Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wherein idiocy rules ... followed by a trip down memory lane

Let's just say that due to the fact that I am impatient I can no longer get online from home. So I have to type these things up in the AM, throw them on a USB Flash stick, and upload them onto the Information Superhighway before I start work. Fun, huh?

The one plus is, since I upgraded my old, poor, decrepit Compaq to WindowsXP, it happily syncs up with said USB stick, as well as, finally, allowing me to load iTunes (an old version I had stashed away, of course) onto my desktop. I don't know how long I'll have to limp along this way, so bear with me.

This site has been around for over four years, but it actually had it's start in a weekly email "newsletter" I would send out every couple of days starting in 1996. Actually, the first entry on this site is one of those emails, since originally this was supposed to merely be an archive for all those old emails. Obviously, that plan changed. However, while cleaning up the ol' hard drive to eke out enough space for the new operating system, I came across a few of the later period of Tankboy emails. Most are still in Outlook or (in the case of the more ancient ones) trapped in my little brother's ancient Mac. I really must get all of them together and organize them someday.

What follows is not a great example of the sort of stuff I used to send out, but I think that it does certainly contain some pretty good indications of the tone I was to later adopt once I started this site up. Fun facts to keep in mind: the ex I mention in fact Photogal and even though I loved Deep Elm, I still hated Emo. Also, the picture above right is not totally chronologically matched up with the below email, but it's close enough. Truth be told, i still look almost exactly the way I did even way back in 1991.

Anyway, let's open up the cupboard and take a look at my awkward past, as we dust off the TANKBOY EMAIL OF THE WEEK for June 24, 1998...

Selections from Tankboy's
ANTI-COMEDY stand-up routine
performed at The Note in Chicago
last Tuesday morning
(right around 2:30 AM) I'm new to this stand-up thing. I mean, I'm used to being onstage since I used to be in a rock and roll band. This was around the time I was living in a college town, having dropped out of school for a while. I was also working at a coffeehouse as a cook and at the local freak bar as the bartender/DJ/cook. It was at this point that I realized I had become a living Gen X cliché ... so I killed myself. Nothing serious really, just a cry for help ... everyone ignored me. I used to have long hair. This was so I could infiltrate that diabolic cult known as "Hippie." I fucking hate hippies with a fucking passion. I used to hand out devil sticks composed of dynamite at Dead shows to blow hippies up. I threw nitroglycerin packed hackeysacks around college quads on bright spring days to blow the bastards up. I'm the man who delivered Jerry Garcia his very last speedball. Wish I'd blown him up instead ... would've been showier. So I was the Anti-hippie. I was once the Anti-Christ, but I got fired for being drunk on the job. Now I do Anti-comedy. I'm such the contrarian.

There was more, including a silent friend with a bullhorn, audience heckling (one of my responses was "Hey pal, you're just sore 'cause I wouldn't fuck you before the show, so shut up." Okay, it's not genius, but it works on drunks at that hour of the morning) and a song about Bar-stars and the tragic lives we lead. It was fun, so maybe I'll do it again. I like getting free drinks for insulting people.


MOVIE - Deconstructing Harry was quite good. I like the jump cut (think of a DJ scratching) editing and the story hit a few personal spots through the old Tankster’s armor.
BOOK - I’m re-reading Dellilo's White Noise and it's just as good as it was when I read it way back in my Freshman year of college (1990 for those of you keeping score at home)
WOMEN - continue to confound and confuse me. Yay!
ALBUM - the entire Live at Budokon two-disc Cheap Trick extravaganza is melted into me CD player right now though props (did I just use "props?" Kill me now.) to the Deep Elm Records Songs for the Working Class sampler. Only $5 at finer music stores. Deep Elm is by far my favorite label of the moment so go check out the sampler and then buy stuff by the bands. Contact 'em at and tell them that Tankboy sent ya.
DANCE - the only time I get out to shake my groove thing anymore (now that I tend bar at a sushi restaurant)is at the Empty bottle’s 52 Flavors night each and every Sunday. I roll in around 12, which only gives me two hours, but it's so worth it.
ROOMATE - mine is named Leslie and she’s cooler than you.
VISITOR - my ex's sister is stationed in Moldova and this guy she knows, Costia, came over to visit, so Di and I entertained him. Costia was a blast and now I can toast in Russian. Whoo hoo!
MIXTAPES - to the folks who haven't received them...I didn't forget about you, I've got 'em all dubbed and ready to go, once I figure out where I put them. Greatest apologies and I grovel at your tootsies.

Now go to sleep and remember nothing of what I've told you...Tank

And there you have it. I got the new laptop last night but now I have to figure out this whole WiFi thing, and how to configure a modem that I don't have the software for anymore, and all kinds of fun stuff I have no experience with. Pray for a speedy resolution to my Internet access problem or there are sure to be more of these blasts from the past in your near future!

Get MaM back in the van!

Also, tonight at The Pontiac, help "Get MaM Back in the Van!"

Milk At Midnight
Skid Marks
Farewell Captain
DJ Marble
DJ Tankboy

9pm until 2am
$5 - $10 suggested donation

This explanation for the evening's cause is straight from the yapper of Milk At Midnight's Danny Doom:

This was a strange summer in Milk At Midnight's world. Things didn't really go as planned, but then, they never seem to anyway. After getting out-text-messaged in the Lollapalooza Debacle, we got back in the van and moved on, but only for a couple of days. In late July our van was vandalized on a quiet Logan Square street, windows smashed and tires slashed, and some nifty spray-painted symbols on the side too! We thought our gang-banging days were long over...

Weirdly, they were not finished. A week or so later the vandals returned (we can only assume they were the same gentlemen) and set the van on fire. Yes, they set it on fire. The MaM Van was reduced to a smoldering blackened hunk of shit. Needless to say, we wouldn't be using it to get to shows anymore. Luckily, our equipment was safely stored at the practice space, so we recognize that this could have been a lot worse.

Anyway, we've decided to throw a little memorial -- no, a party -- well, it's kind of like a party to memorialize the van and -- shit, we need some cash! We'd like to get another van and keep rockin,' but we thought we would have a little fund-raiser to go towards the cause.

I don't usually book many fundraisers, unless puppies and kitties are involved, but I felt the need to help out and get behind this one. Come on out, haave a great time, and help a kick-ass rock and/or roll group get back on the road!

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