Friday, October 31, 2003

My bad.

It's spooky how well BITCHBECOOL covered Nirvana last night. Really. It was weird how much they looked and sounded like 'em.

What's even weirder is how drunk I got. Stumbly and almost slamming my head into a wall by accident. Very uncool. Maybe I'll spend this All Hallow's Eve in the clarity of sobriety to make up for looking like a dick last night....

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Further proof of how out of touch music biz execs really are.

"Teens respond to music as an authentic, hip and compelling medium, attendees at the What Teens Want conference heard Tuesday."

No shit. They paid money for this information?

This is further proof music biz types should stop wasting their money on business trips and conferences and start paying attention to actually putting out some good records for a change.

Other information I imagine was uncovered at the What Teens Want conference?

Teens want sex, drugs and a bigger allowance. What revelations!
Yup...still grumpy.

As evidenced by my latest piece at Done Witing, I'm still a bit irritable.

On the bright side the "dead guy" rock and/or roll theme Rudy and I had goin' last night was a complete success. It is safe to say we rocked the joint so thoroughly it's amazing that we ourselves aren't dead. Then again, I haven't heard from Rudy all day so maybe I'm just speaking for myself....

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Well, hmm.

I'm bummed. Usually I stay away from politics and the general bummer that seems to be world events today, but after the sequence of bombings in Iraq yesterday I just feel the need to say something.

I've been against the invasion of Iraq since the beginning but realized that once they committed U.S. troops to the ground there wasn't much left to do besides hope that as few people as possible died and that the whole mess would be over quickly. I knew that in a realistic view neither of my internal requests were really reasonable but, hey, I'm hopeful when it comes to matters like these because I have to be. Otherwise all of this would be too depressing to even contemplate.

After yesterday's bombings I'm beginning to realize just what a complete cluster-fuck the whole situation has become. Here we have Arabs bombing mostly Arabs on the first day of Ramadan. The people doing this bombing are both a) sick fucks and b) completely irrational.

Now I can't blame groups like The Red Cross from withdrawing from this situation should they choose to do so. While on one level I agree with Colin Powell when he says such and action by The Red Cross would be a victory for the terrorists I at the same time can't imagine why any civilian would want to stay in the middle of such extreme danger.

Granted, people who join international aid groups are aware that at some point they will probably be stationed in a hostile environment but for the most part I think this awareness is coupled with the belief that they are safer than most since the majority of people rightly view such aid groups as neutral and will leave them to do their work.

Obviously this is not the case in Iraq.

So what do we do? What does the U.S. do? I honestly haven't the faintest. We can't just pull out since something just as evil as Saddam Hussein will surely step into the void. At the same time our continued presence there seems to be fomenting an even worse kind of mass hatred for the U.S. and the Western world in general that even Saddam couldn't cultivate amongst the Iraqi people.

All I can think of is that it's time to hand more actual power over to the Iraqis while increasing our monetary aid to the country. While we're doing that why don't we take some of these plum rebuilding contracts from overly fattened American companies and put them in the hands of Iraqi companies in an effort to both stimulate their economy and increase trust in Western motivations.

I really don't believe President Bush invaded Iraq with any evil or imperialistic motivations. I may not like the man's politics or most of his beliefs but I do believe he does what he thinks is right. However in this case, like many others decisions and their resulting actions throughout his presidency (the environment anyone?), I hope and pray that some solution appears to dig us out of the hole he's put us in yet again.

One way to, at least temporarily, chase away the blues.


It's time for
The Sweet Alice
with free booze and food
and killer tunes
from your favorite dead rock stars
all night long!

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest music
from yesterday, today and tomorrow
with a special emphasis
on selections from performers
who have skipped their mortal coil.

Free PBR from 8pm-9pm
HOSTED BAR AND PIZZA from 9pm-10pm
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Dressing up as
yer fave dead rock star
is encouraged!

1056 N Damen
Chicago, IL

The Chicago RedEye says: "The teeny tables and scant booths don't leave a whole lot of room for sitting, but the crowd (hipsters from all over the city) is mainly music fans who are more comfortable on their feet anyway. Stop in on Tuesday nights, when the DJ plays the best retro-rock this side of Detroit Rock City...."

Monday, October 27, 2003

Things I did this weekend.

- Said goodbye to one of my favorite Chicago bands.
- Ate a buttload of turkey and Joe, Jen and Jeff's Thanksgiving in October dinner party.
- Picked a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch for carving up this week.
- Drank some cider at said pumpkin patch.
- Saw Bubba Ho-tep, which is about as typical a Bruce Campbell movie as you would expect.
- Spent some quality time at the Brazilian Consulate trying to secure a Visa for a co-worker and got annoyed at the woman who seemed to enjoy just chatting in Portugese at great length about every single application she was turning in. (Apparently she works for a Visa Service since I ran into her again this morning, and waited in line behind her for 20 minutes as she turned in three -- count 'em three -- Business Visa applications.)
- And now this morning I am swamped with work, so no nutty anecdotes about how much booze I ingested on Friday or how I almost asked my brother to settle up with the bands at the end of the night because, before TMSSD's set I was seeing triple (I stopped drinking and regained control before the end of the evening though and was fine), or how Betty turned feral when Photogal tried to pull her away from the late night pizza my little bro and I were chowing on or...well, I'll fill y'all in later.

Friday, October 24, 2003

The Double Door

Tankboy Presents

The Today's My Super Spaceout Day Farewell Show

Today's My Super Spaceout Day
Knife Of Simpson
The Jackie Bangs
The Penthouse Sweets
The Silents
Live Band Karaoke to open and close the evening...

Doors 8:00pm
Show 8:30pm
$7 cover/$5 with discount tix

Miss this and miss a piece of history being laid noisily to rest!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Remember when Indie Rock actually meant something, back when it was still called "college rock?"

My head is doing much better, thanks for asking, and while I'm super-grumpy today since I volunteered for the NPR pledge drive from 7:00 to 9:15 this morning -- way too early for anyone to be functional -- I am in a relatively optimistic mood since I feel I did something worthwhile. I'm very busy with work today, though, so instead of a nice long post you get instead a link to a primer on how to become a member of the Indie Rock nation. Mucho ha ha, really.

Thanks to Eric for forwarding this link my way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

My head hurts.

So yesterday I had two cysts removed from my head, one below my eye and one up on my scalp, and the one up top must have been a doozy because my head feels like someone is alternating between hitting my head with an iron brand and driving a spike in after it.

When I was a kid, whenever I would go to the doctor or something like that my mom would usually buy me something. As I got older this something inevitably turned out to be tapes and then CDs. After my little outpatient "procedure" yesterday I decided to head to the Tower Records in the Loop and pick up the new Travis CD as a treat to myself. This was made all the more appealing by its advertised sales price of $9.99. Yahoo!

I get to Tower and there's no parking so I pull up in front of a hydrant, throw on the flashers and run in. I grab my disc and am then held up in line by some clueless couple trying to return a DVD of Wolfen. Apparently it's been discontinued and Tower can't accept it -- and hasn't sold it in some time -- but these folks just didn't get it and kept asking, "So why can't we return it again?" Anyway, I finally make my transaction and run back outside.

Only now my car is gone.

On top of this, apparently there are no frickin' payphones downtown anymore ever since the phone company decided they would try to charge businesses for hosting the phones on top of the percentage they already take. So I had to run to the downtown DePaul campus just to call the cops to find out if my car had just been towed or just been stolen.


I'm in Tower five minutes and that's all the time they needed. They must have been hiding the truck behind a light post just waiting for me. Oh well, it was my fault so I couldn't get too pissed.

So I trek on home to pick up my title and run into Photogal, who then nicely offered to drive me to the pound and save me another fifteen bucks in cab fare. The pound downtown is on Lower Wacker -- which is one of my favorite hidden roads in the city since it's like a weird underground city down there -- so we got there with relatively little problem. Then I went inside and got all excited because there was only one person waiting in front of me and, miraculously, all the agents were aiding everyone else with car retrieval. Then I started listening to the conversations.

"But I wasn't parked illegally. You're going to make me pay to get my car out?"

"I'm the driver. No I'm not the owner. What's notarized mean?"

"I need my title too? But that's at home."

"Why would you do something like that? You can't really expect me to pay?"

Okay people, here's a clue. When your car is towed it doesn't matter if you're wrong, right, angry, persuasive or anything else. The bottom line is that your car is in the pound behind a wall of paperwork so you have no recourse but to pay to get it out and sue or fight the violation later. When you are at the pound though, just PAY YOUR FUCKING MONEY AND LEAVE! Oh yeah, call ahead to make sure you have all the right paperwork too.

So then it's my turn and all of a sudden everyone decides to go on break except for the old dude who is having a fine time chatting up the angry young lady yuppie in front of me. Chat chat chatting away. So I start tapping my foot, then my keys start beating out a rhythm on the countertop until finally I may as well be playing air drums for all the flailing and impatient writing I'm displaying.

Until finally the conversation ends, the old guy processes my paperwork. I then pay for and collect my car...only to find a $100 ticket under my windshield for parking in a tow zone. Nice.

Does it end there? Oh no.

I got up late this morning and was rather slow to get my groove on due to that red hot poker hitting my scalp so I didn't realize today was the street cleaning day where you had to move your car to the other side of the street by 9am. I got out there at 10:15 and was greeted by two more tickets; one for parking on the wrong side of the street and one for not having a city sticker. Really nice.

So one could say my day isn't going too well. Or one could say that after this wash of luck I'm destined to have a great rest of the week since, karmically speaking, I'm pretty due. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

So what? I broke my promise!

Do you have any idea just how much work and other stuff builds up when you’re out of the country for a measly few days? Hell, I even forgot I had a Double Door show I put together for my friends in Today’s My Super Spaceout Day coming up this Friday…and I’ve been looking forward to that for eons!

So I don’t wanna hear no griping. I have a minor outpatient surgery today so I’ll be home early and maybe then I’ll finally get to fill all you fine folks in on the rest of my China excursion. Let’s just say that while Hong Kong reminded me of most other international cities like New York and the like, the trip to mainland China was truly different. Never before have I felt like such a freak just by being tall, blond haired and blue eyed.

Lose control with
Rudy and DJ Tankboy.

Why not?

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest selections
from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

TONIGHT, Tuesday October 21, 2003
Free PBR from 8-9pm
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Features of the week:
We guarantee we'll play something off these new or unreleased albums!

Ryan Adams - Rock N Roll
Aesop Rock - Bazooka Tooth
The Darkness - Permission To Land
The Desert Sessions 9 & 10
The Distillers - Coral Fang
Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood
Muse - Absolution
The Ponys - Demos
The Rapture - Echoes
Sloan - Action Pact
Sono - We Were Working
The Strokes - Room On Fire
Sybris - EP
Wig In A Box
Rachael Yamagata - EP

Hell yeah!

Every Tuesday.
Only at Ten56.

1056 N Damen
Chicago, IL

The Chicago RedEye says: "The teeny tables and scant booths don't leave a whole lot of room for sitting, but the crowd (hipsters from all over the city) is mainly music fans who are more comfortable on their feet anyway. Stop in on Tuesday nights, when the DJ plays the best retro-rock this side of Detroit Rock City...."

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I'm alive, how's that?

So much for all that writing I was going to get done in Hong Kong and on the plane since my laptop battery doesn't seem to actually store any juice. Suffice to say for now that I'm back safely and will have a big ol' update in this space on Monday.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Back on track!

Fab meetings, fab dinner, fab day, lotsa fab drinks! More later.

Just wish Photogal was home to talk to but she DJed in my place last night so I suspect she took the day off and is recuperating at home...

...and for the curious out there, still no real music interaction though I suspect that'll change tomorrow since I'm hell-bent on dragging my boss to, at least, a genuine Asian karaoke bar!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Eleven twenty five in the PM Hong Kong Time, Tuesday night.

Well I had my first full day of business meetings here in Hong Kong and I am exhausted. I feel like I got a lot accomplished but that still doesn't mean that the day wasn't reaaaally long and near the end it grew nigh unbearable. Nothing like being stuck in mad traffic when all you want to do is collapse in your hotel room.

I've also learned very quickly that one of the reasons companies treat you like a king during a business is because you're working twice as hard as you're used to and even though you may be in a new and exciting place that doesn't mean you'll actually get a chance to see much of it! So far I've been trapped primarily in the tourist district around my hotel and don't feel as if I've gotten a real taste of Hong Kong. I've been driving further out from the city and some of the buildings are downright alien and I'm still getting used to all the mountains surrounding the city. I go to mainland China on Thursday so hopefully I'll get to see a bit more over there.

I have been eating well and had a great meal in this rather dodgy Afghan restaurant my boss likes. This may surprise most given my famously picky eating habits but I feel it only proves that I can indeed find anything to eat on any menu and leave satisfied.

What I haven't been doing -- which may be even more surprising -- is drinking lots and lots of booze. Maybe some business trips are clouded in a Bacchanalian haze but for the most part the routine seems to be early to bed and even earlier to rise for everyone involved. I did make it to the Night Market tonight though so I could pick up all kinds of cool little knick-knacks for Photogal and mi familia. Originally I wanted to get everyone something really nice but I hadn't realized Hong Kong was so goldanged expensive! So I opted to go the local open market route and tried to pick out things you probably wouldn't exactly be tripping over in the states.

I did also finally make it to the HMV but surprisingly found nothing for myself. They had some discs that aren't out in the U.S. yet but soon will be and I wasn't willing to pay more for a CD I can -- or will be able to shortly -- get in the U.S.

Now I'm just feeling a tad worn out, missing my beagle and Photogal, and actually looking forward to heading home on Friday. Like I said, I can't wait to go to the Mainland Thursday, and I have the feeling we may get a little wild since most of us will (finally) be acclimated to Hong Kong time and will be willing to whoop it up a bit by the time this trip draws to a close but that doesn't change the fact that no place is that cool or that much fun if the people you love aren't nearby.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Wakey wakey!

5:20am HK time and I just can't sleep anymore, so I figured I'd share a few other cool perks I'm enjoying due to the courtesy of the hotel along with a few random observations. Then I'm showering and going in search of a disposable camera and some Tylenol Sinus. The humidity is about 104% outside but my room is dry as three-year-old Thanksgiving turkey wishbone.

- There is a motherfrickin' television set embedded in the wall above my bathtub.
- I get a fresh bowl of fruit I've never seen before and highly suspect is rarely seen outside an Amazonian rain forest.
- The people who actually work in the Hong Kong office -- who are tremendously nice folks -- told me I look like "an artist or something" and didn't look at all like they thought I would. I guess I come across as pretty professional via e-mail!
- When at a dinner table with lots of folks in Marketing who ask you what you did previous to this job, the least expected answer is, "I booked a rock and roll club." Most common reply? "Well this is a change of pace, innit?"
- Yes, at 6' 2" I feel like a giant when I walk around on the street. Way too tall and gangly.
- Cell phones here make the ones available in The States look like those big green U.S. Army ones connected to back packs that were utilized back in WW II.
- I'm glad I brought a little booklet of CDs as the room does come equipped with a stereo, but does not have any inputs for my iPod. Nothing like waking up to Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" a.k.a. "That really cool song played in the Kill Bill previews/When Lucy Liu and her posse enter the soon-to-be-demolished restaurant in the Kill Bill movie.
- Speaking of Kill Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed it since I got a chance to see it before I left but did get a bit dizzy tracking all the pop culture and movie references...especially when Tarantino included his own past films as available material that to include in this loving homage of an action/gangster/revenge dramady.

Okay, need shower, a coffee and aspirin.

If anyone has anything they'd like investigated whilst I'm here pop in a comment or toss me an e-mail. Toodles!
Post Script

Tow things:

One - Seen Lost In Translation? I feel like Bill Murray right now. Too tired to sleep.

Two - The super posh -- and I'm not exagerrating when I say super posh -- hotel I'm staying at is kind enough to provide slippers right next to the bed for their guests. Too bad my feet are about twice the size of the slippers!
Don't believe the time stamp!

Why, because as I type this it is 12:16 Tuesday morning here in Hong Kong.

Not much to talk about right now other than my desperate need to crash and try to reacclimate to the time here.

Watched Bruce Almighty one too many times on the flight but other than that it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

Intital impression at the airport? It looked just like Texas with all the palm trees and warm weather....until you looked at the unusually colored sky and realized how much pollution is in the air. Creepy. The city itself is like a more congested version of NYC, very vibrant, very bright and filled with activities I know I just won't get a chance to do on this trip!

Douple plus good, though, is the presence of an HMV just one block from my hotel. Yipee!

I also had my first experience of ordering a drink with a co-worker in the hotel bar and signing it to my room. I actually have yet to convert any cash into Hong Kong dollars but I'll be sure to do that tomorrow so I can start picking up knick-knacks.

So far it's not that otherworldly though since I've mainly been in the hotel and really nice restaurant a block and a half away and both locations are filled with tourists and business travellers. One might say I haven't really gotten a tast of the local flavor yet.

It is weird to be in a city with mountains all over the outskirts though.

Finally, apologies for any incorrect spelling or tense...I'm typing quickly and without a spell-check becasue I'm just that darn exhausted. more tomorrow after I get back from my first day of business meetings.

Did you ever think you'd run into someone actually excited to go to a business meeting? Well now you have.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Yes, posts have been sparse…

…but what do you expect from a guy who had to prepare a business trip to China in less than a week? I've been busy damnit! Having said that, I think it would be an understatement to say I’m excited by this journey. I can’t wait. I hate flying. I hate a fifteen hour plane ride. But I love the idea of going to Hong Kong so much I’m willing to suffer a little.

That and my doctor was nice enough to prescribe me some Xanax for the flight, so I should be A-OK.

The plus side for you folks is that in the next week I’ll be in the air more than thirty hours with a laptop computer so expect many varied and lengthy posts to pop up here over the next week and a half at least!

Until then, here’s a zen image for you to reflect on until next I write…from sunny shiny Hong Kong!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Sad but true.

Once upon a time I thought this woman was soooooo hot. My little heart went a pitter-pat while I leafed through Sport Illustrated's swimsuit issues or bought calendars devoted to Kathy Ireland.

While I may never have been a normal kid I think that fact alone at least proves that I wasn't a total freak. Right?

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


As usual, Me and Rudy, Ten56, lotsa rock and/or roll...and as a bonus this week we're celebrating the birthday of our friend -- and minor local celebrity-type -- Daisy Glaze!

Monday, October 06, 2003

This made me laugh soooo hard...

Read this series of prank phone calls about sharing music on the Web. The iTunes call in particular is pretty fucking funny. Go from one to the next via links at the bottom of each page.

Thanks to Rocktober for finding this one.

Wotta weekend.

The Done Waiting Show Friday was great.

The Polyphonic Spree show Sunday was great.

Rachael Yamagata’s debut ep is great.

I’m going to China is six days and that’s pretty great.

I am so exhausted. Too tired to write. Sorry, but all details will be filled in later.

Meanwhile go here to read my review of Ms Yamagata’s new disc.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Running uphill.

How was last night? Super, thanks for asking! Despite a flurry of technical problems last night the show went really well, everyone was in fine form and the club’s staff couldn’t have been nicer. A more detailed write-up will appear over at Done Waiting in the next few days. However…


It’s the official Chicago stop of the Done Waiting Field Studies Tour and the line-up couldn’t be more solid -- even if Tom Waits dragged in those lanky limbs of his and jumped onstage to do a duet with David Bowie. Okay, maybe that would be pretty cool. I’m still pretty excited about tonight’s line-up anyway. Who’s playing you ask? Two bands from Chi-town and two bands from the far-off land that calls itself Columbus, Ohio and they are named:

Light FM
The Miranda Sound
The Stepford 5

It’s all going down at The Note starting at nine o’clock so be there or be square Daddy-O.

Oh yeah, Go Cubs…beat the crap out of Atlanta quickly so the game is done before my show starts!

Thursday, October 02, 2003


I just found out my job is sending me to Hong Kong in a little over a week for five days. How exciting! Be sure to tune in for updates between Oct 13 and 17 for my adventures outside of the country.

Okay, so it’s a business trip so there probably won’t be all that much adventure goin’ on but it’s still pretty cool…


Go to The Subterranean if you are in Chicago. Enjoy the lovely music of

The Assembly

The show starts at 9pm, the cover is $5 and you are more than welcome to buy me a drink. As an added bonus, Mr. R. Duffy – a.k.a. the overlord of the Done Waiting site – will be in attendance so grab this chance to see the man outside of his natural habitat!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


Just got an e-mail yesterday from a promo person I’ve dealt with for many many years that happens to work at a really kick-ass promotion company.

They asked me if I’d like a CD of this great new up-and-coming singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata. I said I’d love a disc.

Then today I’m at Best Buy and there she is singing a song on the Charmed soundtrack!

I can tell it’s going to be weird watching one of my friends get all famous and stuff.