Friday, April 28, 2006

Some people never go crazy.
What truly horrible lives they must lead.

I wrote a review here. It's a little negative so in an effort to prove I'm not such a curmudgeon peep on these pictures of the sorts of people I choose to hang out with when I'm not shredding bands.

Say hi to Joey and Dani. And Dani's "beer mugs."

And here's we have the gand rocking the mondo shades at a BBQ last year. Can't wait to start grilling this year...and getting love from Keep.

Come to think of it, that BBQ was Skid's birthday party, wasn't it? Say "high" to Skid!

This is Gina. She likes beer.

This is PP. Don't ask. You don't want to know.

Check out Rudy, Kelly and Josh ringing watching some home-made porn they just shot!

And finally...ooooh! Look at us! Dark and mysterious!

Happy Friday everyone. Enjoy the weekend.
An admission of a simple fact.

Song selection-wise? Photogal totally kicked my ass last night.

Well done, young lady, well done.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

2 more quick notes.

After repeated listening, I have decided the new Pearl Jam -- while not as good as Vs -- is the best thing they've done since Vs. It's got an urgency that's been missing from quite a bit of their more recent (and I mean recent, relatively) while providing compelling tunes. Bonus points have been awarded for making sure the track-listing doesn't just alternate from chooglin' rocker to acoustic ballad mode. And "Unemployable" is one of the most unique, compared to the rest of the songs in their library, compositions the band has ever put together.

The White House hired an ex-FOX News commentator as their new press liaison? Well, at least they're being honest about their affiliations now, right? Come to think of it, that might be the first honest thing they've done in a really long time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Must must must do!

Just added! Me! Photogal! This Thursday! DJing at Liar's Club! Exclamation point!


Still blushing...

So I'm playing this song off the new Damone last night and...realize the bassist is sitting at the end of the bar. I am not the kind of guy who plays a band's song to suck up to them. I'm just not.

He, however, approached me and told me it was the first time he head heard one of his songs played by a DJ in a bar and he believed, and I quote, it was "awesome."


Lucky in love? The irony!

Oh my god, I am the number one match on Ask.com¹ for the query "steps to a successful date" and I must ask you; how awesome is that?

Make sure you include the quotes, though.

¹Number two on Google, by the way.
Everything seems foggy.

Uncertain. Transitory. Like a rock solid boat that sits under your feet and supports you right up until a huge swell causes everything to pull a Poseidon Adventure and you scramble to regain your footing. Is this the big one? Is everyone still on deck?

I'm being melodramatic and obscure, aren't I?

FYI: The above has nothing to do with the new gig. My brain has actuaally adjusted to the influx of new information and is very happy to report to duty eight hours a day, five days a week. The new job is proving to be a rather nice fit. In the grand scheme of things, one could say I've never "had it more together" than I do now!

As a matter of fact that may be why other things seem a bit out of whack. Perhaps in order to maintain some sort of cosmic balance this is just the way things are meant to be. Then again, maybe I think too much about some things and react too quickly to others.

I've noticed simpler, earlier times have been creeping into conversations I have with friends and I get the impression everyone I know is going through their own perceptual shifts right now as well. Maybe it's the time of year? Maybe it's the fact we're all hitting a certain age? Maybe I'm just imagining all of this and projection my own uncertainties onto the folks I call friends.

Maybe it's just too damn early and I'm just whining like some wet-nosed high-school Goth loser?¹

Yeah, that’s probably it.


This is crystal clear.

Rudy and I will be rocking it and socking it to The Pontiac, post-Damone at the Beat Kitchen, and we both have all kinds of new goodies to share with you from The Raconteurs, Pearl Jam, Peeping Tom (Mike Patton's new project), (um) Damone, Art Brut, Gnarls Barkley, The Secret Machines, Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, The Bellrays, The Presets, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

¹Yes, the photo is supposed to humorously underscore this last observation.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Two subjects one should avoid when visiting their significant other's grandmother:

1. Politics
2. Marriage

Consider this a public service announcment. Happy Monday.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Towering Tankboy!

I just came across this photo that proves without a doubt that I am a giant compared to most of the other Chicagoist writers and readers.

Yup, just call me the jolly blonde giant!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Made you look.

I fully admit that the photograph to the right has only been included in order to get your attention. I recognize that this ploy may not be as successful with the ladies that visit this site, but I am hoping that the photo's "playfulness" will work with that audience whereas a photo more blatantly "objectifying" might have back-fired.

Now that I have your attention, I have some very important information to impart to you. Are you ready? Are you seated? Are you open to persuasion? Yes, yes and yes? Good. Here it comes.

Me an Rudy are DJing at Liar's Club tonight and we would like you to join us for an evening of bourbon, beats and sleaze, not necessarily in that order.

The fact of the matter is that Photogal and I had such a blast spinning at Liar's last month I just had to bring Rudy along for the ride this time! Expect that which you love from us plus a few surprises...DO NOT MISS THIS!



I would like to point out that despite yesterday's absolute insanity around our block, Photogal and I do live in a nice little neighborhood. She was afarid people would think we live in a totally dangerous part of town based on what I wrote. I pointed out that cars crashing and such can -- and does -- happen anywhere in our fine city.

So, to clarify, I wasn't trying to be all macho and show how dangerous our neighborhood was. Instead I was trying to point out just how unpredictable city living can be, no matter where you are.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Those funny little inconsistencies.

Between the high-speed car-wreck, the burned out automobile and the vehicle wrapped around a tree on Fullerton last night, I'd say a pretty wild time was had in my neighborhood.

The funny thing is that Photogal and I thought we had moved out of the ghetto!

Apparently this is the sort of behavior that directly precedes gentrification.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Crossed wires.

So Saturday night I had an itch to go out. I think the genesis of that urge lay in some unresolved issues I'm having about my dad's death and my immature way of running from the issues rather than just dealing with them. But that is really neither here nor there as far as this little tale is concerned.

So I texted a few friends to find out where they were and got a few responses and ultimately ended up at Double Door with Scott and Erin for the South show. The evening ended, I went home and that was it.

Until I called my voicemail the next morning.

At something like 5am and 6am some dude left me messages telling me to give him $100. He kept saying I owed him this money. I had no idea who this cat was. Photogal listened to the messages and was all like, "That dude sounds like a pimp or something. What is up with that?" So I look through my call log and realize the calls came from my buddy Josh's number. So I dial his number up, all ready to do the whole "ha-ha, funny joke, who's the dude?" thing when the call slid into voicemail and some woman exhorts me to leave my name and number and she'll get back to me. Josh is certainly not a "she."

Slowly I realized that Rudy had told me a while ago Josh got a new number, so the number I texted Saturday no longer belonged to him! So I must have texted this dude's old lady with a message that –- in its intentions -- innocuously said, "What's going on tonight? Anything?" Obviously since the response to my message came from some scary sounding dude demanding $100 I think it's safe to say they thought my message was supposed to imply something a little, um, more salacious.


So, um, Josh? Maybe it's time to send me your new number, huh?


Possibly related to the above?

I had a dream last night where I was killed by a gun shot to the head. I can't remember the exact circumstances but I do remember waking up in the middle of the night realizing that was the first time I have ever died in a dream.

Kinda freaky, huh?


A reaffirmation of life.

Neither spooky dreams not money hungry pimps shall stop me from celebrating each sweet breath I draw while playing some of my favorite tunes accompanied by one of my best friends at The Pontiac tonight. And you are all invited to continue breathing, laughing, smiling, sweating, kissing, hugging, singing, drinking, dancing and loving right along side me.

I'll see you there.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Would it really be asking so much if we expected journalists to speak intelligently and with a passion bourne out of a full investigation of the facts? Would it really kill ad dollars if they actually reported stories instead of sound-bites and sensationalistic bait?

Is the public really so dumb it deserves what passes for "news programming" today?

I hope not.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The kidz.

So we went to Liar's last night to take in a quiet Thursday evening of tunes and bad Russ Meyers movies (is there any other kind?) and were shocked to see a pretty sizable crowd of young girlie-girls and boys in tank-tops with asymmetrical haircuts. Apparently Chicago's own Johnny Love was DJing. Or was he? I mean, at no time did I actually see him spinning any records although he did almost get laughed out of the bar by the staff when they saw him walk in with a LV record bag. How painfully gauche.

The meta-meta (meta!) post-ironic mood in the bar was so thick it was in grave danger of diffusing into the air and dissolving each and every fez employed as a lamp shade throughout the room. I admit though that I had a sick fascination with the crowd and direly wanted to see if the vast number of people congregated on the first floor would stop posing at some point and actually dance to the music that they (theoretically) were there to enjoy.

Alas, I was not to make that discovery one way or the other since the party I entered the bar with decided that they (and I was soundly outvoted on this by a margin of two to one) could take no more and needed to head out post-haste. As we made our hasty retreat I couldn't help but notice that the staff -- though raking in money hand over whiskey-clenching fist -- wished direly to join us.

I really did want to stick around though. I mean, how often do I get the chance to observe a crowd I would never, by choice, rub shoulders with from the safety of a room I feel an almost sibling connection with? I can tease and taunt and judge all I want, but unless I actually stick around until the bitter end how can I really make a valid judgment on one scene versus another?

I can't.

So here I am stuck with the notion that Johnny's crew spins nothing but outdated electro tunes and a smattering of hip-hop with no obvious knowledge of how to work a mixing board to ensure that some snippet of melody rises above the overwhelming bass. Perhaps at some point the evening did reach a critical mass wherein the tunes razored in on the masses cutting away the pretension and unleashing an unholy dance party rivaled only by the impending doom of Ragnarok itself.

I guess I'll never know.


The kidz part dew.

Here are three songs they didn't play last night. Yeah, I know The Streets track is all over the place already, but whatever. My fave of the three is def The Bellrays track though. Check it out...

Mylo - Drop the Pressure

The Bellrays - Third Time's The Charm

The Streets - When You Wasn't Famous

And yes, these links were all sent to me by labels or marketing firms but you should all know by now I never post stuff that I don't, first and foremost, like myself.

Just wanted to add that post-script in the interest of full discosure...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Love yer brain.

I can't download iTunes onto my work computer (which is totally fine) so because of that both tankPOD and diPOD have been getting lots of use, all day long. I've let the two of them pick the songs I listen to throughout the workday and I've got to say they each have EXCELLENT musical taste. Sometimes they (tankPOD in particular) like to totally fuck with me (the Sex Pistols' "Problems" right into Bacharach's "Alfie"? Genius!) but I'm totally up for that. However out of 10750 songs, why does tankPOD keep playing tunes off The Pooh Sticks' The Great White Wonder? That's just totally ridiculous.

I really like saying "totally" this morning, don't I?

Anyway, I was having a conversation (of sorts) with some fellow Chicagoist writers yesterday about a certain beer company's idea of what constitutes "a date" and I thought wistfully back to my days of bachelorhood and reconstructed the following scenario.

Steps to a Successful Date with Tankboy
(as told to the staff of Chicagoist)

Step One: Dinner
Step Two: Movie
Step Three: Miniature Golf
Step Four: Naked Miniature Golf
Step Five: Strip Croquet a la Heathers
Step Six: Light Bondage
Step Seven: Home-made Porn
Step Eight: Dessert

For the record, it should be noted that a certain Mr. Smith believed rather strongly that professional porn should be viewed with your loved one/one-night stand/booty-call before attempting anything of the amateur variety. I beg to differ. I think a natural progression of mutual discovery untainted by a professional deluge of ejaculations and sagging silicone packets is far preferable.

And there you have it. Won't you be so much happier when my brain has adapted to all the new info its processing during the new nine-to-five and starts working (semi-) properly again? I bet you will. I bet you will be much happier.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Running up that hill.

As you can probably guess, the new job is taking up a lot of my time. So so sorry about that but Tankboy has to take in A LOT of new information right now. It’s a bit daunting, but then I have to remember that when I started writing instructional manuals a few years ago and had to combine safety requirements with legal info, technical specs, line-art and down-homey tips, I was a bit overwhelmed by that too. There’s always a super-steep learning curve at the outset of any job no matter how well prepared you think you are going in.

So there you have it. While I’m climbing this current mountain my brain is being eaten up by all sorts of new experiences. Once it’s done processing all this new stuff I, and my entries here, will be a whole lot more interesting!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

We have noticed that Jack Bauer is never without his man-bag. Through explosions, car chases, underwater shark fights and spats with his daughter that bag is always around his shoulder. We decided to take a peek inside his bag while Jack took a potty break and here is a partial (but by no means exhaustive) listing of what we catalouged:

  • Mini-telescope
  • One pair of Pumas
  • One bottle J&B
  • Mach-3 razor
  • One Boy Scout Manual for settling disputes over Chef's Hat Boxing rules
  • One picture of Kim "Jiggles" Bauer
  • Complete set of "Evil World Masterminds" trading-cards
  • One PDA with what seems to be 300 GB of memory
  • One thermo-nuclear warhead
  • One "L'il Buddy Torture Kit"
  • Two South Beach Diet Meal Bars (Cinnamon Cream)
  • One CD single of Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On"
  • Lock-pick kit
  • Pack of gum and ball of tin-foil for building a bomb
  • One teddy bear (worn)
  • One pair mirrored sunglasses
  • One pair fresh underwear (Calvin Klein)
  • One package condoms (Trojan w/res. tip)
  • One instruction pamphlet on how to turn condoms into hot air balloons for last-minute escapes
  • One six-pack Sparks

Monday, April 10, 2006

First day jitters.

I know it's totally irrational but I always have this "what-if-they-hired-the-wrong-guy?" feeling the day I start any new job. So wish me luck.

I know I'm going to love it there but I think walking though any door to a new phase in your life is always difficult the very first time you do it. It's a little scary but a whole lot exciting.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Weekend Update with unemployed Tankboy.

We saw last night's taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and I wrote it up here. I also wrote up this weekend's WLUW Record Fair here.

Tonight I will be DJing at Nite Cap Lounge before, during and after the awesome Ladies & Gentlemen, Cisco Pike, Textbook and Split-Habit show. It's not often I spin at shows I didn't set upso this is kind of exciting for me. plus it will be the first evening of "Celebrate Tankboy's New Job With Him!"

Tomorow I have setup an awesome show at Elbo Room with the Miranda Sound (their record release!), Milk At Midnight and The Venom Lords. Please do not take Gina's advice she gave out on the radio the other day; even though this will be day two of "Celebrate Tankboy's New Job With Him!" there is no need to buy me shots in an effort to see me fall down. Photogal has almost forgiven me for the Rockit Girl debacle and I don't need to be pushing my luck!

Now let me get back to staring at this picture I found of Sarah Silverman.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fare thee well.

Today is it. My last day at Salton.

Why do I feel like I’m breaking up with a girlfriend?

Seriously, this is weird. I’m really going to miss the people I work with. I’m really going to miss my boss. I’m really going to miss the free kitchen small electrics I got when we no longer needed samples we had for display or demonstration. I'm really going to miss my chair that I broke in to be super comfy and lean waaaay back..

However I’m not going to miss the commute.

It’s really hard to go in today. though. since I still have so much to do and I know it’s not going to get done and I know that someone else is going to be doing my job tomorrow and, while I hope they’ll miss me, it just underscores how interchangeable people are in larger corporations.

It’s also really hard to go in because I am so psyched about my new job that it’s hard to maintain motivation for doing my old one. However I do believe in doing 100% up until the last hour so that’s what I’m going to do.

Did I mention how excited I am to be doing my new job? Very, very excited. The company is smaller, and the people seem happy to be there and I always view that as an excellent sign. I think the work I’m doing will keep me busy and engaged while while challenging me and teaching me lots of new stuff. On top of that (which, really, would be enough) the location of my new company is terrific. When I want to go to lunch I’ll be able to just walk to a dozen or so restaurants instead of having to get in a car and drive four miles just to buy a sub sandwich. Heck, if I really want to I can ride my bike to work at the new place! How awesome is that?

So yes, I will miss the familiarity and camaraderie of Salton but I have a feeling I’m going to be even happier at my new job. I feel like I’m moving forward, onward and upward. It’s a good feeling to have.

So long, George! And....thank you so very much for the past three years.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I am twelve years old.

Why? Because I giggled at Google's Word Of The Day today. Witness.

Like Kylie.

This morning I am S.L.O.W.

So enjoy this picture of my nephew in hunter/gatherer mode.

BONUS ROUND: Sarah Silverman is the guest at tomorrow's taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Gethcher tickets now!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I don't really smell like wet dog, do I?

So it's kind of a big day for music releases, isn't it? We all know how much I already love the new Flaming Lips disc so you can be sure i'll be casting my consumer vote for a store-bought copy of that disc this morning. Another notable release is The DFA Remixes: Chapter One with a whole slew of great dance-rock tracks. It's got a lot of stuff previously only available on vinyl and my personal faves are the Le Tigre, Gorillaz and Blues Explosion remixes. Hell, just about every track on the disc slays with the possible exception of their treatment of Fischerspooner's "Emerge", but then I was never a big fan of that track in its original form so maybe that's why I'm not diggin' it.

Placebo's new disc Meds comes out today too. I plan on giving it a fuller review-style treatment over at donewaiting so I won't say much here either than I'm glad the boys have found their formula and decided not to fuck with things. While fmailiarity doesn't really yield groundbreaking results it can signify strength and maturity in songwriting. Hey, I think I'm going to steal that phrase and use it in my actual review. Can one sample themselves?

I'm back to reading Tom Frank's What's The Matter With Kanses? after an intital false launch a few weeks ago and this time, for some reason, the book actually seems interesting so far. I think originally I was afraid it was going to be another liberal regurgitation of obviousness but I now see that Frank (and I really should have known this since I fell in love with his writing through a piece on USA Today) really delves much further into the subject matter than I thought he would. Of course he does have an angle but at least he tries to balance it out. The jury is still out but the book seems promising.


Speaking of original thoughts...

Now, when it seems just about every club in Chicago has a "rock" themed night -- and a bar based on the whole concept has just opened -- I think it's time we all returned to, and appreciated, the get yer asses and heinies and such on over to The Pontiac tonight and enjoy Rudy and my musical stylings.

Was that last sentence okay? Sometimes I wish I could steal Chicagoist's copy editor for my own page...

Monday, April 03, 2006

My response to tonight's plot twist on 24.


This particular development actually makes me pine for the return of Jiggles Bauer and her pet cougar. No spoilers here, but suffice to say this "reveal" makes no fucking sense and betrays the fact that the writers (self-admittedly) make this stuff up as they go along. Unfortunately this time they wrote themselves into a corner and took a wrong turn while searching for a way out. What a shame.

I think I may be losing the ability to hear lower (bass) frequencies in my right ear. I thought maybe my right earbud's cord might have been breaking down over the past few weeks but after switching each bud from ear to ear I'm beginning to realize that they are playing at the same volume, but my right ear isn't picking up most of the bass.

I might just need to give my ears a really good cleaning with one of those ear wash kits; or years and years of listening to loud rock -- and loud DJing (guess which ear I cock the headphone against when spinning?) -- is finally beginning to strip me of that which I most fear losing.

What is Tankboy without the ability to listen to music?
The final countdown.

Four more days at my old job. One week until I start my new job. Some people think I'm nuts (some current co-workers included) to only have one day off between the two companies but what can I say? I wasn't going to duck out on my current boss without proper notice and the new place asked me to start as soon as possible, so I am.

I'm still in a bit of shock from the whole whirlwind of selling our house and moving into our two-flat. The pets seem to be settling in quicker than either of us, for the most part. We've had a few issues with Betty the beagle bullying Lucy the Dog in an attemept to reassert her dominance in new surroundings so that's been a bit stressful. Also, Betty has learned how to open the refrigerator (!) and while she hasn't eaten anything (yet) it is just another problem to solve in the midst of a whole bunch of arranging, rearranging, organizing and building.

I could go on and on -- and I actually have other subjects I'd like to discuss that aren't so personally centered -- but since all of our clocks "sprung forward" yesterday I'm getting a bit of a late start (relatively) this morning. The plus? I now live five minutes from my gym instead of twenty-five so I'll still get into work early enough to make it home in order to see how Jack Bauer got himself out of last week's mess.