Thursday, June 30, 2005

Today it is all about me..

So, let's get things kicked off on the right foot with a snappy little tune...

Tankboy Is The Man
by Wesley Willis
(courtesy the Wesley Willis Song Generator)

You really whoop the horse's ass.
Tankboy is excellent.
Tankboy really whoops a camel's ass.
You can really get in the groove.


Tankboy is excellent.
You can really rock your ass off.
You really whoop the horse's ass.
Tankboy is the best.


You can really rock your ass off.
You are a Tankboy star.
You really whoop a snow lepoard's ass.
You can really get in the groove.

Rock over London,
Rock on Chicago.

Wheaties - breakfast of champions.

Wow, thanks Wesley. That totally rocked!

So, this year I've decided to make the Tankboy Birthday Spectacular a little more cozy and hold it at The Pontiac. As usual, I've lined up some close friends of mine to provide the soundtrack to the evening. I'm even giving up my DJ duties to the far superior song selection of DJ tankPOD since he so definitely kicked my ass when we went head to head at Double Door a few months ago. You better not fuck it up man...

Anyway, I'm sure you're slavering to know the deets, verdad?

Thursday June 30
The Pontiac

Skid Marks
Rudy Gonzalez
Four Letter Words
DJ tankPOD

The bands will start around 10 and there's no cover!

Now I'm going to go out and enjoy my birthday. I took the day off so maybe I'll take in a movie, spend some time with my best gal downtown and just generally make this a Tankboy-centric afternoon before this evening's festivities really kick in.

What? You're still stuck in an office all day? Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. Why don't you spend some time in Bob's Cube to help you pass the time? That'll waste a good hour or so or your work day while I'm out enjoying myself.

Finally, as my gift to you on this special day, I will leave you with this picture Photogal's sister (a.k.a. The Mad Moldovan's wife) snapped when she was in Kenya a few months ago.

This is so totally a "Where's Waldo?" moment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

In regards to the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album entitled Howl.

Is this even the same band? Gone are all traces of the Jesus and Mary Chain only to be replaced by a bluesyness that could only be described as Stonesian. Upon first listen I absolutely hated it. However once I got over the absence of the distorto-fuzz I grooved upon the first time around with these guys, I decided that this disc is not bad. It is not bad at all.

As a matter of fact I think it's the sort of album The Brian Jonestown Massacre has been struggling over and over and over again to make...and BRMC got it right on their first try. Go figure.
Freaky about history.

Well, tomorrow marks the anniversary of me surviving yet another year on Earth. The older I get I find I begin to reflect more and more on what sort of legacy I'm going to leave behind. I mean, will guys be traveling thousands of miles just to kiss a marble bust of me like the wacko to your right? Well, at the rate I'm going probably not.

So that makes me think. What exactly am I doing with my life? By now I should have already published a short story collection or something. By now I should be teaching English to a room full of college-aged idealists. By now I...I don't know.

Here's what I do know. There are a lot of things I thought I would have done by now that just haven't happened yet. On the other hand, there's lots of stuff I've gone through that I never could have imagined in the first place. Ultimately the only thing that's truly relevant is how I feel about where I am right now, right? Do I think I am on the right path? Are my internal pollsters pleased with the direction in which I'm taking myself?

And the answer is yes, I think I'm doing things just about right. I'm happy for the most part. I've got a good life with good friends and a number of fulfilling ways to express myself. Compared to most -- probably the vast majority sharing space with me on this big blue marble -- I'm doing just fine.

When I was younger I used to obsess about my “legacy.” I wanted to break the back of post-modernism and create a new modern art movement. Then I wanted to become a famous author who only wrote on his own terms. Then I wanted to be the lead singer in a rock and/or roll band that would rival U2 as a world force. I had grand plans and to a certain extent I think I still believe in those hopes and dreams. However I'm no longer willing -- not that I really think I did in the first place -- to beat myself up over what I haven't done when what I have done is so much more substantial and fulfilling on a personal level. In the grand scheme of things I know I will leave my mark on the world, I'm just not completely sure how that's going to happen yet. And I'm pretty sure that simple realization -- that what we have done is actually more important than what we haven't -- is the key to truly growing up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


So I ordered the two-disc collector's edition of Rock And Rule weeks ago and it finally showed up!

Guess what Photogal's watching with me tonight?

Now if they would just get the soundtrack out i'd be a totally happy camper...
See? This is how you do damage control.

Keep your eyes peeled for pigs flying.

The lamely blame the initial design on "skaters" but end up taking full responsisbility for the fuck up. I still think what they did was terrible, but this is a much better way to handle a PR snafu then, say, Wendy's did.

(Thanks to Amy fer the heads up.)
Today there will be no entry.

At some point last evening, right around when my car was flooded for the second time that day and I was forced to push it home in the stifling heat and humidity, my brain actually boiled away and vaporized into thin air. I'm afraid I might have contributed to the general haze and thin veil of pollution that was hanging over Chicago yesterday when this happened. I apologize and can assure you that my brain feels terrible about that.


Doin' my part for the statisticians.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Monday, June 27, 2005

This fragile package.

So I learned some news this weekend about a guy I know that literally had the blood draining out of my face. A month ago he went to the hospital because he had pneumonia and while he was in there they found a lump. The lump turned out to be connected to lung cancer. Last Friday close friends of his got the call that they might want to make it to the hospital to say goodbye. A month ago he was fine. Hale, hearty, my age, in better shape than I am and without a clue that he was sick. A month ago.

This scares the hell out of me. People aren't supposed to be dying from cancer at my age. It's just way too young.

I'm hoping I'm wrong and some sort of miracle happened over the weekend and this guy will be okay. I'm hoping that I don't have to hear that anyone else I know getting so suddenly sick. I'm hoping I never have to deal with my own or anyone else's mortality when it's so obviously too early to be expected to deal with it.

But I’m realizing those are all probably unrealistic hopes and that time really is a lot more precious and fleeting than I realized. And I’m thinking I haven’t done nearly enough to leave a proper legacy yet so now it’s time to really start to think about how I want to go about doing that. My dad’s death caused me to lose focus for a while as I muddled through and tried to deal with the blow to my psyche, but this news has me at least wanting to regain the focus I lost when he left and really buckle down and stop wasting time.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

If you missed last night...

...I feel sorry for you. It was amazing. Inspirational. Awesome. It reminded me why I love working with local bands so much.

And now for something completely different.

Friday, June 24, 2005

After just two listens...

...I can already say the new OK Go disc is miles better than their debut. Gone is the over-produced and overly cautious veneer that marred that first album. in its place is quirky pop songs with tasty chunka-chunka riffage.

I can't stop playing it. I want to play it tonight but don't know if I should...

I gotta say though that I am supra (no, I didn't mis-spell that) surprised at this development. One of two things happened. Either the label lost track of the band and just let them make the album they should've made the first time around or the band grew some nice sized cajones and, against the label's protests, went ahead and recorded the album they should've made the first time around.
Ain't these fellers handsome?

Of course they are. You know what? I dub this year the year of "The Damn Attractive Tankboy MOBfest Showcases." Though I have to admit that the ladies are luckier in regards to this year's pickings since I think there's only one cute girl (that I know of) in any of my line-ups (shame on me, in retrospect) and plenty of cute band boys but I reckon it all evens out in the end. What do bands with cute boys attract? Cute girls! So the way I see it, it's a win-win situation for everyone attending.

It certainly doesn't hurt either that all the bands write absolutely killer tunes. I might even allow people to see me dancing in public I'm so happy!

Anyway,the details for the next two days are as follows:


Friday June 24
Tankboy & MOBfest Present

The Ladies & Gentlemen
The Idle Hands
The Assembly
Cisco Pike

Doors at 8:00pm
Show at 9:00pm sharp!
$7 cover/free with MOBfest pass

2871 N Lincoln



Saturday June 25
Tankboy & MOBfest Present

Wonderful Smith
The Injured Parties

Show at 10:00pm
no cover!

1531 N Damen

Also, Saturday night get your evening started right and catch Rockit Girl play at 9pm sharp at Double Door. Then mosey on next door to enjoy the rest of the evening's fine, fine music.

It's gonna be a hell of a weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Who do they think they're fooling?!

Usually I wouldn't just jump on a Pitchfork story but this is too insane to let go without some sort of comment. Nike just up and stole the cover image from the Minor Threat Complete Discography disc and is using it as a promotion for its shoes to skaters. According to a Dischord representative Nike didn't eve try to clear use of the image:

"No, they stole it and we're not happy about it. Nike is a giant corporation which is attempting to manipulate the alternative skate culture to create an even wider demand for their already ubiquitous brand. Nike represents just about the antithesis of what Dischord stands for and it makes me sick to my stomach to think they are using this explicit imagery to fool kids into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike's mission. It's disgusting."(full story)

So when a major corporation tries to appeal to "the underground" are they really so daft that they don't think a move like this is just going to further alienate the demographic they're trying to reel in?

UPDATE: Paul helpfully pointed out that the debut Minor Threat 7" used the same image and was also in that just ups the dirtbag factor of this move by Nike.
Reason 2,459 Google Maps are awe-sumb.

Check it out...where's a taxi when you need one?
Defense mechanism.

The writer for this site has retreated deep within himself in order to mentally fortify his strength of character and survive the impending three-day music festival in Chicago. He realizes he will have to shake many hands, smile broadly at times he may feel less than genuine and, worst of all, will have to bite his tongue when asked “what he thinks of the band.” He will not lie, but he will not be as forthcoming with his unvarnished opinion either. There will be moments our writer will be in true agony.

At the same time (specifically during the showcases our writer has organized at Elbo Room tomorrow and Pontiac on Saturday) there will be moments of great accomplishment, pride and unvarnished – note the balanced use of that word (clever, no?) – joy.

For further detail of this festival in general check out Chicagoist now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A shock to the system!

So I took last night off DJing to hang out with Photogal since I'm going to be tied up with shows both Friday and Saturday and, to my great surprise, she wanted to go out to a bar! She's been sick for the last week so she must've been suffering a bout of cabin fever but I wasn't going to complain about going out. However I could complain about her choice of bars since she wanted to go to Rainbo. Or as I prefer to call it, Rainblo.

Rainbo is the hippest of hister bars. It makes the bars in Williamsburg look like Coyote Ugly. The music is always on the verge of annoying, the clientele tends to be mostly people I know but don't usually choose to hang out with and the general vibe of the place is "I'm too cool to actually have any fun."

Apparently that's changing. And I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I guess as Wicker Park gentrifies it only makes sense that the Rainbo would follow. Last night the music was mostly mainstream, the majority of the clientele was more "ex-frat boy" than "fan of Tortoise" and the photobooth seemed to be constantly in use for something other than postmodern ironic posturing. I felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone. I can honestly say I had a really nice time hanging out there with my girlfriend whereas usually I would exit with clenched teeth built up through having to listen to hours of vapidly self-interested faux-artistic conversation.

On the other hand the change worries me. I mean, we need a hipper than thou bar to count on. If Rainbo falls than Wicker Park's transformation into Lincoln Park¹ will be virtually complete. When the yuppies take post-modern ironic posturing and commodify it into a weekend diversion where the hell does that leave the segment of the population that lives to be miserable? It'll throw the whole balance of the universe off!

So please please please local Chicago yuppies. Leave the Rainbo alone. I need a bar that annoys me with its cloying hipster quotient and Wicker Park needs a bar that'll continue to look down on the neighborhood that provides it succor. Whoop it up at Cans or Nick's but for God's sake leave Rainbo alone.

¹For out-of-town readers, Lincoln Park is the most heavily gentrified area of Chicago. Everyone drives Jettas and enjoys The Dave Matthews Band. It's really scary.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

This just in.

Billy Corgan wants to regroup the Smashing Pumpkins.
Back to Normal.

VH1 Classics was playing some Jackson Browne special last night, so I got to feel all young again...seeing as how I view that guy as ancient. And boring.

Yes, the title of this post has a double meaning, unfortunately I'm too lazy to actually provide any content that would tie that meaning into the actual body of this post. Come to think of it, that title would probably be better used at a later date, but again, I am still too lazy to scroll all the way to the top of this page and change it.

Come to think of it, I'm generally lacking in motivation at all this morning. I think it's because it's getting hot and muggy again. Since I grew up in South Texas I like hot, but I don't think my body developed in such a way as to fully enjoy muggy as well. Unless I'm in New Orleans. Then muggy doesn't seem to bother me at all.

Yes, good morning, welcome to "Tankboy Rambles On and On without really Saying Much." C'mon though, wouldn't you loack motivation if you were surrounded by laziness at this hour? The dogs have already been out,and they've eaten breakfast and now they're both back in bed and asleep. As a matter of fact Betty is snoring just a few feet away from me and I'm not sure why my pounding on my largely defective keyboard has woken her back up yet. She must take after me in the heavy sleeping category.

Did I mention that I'm still waiting for my copy of Rock And Rule. Damnit!

Okay, I'm just starting to sound like some ancient boring dude so I think it's time for me to occupy myself with something else. Do you think I could do a successful base jump offmy stereo? Let's go see.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Comfort food gone bad.

Some people’s comfort food is a big bowl of ice cream while watching old timey movies on the TV. Other people rely on a large fries from McDonald’s and a drive past their old flame’s house to calm ‘em down. Recently VH1 Classics has been my comfort food since I can always rely on there being something playing within the next five minutes that will be familiar and recall a simpler time.

Last night, however, some mental calculations sort of destroyed the confort I had been deriving from watching these old music videos. I was watching The Alternative, which is basically 120 Minutes retro-style, when the video for Iggy Pop’s “Candy” came on. I though about how the first time I saw this video I thought it was kind of cool that the cute girl (who was hardly a girl but I had no perspective when it came to musician’s ages) was teamed up with Iggy Pop. How cool was that? It had to be 1990 or 1991 so that was…oh, about fifteen years ago. I kind of sat up and I could feel the blood draining from my face. Fifteen years ago? I thought. Just to get a grip I thought I might gain a foothold on reality by figuring out what fifteen years before the video’s release was. Maybe that would help me feel better? Nope. Because fifteen years before that was 19-fricking-75.

And that’s when I realized I really am not getting any younger. I’m still hip. I'm still with it. I still have friends that are a decade younger than me and I don’t really give it a second thought. I still look good in leather. But the clock is ticking. How much longer do I have before I’m that weird old guy who just won’t let go? I have friends that are still rock and/or rollers in their mid-40s that still pull it off but those friends are very few and far between. The worst part is I certainly don’t feel as if I’m getting any older. Aside from some squishiness around the middle I still feel a lot like that kid, more or less albeit a little mellower and a lot more responsible, that watched that Iggy Pop video in his dorm room fifteen years ago.

Is this anxiety tied into my birthday next week? I doubt it, since birthdays have never freaked me out. Then again getting older never freaked me out wither but apparently I am susceptible to the occasional deep shudder when contemplating my later years. So I’m human after all! Go figure.

Weekend round-up.

Batman Begins was excellent. Possibly the best comic book movie ever. Spider-man and The X-Men were really really good. Sin City was spot on. But Batman Begins just captured the essence of the source material perfectly. Photogal dug it too and no9w she’s hungry for the impending sequels. Maybe Ray Liotta can play The Joker this time!

The next evening found me enjoying the symphony in Millennium Park with some friends – another sure sign of impending decrepitude! – and then I caught some fine local music before meeting my little brother at Cans. Yes, Cans. It blew. I made sure everything I ordered came in a bottle so I wouldn't be confused with the "slumming" yuppies. The only upswing was giving my brother a pep talk and demonstration on how to approach people he did know and then getting satisfaction while chatting up some cute girl. I mean c'mon, what girl wouldn't want to be chatted up by a cute young lawyer? Duh. So go little brother! For my part I tolerated the crowd and had by that point drank enough that the clientele couldn’t really bother me.

Yesterday was blissfully spent on the couch with a pile of DVDs, some salt and black pepper kettle crisps and a whole bunch of Gatorade. Pretty much a perfect Sunday. Aaaaah.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Guess who's going with his girlfriend to the movies tonight?
Reason #2,432 to doubt Photogal's devotion to me.

She hasn’t gone to see Batman Begins with me yet.

When I was younger I was a nut for comic books. My first job, when I was 11, was working in a comic book store. This was the mid-80s when the things were still not exactly at the height of being cool. As a matter of fact one of the few fights I got into when I was a kid was over an issue of X-Men that some girl mangled. She kicked my ass. It really didn’t help my social standing.

One of my co-workers was an insanely intelligent black Republican (I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms but it was so true and he was really someone to admire) who went on to contribute to speeches for Ronald Reagan, and just the other day I heard him as a commentator on News & Notes on NPR. He was the same guy who, three issues in, wrote down the name of who the central villain of The Watchmen would be and sealed it in an envelope to be opened at the series’ conclusion. He was right. It was Ozymandias! If you were into comics in the mid-80s you were smart and you were a bit of a freak. There weren't a whole bunch of us around.

What I’m doing here is giving context. When the first Batman film came out I was obsessed and in love with the concept and then incensed when I found out that Ray Liotta wasn’t the Joker since I thought Jack Nicholson would be too hammy. I still think Liotta would have been a better psychotic. I remember visiting relatives in South Texas when the movie was released – incidentally I lost my virginity a few days before so my spirits were probably at an all-time high between the two events – and my mom was gracious enough to cart us all down to the first midnight showing of the movie. I was so pleased Hollywood finally got it mostly right. It wasn’t as dark as I had hoped, but it certainly wasn’t your average summer popcorn fare.

Once I started college my love affair with comics started to wane as they grew more and more commercial and there were more and more “event” books coming out. I noticed more and more comics were emerging as movies and for a while they were getting it right. Recent films have me worried though. X-Men 3 is being directed by a hack, the Fantastic Four film looks pretty lame, The Watchmen looks dead in the water, and don’t even mention the evil trifecta of films (Daredevil / Elektra / Catwoman) that I consider to be worse than the Swamp Thing movie.

Batman Begins could be the one to save my faith in comic adaptations though and I’ve been almost as excited to see it as I was that hot South Texas night so many years ago when I first heard Michael Keaton rasp, “I’m Batman.”

So come on Photogal, let’s go see the movie already!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Midweek News & Notes

Last night was loads of fun. I drove so I didn’t drink -- which of course meant everyone else around me was in an unusually heavy, hearty and happy drinking mode – so I was a little more reserved than I usually am at a show but that certainly didn’t mean I enjoyed it any less. Most amusing moment? When Gina from Rockit Girl asked what you called an Italian prostitute and I shot back with "Kip!" before she had a chance to deliver the actual punchline.¹ Also, why is Rockit Girl not huge yet? They debuted with their new drummer last night, who I must’ve met at some time in the past since he was in Sarge, and I don’t think they’ve ever had a better line-up. Also, I must’ve been laying out some pretty heavy “almost-married” vibes since it seemed like every girl in the place wanted to talk to me. It was amusing. Sorry ladies, he’s taken.

  • Monday I made a last-minute appointment for an eye exam since my last pair of contacts were basically killing my eyes. The guy I used was great but at the end of the appointment he dilated my eyes and told me that while I’d be able to drive and such, I shouldn’t plan on reading anything for the next few hours. I said whatever, that’s fine. And then I spent the next two hours flabbergasted that while I could see fine I actually couldn'’ read! It was pretty wild. Also, he gave me a pair of those obnoxious shades like the ones little old people drive with since my eyes were going to be overly sensitive to sunlight. I said whatever, that’s fine. Ands then resisted putting them on even though I was squinting so hard I was tearing up as I fumbled towards my car.

  • For the record, nookie yesterday actually did consist of a friendly hug and a handshake. Photogal’s mom decided to come and visit and welcome her home as well.

  • Why am I so tired this morning? I came home right after the show and wasn’t drinking so I shouldn’t be dragging my feet as much as I am. I’m literally fighting the impulse to climb back in bed and sleep for another hour instead of going to the gym. What’s up with that?

  • So, Terry Schiavo was blind, eh? Couldn't even see her parents, huh? See the perils of diagnosis via viseo from the senate floor Dr. Frist? Idiot.

  • The bassist in another of the bands last night, The Juliet Dagger, looked a bit like my ex-girlfriend Claudia. She was pretty hot but in a weird déjà vu sort of way. Also their drummer killed. Come to think of it, last night was a really good night to see hard-hitting, inventive drummers. It was awesome.

  • Apparently I'm going to have to quit smoking. I told Photogal a while ago, never figuring she'd actually take me up on the offer, that if she joined a gym and went four times a week that I would quit smoking. Guess who's joining a gym this weekend? The end result? An even hotter girlfriend and a boy who doesn't feel like his lungs are going to explode at the conclusion of a little hugging and handshaking. I'm game.

  • It was a little weird being in the venue I turned into a rock club last night. Before I took over booking the joint years ago it was a funk and jazz bar and people thought I was nuts for trying to book rock bands in there. Now it's primarily known as a rock club albeit one with a bit of a split personality since hip-hop and Samba still hold on to a few nights a week. It's just funny because a whole younger generation will never know how much that place blew until I went in and did so much hard work fighting uphill to change the joint. More than one person there tlast night old me how they wished I still booked the place since I was on the way to turning it into one of the coolest rooms in the city, and while such talk flattered me I think that my leaving probably worked out best in the long run.

Holy moley! Only two weeks until my birthday! It kind of snuck up on me this year. Guess I'd better get going so I can work on that three-page wish list with twelve pages of expanatory footnotes...

¹Inside joke, obviously.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Short. Sweet. To the point.

I took today off work since Photogal was coming home. I'm hoping for a little "welcome home nookie¹" so this is all you get:


Wednesday June 15
Tankboy Presents

Rockit Girl
The Venom Lords
The Cells

Doors at 8:30pm
Show at 9:00pm sharp!
$7 cover

Come on by and see if I'm glowing.

¹Also, since I know my mom reads this, I think it's important to point out that "nookie" actually means "brief friendly hug" and "familiar handshake."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hey! Betcha'll never guess what we're doing tonight.

Week after week I hawk our wares to you and I've gotta admit that this week I just don't have it in me. Luckily Time Out Chicago just gave us a little "recommended or notable rating" and had this to say about us:

The grubby but much loved Ten56 is gone, but DJs Tankboy and Rudy Tuesday don't plan on forgetting it anytime soon. Now relocated, they spin yesteryear's rock, smokin' new releases and juice things up with record giveaways and listening parties.
It's so much nicer when someone else does the promotional work for us! And while I'm on the subject of other folks doing our work for us...

The truth behind DJ Tankboy's method of song selction is revealed!

Monday, June 13, 2005

My inner-teen is very happy right now.

Pink Floyd are getting the band back together, man.

UPDATE: The freaking Guardian linked to my commentary on the band getting back together over on! We have now hit the big time...
Wet Hot American Summer.

So we’re on day five of Photogal being out of town and I have to admit it was a heckuva weekend. Friday and Saturday seemed more like one long day split up by a few hours of napping and watching a few DVDs on the couch. I certainly succeeded in keeping myself occupied, that’s for sure. The funny thing is that even as I’ve surrounded myself with friends and kept myself bust with carousing, DJing, going to see bands and basically acting the drunken fool I find that I still feel lonely. I suffer from a deep ache that all the bourbon and rock and/or roll and all that other stuff can’t erase. I realize that I really miss Photogal and all of my shenanigans are just my way of trying to distract myself long enough to not miss her. I’m not saying I haven’t had fun over the last few days because I certainly have, but at the same time there’s a twinge of sadness that I think has informed almost everything I’ve done since she left town.

The other thing is that I have a hard time sleeping alone in our bed when she’s not here so I tend to fall asleep on the couch, surrounded by the dogs, watching VH1 Classic. The upswing of this is that I get up pretty early. The downside is that my neck and back no longer belong to a nimble teenager and I’m paying the price for that.

Man, it’s Monday isn’t it? Crap. I so don’t feel like going to work already…so to take my mind off that I think I'll just look at a picture Photogal snapped while she was out of town a few weeks ago doing business in Florence, Kansas Kentucky.

Awesome, no?

Friday, June 10, 2005

So little to do, so much time.
Wait, scratch that, reverse that...

How will Tankboy make it to a 7pm Futureheads show and then DJ at innjoy by 9pm? I have no idea but getting into work early is a start in the right direction. All you need to concern yourself with are the following particulars:

  • Photogal is out of town so therefore I have an extra ticket to the Futureheads show tonight at Metro. As long as you don't mind missing the opening act, who wants to go with me?
  • Rudy and I will be at innjoy tonight, 9pm until 2am. Be there or be so incredibly square small children will tease you as you crawl your way along the main thouroughfare in your mud encrusted village.
  • If you see my friend Lydia give her the big ol' thumbs-up for completing her Master's. Yow!
  • Seriously, go to innjoy tonight. Watch us stumble, watch us fall, watch us spin music that'll put a big sloppy grin on yer puss.
  • God bless air conditioning.

Yeah, I think that's all I've got for now. I've made it through one day of Photogal being out of town and I've successfully stayed out of trouble. Can I make it two days in a row? Doubtful, but I'll try!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Rock And Rule is finally out on DVD?! How did I miss this?!

This movie along with Streets Of Fire made the biggest impact on me vis a vis the rock and/or roll when I was a little kid. I mauled the comic-book version of the film through too much handling since I would read and re-read it constantly. I kept flipping between idolizing Omar and Mok but could never make up my mind decisively. I've had the VHS version of this for years but rarely played it since it would have been impossible to replace since there were so few in existence.

And now it's out and I can watch it over and over and over again? Let's just say Photogal picked just the right time to skip town since now she won't have to look at me planted in front of the DVD player for hours on end this weekend.
This just in about Double Door!

Chicagoist scoops 'em all!

Negotiations took place this afternoon during a 2-hour session in judge's chamber...Chicagoist's own Scott Smith attended and just called in to report that the Double Door is guaranteed to be in their current location through the year 2014. Their current lease will go through the year 2009 and they then will renew for 5 more years. (full story)

Summer popcorn.

So last night we saw a preview of the new flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith and I can’t say I walked away disappointed. Which was good since I sat through hellish rush hour traffic in order to make it to the movie on time.

The flick is directed by Doug Liman (Swingers, Go!, those Matt Damon James Bond with amnesia movies) and he does his usually stylish job. As a matter of fact if it weren’t for his pacing and the electricity between Angelina Jolie and Bradd Pitt the film could have just been a formulaic by-the-numbers romantic comedy/thriller. (There’s lots of those out there, right?)

Speaking of Pitt and Joile, who cares what happened with them off-screen? On-screen the fireworks are palpable and a joy to watch. I can’t imagine Nicole Kidman (who originally had the Mrs. Smith role) matching the sultry violence that emanates from Jolie in the movie.

Also, after seeing Brad Pitt in action yet again, a note to self: Maybe it’s time to start going to the gym twice a day.

Chicago’s own and Holiday Club regular Vince Vaughn also pops up in a few scenes and walks off with said scenes as an assassin who still lives with his mother. (I did mention that the movie is about assassins didn’t I? But you already knew that. I mean, you don’t live under a rock, do you?)

And also, somehow The O.C.’s Seth Cohen – I have no idea what his real name is and in this movie he’s basically playing…Seth Cohen -- slips into the scenery from time to time. How about that? You go comic-book boy! Unfortunately Death Cab For Cutie seems to have been left on the cutting room floor.

Soooo, on a scale of one to ten, I give Mr. & Mrs. Smith six and a half shots of Maker’s Mark.

Kudos to us.

Time Out Chicago just gave our Sweet Alice Tuesdays at innjoy a very nice write-up that I’ll replicate tomorrow when I remind you that we spinning a special Friday night session June 10…which would be tomorrow. We’ll see you there, yes?


Today is also D-Day for Double Door. I will be stuck out working in the 'burbs, but if you can stop by the court hearing today -- at 2pm at the Cook County Courthouse, Room 2601 in Daley Center -- to offer your support I will love you forever.


Go see The Amazing Killowatts tonight. Here's why.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My friends may be crazy,
but they sure do make cute babies!

This is my friend Al and her baby Sophie. They are soaking in natural springs. While I fear such an activity might aid in turning her baby into a hippy, I do have to admit that I sure wouldn't mind soaking in some natural springs right about now. Also, Al's taste in music is too good for Sophie to turn out too granola. Also, the baby's daddy (a.k.a. Al's husband but baby's daddy just sounds so funny to me) is a brain surgeon. Between him and Al that baby is going to grow up crazy smart. And she hopefully will be gifted with better grammer than I me I me I.

Okay, just look at the baby, and all together now, "Awwwwwwwww."

Also, I'm kidding about Al. She's totally not crazy.¹

Fun fact of the day: Al is the one who was rubbing frozen peas into my head the day I put my arm through a wondow. I was, in fact, trying to stop her from rubbing peas into my scalp when I misjudged where she ended and the window began. Ah, the good old days...

¹Yes she is.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This may be my favorite MySpace page ever.

Please click and see. If you're a member, be sure to check out his photo gallery. It is awe-sumb.

Here's a taste:

I’m back at InnJoy tonight with Rudy. Some folks noticed me missing last week so I’m sorry about that but even superstar DJs need the occasional Tuesday off to spend time with their lady-friends. When we moved from Ten56 to InnJoy I decided that maybe I should take every couple of Tuesdays off…I mean it’s been years since I missed a Tuesday so I think it’s okay to cut back just a little every once in a while.

Tonight is not is not one of those nights to “cut back” though. Rudy and I plan on tearing the place apart along with help from new songs by Foo Fighters, Whitey, Son Volt, Billy Corgan, Nine Black Alps, The Warlocks, Bob Mould and yadda yadda yadda. We’ve got a lot of great music, some of which you’ve never heard. Also, I’ll be playing the new Flaming Lips documentary on a few of InnJoy’s big-ass television screens so that will be cool too. I’ve also been informed that in addition to cheap PBR and Stoli drinks, that the burgers are half price when we’re DJing. I love spinning in a place that has food earlier in the evening.

Also, as an added bonus we’ll be back at InnJoy this Friday! Photogal is out of town so expect me to get all silly and play Kelly Clarkson, Black Flag, Stevie Wonder and The White Stripes. Probably all at the same time. It’ll be fun, I promise.

Photogal is totally thinking, "Did you see what my boyfriend wrote up there?
About getting silly while I'm out of town? What and idiot. I should kick his ass..."

Betty the Beagle surprises even herself.

Last night we were out back barbecuing and enjoying the early Summer evening when all of a sudden both Betty the Beagle and Lucy the Dog started freaking out and digging and pawing at a certain segment of the fence. All of a sudden Betty's head darted into the bushes and whipped back out with a big furry thing in her mouth. My initial response was, "How am I going to get that big dead rat out of her mouth?" Before I had even finished my thought, though, she had dropped her parcel on the ground and backed away from it. I moved in for a closer look since this was decidedly odd behavior. Usually such a discovery on Betty's part would lead to a grand chase -- a la The Blues Brothers -- around our backyard filled with much yelling, cajoling and offering of treats in exchange for whatever dead thing was in her mouth.

Well lo and behold what Betty had found was a baby possum! We have a mama and a baby living in our garage and just haven't been able to bring ourselves to evict the new family. They stay away from the dogs, and Photogal was afraid of breaking up their family if they got caught separately, so we've just kind of let them be our neighbors for now. At first I was all bummed because I was afraid Betty had killed the little critter but then it dawned on me that when Betty had pulled the possum out of the bushes it hadn't really looked like she had chomped down on it. And she dropped it almost immediately.

Upon closer inspection it was discovered that the baby possum was indeed "playing dead." I admit that I thought that was pretty freakin' cool. So I rounded up the pups and brought them inside and Photogal and I sat in the dark and watched the little guy. After about ten minutes the possum slowly sat up and looked around. After another five it must've felt safe enough and oh so slowly it got up and started to move towards the bushes, picking up steam until it was at a full gallop by the time it reached the end of our yard. Fit as a fiddle. What an astoundingly resourceful little creature!

I know if something ten time my size had me in its jaws the chances of me keeping my cool and just "playing dead" instead of screaming my head off like a two year old that's seen his first cockroach would be rather slim. Nature is way cool.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Double Door update.

If you are so inclined, please sign the petition to keep Double Door open.
Full details on Dan Ryan.

I’m an idiot. I called Dan’s cell hoping a family member will pick up and I just left a message. Photogal thought to actually call the hospital he’s at and gets a hold of his dad! So here’s what we know for sure.

Dan was in a hit and run accident at Western and Division (damn that intersection!) a few weeks ago. He wasn’t wearing a helmet (which I thought was odd) but it doesn’t sound like he suffered any head injury, thanks God. He broke his right shoulder, six of seven ribs on one side and two on the other, his right femur and he cracked his hip. There was another injury but Photogal couldn’t remember what it was. Apparently he was having trouble breathing due to his broken ribs so he was being assisted by a machine but he’s made progress and they’ve been taking him off the respirator so he can work on breathing by himself. There was a rumor Dan was in a coma but that’s not true. He is on a lot of painkillers so he is rather out of it though. He’s going to be in the hospital for a while longer so if you want to give him a call, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll give you the number. Also, his dad will be at tonight’s fundraiser if you want to say hi and give him some support.

So it sounds like Dan’s doing what Dan usually does…fighting like hell and doing much better than anyone else would be doing in the same situation.
To do:

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Why would you say that?

Let’s say you’re at a really great party. You’re surrounded by friends. The music is stuff you’ve mostly picked. You are having a great time. You’re talking to the host’s girlfriend who happens to be really cool and into comic books. And you insult her.

Why would you do that?

Well, apparently I did. I’m still not exactly sure what I said but I’m going to guess it fell into the “I thought I was being witty when in fact I was being an asshole” category. Now I admit that I at times say, um, less than tactful things. I’ve told friends what I really think of their bands – but to be fair, they did ask and I did warn them that I’d be honest – and I’ve gotten into fights based on something I thought was a friendly bit of repartee being interpreted in a way different than I intended. I can admit I’m not always an easy guy to be around. I’m not moody or whiny or anything like that, but I am unpredictable and I do tend to speak my mind before my mind has a chance to say, “WAIT! STOP!”

I guess the thing that bothers me most about insulting this poor girl last night is that I really had no intention of doing so. And I didn’t get a chance to properly apologize. So now it’s going to hang over my head until I get a chance to see her again but I suppose I deserve the discomfort since I’m the one who needs to right the wrong.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Help save Double Door!

As I mentioned yesterday, Double Door is in danger of being closed down. This would be unspeakably tragic and a huge blow to the music scene. So do something about it!


Attend the court hearing on June 9th, 2005 at 2pm at the Cook County Courthouse, Room 2601 in Daley Center.

Write a letter to Alderman Manny Flores expressing your support for Double Door at

Sample letter:
Dear Alderman Flores,

I am writing to express my concern over the fate of venerable Chicago music venue Double Door. Double Door is currently involved in a court battle with their landlords over their lease agreement. The outcome of this lawsuit will determine the future of the club.

Double Door is an integral part of the cultural and music scene in Chicago, and has nurtured the careers of many local and national artists since opening in 1994. Double Door has brought attention, visitors and culture to our city, and to lose this institution would be a great blow to Chicago’s musical landscape.

(ADD YOUR PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH DOUBLE DOOR HERE – Did your band play at Double Door? Do you love to come to Double Door for shows? Etc.)

I strongly urge you to join me in supporting Double Door in their fight to remain open and continue to bring great music to Chicago for many years to come.


Write a letter to the editor expressing your support for Double Door -
Chicago Sun-Times:
Chicago Tribune:
Chicago Reader:

Sample letter:

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my concern over the fate of venerable Chicago music venue Double Door. Double Door is currently involved in a court battle with their landlords over their lease agreement. The outcome of this lawsuit will determine the future of the club.

Double Door is an integral part of the cultural and music scene in Chicago, and has nurtured the careers of many local and national artists since opening in 1994. Double Door has brought attention, visitors and culture to our city, and to lose this institution would be a great blow to Chicago’s musical landscape.

(ADD YOUR PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH DOUBLE DOOR HERE – Did your band play at Double Door? Do you love to come to Double Door for shows? Etc.)

I strongly urge all Chicago music fans to join me in supporting Double Door in their fight to remain open and continue to bring great music to Chicago for many years to come.



Do it.
Pardon me while I turn into US magazine for a moment.

I wonder if it was Renee marrying that "We-play-both-kinds-of-music-country-and-refined-pap" guy that drove him to do it. And this only has a place here because I was raving about the new White Stripes disc yesterday. Apparrently Mssr. White done gone down to Brazil and got himself married to the young lady pictured above!

Even better? His ex-wife Meg (a.k.a. that Mo Tucker type and I dig her imperfect beats so lay off her) was the maid of honor. That's actually pretty classy, if you ask me.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A tragedy in the works.

It's true, Double Door is finally going to court and is in serious danger of being replaced by a motherfucking Gap or something.

If that happens it sounds the final death knell for Wicker Park.
Deep thoughts...or not. Whatevah.

  • The new Coldplay album doesn’t suck. But then again it’s not exactly groundbreaking. I think Thom Yorke hit the nail on the head when he described them as “lifestyle music.” Also, it must suck to be them and kept from hitting the number one spot on the singles chart by a ringtone written by a frog. Ouch!
  • Another greatly anticipated disc is the new White Stripes. It took me a while to formulate an opinion on this since the sound was a shock to the system at first since the piano seems to be more of a lead instrument this time around. I’ve decided it works though. Really really really well. It’s nice to see musicians that still like to tale chances even though their record company is probably less than happy since the most obvious single from this disc sounds like an Electric Six outtake. Don’t worry though Mister Label, “My Doorbell” is a certified jammy and should do well on the charts.
  • Remember when this was primarily a music blog? Neither do I. That was a really long time ago.
  • I was at a rock and/or roll barbecue last weekend and the primary topic of conversation was the new Star Wars movie. So much so that I had to go out and see the movie the next day just so I could keep up with socializing with some of my friends. (By the way, the movie didn’t suck and the image of a legless dude crawling burning through coals was pretty fucking disturbing. Not a movie for the young ‘uns. There were plenty of problems with the flick but at this point I’m willing to let bygones be bygones.) I later realized how most folks would be shocked if they knew that my friends and I were talking about Star Wars instead of doing copious amounts of blow off a hooker’s ass. Sorry to disappoint.
  • I’m going to see the doctor today for my yearly physical. She’s mean. I’m not looking forward to her yelling at me for still smoking. I am looking forward to a pat on the back for exercising so regularly. I am not looking forward to having to turn my head and cough.
  • What’s going on this weekend? I’ll be seeing The Hold Steady in Milwaukee Friday night but Saturday is wide open. Maybe I should just stay in and watch the new Flaming Lips documentary I bought last week. Now how can I convince Photogal it’s an art flick or Merchant Ivory yarn so she’ll join me?
  • Two New York bands I’ve heard a lot about (Benzos, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) have new discs coming out. Neither is especially good. If The Bravery are carbon copies of carbon copies, then these other two are tracings of carbon copies of carbon copies that are carbon copies of a low resolution scan. Harmless fun to be sure, but also proof the New York retro New Wave/dance-rock scene may be wearing a bit thin. If you want to dance go out and buy the new Maximo Park instead.
  • And finally, we here at the corporation leave you with this:

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New gigs, an explanation, a digression and a return to one’s senses.

So I've been offered a spot writing about music and the arts for Chicagoist and have happily accepted. So now that means I'm writing for three sites on a regular basis now. Why would I want to do that?

Glad you asked.

You see each site has its own focus and thus its own advantages over the others. Chicagoist is appealing to me because its a chance to write for an outlet that already has its own voice established while allowing me the chance and challenge to add a bit of my own style into the mix. I did this in the audition pieces I turned in over the last two weeks and everything happily fell into place quite naturally.

Metroblogging Chicago also allows a certain sense of focus to creep into my work as far as a restriction on subjects is concerned, but when it comes to actual content I'm left to pretty much my own devices and -- as long as I can somehow link it to Chicago -- can write anything of any length.

And of course DoneWaiting/Lost In Guyville offers me the most freedom of all. I can experiment with style, I can choose any subject under the sun and I'm surrounded by a group that I've grown rather close to over the years.

Speaking of growing close to people, two folks I know rather well have recently lost parents. One passed away so quickly they never even saw it coming and it st You know, I thought I could write about this objectively. View death from somewhat afar and try to offer some solace and comfort from the vantage of experience and you know what? I just can't. I'm beginning to realize that my dad's death last year has affected me much more profoundly and left much deeper wounds than I had at first thought. It's kind of like someone who's had their legs sheared off underwater and they can't really see it and they can't really feel it at first and only after time passes do you realize just how badly you're hurt. Losing a parent is kind off like that. I wish I could say the pain fades and it gets better, but it doesn't. I can say, and fuck you if you think it's contrived or cliched, you begin to appreciate life a hell of a lot more when someone that close to you passes away.

And there we have it. This is why I shouldn't write so goddamned early in the morning. I lack focus. I started off writing about something I was -- well, am -- really happy about and somewhere along the line I got sidetracked. Maybe that's fitting though. Maybe it's a good example of how true pain is always there, even in our happiest moments. Maybe it's the presence of that pain, just under the surface, that allows the contrast for us to really appreciate the good times. Maybe I should stop writing before people think they've stumbled across some Sylvia Plath obsessed sixteen year old's tear-stained diary.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that, on top of it all, I'm really excited to add Chicagoist to my literary/journalistic family.