Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holy Crap.

To everyone that came out last night and danced your ass off at both Hideout AND The Continental ... THANK YOU.

It was the perfect way to wrap up a year of Tankboy shows. Thanks to Skid, Rudy, JB, TRAPPERKEEPER, Milk At Midnight, The venom Lords, the awesome staff at both Hideout and The Continental and, of course, Photogal, Betty the Beagle, Lucy the Dog, Chloe the Cat, and Pickle the Kitten, for all being my partners in crime last night.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

The moment you've all been waiting for...

My top albums of 2006.
This list wasn't easy since there were lots of discs I liked this year, but very few I loved. So I opted for the ol' "hey, I played these a lot" criteria and, voila, I had a list. Also, a reminder that you can find a more localized version of the list here.


Favorite thing written about me this year.

The time Out Chicago shout-out to Betty the Beagle doesn't count since, well, it's not about me, it's about Betty the Beagle! Instead, Rachelle wins the prize for describing our Live Band Karaoke encounter:

"When Tankboy said he'd be singing a song, too, I didn't know what to expect. I mean, it's Tankboy! He doesn't sing, he DJs! Holy crap! He sang this psycho lyric version of Sweet Caroline that left everyone with their jaws hanging open. It was great. So much fun!"


I'll be seeing all of you tonight, right?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Local picks.

My five picks for local albums of 2006 just went live on Chicagoist here. Top 20 at donewaiting still isn't live yet, but i'll let you know when it is.
Getcher dance on.

Wow, another year is almost done. Let's see it out in style!

I have pretty much nothing planned for New Year's Eve, save dinner with some friends. There's not much going on. The big party we usually attend isn't happening this year as its curator is taking a well-deserved holiday with his family, no really good shows are going down, and most of my friends seem lost and scattered plans-wise.

This is why I've decided Saturday night will the blow-out to end all blow-outs for the year 2006.

I can't think of a better way to see out the year. The evening begins at The Hideout, with The Venom Lords, Milk At Midnight, and TRAPPERKEEPER turning in live sets while I spin in-between. Then, after the show, the party continues on as Skid Marks and I DJ the final Hideout Dance Party of 2006!

Accent on dance. We will be insisting that hot, sweaty, sexy fun is had by all.

But does the evening end there? No!

Across town my usual monthly residency at The Continental, Drop, Rock, and Roll, will be going on strong! DJs Rudy Tuesday and June Cleavage will be holding down the fort and riling up the West-side crowd with killer tunes of their own choosing. I will be jetting over there after The Hideout to supply a late-late-night set of my own and keep the party going until the sun begins to seep over the horizon.

Here's a nice poster Amy Lord made for the Hideout show:

Don't worry, I've been assured there will be no clowns.


Year-end list.

The fact that, aside from the Jackin' Pop thing, I've put off doing my year-end best-of until today should tell you something about the way I viewed the year of 2006 music-wise. I saw lots of great shows, was tickled at all sorts of new developments within the industry (and the major labels' fading grasp on power), but was left largely unimpressed by a lot of the music that came out. Wait, that's wrong. Not unimpressed, since there was impressive stuff out there. I suppose the best way to put it is that very little knocked me off my feet. Is that a result of my getting older and harder to please or catch off guard? Or is it a testament to a certain jaded safeness in music circa 2006? Probably a little of both. Anyway, I've got the list down and am putting the finishing touches so look for it to go up at donewaiting later today once Rob adds in all the appropriate MP3 links and such. I'll include the live link here when it's available. It is now live here.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lovey dovey.

Yesterday I was a grump, but today I'm better. The thing that helped heal my mood?


Corny, yes. But effective.

I had a small epiphany that sort of helped me put a lot of other stuff into perspective, and while the same things that were bugging me still exist, they don't seem nearly as critical as they did 24 hours ago.

And because I'm feeling so positive today, allow me to share this inspiring story as told by Sarah Vowell on This American Life in hopes that my pragmatic optimism may prove infectious. It is easily my favorite story that has ever aired on that program.

Sarah Vowell "The Greatest Love Story"


Hellz yeah!

Okay, to balance things out (just in case you're fighting your gag reflex in the presence of soft-hearted Tankboy) take in the teaser for the Tarantino / Rodriguez Grindhouse double-feature!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lunch-time is the right time.

Okay, I'm in a slightly better mood. These two things helped a little.


2. My new iPods already shipped and should show up before the weekend, so there's a chance the tankPOD 2006 and diPOD 2006 will be making an appearance at the aforementioned events!

Not feelin' it today. Every year I usually take this week off work, and I'm really regretting not doing so this year. Also, this is the first holiday season where just about anything social music / club-wise has been a chore or a let-down or both, but all things familial have been lovely. This is seriously making me consider ringing in the new year with my gal, our cats, our dogs and the DVD of the first season of Saturday Night Live.

I dunno, I've never gotten grumpy over the holidays but this year ...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Oh hey, a last minute sort of thing...

I had originally planned on taking tonight off, but the DJ bug is just too strong to shake! Also, I couldn't find a guest DJ since I put in my requests to people before the holidays and, understandably, many have either not checked their email or have busy busy busy schedules this week.

However I would be happy as a little clam if you were to swing on by The Pontiac tonight, and say hi to me behind the mixer, and say hi to Mikey behind the bar.

In fact, while you're saying hi to Mikey, why don't you buy a few drinks from him?

The weather outside is far from frightful, and while that terrifies me as far as the grand scheme of all climate-related things are concerned, it certainly does make for a more than manageable late-December evening.

So we'll see you sometime after 9pm, no?
No post-holiday hangover here.

Seriously, there isn't. One primary reason behind this turn of events? I didn't go to Liar's Club, like I usually do every Christmas night, and opted to just stay in entirely. The downside? I have today off, yet I'm still up at 5:30 A.M.. Damn internal clock!

A few observations from the past few days and a touch of miscellany.

  • Saturday's show marked the first time I've ever lost money on a show and had to pay the headlining bands out of my pocket. Where the hell was everyone? On the flip side, though, it was money well spent since all three bands put in performances worthy of a sold-out room. No band ever plays a Tankboy show for free, especially when their sets end up being some of my favorite of the year! Thanks to all involved for leaving the folks that were there with such a great memory.

  • Did anyone actually catch the MisShapes vs. Dark Wave Disco thing I previewed Friday? Let me know how it was, since Photogal and I stayed in that night. (Well, actually we saw a movie and then went home, but the movie was kind of sub-par, I fell asleep for 50% of the film, and I don't feel like I can give an honest appraisal of what we saw, so I'm going to avoid naming the movie or giving my opinion on the work one way or the other.)

  • Y'know, it's not as funny as the original Lincoln Park Trixie site, but it's still pretty damn funny. Ladies and gentlemen, the Lincoln Park Chad.

  • Let's see, one week left in 2006 and I haven't finished my "Top Albums of 2006" list yest? Well, due to Idolator I have it half done, at least. Look for the rest of it before the end of this week. Sorry I didn't get it in before you got all your Christmas shopping done, since I know you depend so heavily on my opinion whence buying your 12-year-old the latest and greatest in CD releases.

  • Has anyone else noticed that mid-20 to 30-somethings seem to have suddenly discovered texting multiple recipients in the past couple of months? Like and email list via phone? It's weird how it -- at least amongst my group -- has suddenly caught on. Of course I partially blame myself for utilizing the technology over the past year myself to promote things I had going on (or just to see what was going on) but it seems to have virally exploded. I;m sure it's nothing new, it's just funny that everyone I know seems to have started using this particular application at the exact same time. Or maybe more people have just gotten a hold of my cell number? No matter. I'm all for any way to keep people you know abreast of what's going on via technology.

  • That last bit came out kind of stiff.I thought all this reading I've been doing was supposed to re-limber up my writing muscles?

  • Photogal got me some great stuff for Christmas, but my favorite gifts from her were the books she bought for me. Both of them showed that she really does listen to me when I prattle on about stuff, and she really does have a decent idea of what I'll like. As a matter of fact, she picked out one book I had never even mentioned to her (but had been planning to buy after reading a few articles about the author and then hearing him interviews on NPR) thus displaying a firm grasp of "knowing my boyfriend a lot better than he thinks I do." And no, I'm not telling you which books yet, wait for the write-ups as they slot into my 52 Books in 52 Weeks (attempt deux) project!

  • Oh yeah, I also got something else cool for Christmas from Photogal and my mom. Can you guess what it was? Here's a hint, it looks kind of like this:*

Well, I think that does it for now. Since I'm up so early I may as well get a head-start on the day, huh?

*Quick question, should I pay for the AppleCare thing for the iPod? Or can I buy it before my orginal year-long warranty expires? Any suggestions? I'm not actually placing the order until later today since I haven't finalized what I want engraved on the back. (I know, I'm a dork.) Also, on a technical note, the version pictured above is the 30 GB one and I've got the 80 GB one on order, but all the pictures of that one had either Bono or Johnny Depp on the display and I didn't really want to post them on the site when it's obvious I prefer the Gorillaz.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Endings and beginnings.

While it is indeed sad that the first news I was met with this morning was the death of James Brown, and I'm sure you too are saddened by that, I would like to share something with you that may hold solace.

Below you will see a picture of the latest addition to my family, my niece Robyn. She was actually born a few weeks ago, but I had been waiting to share the news of her with you until Christmas morning, and now I'm glad I waited since her introduction may soften the blow of another's exit.

Isn't she adorable?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's really hard for me to try and describe My Cold Dead Hand. the band's members come from such diverse backgrounds (grinding industrial, searing metal, Veruca Salt) that one would expect them to be loud and brash. While they are intense, there is an artful restraint practiced in their approach to the music. The emotion seethes under the surface instead of screaming out through Marshall stacks, as it might have done in the past. Openers Dorian Taj and The Sleepy Kissers are both also formidable forces, and I've expecially enjoyed watching the latter grow by leaps and bounds in their short lifespan. I'm really looking forward to tonight's show. Hopefully I'll see you there.

And now, for your Saturday shot ... this one goes out to Photogal:

Friday, December 22, 2006


Hey look, my piece about the MisShapes is up.
When excellence slips under the radar.

This morning I would like to turn you on to two songs only recently discovered by yours truly. While the deluge of year-end "Best Lists" can be overbearing, they do occasionaly unearth a gem or two that I completely overlooked in the previous twelve months.

Where the hell has this song been hiding all year and why am I only just now hearing it? Luckily for me DJ MonsterMo has been digging it and was kind enough to include it in his "My 69 Favorite Songs of 2006" list. The band is The Pipettes, and they are a girl group in the '50s mold updated for the new millenium after taking a healthy dose of '70s disco glitter to glam things up. You have to hear it to believe it.

MP3: The Pipettes "Pull Shapes"

Our other gem is courtesy Paul, whose list is always a treat for me since we have similar tastes, but he always manages to dig a little deeper than I do, so he's always got a few surprises up his sleeve. This year he introduced me to Katerine and his fine song "Apres Moi." The tune sounds like a French Lesson as taught the the kids backing Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2." Wonderfully weird.

Alos, I feel I should admit that the first time i heard this i hadn't the faintest clue it was a guy singing. Katerine has this really weird fey thing going on vocally, and I'm honestly not sure how to get a really proper read on him. The song comes from this year's Robots apres tout and while the disc as a whole feels a bit uneven to me, there's no denying this song's charm.

MP3: Katerine "Apres Moi"

Finally, I've decided to let you in on one of my recent guilty pleasures. I'm not partucularly proud of this one, but it sort of hits the same internal triggers that Deetah's "Relax" tripped a few years ago. Something about a simple backing track and winsome vocals gets me every time. Anyway, don't hate me nd try to enjoy this one for it's simple pleasures. Just so you know, this version of Paula DeAnda's "Walk Away" is the one without the cheesy rapping in the video. Yes, I've seen the video. It's no secret I tune into Fuse from time to time to get a grasp on what the mainstream kids are listening to, since I honestly can't stomach commercial radio any longer, even for research purposes.

MP3: Paula DeAnda "Walk Away"

Hmmm ... it's Friday and I've got this nagging feeling there's something else I should be telling you. Hmm. Hmm. Hm. Oh! Yeah! I got it!

How could I forget to remind you, just one more time, of where you should be tomorrow night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Speaking of books...

last night Photogal was trying to locate a present, but couldn't remember where she hid it. She was looking over our bookshelves to see if it was stashed there when she said, "Oh, when did you get The Book Of Dave?"

I said, "I got it when we were in Florida."

She said, "Oh, I guess I'll return the copy I got you for Christmas."

I was so bummed. Here she had been sneaky, and awesome, and attentive, and picked out something I had actually wanted and I went ahead, and I ruined it by buying it for myself. Is it possible to feel like you let someone down by ruining their surprise, even though you didn't mean to?


I'm not one for resolutions. I mean, I already go to the gym regularly, I already keep in touch with what's going on in the world, and while I think there's always room for personal improvement I don't think that such things must be undertaken with January 1 as the launch date.

However, earlier this year I did make one resolution: I resolved to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I have fallen laughably short of that goal. Part of the reason was the fact that I read so many magazines (Economist, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's, etc.) that I was constantly just trying to keep somewhat current with all of them.

So next year I have decided weekly news should still be taken in, but books are getting the priority. I've already got a stack that has been slowly growing over the last few months and I'm going to try and knock most of those out in the opening weeks of 2007 and get a decent head start. It seems a little silly to set a sort of goal for me reading, since taking in books are one of my favorite pastimes, but I guess as we get older and time becomes a scarcer commodity sometimes we have to forcibly carve out a few moments even for the things we love.

For this exercise all books count. Serious lit-rah-ture, graphic novels, music compendiums, tomes of almanac-ian knowledge, no book is too low-brow or high-brow to count for inclusion. I like them all! I'm looking forward to this, and you should too, since my writing always gets a little sharper when I'm a reading bender.

My other resolution? To not get filled with blind rage over January and February when the gym gets invaded by the resolution newbies that will hog all the machines and then drop off one by one as their own resolution wanes.

In totally unrelated news, don't forget to catch the big Elfvis show at Double Door tonight. I'l be giving a full preview of the festivities on Chicagoist later today, but trust me when I say that it is quite possibly my favorite holiday extravaganza of the year. Next to my own, of course. And since I didn't mount a "holiday" show, although I did have a few bills pop up around the holidays, I think I will officially marks tonight's gig as the best holiday show I will attend this year.

Unless, of course, we want to count my Hideout bill on December 30, in which case that one wins. Aw hell, let's just say everyone's a winner and catch both shows, huh?

Oh yeah, one other reminder? Keep this Saturday open too for my Subterranean show. Maybe that's be my holiday show?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Coloring in a few details.

Yeah, last night was a late one. Much later than usual for me on a Tuesday, for sure. However, when a bunch of old friends blow into town for the holidays, it’s hard to say no.

I got a copy of the new Spanish For 100 disc from Ringo last night too and it would easily make it onto my Top 20 list for this year, if they had actually gotten around to releasing it this year. Also, the packaging is rather beautiful and my copy is numbered 0048 out of 1000. I only have one question. Why am I not number 0001?!

Kidding, boys.

Last night also turned into a bit of a dance party and I was in such a good mood that not only did I not mock the frat boy that requested The Beastie Boys, I happily played "Sabotage" for he and his crew.

Heh, I'm laughing out loud right now, as I type this, because I’m listening to this week’s Sound Opinions podcast and DeRo is about to bust a vein over Springsteen. I love it when he loses it and just starts ranting. One can almost say that the man's best reviews are often his negative ones, because they seem fueled by the most honest emotion. By that measure I guess that's why I actually enjoy re-reading my own Kill Hannah reviews, since my disdain for that band is so great. Speaking of them, I'm doing a preview on the DWD versus MisShapes thing on Friday. Part of me wants to go but part of me is just annoyed. I have nothing against either collective (and actually really admire the promotion the DWD crew does) but I just found out it’s also a KH afterparty so, ick.

Anyway, back to last night.

My only regret from last night was not accepting a ride home from my little brother since I ended up freezing my tutu off for half-an-hour at the corner of Milwaukee / Damen / North fighting for cabs with college kids and deviants.

Tomorrow I plan on attending the big Elfvis show and meeting up with even more old friends that are in town visiting. I will not be staying out as late though. I promise.

I'm glad the holidays only come once a year.

As Roger Murtaugh said, "I'm too old for this shit!"

But it is nice to see friends that I haven't seen in far too long...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Struggling with the duality of certain situations.

I'm still processing the whole Florida trip, since it dredged up a whole slew of memories I had completely forgotten about since I grew up in Texas for my first decade or so. Certain sensory triggers got tripped and I found myself back in the body of an eight year old with a surplus of imagination and a deficit of friends to share any adventures with. It's not that I was particularly unpopular at that age, I had friends, but I did have a hard time relating to my peers. At one point a teacher called my parents in and informed them that I truly believed I was better off in the company of adults since kids were so simple. Or something like that.

Anyway, Photogal's dad lives in a posh gated community that is incredibly beautiful. It's the sort of place the wealthy go to "summer" in the winter, or retire to after reaching the summit of the corporate hierarchy. Photogal's dad is in the latter group.

We spent part of Friday riding around the community of bicycles and I was amazed at how quickly my thirty-four year-old frame was taken over by the rebellious spark on my inner twelve year-old. I zoomed up and down sidewalks and driveways and -- at one point -- the forbidden paths reserved only for golf carts piloted by the upper-crust. I wanted to moon passing imported sports cars and I wanted to toss rocks through plate glass windows and I wanted to break into uninhabited model homes and just wander around thumbing my nose at all the excess.

This strange duality manifested itself while we were there, though. While I had all these adolescent tendencies resurfacing, I was also overtaken by an overwhelming sense of the importance of remaining proper and well-behaved. I couldn't bring myself to throw my finished cigarettes, or even my spent matches, onto the ground. I found myself fretting over whether my choice of T-shirt would offend folks on the grounds, and I didn't want to embarrass my hosts by acting boorish or ill-mannered, no matter how much my own sensibilities were rubbed raw at times.

I'm afraid to deconstruct the experience too much, since any criticisms I have about the social milieu we were set into might be taken as an insult to our hosts, and believe me when I say our hosts were the exception to the rule when it comes to the sort of stereotype one imagines inhabiting the lifestyle of the wealthy retired Floridian.

Maybe this will offer some insight to the town we were in. On one tour we took of some waterways leading into the Gulf of Mexico, our captain said, "Now, as I;m sure you all know, Naples' economy is built entirely on coal mining." A confused silence amongst the passengers took hold until he followed with, "I'm joking of course. Naples' economy is built almost entirely on tourism. Which isn't to say that there isn't some mining, of a sort going on. We do have our fair share of gold diggers."

If you take that statement, extrapolate it to encompass all parties that are usually present within a social environment such as that, and picture me set in the middle of folks that participate in that activity or socialize with people that see nothing wrong with it (unless, of course, their mates are prey) you might begin to see why there were a few times I just clenched my jaw and kept my mouth shut.

Again, and I can't emphasize this enough, there was a whole 'nother scene (and I believe that this is the one that drew our generous hosts down there in the first place) that emphasizes nothing but relaxation and a comfortable setting in which to celebrate companionship in the post-retirement years.

So in Florida, for me and others, duality abounds.


Much less heavy ... let's blow off some steam!

I just looked at the calender and realized, since I have guests filling in for me next week, tomorrow is my last Tuesday in 2006 DJing at The Pontiac! It should be an especially rowdy evening since Skid Marks will be spinning along with me, and I have quite a few old friends in town visiting for the holidays.

Also, don't forget, I have a show at SubT on Saturday with the most excellent My Cold Dead Hand, the most rowdy Dorian Taj, and the most lively The Sleepy Kissers.

Don't worry, I'll remind you again.


A phrase that we never get tired of.

A "More Cowbell" timeline? Who knew? For the record, we at Tankboy Ltd. were early adopters -- some say next day-ers -- when it came to this particular phrase. While part of us wants to take credit for constantly surfing the pulse of the zeitgeist, others of us must admit that it rang true due to the simple fact that as a sometime drummer, we do indeed love it when there's "more cowbell."


Last minute Holiday shopping?!

Now I know what to get all of my friends!

Thanks to JB for the tip. Um, tip. Huh. That sounds, um, wrong. How about I just say credz JB. Or, better yet, blame JB for this one. Yeah, that works.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fourteen hours ago.

Fourteen hours ago I was laying a few feet away from the surf of the Gulf of Mexico sipping an icy beer and reading a good book. Right now I'm popping a xanax and steeling myself for the flight home.

I think I want to go back in time.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stock photo / real sighting Saturday.

Guess what we saw in the Everglades yesterday?

A cute little sea-cow!


Friday, December 15, 2006


The place we're staying is REALLY NICE.

Now we're off to the Everglades to search for albino alligoators and the white ghost lotus! Or, maybe we'll just take an airboat tour. Either was we're gonna have fun...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gonna fly now...

This morning I wake up in a chilly, wet Chicago but tonight I will be falling asleep warmed by the ocean-scented (okay, technically I guess that's gulf-scented) breeze of Naples, Florida. On one hand I couldn't have picked a worse weekend to take a mini winter vacation (see below) but at the same time I'm not exactly crying myself to sleep at the prospect of walking along a beach versus going to a rock and/or roll show.

My little brother has kindly agreed to house sit while we're gone, so our menagerie will be well cared for. He's also handling my show at Subterranean on Friday (again, see below), and I've already told Rudy not to try and trick him into believing that part of a promoter's job is to supply "stress reducing strippers" to the bands.

Anyway, our plan this weekend is to do a lot of lounging, a lot of reading, a lot of eating, and maybe a little tennis. We're staying with Photogal's dad in a ritzy retirement resort type of community so I'm not exactly expecting wild times. Instead I think this will be a weekend of pure unwinding tensions and well-earned relaxation. We may take a day-trip to the Everglades if we're so motivated but that's about the most taxing thing on the agenda.

It's going to be nice.


Weekend planner.

Man is there a lot going on in Chicago this weekend. First and foremost is my show at Subterranean tomorrow night with The Midnight Shows, Team Band, and The Low Republic. All the pertinent details are in the following poster.

Tonight Megan Palmer and Ash In Pensacola will be providing a mellow vibe at The Pontiac. If you're looking for something a bit more uptempo, than the Naughty or Nice Holiday Beat Kitchen show (outlined in the below poster), packed with some of my absolute favorite local bands, is not to be missed.

Come to think of it, that above might just be one of the best local combinations on one bill I've seen in a long time. Wow.

Saturday Sweetish plays The Pontiac, and I'm a bit bummed I'll be missing them since this is Holly from Wonderful Smith's newest project with Ben Hilt.

I really dug Wonderful Smith, and have been looking forward to this show for quite a while, but didn't realize until about a week or two ago that I'd be out of town for it. Bummer!

Again, given the choice between show and beach, well, beach is going to win out every time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cop-out times deux.

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It was twenty four years ago today...

It's the 4th Anniversary of
"The Night Formerly Known As
Sweet Alice Tuesdays"
The Pontiac

9pm until 2am

DJ Tankboy
DJ Rudy Tuesday

Four years ago Tankboy and Rudy Tuesday launched the evening that would become Sweet Alice Tuesdays at the now closed Ten56 bar. The duo built up a loyal following that enjoyed rock and/or roll peppered with soul, funk, disco and punk. When Ten56 closed the boys were the only resident DJs to make the move to innjoy, a club owned by Ten56's owners.

After spending a spell there, Tankboy and Rudy decided a rejiggering of the evening was in order and moved to the post-service station environs of The Pontiac, where the surroundings more closely mirrored the team’s eclectic tastes. While they lost the name "Sweet Alice Tuesdays" in the move, they regained the rock and/or roll spirit that had made their original run so popular. So here we are, four years later, and Tankboy is still anchoring the evening with the help of guest DJs and the occasional re-manning of the mixer by his original partner Rudy Tuesday. They celebrate four years of making Tuesdays worth celebrating by re-teaming up, playing lots of past hits, and giving away some free stuff as a way of saying thank-you to everyone that's been along for the ride so far.

Expect rock, pop, soul, electronic, whatsisprocket style music with an ear towards danceable hooks all night long.

Giveaways tonight include:
The Presets Re-Sets
Tiga Sexor
Van She Van She
Tall Firs Tall Firs
Black Helicopter Invisible Jet
The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players Off & On Broadway DVD
Ecstatic Peace prize pack including - Tall Firs, Black Helicopter, and Awesome Color CDs + zine

The Pontiac
1531 N Damen
Chicago , IL

Something like this is bound to happen.

Or this.

Or hopefully this.

But definitely this...

And you don't want to miss that, do you?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Intruder alert! Intruder alert!

Okay, this is kind of lame, but last night I was going about my business, reading a bit of news online and downloading some podcasts, when I noticed that there was a shared folder on my iTunes.


I opened it up and it connected me to a couple thousand indie rock songs. I sat there bewildered for a minute before it hit me.

The college kids next door were jacking my WiFi signal!

I hadn't secured my signal, and my lame excuse was that I didn't totally understand what was involved and was a little afraid I'd do something wrong and lock myself out of my own network. Well, last night I educated myself right quick on what steps to take to lock down my signal and keep intruders out.

I'm sure the kids were just piggybacking to get online, but I realize it could have been much worse. Had they had malicious intent they easily could have been cyber-voyeurs (at best) or full-blown identity thieves (at worst).

This also would explain why our connection has been mysteriously slow from time to time.

Anyway, I guess ultimately no harm no foul, but it did sort of solve my internal quandary over whether or not it's okay to steal a neighbor's signal. I guess when it's not your signal it's easy to say yeah, no problem, it's there so use it. Once you're the one who's getting their broadband lifted, along with the raft of security concerns that opens up, your perspective changes pretty quickly.

Granted, I accept some blame for not securing my signal earlier, but that still doesn't make the act of theft right.


Four more years!

Tomorrow marks the 4-year anniversary of Rudy and I DJing on Tuesday nights, and it should be a lot of fun. I'll go into more detail tomorrow, but I just want to remind everyone to keep the evening open! If you've never been out to see us, or if it's been an awful long time since you stopped by, tomorrow is the night to do it. Also I've got a bunch of CDs and EPs to give away so lots of people will be stumbling home with free stuff as well, so I think it's safe to say a good time is guaranteed for all.

Four years. Three locations. Two DJs. One night.

The Fourth Anniversary of The Evening No Longer Known As Sweet Alice Tuesdays. Tomorrow, December 12, at The Pontiac.

Be there!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I've written about my excitement for The Spirit movie that's in the works, but after seeing the teaser poster below I'm a little worried. At first I was excited that Frank Miller was tackling the project, but now I'm a little worried that he might be overemphasizing the Spirit's dark undertones at the expense of the subversve humor that permeated the original comics. Then again, I'm probably just jumping the gun since this is, after all, just a poster.

UNRELATED: Judging by the first 20 or so albums on this list, there's a good chance I would get along with most Australians.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Jumping on the bandwagon. And then off again.

There hasn't been a whole lot of hip-hop released this year that's knocked me out, but I've got to agree with the buzz and concede that the new Clipse disc is pretty awesome. My only quibble is that some folks are saying that The Neptunes have salvaged their rep -- since most everything they've done this year has almost sounded like a weak parody of their earlier work -- but I don't think that's really a valid observation. i mean, most of the tunes were recorded almost four years ago, so wouldn't it stand to reason that the new disc almost makes The Neptunes look worse since it emphasises just how far they've slipped?

However, I can think of nothing negative to say about Malice and Pusha-T's rhymes. Now that's street poetry.

Speaking of buzz, the one disc I just can't get down with this year, that everyone else seems to be having a joyous conniption fit over, is Joanna Newsom's Ys. Yes, it is lovely, and pretty, and just the sort of thing you think a crowd might go gonzo over about at a ren faire, but to my ears it's just so much background music punctuated by a voice that might be even more divisive than Bjork's.* I even went back to revisit it after Sasha Frere-Jones' piece in the last New Yorker (which, by the way, is the definition of a good review since it actually persuaded me to reconsider an album I had already written off) but I stand by my original impressions of the album.

Honestly, and this is a terrible thing to say but, if she wasn't so cute I don't think people (and by "people" I of course mean the male dominated music press / online world) would be going quite as ga-ga over her.

*For the record, I like Bjork's voice. After living with Photogal, though, I have discovered that Bjork's pipes can send some folks into an apoplectic rage. Newsom doesn't have quite that drastic an effect upon me, but her vocals do annoy the hell out of me after about ten minutes.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm super-pressed for time today, so instead of rolling your eyes at my words, why don't you take a gander at Pickle the Cat giving her best "Wha' hoppen'?" look.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I'm sick again?! But I got my flu shot! Erg.

That's it. That's all I got. Maybe I'll write some more later, but don't count on it since me and the beagle and the dog and the cat and the cat will be burrowed away trying to outrun this sinus-driven spike in the side of my head.

Oh, okay, here's a photo from last Thursday's Live Band Karaoke outing. I wish I felt like I look in this photo. Shades of Daltrey?

Photo by Jocelyn

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Save the cheerleader. Save the world.
  • So that's what Pickle the Cat does when we're not home!

  • Oh yeah, and this!

  • Tony's about to get deleted from Wikipedia. Join in on the conversation. Personally I think his current entry merits deletion since it doesn't really follow the rules for a biographical entry. However I do think bloggers in general, and Tony in particular, do deserve entries. They just shouldn't be authored by the subjects unless there are lots of references to back up each and every claim. So delete Tony ... and then have someone reinsert him under the proper guidelines.

  • A little birdie passed me a copy of next year's LCD Soundsystem album. Expect to hear tracks from it, along with a bunch of other new stuff, tonight at The Pontiac. Also, don't forget next Tuesday, December 12 is the four year anniversary of "The Night Formerly Known As Sweet Alice Tuesdays"! It promises to be a humdinger of an evening.

  • Don't think it's escaped my notice that when I post pictures of Jane Birkin the comments are jumping, but when I write about the psyche of an alien a strange silence settles across the land.

  • Here're some ideas of what to do with your week.


Girlie pop.

I go into further detail about this over at donewaiting right here, BUT I've been listening to the new Gwen Stefani for the past few days. I'm being honest when I said I wanted to go into the disc and totally dislike the whole thing, since I was so turned off by her debut.

Keep in mind I don't hold the whole No Doubt thing against her. As a matter of fact I thought they were really on to something with Rock Steady, but as a solo artist I just thought she totally blew. No Doubt shamelessly lifted their tunes from their heroes, but they didn't shamelessly cop current trends like Gwennie did on her debut.

Believe it or not, though, her new one actually has heart behind the gloss. Like I said, I'll go into more detail in a full review at donewaiting, but I thought I'd give credit where credit is due and admit that her new disc has some merit to it.

As a treat, here's the original Neptunes mix of the lead-off single.

MP3: Gwen Stefani "Wind It Up (Original Neptunes Mix)"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back to normal.

Ah yes, please note what the day's low is supposed to be, and then take a gander at what the temperature actually is. Another lovely winter morning in Chicago.


WARNING: Extreme nerd-age ahead.

I was watching Superman Returns yesterday and started crying like a baby when he saves an airplane and makes his first public reappearance in the film. Part of it was probably spurred by the depressive effects of one too many Guinness pints at Liar's the night before, but part of it was triggered by a good old fashioned longing for a hero that's so pure and a hope that's so genuine. Those two things don't seem to exist anymore, and even the imagining of such concepts seems to get harder and harder with each passing year.

Then I got to thinking that it must be hard to be a fan of Superman. I mean, it's easy for folks to dig Spider-Man, or The X-Men, or (especially) Batman, or just about any other comic book character (except for, maybe, Dazzler) because they are all kind of cool. Superman is a square through and through. He can basically do anything, and the fact that no one can tell that he and Clark Kent are the same people is pretty ludicrous.

But I think the small group of people who count themselves as his primary fans, and I admit I relate to and enjoy the darker heroes myself so do not consider myself part of this group, appreciate that at his base, Superman is probably the darkest character because he is the most alienated. I mean, he's an alien, and until recently the verylast of his species. He's all alone and the way he chooses to fill that void is by helping people.

He's also the only hero whose alter ego is his actual disguise. Batman is Bruce Wayne dressed up like a bat. Spider-Man is Peter Parker in tights. Superman is Superman. When he puts on a suit he's disguising himself as a weak little clumsy human. That's his disguise. And if you really think about it, that's kind of twisted. Why would the most powerful being on Earth, that doesn't need sleep or, really, a home? Why would he waste time playing dress-up? Because he needs the illusion to save himself from despair. If he saved the world 24-7 that might keep the horrors away but it would be no better than a drunk on an endless bender trying to escape their own terrifying questions of existence. Superman needs the distraction of his make-believe human life to ground him and I think that ultimately humanity ends up saving him by giving him a foster home and a purpose in life.

So in some ways, I think hardcore fans of Superman might just be into the darkest character of them all, even though most of us think Supes is a total square.


Reclaiming a hint of cred.

Indie city? Puh-lease.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Swiping some shots this Saturday.

Blame Michele for triggering this one.

Ah, Jane Birkin.

You know what, I'm not saying anything else. I think I'll just let her images and her songs speak for themselves.

MP3: Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus"
MP3: Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg "Jane B"
MP3: Jane Birkin "Di Doo Dah"