ain't complaining too much. The studio I'm now working at does seem to be populated with some genuinely cool co-workers so I'm really looking forward to carving out my own niche in their organization.

Wow. I'm still pleased as punch to finally have a job that has regular working hours!

Of course some of my other friends who have been nine to fivers for a while think I'm nuts. "Why would you want to give up your glamorous lifestyle?" they ask. "Are you insane?" To this I can only answer, "No...I've just really gotten bored of that lifestyle for the most part -- not to say I haven't learned a lot and faced many challenges both professional and personal that have helped me grow as a person -- and I'm looking forward to early bedtimes and long work days...emphasis on the day part though I certainly won't mind putting ina few nights here and there as is needed. I was just getting burned out on putting in every night week after week...

And on top of it I'm still working in music and dealing with the rock and/or roll so how lucky am I? Very lucky indeed.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Oh crap

So now Dubya is intimating that Syria is in possession of WMDs. Please tell me people are not seriously going to re-elect this madman next year.

Delivering a momentary blow to my Indie Cred

So as most of you already know American Idol is my most guilty of guilty pleasures so how could I resist sneaking a listen to the debut album from last year's winner Kelly Clarkson. Sure enough it delivers with songs that beat and gyrate and thankfully steer clear of anything resembling kiddie pop. Would I personally buy it? Hell no...but I'll probably give it another spin or two before relegating it to the dusty shelves of infrequently played CDs. For what it is it's not bad and there's no denying Ms. Clarkson does have a great voice that packs a punch live. That's more than you can say for mpst of her prefab competition.

Also, did anyone notice old girl has gotten a tad thicker as evidenced by the really tight pantsuit she wore on last Wednesday's American Idol while flogging her single? Don't get me wrong since I think this particular thickness suits her and I'm doubly pleased to see an American Idol that doesn't look like either an advertisement for bulimia or plastic surgery.

Okay...time for me to go listen to some Rites of Spring and some Monks to regain my Indie Cred. Then it's off to bed since I have to be up bright and early for work tomorrow.

Boy does that sound strange.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I'm in love with the choir girl with the dark straight hair.

Not really, but she was really cute all swaying and dancing at the Empty Bottle on-stage at last night's Polyphonic Spree show..

I just posted a new column over at Done Waiting reviewing said show.

It was super ultra rad.


Too fucking cool.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

UPDATE -- Banishment of the Blahs -- UPDATE

I have a job!

After nine long months doesn't it just figure that the week my unemployment benefits run out is the same week I finally find a job?

Heaps and tons of thanks have to go to James Johnston who was kind enough to have me in mind and recommend me for the position of stuido manager at Gravity Studios. I'm really excited about this since it allows me to continue to work with music in a terrific new environment.

I may be fumbling over words at the moment since I am really excited about this.



Yup, just blah. It's one of those days where I just can't seem to get amped about anything. This is rather odd considering the fact that I'm going to see The Polyphonic Spree tonight and they are a band that I was so psyched to see live that I actually bought the tickets months ago. Other than The Flaming Lips and Beck that is something I haven't done in a really, really long time (buy advance tix that is.)

Regardless I am filled with the blahs. It's a beautiful day outside, Betty the Beagle is going to take me for a walk in a bit and I still feel blah.

Maybe I'll throw in Daniel Johnston's new disc Fear Yourself. If you haven't heard this yet I have to tell ya that it's one of the prettiest things I've heard this year. Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse produced it (and obviously provided most of the instrumentation) and the end result is a cross between The Flaming Lips and Sparklehorse with some incredibly touching and tenderly delivered lyrics courtesy of Mr. Johnston.

It might not cheer me up but it should dispel the blahs, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Apparently Cliff Yablonski hates you.

He really does. You must click on the photos of other people he hates and read his commentary.

You will laugh out loud.

You will damnit!
Why I Need A Job...Right Now!

I've actually caught myself starting to watch -- and agree with -- Dr. Phil.

God save me.
The Love Sled

I've gotten hooked on the ramblings of The Watergirl thanks to Crook Dimwit (who describes her as a sort of an early-twenty-something Judy Blume heroine type and I think he's pretty right on with that one.) I suggest you get hooked too.

A great intro to her style and content is her short piece on the love sled. Very funny.

Rudy was sick last night so poor little me had to DJ all alone. The crowd that was there was receptive but five hours behind the decks is just way too long when it's freezing outside (in fucking April!) and bar traffic is slow. On the bright side I got to play all the quirky music I usually can't fit in on a usual night. I also discovered that when I DJ with a partner like Rudy he does a great job of kicking my ass up a notch. I tend to gravitate towards self-absorption and trying to turn people on to new and unusual stuff while mixing wildly disparate sounds together...but then Rudy will hop on the decks and start totally rockin' out...which in turn gets me all thing you know he and I are going back and forth increasing the pressure and the rock until you end up with a full-on rock and/or roll party.

Okay. My head is fuzzy. I have written the word "rock" entirely too many times. I'm gonna get me some Gatorade.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Now even the drummer cries.

As reported on NME Radiohead drummer Phil Selway has this to say about the "leaked" rough mix of Hail To The Thief:

"We don't like anybody to hear our recordings until we are completely happy with them. These mixes of the songs were still 'work in progress'. As such, we wouldn't have chosen to present the album to people in this form. I feel that the recording process has been compromised for us."

Did he just completely miss the Radiohead tour doc Meeting People Is Easy where the band is shown hashing out rough versions of songs?

I know, I know, the band meant to release that footage -- probably to give the viewer a bit of insight into the creative process -- but I really can't help thinking that the tracks were intentionally leaked to the net to drum up positive advance buzz. My theory is that since the buzz has probably been less glowing than the band had hoped that they are doing a touch of back-tracking.

For the record though before all the rabid Radiohead fans start flooding my inbox with angry scratchings...I do love Radiohead and while I believe Hail To The Thief is probably not their strongest album to date it will get many many listens from me this year.

Monday, April 07, 2003

He's baaaack....

Yup, I've gone and done it again. After two years of focusing on other endeavors I've decided to dust off the old keyboard, don the ol' rock crit specs again, crack the knuckles dramatically and write for a nationally followed music web-site. I'll let the site's overlord do the speaking for me on this one:

Tomorrow I'll be launching a new column on, but before then I thought I'd get all you lovable newsletter readers a sneak preview.

NAME OF COLUMN: Lost in Guyville

So Tankboy e-mails me one day and says "Hey, you've got all these new columns in different cities, why aren't you showing Chicago any love?" And before you could say "Deep Dish," we had our lawyers sign the contracts and ta-da! He's writing for the site.

Tankboy comes with a lot of knowledge of the Chicago scene, so it's going to be great to have him onboard with us. We're really excited about this column.


How was New York, you ask?

Lovely. The show went well (Daddy were sweethearts, Rudy kicked out a great acoustic set and Combo No. 3 literally shook the walls), Combo No. 3 got written up in the Village Voice, Rudy and I had a blast even though Rudy got a little lost Friday night and had to stay at an over-priced hotel on the Upper East Side, I decided the smoking ban in NYC can bite my ass, we saw little girls going crazy over some dude neither Rudy nor I recognized in Times Square outside the TRL studios, We attended a poetry party that could have been really pretentious but ended up being really cool (even if white guys should just stop trying to play reggae), I spent waaaay too much money overall and my first night there I ran into David Cross and managed to be both fawning and a complete asshole in the space of 20 minutes. Oh well, he was really high -- I think it was his birthday or something -- so I don't think he really cared.


Now it's time to lay off the booze for a while though...

Thursday, April 03, 2003

This is all good.

Speaking of New york...the show I set up is tonight and Rudy is now going to do a short acoustic set between Combo No 3 and Daddy. Details?

Thursday April 3
Combo No 3
Rudy of Woolworthy
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery St., New York, NY 10012

Show starts at 10:30pm

Come by and buy us broke out-of-towners a beer!

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

FOX News is evil.

I'm out in the suburbs dropping Betty the Beagle off with my family before Rudy and I head out of town to New York and am -- as usually happens when I get within ten feet of a cable box -- consuming the continuos feed on the war. However no matter how much you pay me I will never watch the cable FOX news channel. Pure propoganda.
Liberating Chickens!

While the overtones are serious just try reading this story without laughing out loud.

How does one "wave a chicken?"

It's Phair to say I'm a little disappointed...but I can see the silver lining.

I love Liz Phair. I still feel like an ass for the time I hit on her -- years and years ago -- and got shot down without even realizing it was her. Then I had to deal with the bartender laughing at me. Then my friends. Then everyone who I’ve told the stiry to since then (and no I’m not going into it here.) It especially stung since when I first heard Exile In Guyville I, along with 99% of the male indie population, pretty much pictured Ms. Phair as the perfect woman for who could challenge me and be a general bad-ass yet was down with all the bedroom freakiness that runs through an early twenty-something's head. I loved Whip-Smart because I dug the poppier direction she was taking while still kicking it with the great lyrical twists. 

Whitechocolatespaceegg is where doubt began to settle in. First Ms. Phair went and got married and settled into the family life (though I always felt bad for her step-son...imagine being a teenager and having Liz-Fucking-Phair as your mom. You'd never sleep!) Then came the endless delays as the release date for the disc moved further and further back. And then came the disc itself. To be fair I still dig the album and actually felt like it was part of the logical progression of Ms. Phair's growing up. But the warning signs were there.

Then she sang back-up vocals on -- admittedly a pretty nice little tune but nevertheless -- a Sheryl Crow song. Then word filtered out that she was working with The Matrix production team a.k.a. the geniuses behind Avril Lavigne's current "world domination."

Now I've finally heard the album and can attest with all honesty that Liz has finally jumped the shark.

Shiny happy choruses abound and the lyrics are less than inspiring. She goes for an old "see I'm still shocking" joke with "Pure White Cum" The truth of the matter is that "joke" is probably the best song on the disc. That and a song about her underwear (extra props for using underwear as a metaphor for a lover...I actually thought that was pretty witty.

So critically the album's a stinker.

But I still like it. Why?

Well, for one Ms. Phair has made no pretense of not "going for broke" with this one. She's aiming for a super-duper Platinum selling type thing. Hell people, she's getting on in years and bills ain't gonna pay themselves! So the songs themselves are really catchy in that lowest common denominator way that usually leads to boffo album sales and usually these reasons wouldn't be enough for me but picture this: Ms. Phair's new album becomes the hit of the Junior High set and blasts from every teenager's convertible this summer. Then these kids, at least a few of them, go out and buy her previous albums and get turned on to her really good stuff. Sure, first they'll be confused wondering why this "Blowjob Queen" shares the same name as their current hero but then you just know they're going to get into it and actually discover something that speaks beyond a catchy hook and a super multi-tracked chorus, right?