Friday, December 30, 2005

I may procrastinate but these are two thing I could only do in 2005.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Time is blurry.

Between no work and no Photogal I really have nothing to keep me grounded. Yesterday I had grand plans to accomplish many, many things and the only thing I managed to do was fall asleep on the couch watching classic Warner Brothers cartoons by 8pm. Way to take advantage of all that time off Tankboy!

At least I have solid plans for the next three days so that should help keep me busy and regain my bearings. Here's where you can catch me:


Rudy's girlfriend Kelly is spinning at innjoy. He says he will be there to "help" her but I've seen her vinyl collection and that girl needs no "help." I will be there sneaking drinks onto their tab and enjoying Kelly's funk and soul selections. And besides, what's hotter than a girl DJ?


Okay, maybe I have an answer to that "what's hotter" question. We are! As in me and Rudy. As in spinning a rare Friday night at innjoy. As in spinning on the Eve of New Year's Eve. As in the night that the pros go out since the following evening was ceded to the legions of amateurs decades ago. Come see me from 9pm until 2am. Yee-haw!


New Year's Eve. Actually you can't catch me anywhere public this evening unless you're eating dinner at Bella Notte. The rest of the evening will be spent avoiding the amateurs in the streets by attending parties thrown by close friends in the company of even closer friends.

I'm sure I'll reiterate all this stuff as it approaches but hey, I wanted to help you fill out your social calendar early!

Speaking of social, last Tuesday at innjoy was -- as the kids say -- off the hook. Seriously crazy. Some divine hand from above was definitely assisting me with my song selections as I turned in a set that actually seemed to please just about everyone...both faces familiar and new. And there were a lot of new faces, which pleased me to no end.

Sick thought of the morning: I'm actually kind of bored and was considering going into the office today to spare a vacation day...will I do it or will I come to my senses? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What does Toto really know about Africa anyway?

While I am enjoying this temporary bachelorhood, I am also beginning to miss the hell out of Photogal. It's weird not being able to even contact her. I think this is the second-longest we've gone without talking to each other in over ten years. Yikes! I bet she's having a ball on safari in Africa though so I'll soothe my ache with that salve.

In other news I -- after 12+ hours of LOTR -- have discovered that I have hobbit-hair. It might be time for a hair-cut. Also, Lucy the Dog is destructive. I returned home from DJing last night to discover our Christmas tree lying on its side on top of a number of shattered ornaments. Since Betty was in her crate (where she has had to spend time when we're out due to her own recent spate of naughty activities) there was only one possible culprit! Lucy! The Dog! I couldn't believe it!

Okay, time to calm down. I'm getting a little over-excited.

In regards to last night: Eric, what are the chances of you getting hit by two dizzy broads making a u-turn on Damen Ave while we are out in the company of a lawayer? I realize you felt no pain last night but if a deep ache sets into your leg or anything I still have their license plate written on my arm. Let's hear it for partying with the DJ bag that happens to be well-stocked with Sharpies!

On that note, what's goin' down tonight. Anything? Bueller?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I can't believe I ate watched the whole thing!

After Sunday's shenanigans I decided yesterday should be more of a domestic experience. And what's more domestic than a touching Rob Zombie movie about a family of serial killers? Actually I was surprised by the film. I really enjoyed the sunny '70s style that it was shot in and found the story to be pretty darn good. You might think I'm being sarcastic about the "touching" part but I'm not. Plus, PJ Soles in her underwear? Always a bonus.

Then I did the stupidest thing I could have done. I put in the extended DVD version of The Lord Of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring. One DVD turned into another and into another until finally I had fed all three movies theough the DVD player...twelve plus hours later I was finally finished. I think there's an imprint of my back and butt still on that couch.

But I figured hey, why not watch movies until 5am? I can sleep in tomorrow, right? Wrong! Apparently no one gave the pups the memo that I was on vacation so they still want their breakfast at the same time in the morning...early! And now I'm up, and not getting any more sleep. On the bright side it does afford me an earlier start to head out the the 'burbs since I was planning on corrupting my cute little nephew a bit more today while he's in from the frozen North.


Tonight's the night.

I'll be spinning at innjoy tonight -- just like every other Tuesday -- so if you're in from out of town or don't have to work this week or just barely have to work this week this is the perfect night to drop on by, dontcha think? As an added bonus I've arranged for a hosted (read: open) bar from 9pm until 10pm as a sort of "happy holidays/thanks for your patronage" sort of thing so now you really have no excuse to pardon your absence...I'll see you all at 9pm, okay?


True, that.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Well, I went out to Liar's Club last night to whoop it up, but it didn't make me miss Photogal any less. In fact it actually made me miss her more since I'm feeling all yucky -- and therefore overly sentimental -- this morning. I wanna be on safari with her!

Instead I shall just continue to cuddle with Betty and Lucy each night and count the days until Photogal's return.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

So today is my last day I have to go into the office until 2006. I’m not going to say my last day at work since I’m sure that, even on vacation, I’ll check my e-mail and such from time to time. However at about 6pm today I’m going to comfortably slip into a week-plus of full-time slacking.

Photogal’s departure to Africa to visit the C.I.A. agent her sister on Christmas Day makes my slacktitude possible. I love my gal dearly, but if she was in town I know that she would urge me to make me use my time off “constructively.” Instead, though, she will be 6964 nautical miles away and thoroughly unable to get me to do anything “constructive.”¹

So I’ve been sitting here this morning thinking of ways to spend my time off and have come up with the following list of possible activities. If I can’t go to Kenya I might as well take full advantage of the time alone, right?

  • Get reacquainted with my DVD collection of all the Emma Peel episodes of The Avengers.
  • Finally watch all the extended versions of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
  • Drink. Fall down. Repeat.
  • Grow a beard. Okay, maybe not.
  • Get some serious writing done. Dream of grad school. Get some more writing done. Dream of book tour. Write some more.
  • Record a podcast for donewaiting.
  • DJ at innjoy on Friday December 30 for the eve of New Year’s Eve. Watch cute boys and girls dance.
  • Oh yeah, and DJ at innjoy next Tuesday as well. Maybe I should make it a best of 2005 themed evening? Eh, we’ll see how I feel.
  • Catch up on all my magazine reading. I like how every time the end is in sight (like yesterday morning) all of a sudden The Economist, New Yorker, Harper’s and Newsweek all decide to pop through the mail slot at the same time (like yesterday afternoon.)
  • Read all of the books I’ve already partially devoured. Yes, I’m looking at you Mr Foster Wallace and Mr Eggers. And you Mr Tin House Collective.
  • Four syllables. Home pedicure.
  • Eat chocolate chip cookies.
  • Finish compiling that Best Of list for donewaiting instead of constantly being guilty of procrastination in regards to that subject.
  • Refuse to drive unless it is to see my mom and/or nephew.
  • Find Jeff Tweedy. Kick him in the balls. Repeat until he promises to start writing good music again.
  • Find the guys in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Kick them in the balls. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
  • Find Ryan. Shake some sense into him. Berate him for thrusting Clap Your hands Say Yeah on the world. Don’t forget the kick in the balls. Repeat.
  • Get press release ready for the final Rockit Girl show.
  • Get some serious puppy-lovin’ time in. I think Betty the Beagle and Lucy the Dog will be very happy to have me around so much.
  • Make reservations at Bella Notte for New year’s Eve with Rudy and Josh. And their ladies. But not my lady.
  • Find someone to kiss at midnight that night. Slowly allow it to sink in that that person may well be a drunken $in since he’ll be kissing anything in sight.
  • Wombat.
  • Get my snare drum and ride cymbal back. Playing the drums at Rudy’s last weekend put the bug back into my system and now is the perfect time to make noise while Photogal is so far away.
  • Take out the garbage at least once.
  • Teach myself Sanskrit, time allowing of course.
  • Loaf.

¹By constructive I mean “fixing stuff up around the house and the two-flat she owns. You know, worthwhile uses of my time. But who wants to use their vacation in a worthwhile way? Not me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Real Cool Shuffle

One of my favorite podcasts is a weekly one put out by The Real Cool Kids, a trio of improv comedians out of Seattle, and it is because of them that I have learned of a sure to be awesome star vehicle for Samual L. Jackson...Snakes On Planes. This movie will be so huge someone has already recorded an audio trailer for the film.¹

Okay, once you've wiped the tears from your eyes and massaged feeling back into your jaw after laughing so hard, prepare yourself for yet another audio gift. Once tankPOD learned I allowed diPOD to create a mix he got all like, "Dude², I was here first, I've got the sexy, boxy body and quartet on selection keys that light up bright red..and dude, I'VE GOT THE TUNES, so when do I get to make a mix?" Well, I threw him into shuffle mode last night on the way home from the bar and after the first three selections I decided I would let him go whole hog and turn in his own mix. So here is is.

Download the "Doin' The tankPOD Shuffle" mix

Yeah, so there's that. I've formatted it so it'll play in tankPOD’s pre-selected order if you load it into iTunes too, so you’re welcome.

¹Awesome, no?
²Okay, neither I nor tankPOD ever really say "dude" but I decided that it sounded funny so I’m going with it. Not everything I write here has to faithfully mirror actual events y’know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Too hot for the presses!

  • Thank God. (Pun intended.)
  • This almost happened when I was visiting Photogal in NYC a few years ago. What a mess. Oh well, it should help in fostering that neighborly side of the holiday spirit.
  • REVEALED AT LAST! The Chappelle Theory!
  • Who do you look like?

(Credz for the last two items entirely due to the .25Lifer, so if you're caught wasting your time on either of those at work blame her and not me!)

I think I'm going to enjoy driving to and from work this week. The image below is yesterday's traffic at 5pm...usually the height of rush hour.

(click the image to enlarge and reveal what made me so giddy...I travel 294 South)

So, informal poll time. Who’s got Friday off and who has Monday off…and who has both days off? How does my schedule work out? Let’s just say that Thursday is my last day of work until the new year…yee-HAW! Drop by innjoy tonight and celebrate this uplifting fact with me.

¹This is what we used to say at the restaurant I worked at a few years ago when ever something just totally shocking happened. This phrase covered everything from a great tip to a rude customer throwing a drink at you. The mangled pronunciation was a reflection of the fact that most of the employees were from far off foreign lands where English was a second or third language. The exaggerated phrasing was meant primarily as an equalizing tactic -- so the phrase sounded the same no matter what your native accent was -- but it also made the word just downright fun to say.

Monday, December 19, 2005

There’s an eight hundred pound gorilla in the room.

Last night’s The Simpsons was, and I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, weak. After years and years and years and years they’ve finally turned out an actual stinker that I can’t believe even made it past the table read. I feel cheated.

What’s more astounding than the shoddy episode though is the fact that it aired uninterrupted at the same time our President was giving a live prime time address from the Oval Office. Have we actually hit upon a point where a live speech gets pre-empted by a Network’s hopes of higher ratings? Is the American public so apathetic by this point that such a thing is even considered a valid procedure? I for one was shocked, stunned and speechless.¹

Something else that left me shocked, stunned and speechless was the Peter Jackson remake of King Kong. Much ink was already been spilled over this film in regards to its near perfection so I entered the theater burdened by a healthy blend of optimistic cynicism. Usually such a thundering critical agreement on a film either means opinions have been half formed in the glare of the initial wonder brought on by a CGI extravaganza like King Kong or it means that the film is the real deal. In this case, the film is definitely the real deal.

As a singular cinematic achievement I think this outweighs anything (and I do mean anything) Jackson has done before. It is certainly one of the most, if not the most heartfelt and engaging popcorn movie I have ever seen. It is true that you do not notice the passage of three plus hours as you watch the film and it is true that the effects are eye-popping to say the least and it is true that all of the actors are expertly used (with the possible exception of Adrian Brody but this slight is more a testament to a certain gorilla virtually stealing the leading man status meant for Brody’s character) and it is true that this is without a doubt the best movie produced by Big Studio Hollywood in the past few years.

I read that the box office for the past weekend was much less than they had predicted for King Kong but it is with that knowledge that I would like to offer a prediction of my own. This will end up being a film that utilized a huge marketing blitz that will actually benefit more from word of mouth. I also think it could possibly outstrip Titanic – and finally begin to knock that s(t)inker from the pop cult record books – since the movie appeals to boys bang ‘em up sensibilities and girls’ sentimental proclivities.²

Do not wait for the DVD/VHS/PSP/whatever of this movie, King Kong was meant to be experienced on a thirty foot movie screen with THX sound, a big tub of popcorn and a big ol’ soda…just don’t forget to hit the bathroom first because you won’t want to miss a second.

¹Keep in mind I didn’t exactly switch the channel away from my Fox Prime Time programs to view the speech, so I’m not above reproach in the criticism I’m leveling. However I read so much that I already knew what Dubya was going to say so I didn’t really miss anything. My comments are meant to be directed towards the general public audience for whom such speeches are actually a primary means of obtaining and digesting White House policy.

²Photogal literally cried through the last third of the film. I almost did too. Seriously.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Another brief post easily blamed on a much-too long week…but now with more whitening power!

I went to a holiday dinner with Photogal earlier this week and while most of the folks were terrific conversationalists and entertaining to talk to, there were a few that weren’t doing so well and it sort of tugged at my heart-strings. At one point, after I heard one guy repeating the exact same he’d already told four times before to a new arrival I felt a bit like I was dining on the island of lost toys.

I was unemployed for nine months at one point and while that sucked I kind of knew that eventually something had to come along. As you get older I’m beginning to realize that isn’t always the case, especially when you were once a senior executive at a company who no longer has a job and you’re looking for placement ahead of hungry young guns in an already over-crowded field. Now that’s a scary prospect.

But hey, this is the start of the weekend and who wants to reflect on the depressing job prospects of people we barely know? Well, I guess I do, actually, but let’s move on anyway.

Need some ideas on how to spend your time this weekend? I offer a few options here. I won’t make it to see Mommy And Daddy tomorrow, but I will be at Double Door tonight and really think you should do the same.

And it’s been about two weeks since my inaugural mix was posted, so I guess it’s time for another one. This was constructed entirely by diPOD by putting her in shuffle mode and then just letting her rip. Now diPOD is loaded up with songs and artists that Photogal loves, but she’s also holding a truckload of my own music. In some ways she mirrors tankPOD but relies more heavily on a stripped down hit laden selection since she I now use both of them to DJ with. It’s interesting to see how her song selection veers from favoring me to tickling Photogal…and then tries to playfully tease us with one song or another. Any way, here it is:

It’s a diPOD Surprise!

Play the songs in the order they are numbered (you'll probably have to re-arrange them if you just load them into iTunes.) I’ve also included a track by track commentary so I hope you enjoy that as well. I guess I should probably bow out now, wish you a merry weekend and get on the get-go before I slip back into any melancholic observations.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The coolest apartment in Chicago is NOW AVAILABLE!

Photogal owns a two-flat in Logan Square and the first floor unit is becoming available. Here are the deets:

2 bedroom apt in a sweet brick 2-flat located in Logan Square. Refinished wood floors, original woodwork, freshly painted, new appliances, fenced in backyard, laundry in building, great deck for summer grilling. Quiet and safe street. Available 2/1, won't last! One month's security, tenant pays utilities. $950/month. Contact Diann at 773/391-9434 or

It's a great little pad so if you're interested call her NOW before someone else snatches it up...
This entry should not be taken as a hint that I have gotten so lazy that I actually think posting pictures is the same as writing an actual piece, but due to time constraints over the past few days this will have to do for now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Where's all that snow?

I brought a bunch of work home with me last night in expectation of being snowbound today, so where is the snow?

Damnit Tom!

Oh, wait, what's this?

Don't we clean up good?

Okay, enough nonsense for today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Tonight is the Three Year Anniversary Party for Sweet Alice Tuesdays and it's being held at innjoy! We’ve been through two bars, dozens of guest DJs, hundred of bad movies playing on over-sized television screens, a thousand and one sexy dances and countless shots of Makers Mark. Tonight we’re celebrating all of these things and more with DJ sets from yours truly and Rudy as well as a live set from the incredible glam pop sounds of The Ladies & Gentlemen! And what does all this cost you? NOTHING! It’s all free. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s an open bar from 9pm until 10pm, but make sure you print out this flyer¹ in order to take advantage of that added extra.²

So, to recap:

3rd Anniversary Party
Sweet Alice Tuesdays
9pm until 2am
Live music from
The Ladies & Gentlemen
The Now Sounds of Today
spun by
DJs Tankboy & Rudy Tuesday
Open bar from 9pm until 10pm with flyer




Sunday afternoon I was picking up some milk at the local White Hen when an older gentleman approached me with a clip-board. Our conversation was as follows.

OLDER GENTLEMAN: Hi, will you sign this petition to get John Stroger on the ballot again.
ME: Um, I don’t think so. I’m not really a fan.
OLDER GENTLEMAN: What, are you a fan of higher taxes?
ME: (shrugging I think to myself that’s kind of a loaded question with no easy answer.)
OLDER GENTLEMAN: Oh I get it, you’re a Republican!
ME: No, not at all actually.
OLDER GENTLEMAN: Well, whatever.

For the record, I will usually sign any petition anywhere since I think just about everyone deserves to be on a ballot. Stroger, however, is a pawn of the Democratic Machine here in Cook County (and is therefore merely a face chosen by the Chicago Machine) so there’s no chance he won’t get on the ballot. There’s even less of a chance that he’ll lose in the actual election. Now, as I said, I will usually sign any petition but in this case the candidate in question has already proved his incompetence and I don’t think he deserves to run again. If you’ve ever heard the man speak, or read reports from press conferences it becomes painfully obvious that the man did not get to where he was due to superior brain power.³ So no, older gentleman, I don’t feel the need to sign a petition in this particular instance.


…and tragedy!

Yesterday I got up really early and was off to the gym a half hour before my usual start time. The fact that I was ahead of schedule and my morning was running perfectly should have alerted me to impending disaster but I blissfully moved on with my day. As I pulled my toasty car (I started it twenty minutes before leaving so it’s be all warmed up and the engine would be happy) I suddenly slipped out of gear. In an automatic car this is not a good thing. I limped along for a few blocks before giving in to the obvious fact that something was wrong and it wasn’t just going to fix itself. Luckily my mechanic is located a mile for my house so I crawled to his garage in first gear, surely upsetting the long trail of cars behind me. Sorry about that folks, there really was no way for me to go faster.

So I dropped off the car and then drove Photogal to work so I could borrow her Jeep and head to work myself. In the afternoon I got the call, my transmission needed to be replaced and it was going to cost me a minimum of $2,300.00. Two thousand three hundred dollars! I do not have that much money. I mean, I just don’t! It’s days like this that I really miss the working in the city and not having a car. This really reminds me that while I love my job and think my boss rocks I really really hate the commute! So what am I going to do? I have no idea. Can you sell blood plasma in Illinois or is that just an Iowa thing?

¹Seriously. You have to have the flyer to get the open bar so do not forget to print it out!
²"Added extra" is redundant, isn’t it?
³Seriously, the dude is less well-spoken that Daley, and I didn’t believe that was possible!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Another year, another round-up.

It’s that time of the year again. It’s time to put together a list of my favorite albums that were released in the past year. This is one of those things that rock and/or roll critics love doing and I’ve looked forward to this activity ever since I started having to compile my thoughts on this subject for various newspapers and then web-sites.

This year I’m not feeling it though.

Part of it probably has to do with the changing nature of my relationship with music. The web has opened me up to more new artists than ever before so I literally only listen to most albums once or twice now before either lifting tracks to DJ with or forming and writing a critical analysis of that particular release. The flip side of this development is that it’s relatively easy to pinpoint which artists are really knocking my socks off since those discs find themselves regularly spun in their entirety. This past year hasn’t seen a whole lot of knocking off of the socks though.

I think the other problem I’m facing is list burnout. This falls under the same category as “everybody’s a fucking critic now.” I enjoy the voice that the web has offered to music fans the world over but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting a little sick of having to listen to all those voices clashing and crashing together. When you add the effect of most print magazines having gone absolutely gonzo over the publication of various types of lists at the end of the year (not to even mention VH1, MTV and E!) the concept begins to lose a bit most of its impact.

Ah well, I’m sure I’ll regain my mojo when I actually sit own to compile this year’s list. I do fear that the whole activity has become rather inconsequential at this point though. At this point, when everyone is so consumed with making their own voice heard, who’s even listening anymore?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Photo Fun Friday!

It’s the end of what has been a very, very long week so in lieu of doing anything that requires any serious thought I reckoned today would be the perfect chance to unload a few photos that have been floating around the Tankboy International corporate office. As always, if you would like to enjoy the images at their original size and resolution you need only click over the picture and your wish shall be my Blogger’s command.

First off, let’s hear it for Amazon. I ordered this Wednesday, it showed up Thursday and I only paid seventeen bucks for it versus the twenty-five I would’ve shelled out in the book store. Plus due to this promotion I signed up for -- that I shall cancel before they actually have a chance to charge me anything -- shipping was gratis! Guess what I’m tearing through this weekend if Photogal allows me the time?

Here is photographic proof of the mayhem and havoc that children cause. The man above was a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative bible-banger up until the birth of his first child a few years ago. Now look at him!

This poll was running on yesterday’s Tribune web-site and was geared towards women in connection with an article about the declining use of nightgowns as bed-time attire. See what sort of dress code garnered the highest percentage of responses? See why over the years I have come to believe that Chicago women are the best? See? See?!

Did I tell you about this? Yes? I did? Well click on it and print it out! YOU MUST BRING A COPY OF THE FLYER ABOVE TO TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPEN BAR FROM 9pm UNTIL 10pm THAT NIGHT! Who wants to miss out on free booze? Not you!

As I’m sure you’re aware, my poor little nephew is forcibly being brought up in the wilds of Canada, in that godforsaken wasteland Toronto to be precise. See where they force him to sleep? See? See?!

Okay, I was kidding. As the above action series displays, Alex is well-cared for and quite the happy little baby. Now if only we could smuggle him over the border and keep him here without his parents finding out.

For no reason at all…COWBELL!

Finally, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I have a show at Elbo Room tomorrow that should be tee-rrific. She's Your Sister left town for California a few months ago and this show marks the hometown release of their new CD, so don't miss it. Here are the deets:

Saturday December 10
Elbo Room

Jonny Rumble
She’s Your Sister
Logic Of Elliott
The Spoken Four

Doors: 8pm
Show: 9pm
$8 cover

I think it’s fairly obvious in this photo that She’s Your Sister misses living in the Windy City.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Four fucking hours!

That's how long it took me to drive home tonight due to the storm. I'm no fan of my regular commute, but four hours of crawling, bumper-to-bumper, stop-no-go, traffic is a whole different beast. In four hours I could have driven 1/3 of the way to New York, or watched seven Chevy Chase movies, or read two good sized novels or written 1/2 of a good sized novel (okay,maybe just a few chapters), or seen five rock bands, or any number of things.

Instead I spent four hours travelling a little over twenty miles. Unbelievable.
Winning and losing.

So we went to the casino this weekend and by "we" I mean Photogal, her mom and the Mad Moldovan a.k.a. husband to the C.I.A. Agent (said agent A.K.A. Photogal’s sister.) Yeah, so, we all head off. I admit that I wasn’t really too gung-ho about the trip since casinos have roughly the same effect on me as do strip clubs in that both venues tend to severely depress me by virtue of wave after wave of the sheer desperation coming off most patrons involved in either enterprise.

When I’m trying to be empathetic I get wordy so please forgive me.

So the primary reason I acquiesce and go to the casino is because a) I was promised free chicken and I was hungry and b) if I didn’t go I really wouldn’t have a chance to hang out with Photogal at all on Sunday. Originally this seemed like a terrific idea since I had planned on wasting the day on the couch consuming DVD after DVD of empty-minded goodness. As Sunday morning rolled around though I decided that the activity I had so looked forward to no longer seemed as appealing as spending time with my girlfriend.

What the fuck is wrong with me, huh?

I keep avoiding talking about the casino itself and I don’t really mean to. We got there and found out that you had to pay admission for entry (which makes no sense since who the hell wants to pay money to lose money?!) which prompted Photogal’s mom to don the boxing gloves only to be faced off at the pass by a generous lady with a bunch of tickets leading to our free admission. Once inside it was just as S-C-A-R-Y as I thought it would be. Photogal asked a gentlemen providing aid on the floor where the non-smoking area was only to be informed that there was NO non-smoking area. That’s when I saw the person with an oxygen tank connected to their chair smoking a Virginia Slim. WHAT?!

I know you’re dying to know how much money I lost so I’ll just blurt it out right here and end the anticipation. I usually don't gamble, but when I do I try to bet with only as much dough as I can afford to lose, but this time I broke my own rule and lost more than I could afford.

I left the casino down six bucks. Yes, I am that poor right now. Thank you very much.

Now I know you are just dying to know how Photogal did, right? Dying dying dying to know.

She played slots and won. She played Blackjack and won. SHE WON AT EVERYTHING! And she more than tripled her money. She has the best luck. She totally sucks. Everyone else in our party lost so I’m sure we looked funny leaving as Photogal skipped on air surrounded by three gloomy storm clouds.

What did I do during her winning streak? I stood behind her reading the latest Davy Rothbart collection of short stories whilst, unbeknownst to me, I was being stalked by the security guards who could figure out a) why I was just standing there and not gambling and b) why anyone would come to a casino to read. I’m a freak. I wish I had noticed this hullabaloo though since Photogal said it was really funny to watch the security guy "nonchalantly" crane his head upside-down in attempt after failed attempt to catch a glimpse of the title of the book I was reading. Sorry security dude, next time just ask.

Anyway, in order to drown the sorrows of this motley crew of mostly losers we stopped at a Steak And Shake in an attempt to find solace in greasy, meaty burgers and oh-so-chocolaty shakes. This indeed would have allowed the day to end happily if I had only kept my mouth shut when the bill came and offered in my own two cents on what the appropriate tip would be on the total. Having worked in restaurants and bars I am of the mindset that you never leave less than five bucks, no matter what the bill’s total, but apparently not everyone shares my belief in this matter. Fair enough. A wise man would have just surreptitiously left a few extra bucks on the table but nooOOOooo, I had to open my big fat mouth and unintentionally insult the person who was actually treating me to a free meal. Talk about biting the hand, man…I felt like such a heel once my righteous indignation had cooled from molten fire to useless slug.

So it sounds like a total disaster, right? I should’ve stayed home and watched movies after all, right? Eating popcorn and sucking on sodas, right?


Even after the lost dough, emotional vacuum of the casino and utter embarrassment of making an ass of myself in a wholly avoidable situation I was still glad I decided to go.


Because ultimately the day’s events put a smile on Photogal’s face and that made it all worth it.¹

So there.

¹I know, I know. You just threw up in your mouth a little. Deal with it. I’m allowed to be mushy about my gal from time to time, okay?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Um, yeah.

Nuthin' today, but check back tomorrow for a recap of my exciting trip to the gambling casino (is that technically redundant?) this last weekend

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

We are literate, even as we par-tay.


More turbulent than a hurricane.
More scandalous than the Salon des Refusés.
More hip than Lord Buckley.

DJs Tankboy & Rudy Tuesday
are joined by the inimitable duo of
Mags & Diane
for one special evening of
tumultuous tuneage.

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

TONIGHT, Tuesday December 6, 2005
Stunning musical selections from 9:00pm until 2am

$2 PBR bottles
$3 Stoli cocktails
1/2 price burgers (both carnivore and veggie)

And yes, we've got brand new albums
to road test from both
The Strokes
The M's.

Every Tuesday.
Only at innjoy.

DJs Mags & Diane in a moment of quiet reflection.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A quick thought in regards to the new Strokes album.

So that's what Julian's voice sounds like without being distorted and overly compressed? Hmm.
Happy Monday!

This should help us all regain some persepective on life. This is from last week's Economist:

This lowly ragworm may not look much like a human, but a paper in this week's Science, by Florian Raible, of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and his colleagues, suggests the two have more in common than meets the eye. The human genome is more complex than that of invertebrates such as flies, suggesting evolution has made humans more sophisticated. But the ragworm genome is about as complex as the human one, suggesting that what actually happened was that the flies got simpler and that, genetically, people and worms are equals. (full story)

I always like to start the work-week off with a motivational thought like that, don't you?

Friday, December 02, 2005


This will be huge. There will also be hosted cocktails (hosted cocktails = FREE drinks just in case you don't understand promotional doublespeak) from 9pm until 10pm with this invite so make sure you click on the image above and print it out in order to take advantage of our little present to you.

Free booze. A free live set from the incomparable Ladies & Gentlemen. Free tunes from us. Wow wow wow!




We have heat again! I've been working on a piece for Chicagoist detailing our whole ordeal so look for that soon. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who offered contractor advice and hot showers and warm beds in case we needed them!

Finally, have you downloaded the inaugural Tankboy Internerd-only mix posted yesterday yet? Whaddya think...should I keep doing these?

UPDATE: If you're dying for more content from me today, I blow a few kisses towards DeRo and Kot over at Chicagoist.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cool or fool?

So every morning I find myself eating a yogurt with the brand name Light 'n Fit and the flavor distinction of Lemon Chiffon. Does eating this make me less than a man or does eating this signify I am secure in my masculinity and prove the fact that I am indeed manly?

Or does my embrace of this observation as proof of my manliness mean I am, in fact, not manly at all? You know, kind of the like principle of the directly inverse proportional coolness equivalent wherein one's coolness decreases with every self-assured statement that one is, in fact, cool.

Here, allow the cultural shorthand offered by a scene from The Simpsons to illustrate this maxim.

Homer: So, I realized that being with my family is more important than being cool.
Bart: Dad, what you just said was powerfully uncool.
Homer: You know what the song says: "It's hip to be square".
Lisa: That song is so lame.
Homer: So lame that it's... cool?
Bart+Lisa: No.
Marge: Am I cool, kids?
Bart+Lisa: No.
Marge: Good. I'm glad. And that's what makes me cool, not caring, right?
Bart+Lisa: No.
Marge: Well, how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we've tried everything here.
Homer: Wait, Marge. Maybe if you're truly cool, you don't need to be told you're cool.
Bart: Well, sure you do.
Lisa: How else would you know?

For the record, I still like Huey Lewis. Does that impugn my manliness in any way?

Well, I don't care.


Well, you be the judge.

I keep threatening to share music with my lovely, slavering, gnome-like readers so I suppose now is as good a time as any to try it out. I have lodged a little .ZIP file filled with lovely mp3 files¹ at the location below, so make with the clicky and download it and burn it and listen and let me know what you think.

The "Cool Or Fool" Mix

Consider this a test...and let me know what you think of the songs², whether you dig 'em or not!

If this works well maybe I can start a weekly or bi-weekly mix...or something...we'll see. I still have yet to record my first podcast for DoneWaiting and I've been promising Rob Duffy I'd do so for quite a while now.

If the link doesn’t work or if it expires let me know so I can update it.

Now it's time to make some coffe so I can warm my hands above my stove.

¹If your band is in this mix and you want your song to be removed please just send me an e-mail and I will do so with the utmost haste. If you’re in a band and now I have unreleased stuff by you that you don’t mind me using in the future, by all means communicate those wishes to me as well!
²Oh yeah...and no, there is no Huey Lewis in this mix although I realize in retrospect that there really should be. Maybe next time.
We have no heat...and no hot water.

Our carbon monoxide detector had been going off sporadically over the last few days so we called 311 -- Chicago's non-emergency city services line -- to see what we should do. Cut to a fire engine, lights flashing, siren blaring and a crew popping up at our doorstep. Flash to a guy in a ventilator expoloring our basement. Pan to all of our windows and doors being opened. Apparently our CO levels were a tad high.

Then the gas company came out and confirmed whatwe had suspected...the problem was debris blocking our chimney that led from our hot water heater and boiler. Unfortunately in this kind of instance they have to disconnect and cap all the gas pipes leading to the boiler and hot water heater until someone else can come out and fix our chimney.

So now we have no heat, which isn't so bad since we can always just bundle up. I would have never thought it, but not having hot water is much more of an inconvenience. No hot hand-washing, no doing the dishes, no shower, no nothin'!

I hope we can get this fixed tomorrow because it is frickin' cold outside and it's only getting colder.

Oh yeah, I obviously didn't make it to see Dinosaur Jr tonight...but I think fixing a CO leak probably takes precedence. Hmmm...I can't believe I just typed that...I must be growing responsible in my twilight years!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Three point two five.

That's about how many hours of sleep I got last night due to a) drinking too much coffee whilst DJing and b) being plagued by dreams where I was under surveillance by squirrels for possible legal infractions involving the bribery of certain government agents connected to highway development.

Yeah, I don't get it either.

I'm going to see Dinosaur Jr tonight so I reckon that as long as I can stay alert at work today, the sheer volume of the band should take care of perking me up tonight.


Frappr Attack!

I am stealing this lock, stock and smoking barrel from Rob...right down to paraphrasing him!

By adding yourself to my Frappr map, I get a visualization of where all of my visitors are from. It's fun and completely painless, I promise. The whole thing will be done in seconds and there’s no need to enter e-mail addys or any crap like that unless you want to. After a few folks have jumped on-board I think you’ll get the idea.

So make with the clicky already and add yourself already. Stand up and be counted!

By me.


A few quick thoughts on newly released musical albums.

First, who here has heard the new INXS disc Switch? I didn’t understand the band’s choice of JD over Mig originally, but now that I’ve heard the album I finally get it…JD can almost perfectly mimic Michael Hutchence. I will painfully admit that the opening song had me a wee bit excited – almost in that, "well, maybe after all these years off the guys have finally collected an album’s worth of material" way since the bands last few discs (even with the charismatic Mr Hutchence at the mic) were less than captivating – and that hope actually held out (albeit weakening song by song) until it was finally smashed by the laughable "Hot Girls" and the rest of the disc’s unstoppable slide into drab workmanship.

Again, the way the vocals have been laid down, along with layering breathy basso notes over the slightly vibrato tenor melodies, does not so much revive the memory of Michael Hutchence as it does remind you just how much his presence helped elevate a band that was primarily a really successful rock/funk pub band.

On the other end of the spectrum is The Darkness’ One Way Ticket To Hell…And Back! which is exactly the sort of disc I had hoped it would be. Instead of the group suddenly trying to build some masterwork to prove that their success is built upon some actual artistic merit, the band instead takes the road rooted in greater self-confidence by merely building upon the strengths they already had going for them. So what does that mean in plain English? There’s a bunch of songs here for everyone to sing along too whether they’re careening down a winding highway in their cherry Camaro or whether they’re passing time tapping their feet under the desk in their cube.

Actually my primary complaint has to do with the choice of their producer and the way he layers on the backing vocals at points in such a way as to scream “We’re trying to be Queen!”

Oh wait, the producer actually was Queen’s producer on their classic albums?!¹ Hmm...well, at least that explains that. The whole thing is too much fun to let such minor points dull the party though so feel free to guiltlessly indulge in this one.

Speaking of other guiltless indulgences, file the new Madonna in that category. But skip the "I Love New York" song since it’s so bad it threatens to overtake the danceathon hopping happily all over the rest of the disc.


So, uh, yeah. That just about does it for today.

Oh wait, I almost forgot this!

I’m so glad my nephew is progressing quite nicely along the road to rock and/or roll attitude despite being stranded in the icy plains of Canada.

¹Yes, I already knew that. I'm just being a snot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

All my exes live in Texas Oregon?!

Yes, it's true. I can never move to Oregon. Especially to a particular University town. Now I know where the annual "Tankboy Ruined My Life" convention will be held next year.¹


In which some perspective is gained.

This sort of applies to the above. I realized after the nose piercing post of a week or so ago that my recollections of certain events are fated to be flawed. I can accept that and believe that's an unavoidable result of writing. Luckily for me I have folks out there that can add new layers to previous memories that I had never considered – or had just blanked out – and each of these layers contributes to a more complexly fulfilling tapestry.

Thinking on this I also realized that a number of my more major relationships died because I really believed that I was a totally communicative sensitive dude when, in fact, I was perhaps a little too communicative and sensitive primarily to my own perceived needs. I'm kind of glad I've started to grasp this since it really helps explain a lot, including why I still get along well with some exes and why others would prefer I don't even know they still live in The States.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm the sort of person who can tend to over-intellectualize things and will at times focus on the finer points of a matter -- or zero in on a single issue with lazer precision -- at the expense of parsing the bigger picture. I'm not saying this always happens -- if it did I'd be frozen and unable to ever move forward -- but I am self-aware enough to admit that my brain is not always an asset.

So I'm guessing that part of growing up includes grappling with the fact that you once sometimes acted like an asshole when you actually thought you were being a "good guy?" It sure seems like it.


Movies that have let me down a.k.a. Part of the reason I got nothing done over the holiday.

We saw Crash and I think the less said about this film the better. I will say this: Creating a movie that merely pushes hot topic buttons is not the same as creating a movie that provokes serious discussion about those same hot topics. The whole thing seemed a bit too simplistic and tidy for my liking. However many other folks I’ve spoke to got a completely different read on the film so I’m going to limit my criticism with the understanding that by virtue of the movie’s subject matter unheated discussion is near-impossible. I suspect that’s what Paul Haggis, the film’s writer/director intended, but I think his approach falters on the side of exhibitionism and exploitation rather than social commentary in the hopes of promoting discourse.

We also saw the anti-Wal*Mart movie Wal*Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price and I was again disturbed by overly simplistic and one-sided attacks masquerading as motivations for social change. When a movie is this nakedly an article of propaganda for a particular viewpoint it’s difficult to take any of its arguments seriously. The film-makers spent way too much time on the wrong subjects and ultimately doom their movie to a life of playing before audiences of people that already agree with their viewpoint. What’s the use in that?


A movie I enjoyed even though it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been.

Walk The Line ended up being a pretty standard bio-pic and I had expected that. Luckily the underpinning is one of the best love stories of the last century and that shines though and helps overcome the weaknesses exposed through distractions that detract from Johnny Cash’s less savory aspects. The bottom line? This is a date movie that’ll keep both sexes happy.


DJ madness.

Tonight promises to be a fresh blast of fun with the addition of guest DJ $in into our Tuesday night mix at innjoy. I also have a bunch of new and unreleased stuff to play alongside the old favorites. Also, is it too early to pull out The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas? Come on by tonight and see!

¹This is obviously a funny ha-ha joke. Everyone knows that I have never ruined an ex's life, it's always been the other way around. Oh me, I'm quite the jokester today, no?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Due to the long holiday weekend in which I lost all motivation to do anything actually "constructive" all I have to offer you today is this lame, but oh-so fitting, Internerd Quiz Result™.

What type of lame scenester are you?

indie prick

You are either a record nerd or not a scenester at
all. You are the coolest of the bunch. Bravo,

What type of lame scenester are you?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lucy the Dog is vicious.

We found this in our mail slot a few days agoo:

Yup, that tiny little dog has put the fear of God into our mail carrier! What's really funny is that the note is a response to her mauling the mail as it passes through the slot...the mail carrier has never seen Lucy so they probably have a mental image of some huge bruiser on the other side of the door just waiting to chomp on their hand.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

So let the Sunshine in...

I've been sitting on these for a while, but Mister Sunshine has given the go-ahead to publicly disperse this link so I'm doing so. The Tommie Sunshine Radio Edits, in particular, are pretty fucking good...I mean he even makes Good Charlotte sound hip and that's no easy feat!

On a similar tip I recently rediscovered my old mp3s of the second, never released, Yum Yum disc by Chris Holmes as well as the demos Holmes did with Rachael Yamagata back before her Major label deal was fully inked. I'd put those up as well but haven't heard back from Rach as to whether she'd allow it or not so for now I suppose you'll just have to live with the torture of knowing they exist but you can't listen to them.

Or maybe you can!

I'll tell you what, tonight's feature at innjoy was just going to focus on tunes from the new album from The Darkness, but I think I'll throw in a few of those early Yamagata tunes so if you're interested in hearing them then you know where to be after 9:30 pm tonight!

I have lots of other stuff I wanna talk about but it's too early in the morning for that. However please note that my Thanksgiving holiday kicks off tonight around 5pm or 6pm so that should free up some writing time over my five day weekend.

Hell, I might even have another four beers tonight¹...yow!

¹Hmmm...on second thought I'd better not. I can't spare the cab fare, especially with the holiday shopping season already beginning to bleed me dry.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I am a cheap date.

Photogal and I went out Saturday to celebrate our friend Lauren's birthday and I had a whopping four beers over the course of the whole evening. And I got all loopy! So that is how mere mortals feel when they come into contact with alcohol. It's not unpleasanyt at all...and I still remembered everything from the evening! I think I'm really starting to grasp that whole "everything in moderation" concept that always seemed so silly when thrust under the Bacchnalian microscope I employed in the past.

I'm still having a hell of a time quitting smoking though. Grrrr...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Here is where you want to be tonight.

(click the picture to enlarge)

And here is how you can get in without paying full price!

Click on the ticket to open a new window
and then print out as many tickets as you need!

I will be there with tankPOD -- he's flying solo since dPOD suddenlt conked out last night at Schuba's -- to provide the entertainment before and between the bands. What more could you ask for out of a Friday night?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The story of when Tankboy pierced his nose, a saga.

Once upon a time I was actually super hip and ahead of trends. For instance, I was the first guy in my high school to get my ear pierced back in the day when guys with pierced ears were either gay or one of The Lost Boys. I must like sticking things through my skin because a few years later I pierced my nose at a party, and this is the story.

My freshman year of college my friends and I would gather at the White Trash House – which was inhabited by three gorgeous Amazons and one stouter gal with great humor – to watch Quantum Leap (don't ask, it was an early '90s college thing, everyone watched it) and drink beer. Sometime we would do silly stuff like get dressed in drag for no reason at all. Every night was dominated by drinking games and never really kicked into high gear until the bars closed and all the kids who were cooler and older than we were would make their way over to keep imbibing whatever beer and/or drugs were available until sunrise or later.

So we needed to fill the time between the end of Quantum Leap and the closing of the bars with something. This effort is what usually got me into trouble.

This particular evening my girlfriend took off early because we had a fight (though I think she was actually looking for an excuse to bolt so she could hook up and then hook up with one of her fellow theater majors¹…never date an actor, trust me) and I was left with nothing to do but drink beer, shoot the shit and try to figure out ways to make myself even cooler and more hip than I already was.

So I ended up talking to Jen Johnson – the White Trash gal I was crushing on at the time – and she was telling me how much fun it had been when she pierced her own nose a few weeks before. I was sold. If this hot older girl said it was easy and it would also give us a shared experience to talk about then by all means, shove a pin through my nose!

Well, it wasn’t that easy. Apparently there’s a lot of flesh in-between the outside of one’s nose and the inside of one’s nostril and the force Jen was using wasn’t quite sufficient to make it all the way through. She pushed and jabbed and shoved for a good five minutes and the pain grew to be excruciating. I think I mumbled that I needed a moment to compose myself and headed to the bathroom to splash some water on my face.

And then things went blank.

Apparently the bathroom was occupied by my friend Jim Schifeling (a.k.a. “Little Jim” since our group had a number of “Jims”) who amazingly never had a problem when it came to pooping anywhere and at any time. He said I barged into the bathroom, started to lick the soap dish and then proceeded to keel over…pinning him against the toilet while my legs were braced against the door forcing it shut and effectively blockading anyone from gaining entry into the bathroom. He started hootin’ and hollerin’ (because Jim in fact does hoot and holler, there’s no other descriptive term appropriate to his exhortations) and after a few minutes of struggle finally got me into a position that allowed other folks to gain entry to the bathroom and come to our aid.

By this point I was semi-coherent again and Jen was fed up with the time the whole thing was taking, since the guy that she actually had the hots for had shown up and I was detracting from her time with him, that she just grabbed my head and shoved the needle the rest of the way home thus completing my first non-ear piercing experience.

The next morning I woke up in a haze, I think Jen took pity on me and let me sleep in her bed, though this may have just been an excuse for her to force the guy she liked to take her to his place, and I made my way back to the dorms. I was really groggy so I rang my girlfriend and she came down to collect me right away. The first words out of her mouth were, “What the fuck did you do to yourself?”

The second phrase was, “Hey, that’s kind of sexy.” It was totally worth it.

¹I didn’t know this at the time and didn’t really figure out until years later that this was going on and she probably wasn’t the most faithful girlfriend I’ve ever had. To be fair though we were both still teenagers “exploring our sexuality” and this created some ambiguity from time to time. Plus, the guy she was fooling around with that night? I fucked his girlfriend* a few years later and actually started up a little relationship with her behind his back. Was that nice? No. But it sure felt good.

*This is not as mean as it sounds. I did like the girl.


Entertainment options!

Tonight is the Chicagoist Happy Hour where we say thanks to our readership by providing free booze and scintillating conversation that will eventually degenerate into drunken, yet intellectual, buffoonery:

I will be there and it will be fun. And free booze?! C’mon, who doesn’t love free booze?

Tomorrow I’m hosting The Assembly’s record release show at Double Door. You can print out a ticket that gives you a discounted entry here. More details tomorrow, but you really don’t want to miss this. These guys write great anthemic pop songs and are destined to be huge.

UPDATE: I just found out that later tonight, after the Chicagoist shindig, I will be guest spinning at Schuba's with DJs Yin and Yang! This should be a lot of fun. It's the last night of their residency there, so all bets are off!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Drink drank drunk.

So here we are, over a month into my pledge to lay off the excessive social drinking, and so far so good. I have had a drink here and there but have kept hold of my sobriety. This is by far the absolute longest something like this has lasted since I started boozing it up, oh, fifteen years ago. Not bad, eh?

Before I get too busy breaking my arm on my own back though I feel that I should 'fess up and admit that the whole "not smoking" thing is now going so well. While I still certainly don’t smoke as much as I did pre-June 30 of this year I haven’t had the strength to completely quit. Who would've thought that quitting drinking would be the easier vice to shed? Certainly not me.

From time to time I do really crave a good drunk but for the most part I've found that I can actually enjoy myself when I'm out and about at the bars or clubs. The first week or so was difficult since I kept reflexively bellying up to the bar only to realize I didn't need to order anything. As the weeks have passed, though, I’ve found this urge easier to control. Certainly the most unexpected side effect would be the conversations I've been having, and actually remembering, with my friends.

Physically I don't feel any different, which actually surprises me. I expected to feel "sharper" and more "fit." The last time I quit drinking for an extended period time, five years ago, that was the first thing I noticed. To be fair, at that time I was coming off a schedule of drinking and staying out until dawn six or seven days a week and this time around I was already down to only being out two or three times a week – and the hours I was out were far more limited than when I was actually working in a club. The fact I've been so loyal to the gym certainly hasn't hurt me either and I think that’s why the difference in the way I feel isn’t so stunning this time.

So what does this all mean? Does it mean anything? What have I accomplished? Is this really an accomplishemnt? I think it's still too early to tell what this means in the larger scheme but at the moment I think my standard of living has increased a bit. In a purely limited view this decision couldn't have come at a better time since money is virtually nonexistent in Tankboy’s pockets. I'm amazed at how much I have at the end of each weekend when I don’t have to pay for $20 cab rides and healthy bar tabs. (NOTE: I still tip bartenders when they serve me water though. It might not be on every single glass, but they’re still getting dough from me…old habits (in this case, thankfully) die hard.)

Will I ever get drunk again? I don’t know, probably. I figure I have a lot of time ahead of me to figure that out. But at least I've discovered that getting drunk is not as necessary as I might've thought in the past. I'd be lying if I were to say that at the outset of this whole endeavor I didn't have serious doubts as to whether I would still dig doing the things I've usually done under the influence (shows, bars, parties, parades, Christmas shopping), but I needn’t have worried. Apparently I was having real fun all along, the only real difference now is that I can actually remember the good times.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pressed for time.

Here are a few words I wrote about Wilco's new live album that comes out today. Also, please come on out to innjoy to see Rudy and I spin tonight. As an added bonus you can also visit the wonders that are my mini-DJ partners...tankPOD and dPOD!

Um, let's see, anything else? No? Okay, I've gotta go then.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Turn up the heat, first thing.

Wait, are those fur slippers? No, it’s the dog. Why am I so cold? What the hell? Oh, I fell asleep on the couch again. Watching Boondocks and actually surprised you CAN do that on television. And trying to finish last week’s New Yorker like a champ. Always trying to catch up on my reading and so behind on books. I miss the luxury of having the time for books. Now I feel like I'm running in place digesting copious amounts of nothing more than today's, tomorrow's, news in some attempt to stay plugged in and make sense of it all. The exact opposite of college when I unplugged and withdrew into my books, my self, my friends. Drowsy and off now though. Cold too. Heat’s off at night and I’m surprised it didn’t wake me sooner so I could crawl into comfy warm bed with comfy warm comforter and comfy warm girlfriend. Instead I just woke up with a dog as a poor blanket, only keeping my toes protected from the chill. Wow did the house get cold last night. I guess winter is finally starting to creep in around the corner to seep into nooks and crannies before latching onto floors, bones and soul. Shhh, Betty, it’s too early for breakfast. I’ll let you out in a minute.


Hm. I had hoped for another deluge of words hitting the page whilst still half-asleep but I seem to have come to a little bit quicker than usual. Hm. Okay. Cheerios.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I am now very, very upset.

Rudy reemerges with a new band!


Saturday November 12
Tankboy Presents

The Midnight Shows
(Rudy Gonzalez of Woolworthy
with Sean Rice and Randy Morris of Made To Fade)

Kevin Flynn
(of Kiss-N-Ride)
Josh James

Doors at 9:00pm
Show at 10:00pm sharp!
no cover!

1531 N Damen

I'm very excited to hear what Rudy's been cooking up since Woolworthy disbanded. It is a bittersweet evening though since it also will mark the last public appearance of Kiss-N-Ride since Kevin and the boys have decided to pull the plug of their dance-rock combo. Our buddy Josh will be opening the show in a rare solo -- and very public -- appearance. As the kids say: w00t!

Also, the time has come to be very, very afraid. Photogal has discovered MySpace. Yipes!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Van? Van Wilder?

This kid may be on to something. Is it sad that I'm actually a little jealous that I didn't think of this first?
DJs can be introspective too!

The other evening, when I was DJing at innjoy, I found myself playing a bunch of tunes either by Bauhaus¹ or by any of the spin-off groups that came out of Bauhaus. Now this was a little out of character for me since usually only one Bauhaus song will sneak into my set every couple of months but I suppose I had the band on the brain since they were playing in town. At one point I threw on a cover of "Day Tripper" off Daniel Ash’s first solo album. I’ve always liked the song and its languorous pace but it wasn’t exactly a hit with the rest of the room. Afterwards Tom cued up his own iPod to the Beatles' "Bulldog" and made me play it to, in his words, "make amends." I played the tune and everyone seemed happy.

I thought about it a bit yesterday though since I couldn’t really figure out what there was to not like about Daniel Ash's cover of a Beatles song. The more I thought about it the more I realized that it was probably my perspective on the relative critical merits of the tune that should be suspect. You see, that particular album was a favorite of mine my freshman year of college even though, if I peel back the layers and view the past honestly, I actually didn’t really like a lot of the songs on the disc.

I think I latched onto it more because it was the first output by a member of Love And Rockets since "So Alive" was a hit and I had loved the band so much that I was hungry for any proof the group was still active in any way. I had waited years and obsessively combed record store racks – this was back in pre-Internet days when reliable information about music groups was actually scarce from time to time – for the supposed Swing! EP that was supposed to have been a stopgap.² So Daniel Ash’s Coming Down was devoured by me the day it came out. I really wanted the disc to be a continuation of the harder rocking psychedelic of Love And Rockets but Ash had obviously opted for the route that solo recording artists follow all to often to their great detriment; the "I must make a musical statement that is as far removed stylistically from what my fans like as is possible while still staying within roughly the same instrumental parameters."

I was so hungry for new output though that I committed the sin of fandom that made such an attitude by artists possible...I put up with it and latched on to whatever I considered remotely appealing with a zeal that would embarrass even a Fundamentalist outside an abortion clinic. Ultimitely since "Day Tripper" fell within the boundaries of songs that sounded similar to the artist's previous output it was elevated to a plane far above its actual level of musical achievement.

So now, years later, I find I continue to sin, only now my transgression is that of the fan who has clouded their objectivity with the gauze of sentiment. This in itself is perfectly harmless and, to an extent, pretty unavoidable as we are all wont to trip back through time on the tunes that made us who we were and who we ended up becoming. However I guess I can understand when a room that has assembled because of their faith in my musical tastes -- and the continued faith that my selections will actually help to enhance their pleasure throughout the evening –- feels a little betrayed when I pull out a relatively sub par Beatles cover at a point in the evening when I should be winding things down in a manner that sends everyone off with a smile or, at least, a feeling that their trust was well placed in the DJ.

Would I play the song again? Probably. However next time I would make sure to build a little more context using the songs surrounding it in the set and respect the fact that while the songs has a special meaning for me, I'm the only person that sees it that way.

¹And yes, they were unbelievably awesome last night. I was expecting the Bauhaus show to be good, but I had no idea the band was still so completely captivating and massive. My review is here.
²Only years later did I discover that after announcing the disc’s release it was then canned and didn't actually emerge until the group's albums were re-issued recently. Grrrr.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Whatever you do, please don't call them Goth.

I’m going to see Bauhaus tonight. (See my preview of the show in yesterday’s Chicagoist.) I am super excited. I’ve never seen Peter Murphy live and the last time I saw the other three guys – in their little side project called Love And Rockets – it was the late ‘80s so I am just dying with anticipation. I have an extra ticket for tonight too since Photogal doesn’t feel the same need to see the show as I do so if anyone wants to go shoot me a message and let me know. It starts at 7:45 though so I’ve got to jet into work ASAP so I can get the out of there with time to spare since traffic has just been awful on the commute home the last few days. The first day I thought maybe some construction had started but after driving all the way home I realized that wasn’t the case. So, since I have no idea how long it’s going to take me to get home I’ve got to give myself as much wiggle room as possible.

Wow, this started off with promise and just spiraled into BORING, didn‘t it?

Okay, here’s a picture of my nephew rocking a mohawk to make up for it.

COMING SOON: My inaugural podcast for DoneWaiting will go up next week. To get an idea of what we do, download the latest podcast by Robert Duffy from our site...I love the Lone Ranger segues.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Is it Tuesday already? I swear time is accelerating and it's starting to freak me out.Why don't you stop by and discuss my autobahn mortality with me tonight at innjoy. It should be fun. I have the new Madonna so maybe I'll torture Tom with a track or two. Tuesdays start to get busier around this time of year as it starts to get chillier and chillier outside and people want to belly up to the bar to warm their innards with booze. I know this is certainly my favorite time of year to drink! Oh wait, I'm not drinking tonight. Oh well, that doesn't mean you shouldn't come by and tip a few back.

Photogal and I were going through our schedules last night and we realized that either seperatley or in tandem, we would be out every night this week at some sort of social event. Well, I will provided I can get in to see Bauhaus tomorrow. But then there's the Venom Lords CD release this week, and Rudy is playing at The Pontiac with his new band, and Skid and Dave are DJing...and so on anbd so on. I will say that not drinking means I can drive to all these events and driving means I save a truckload of money on cab fare and such, which is a really good thing sincen right now I am flat broke.

I know, wah wah Tankboy. Cry me a river. Okay, I won't complain anymore. Things are actually going pretty well for me so I think I'll just sit back and enjoy myself for a spell.