Thursday, November 30, 2006

Unleash the beast.

I'll warn you ahead of time, I'm feeling a bit wordy today. Maybe too many days of bullet-point writing has caused a mental back-up, but I can feel the barn doors rattling loose and the herd is threatening to escape. This often happens to me at moments of flux, and I think I'm in the midst of that right now. Not to get all motivational poster on you or anything, but I really feel like I'm at one of those moments that will define the direction my life will take. These moments are always scary and exciting and challenging and thrilling and so on and so on.

And no, this isn't prompted by some news or a "big announcement" or anything. It's just one of those times that I've come to a number of realizations about myself and my life and a breakthrough of sorts has been achieved.



I have always loved root beer floats. When I was younger my little heart would go a-pitter-pat at the sight of an A&W stand. So it's no mystery why I love Arby’s Black Cow shakes. They taste just like a melted root beer float. In fact I will often go miles out of my way to find an Arby's that still carries this delicious flavor since jamocha seems to have replaced it – and I have no idea why coffee would replace root beer as a flavor choice, but maybe that's just me – so I was tickled pink when I discovered the Arby's right near where I work has suddenly decided to add the flavor to its menu. Here’s the scene. I eagerly walk up to the counter and place my order.

Me: I'd like a black cow please.
Arby's dude: What?
Me: A black cow, please.
Arby's dude: (narrowing his eyes and glaring at me) I think you mean jamocha.
Me: (feeling a little nervous, having obviously triggered this guy's ire) No. Black cow. Root beer flavored?
Arby's dude: (glaring, turns to manager) Can you believe this guy?
Me: I’m sorry.
Arby’s manager: He means the new shake flavor.
Arby's dude: (eyes popping open) Oh!

At this point I should maybe note that the guy behind the counter was black. Halfway through the back and forth, I realized he thought I was trying to make some sort of racial statement or something and it severely freaked me out. I immediately felt guilty for making the guy think I was taunting him somehow, and then got confused because I was feeling guilty for something I hadn’t even done.

And then I felt sad that the whole exchange, and both of our responses, even has reason to exist in the first place.

SIDE NOTE: I looked all over Arby's site for a link to their Black Cow shakes, but I don't see it anywhere. Doesn't that seem a little weird?


Gravity defying body parts.

Here's a scene that replays more nights a week than I'd like to admit. I'm sitting on the couch watching The Daily Show, having just (literally) tucked Photogal in bed and kissed her goodnight. Jon Stewart gives way to Stephen Colbert, and sometime before Colbert signs off I drift off to sleep. My dream is infiltrated by steel drums and I'm suddenly on a beach. I'm having a great time. I’m surrounded by girls. Girls gone wild. I am in bliss.

My eyes pop open and to my horror I realize that late night rotation of Girls Gone Wild infomercials is in full effect and my brain has been picking up on them. I am horrified. Mortified. Stupefied that some deep part of my psyche has betrayed me through my dreams and exposed the fact that, on some deep level, I must actually enjoy the notion of Girls Gone Wild. Some terrible, primal component of my mind has been pried open and the door has been left swinging, leaving my embarrassed sensitive inner male threatening to curl up into the fetal position.


Free booze!

Tonight is the Chicagoist Happy Hour, where we show appreciation for our readers by opening a sizeable tab at a bar from which our following can quench their thirst. Tonight we're having it at Quencher's starting at 6pm, but bring your drinking pants, because we plan on sticking around for, and participating in, Live Band Karaoke later that night. Rumor has it this will also coincide with Eric's birthday party, so expect cultures to clash as nerds and intellectuals and tech-heads and rockers sway to and fro in perfect unison while singing Cheap Trick's "Surrender."

It's going to be awesome.


Finally, I'm all out of hot air.

Wow, you're still here? You deserve some goodies then. Here's two tracks to either rile you up or cool you down. First up is Secret Mommy's "Deciduism" rides that electronic pop bandwagon The Postal Service hijacked, but they throw in enough Aphex Twin weirdness to keep things interesting. This iss a track perfet for chilling out and sipping a nice cold beverage.

MP3: Secret Mommy "Deciduism"
M4A: Secret Mommy "Deciduism"

Tiga does a lot of remixing work, but he decided it was time to release a whole album of his own (save a cover, or three) tunes. Personally, I think that was a mistake since most folks that are great at reworking other people's songs are often not so good at constructing their own. And for the most part Tiga proves this little piece of conventional wisdom correct. The one exception is "Far From Home" as it slithers and sways and grooves with a certain understatement that charge sup the air around with supersexiness. Dig it.

MP3: Tiga "(Far From) Home"
M4A: Tiga "(Far From) Home"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"It's probably something that simple."

It's a trend!

It just feels like a "bullets" kind of week, doesn't it?

  • First, the Gina and Debbie were awesome last night. I love DJing with those two. I have to do it again SOON!

  • In other news, yes it's true, I bought the The Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition. It was actually a decision borne of frugality. Had I bought the three Superman discs (I, II, and Returns ... duh) on sale yesterday at their sale prices it would have been more expensive than the 14-disc set. Let's hear it for holding off on buying all the DVDs as they were released the first time around. Finally I profit from a repackaging scheme! Me so happy, me could cry.

  • I went to see The Bound Stems last night and while I still stand behind my preview (which was basically a review for their album) I'm not totally sold on their live set. Maybe next time?

  • What's the deal with ...? I just read that (and yes, you have to hit the link for it to be funny) in a Jerry Seinfeld voice and totally cracked myself up.

  • I just re-read bullet numero uno and realized that this must be totally my week to geek out, huh?

  • That reminds me, my first job, when I was 10 (or 9, can't remember) was at a comic book store. Only this was the early-'80s so comic book stores weren't exactly huge sources of revenue, or particularly reputable. So the one I worked at rented out space behind a store that specialized in making x-rated gingerbread people. So, needless to say, we didn't stock a lot of comics that would bring in the kids. Which still doesn't explain why I was working there in the first place, I guess.

  • I couldn't make this stuff up.
Okay, time to make the donuts websites. Onward and upward to cashville.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bullets! Two days in a row!

Yes, it's true. In the interest of undoing the damage of turkey and pie a few days ago, I need to spend a little more time at the gym in the A.M. This cuts down on my writing time (I'm NOT getting up any earlier than I already do!) so let's get to it!

  • This is fucking ludicrous. I get free stuff all the time that people hope I'll write about, but I would never let a company pay me to review a product. The fact that this sort of thing is already ensnaring some music bloggers raises a whole raft of ethical questions. One thing is for sure, I won't trust any blog that signs up with that service ever again since it betrays a severe lapse in judgment that casts any critical opinion they might share as being wholly suspect.

  • I wonder if Chinese Democracy will come out today. And I wonder how the G'N'R show I previewed yesterday went. (WARNING: The preview has a terribly disturbing image of Axl imitating Ali G. It's pretty scary.)

  • Did you know the '80s didn't reach Canada until the '90s? Neither did I, until my brother introduced me to Robin Sparkles. Totally tubular. Someone want to rip me a quality mp3 / m4a of the tune?

  • Chicagoist is having a Happy Hour Thursday at Quencher's. Get there early for some free booze and stay late to see me and other writers make like rock stars fronting Live Band Karaoke.

  • Apparently hereditary succession is alive and well in Chicago. First the Toddler and now this? And this? Why are voters such IDIOTS?!

  • TV Note One: A member of my household enjoys Deal Or No Deal quite a bit, and I thought the show was silly and innocuous. However, after seeing a couple episodes I've decided that it is actually rather sad, since the only way for folks to truly lose is for them to fall victim to their own greed. And more folks "lose" than "win".

  • TV Note Two: I've fallen under the spell of Heroes. This isn't too surprising since it's a show totally tailored to attract a guy that was a major comic book geek from the early '80s until the mid-'90s. It's a total bonus that the show's illustrations are done by Tim Sale, an artist whose work on the Thieve's World graphic novels won me over when I was a teen. I do have one minor quibble. Last night's ep was supposed to take place in April 2006, but most of the tunes being played at Peter Petrelli's party weren't released until late 2006. Oops! But that's just the sort of thing only a dork would notice, huh?
Finally, and this is worthy of being set alone from the bullets, one of the perks of DJing is getting to share the spotlight with good friends who have great taste in music. Tonight I'm DJing at The Pontiac with Gina Blitzkrieg and Debbie Bopz, two sensational ladies with swagger and style. These ladies were once my upstairs neighbors and they threw raucous parties that would have kept me up all night if I hadn't been upstairs drinking beer along with them* while trying to avoid shirtless band dudes exhorting us to, "Dance, man, c'mon and feel the music."

I promise there will be no shirtless band dudes at The Pontiac tonight. Unless, of course, these guys show up.

Anyhoo ...

*FULL DISCLOSURE: Okay, I only ever made it to one of their parties, but that was because I was always working the nights they had them. The one I went to was so wonderfully surreal, though, I just knew we were destined to be friends for life.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oversleeping on a Monday morning.

Well, not really oversleeping, just up later than usual. Prepare thyself for bullet recaps!

  • Two families equals two dinners and two overly stuffed bellies when it come to Thanksgiving Tankboy / Photogal style. I'm still a little full.
  • Saturday night's party was a blast! There were lots of friends (thanks for coming!), lots of people I didn't know, and lots of dancing. And Kip kept his shirt on. It was a successful evening all around!
  • I went along on a home inspection for an 1872 farmhouse in Michigan Photogal and I are buying and learned more about the property than I thought one could just by looking at beams, joints, outlets, crawlspaces, and such. It was pretty cool, even if it did underline just how much work the place needs. Just what Photogal loves ... a project!
  • Last night's series finale of Mile High was pretty good, even if i was a bit mystified by the fact that most of the relatively moral characters met depressing ends while most of the devious characters had epiphanies leading to sunnier futures. I'm sorry to see the show go, even if it has been technically over for a few years since we don't get most BBC shows until long after they aired, but I'm even more sorry that there seems to be nothing good to watch on BBC America anymore. All of my favorite shows are either over or in hibernation. Bah!
  • We spent most of yesterday riding Photogal's BMW around town. It was such a beautiful day and seeing Chicago from the back of a motorcycle is a completely different experience. It's as if the city envelops you and reaches out to stroke your jacket as you pass jails and projects and high-fashion greenhouses and local over- and under-passes you didn't even know existed. parks speak to you. People brush past you, inches away. It's lovely. At the end, Photogal let me do a few practice runs up and down the alley on the bike, reminding me that while I've waited far too long it is TIME that I learn how to ride.
  • I also learned that Starbuck's hot chocolate does not stain jeans if you wash them quickly. Yes!
That does it for today, but here's a picture of the place we have a bid in on in Michigan. I'm calling it "Cowbell Manor" for now, but Photogal gets final say on the name (once we actually close, of course). Photogal has spoken and decided that the current name for the property shall be "Mayhem Manor".

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tonight is finally (or almost, depending on when you read this ) here!

Kip and I take over The Continental tonight! Be there!

Get there early for free giveaways courtesy of:
The Decemberists
Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label
and more!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday.

Is it just me, or is this day's "title" a relatively recent media adoption? I mean, the phrase has existed, but I don't remember everyone using "the day retailers finally go into the black for the year" definition so pervasively before.

Also, a side note, and please do not confuse this with some sort of sense of personal accomplishment; Photogal and I didn't step foot into a retail store today (unless you count the gas station.) This marks the first year in recent memory that we haven't. usually we go out to gawk at the crowds and then find ourselves getting sucked into the vortex of consumerism and buy a $35 DVD player figuring, "someone we know can use it."

This year we took a day-trip to Michigan though, and by the time we got back we were too wiped to even make funof consumer zombies before joining their tribe ourselves.

Also, this marks the first "Black Friday" ever that the turkey and pie i took home from my mom's dinner last night actually lasted into today.
Tomorrow night!

I always get really excited about spinning at The Continental, so I hope you'll have digested enough of last night's feast in order to be mobile and stop on by tomorrow. Kip will be supplying a guest set and I've got loads of stuff to give away (like 2 tickets to the Margot & The Nuclear So & So's / Dirty On Purpose show at Subterranean, CDs from Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label, Decemberist lithographs, etc.). How exciting is all of that!

We start at 11, and I suggest getting there early, since I'll be doing the giveaways before the late night crowd starts stumbling in.

Also, check out what Time Out says about the night:
DJ Tankboy owns a beagle named Betty and he's a populist DJ who likes to spin the rock, indie, pop and industrial jams that make any bar feel like home for a little while.
I love the fact Betty gets a shout-out in a DJ listing. That's awesome.

Anyway, please stop by tomorrow and help make the night a rousing success!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am thankful I'm not this guy ... yet.

Gobble gobble everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh yeah ... last night!

I never did find the Moldovan I was supposed to bring to The Bottle last night, but I did greatly enjoy the Venom Lords and Farewell Captain. Though if Rick is going to continue to fill in for Amy he needs to start wearing skirts and boobie shirts. Period. Here are some texts I sent myself last night when I was planning on reviewing the whole thing properly:
  • MySpace hit song
  • Full disclosure their bassist was a dude ergo no tits
  • Anthemic portion of Texas Kills
Yeah, I don't know what I was getting at either.

Anyways, I'm planning on hitting Double Door early and then heading over the meet up with my gal at Bucktown Pub. Also looking forward to two turkey meals tomorrow capped off by dessert at Debbie's.

(Do you think she'll serve Little Debbie's? Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Finally, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not forget to visit Kip and I at The Continental Saturday night! We're spinning starting at 11 and I have lots of free stuff to give away (like stuff from Thurston Moore's label, and Decemberist lithographs, and the like.) I mean, who would want to miss this?

Tankboy and Kip

If this is true, I'm in heaven:
Then there is the requisite multimedia collaboration: a feature-length Gorillaz movie, on which [Damon] Albarn is collaborating with director Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, etc.)
Via PFork
File under: "No duh!"

From Steven Levy's column in the current Newsweek:

It turns out that we really do make judgments about other people—and even have attractions triggered—based on what they listen to. Actual scientific proof of this comes from recent studies by Cambridge University psychologist Jason Rentfrow and his colleagues on "the role of musical preferences in interpersonal perception."

Really?! I had no idea!

Okay, okay ... the rest of the article is actually a pretty good exploration of the new Zune's shortcomings while extrapolating exactly which feature could, once tweaked, help set it above other mp3 players. (The final paragraph does make the caveat that Apple will probably take that tweak and run with it too, though Levy seems to think that in this case Microsoft wins out for being the early adopter. I am not so sure.)

I do tend to forget that a tech column in something like Newsweek needs to be simplistic enough, and careful enough to avoid assumption, so that any average reader can "get it." In this case, I take for granted that everyone is aware of the role music plays in people's lives, whether they know it or not. The simple fact is that most people don't know it, never bother to explore why they respond to songs the way they do, and that is perfectly okay.

Still, admit it, the above quote does come off as kind of obvious to folks like you and me though, right?

OKAY. BACK OFF TANKBOY. So much for keeping it light this week, huh? I see a quote, I want to make a brief aside about it, and next thing I know I'm battling by trying to come off as an open minded populist, but I keep slipping into snarky superiority. To be honest this is a probelm I envountered yesterday (which is really funny, since I actually wrote everything before this sentence (yes, sometimes I draft early thoughts for entries ahead of the morning I actually finish and post them) on Chicagoist, when a reader was complaining about my failing to reveal the background behind a particular criticism.

In this case, the reader was right. The aside was a personal condemnation of the direction Jeff Tweedy took Wilco on their last album. People that regularly read my comlumns, either here or at Chicagoist, would have gotten the meaning of the obscured reference, and to be honest that's who I wrote the reference for.

However I forgot that when writing for Chicagoist, a site with a huge readership -- many of whom may not visit everyday, and many of whom may be landing on the site for the first time ever -- I have a responsibility to include everyone and make my writing as accessible as possible. I can still be as ornery in my critiques as I wanna be, but folks need the full background each and every time I make a bit of commentary. This is even more important on Chicagoist because it's not a music-centric site. Music is just one of many subjects we cover, and when someone is reading my views on this band or that event, I have to make sure they understand what I'm talking about or they're not going to take the time to read what I have to write the next time.

The situation is not the same on this site or over at donewaiting, since each has a rather specific audience, for the most part. As a matter of fact, I can be a obscure as I wanna be on this site, since the only audience I'm ultimately trying to please is myself. I mean, I appreciate, no, I love, the fact that so many people visit here daily ... but I would never write anything to specifically try and keep people here. At donewaiting, the folks visiting there are already pretty music-savvy and they're probably there hoping to feel like they're part of an ongoing dialog with which they already have a certain familiarity bred through years of listening to (and probably having a pretty intense love of) good music.

Aw, you know what? It's the eve of a four-day weekend and I've really got to let this go. So I'm going to to.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Bloc Party track!

I give the deets donewaiting-stylee. Def worth a listen. Or twelve.
It's a short work-week!

Due to the fact this is a holiday week in the U.S. of A., I admit to not feeling particularly motivated to explore the inner depths of my mind. So let's keep things light, okay?

Um, if you're looking for distractions to while away your week, I previewed a couple local shows here. If'n you need guidance, that's a good place to start.

Tonight I will be at The Empty Bottle to catch The Venom Lords, Farewell Captain, and Panther Style. It should be a hottt show. A couple blocks away, I also hear there are some hottt DJs filling in for me at The Pontiac tonight. See?

Tuesday Nov 21st (Tonight!)

DJ SAFECRAKA (of Trapperkeeper)
DJ SECRET WEAPON (of The Assembly)
at the
Pontiac Cafe - 1531 N. Damen Ave.

Spinning every form of rock imaginable...


Also, DO NOT FORGET, I am spinning at The Continental this Saturday with Kip from America's #1 Sweetheart. Please come by and make the evening a success!

I'll have giveaway stuff to make it worth your while, like Decemberist lithographs and such.



I found this sequence of pictures / poems and haven't been able to stop laughing. One example?

Go check out the whole series.

Credz Caner Dreams for the kitty hook-up

Monday, November 20, 2006

Caught by the paparazzi!

First, it's a durn cute picture. Second, I needed something to wash out my eyeballs after Saturday's photo. Third, even two year-old nephews can look like superstar club kids with the right attitude and lighting!

Also, congratulations to the Lady Sov contest winner, Kyla E! New contest announced tomorrow!

Man oh man, the excitement just never stops around here, does it?


What Is It?

I was going to write a whole review of the Crispin Hellion Glover experience from Saturday night, but decided words couldn't really do the whole thing justice. Then I thought about it some more and decided that maybe writing about it would help me more fully understand the experience for myself. So, if you're interested, my rather lengthy thoughts about the evening are right here.

P.S. Photogal's take on the evening? She thought he was a little too out there but appreciated how well spoken he was while defending / explaining his art. She also thought he was looking really good at 42. Come to think of it, she kept repeating that last part. Should I be worried?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Another reason you probably won't see me
at Debonair anytime soon,
even though
I like Red Haired Matt.

Because people like this are hanging out there.

Also, what's up with the sudden appearance of all these "nightlife" photogs in Chicago lately? So far, the two I've noticed (Clayton (who I saw at Uffie, seeming alone, so I'm wondering if that was one of his first assignments before recently exploding) and, now, this Jeremy cat that took the above shot) seem okay, but it's a worrisome trend that tends to bring the douchebags out of the woodwork.

Ick, ick and doucle ick.

Photo by Jeremy Farmer

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Five Best Bands of 2006 You
(Probably) Haven't Heard (But Should)™

It's November, and everyone's about to get a little list crazy, so I thought maybe I'd try to highlight a few bands a bajillion folks haven't written about yet, but should. So, here they are, the Five Best Bands of 2006 You (Probably) Haven't Heard (But Should)™. These kids are also strong contenders for my Year-End Best-Of I do over at donewaiting, so consider this a sneak-peek, if that sort of thing excites you. Pervert.

The Bound Stems
Appreciation Night

This is seriously terrific stuff, as if Modest Mouse ran into Arcade Fire and blew a few amps. I've got a full piece on them going up at Chicagoist before their show here in Chicago next week, but get on the wagon ahead off the rest of team and dig 'em now.

Ugh, I just re-read the above, and it's totally unfair to the band. They deserve a better description that merely mashing up two influences. I'll do better when I preview them, but for now consider this: I have been listening to this CD over and over and over for the past two weeks and I can't remember the last time I gave an album got this much play, all the way though, for this length of time.

MP3: The Bound Stems "Andover"


The Mighty Ocean & Nine Dark Theaters

I've written about this cat before and I still don't quite know how to describe him. I mean, I've got to be able to come up with something better than that whole Modest Mouse / Arcade Fire train wreck I committed above. Hm. Let's see. Traces of Beck. A touch of that whole Bright Eyes thing, without the whining. Lots of effort in the studio that shines through without overwhelming. i dunno, his publicist tried to tell me he was hip-hop, but I'm not buying that. it's different and eccentric, yet super-accessible, I think.

MP3: Astronautalis "Meet Me Here Later"


The Ladies & Gentlemen

Ladies And Gentlemen...The Ladies & Gentlemen

If you don't live in Chicago, you probably have never heard of these guys, and that is truly a pity. Skid Marks leads this new-New Wave outfit through concerts that even get the most rhythmically challenged to shake their ass in pure glee. When they started the band, in the interest of keeping the quality high and the boredom factor low, they decided they didn't want any songs to go past the three-minute mark. They haven't totally kept that promise, since I think they have an epic or two that clock in at four minutes or so, but even at that length the songs never get boring.

MP3: The Ladies & Gentlemen "I Wanna Thank U"


Mystery Jets
Making Dens

These kids are reasonably well-known overseas, so you would think that at least some buzz would have crept over here. Alas, they remain largely unknown in the U.S.A. I actually have two versions of this disc, but the one they ended up releasing dropped one of my favorite songs. Bummer. But this isn't about what I'm missing, it's about what you're missing, right? Well, here's what you're missing: a bunch of kids making an oddly cohesive and professional racket with one old man filling in on the bass. And an album of some of the best fucking British rock and/or roll this year.

MP3: Mystery Jets "Zootime"


The Kleptones

I know I just wrote about these guys (well, guy), but Shay-sus Kee-rist if they didn't come way out of left field as a heavy contender for one of the best albums of the year. This accomplishment is made all the more amazing when you consider the entire disc is a) built out of nothing but samples and b) it's free! Why you do not have this locked into constant repeat RIGHT THIS SECOND is beyond me.

MP3: The Kleptones "17:30 Know How Frogs Function"


Don't forget!

Tomorrow night at The Pontiac ... art, bands and one DJ all coming together to create an unforgettable evening.

Or, maybe really forgettable, if you overdo it on the booze. But then you can't blame us for that.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Distress at The Office.

While I've grown annoyed with the Jim / Pam thing, I've forgiven it because the American version of The Office because it's been doing a good job of transferring the tone, if not the full power, of the U.K. original. Tonight's ep cranked up the love triangle, though, and added insult to injury by extolling the virtues of a paper shredder from Staples ... right before a commercial for a paper shredder from Staples. The crowning moment would be the really uncomfortable moment with the overweight employee being given an unwanted boost in the middle of a room of horrified employees. I realize they were trying to push the line and mine humor out of discomfort, but not only was there nothing funny in the moment, it -- for the first time -- cast the character of Michael Scott as really unlikeable.

Things are not looking good this season, that's all I'm saying.

You want to see a love triangle done right? Here's how you supply two of the main ingredients:

Digital Hardcore! Fondly, Reflected Upon.

So, in the old days before everything was dowanloadable, we learned about bands via zines and magazines and word of mouth. One such band was Atari Teenage Riot.

I remember reading about them and being intrigued by the reviewer's take on the band's sound. I was pretty into electronic music at the time, since I was DJing quite a bit, and was constantly on the prowl for stuff that mixed beats with a harder-edged punk rock feel. I had heard Gabba but thought it sounded too cartoonish and, while it certainly was fast enough, it lacked the character I was looking for.

Anyway, I read a review of the band's debut and went in search of the disc. At the time, there weren't too many places in Chicago that were carrying that sort of thing, but after weeks of scouring indie record stories and dance specialty shops, I found the Delete Yourself! CD tucked away in the corner of the upstairs section of the old Earwax Cafe. I was trembling with excitement but it still took me another week to save up enough disposable dough to buy the damn thing. I'd stop by and visit the CD every day, worried that some other cool taste-maker would grab the prize before I did. I think I just about drove Photogal nuts by wanting to stop by there so often. I still remember the snobbish dude behind the counter mimicking the beats with his mouth and alternately jeering me for / congratulating me on my choice of purchase.

When I finally got home and got the disc in my CD player I realized that while I hadn't discovered the absolute missing link I was looking for, I had obtained something wholly unlike the rest of the dance music scene. The samples were there, the dance beats were there, the chanting was there ... but it sounded like someone had pureed all those elements and then used them to splatter paint the rec room from hell. I loved it.

I picked up other material by them as it was released, and various other DHR stuff (though none of that every really lived up to the promise implied by the name), although by the time The Beastie Boys discovered ATR and signed them to their Grand Royal label, I was pretty done with them. I did get a chance to see ATR play a blistering live set with live Shizuo and EC8OR and my retinas and eardrums still haven't completely recovered. Alec Empire's solo Destroyer disc is still one of my favorite pieces of accessible noise out there, and I think Hanin Elias' solo output has been consistently strong, but nothing could ever match the anticipation I had for the band when I first encountered them.

It's a different world now, and I accept that, and I think it has changed mostly for the best. But I can't help reflecting on memories like this and feel that something hasn't been lost in our age of instant gratification. Sometimes waiting for something made it that much more precious and special, so how do you recapture that feeling when nothing is unattainable?


Mark up your calendar in black.

Saturday day night, after seeing Crispin Glover, won't you join me for this?

I actually forgot I was DJing this particular show! I had always intended to attend the concert, but I'm glad Wes reminded me I'll need to bring my own gear as well. Also, it's not in this particular flyer, but the show will also feature rock photography by Nicole Faust, so that should be pretty cool too.


A reminder.

Only one day left in the Lady Sov contest, so get your entries in!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I couldn't make this stuff up.

The KFC logo, as seen from space (and next door to Area 51).

Thanks, I think, to The Beachwood Reporter for the tip.
Even I fall prey to celebrity gossip-stuff.

She's no Kelly Clarkson, but I've always had a soft spot for BritBrit. I remember buying the single of "I'm a Slave 4 U" when it first came out and playing it at The Note constantly, much to the consternation of the bar staff. So i offer you brieft modern history of a pop diva.




No wonder everyone hates that dude. Viva la Britney, the pimp is dead!

Just when you thought the dude couldn't look like a bigger douche, he goes ahead and does.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

As promised, a contest!

The nice folks promoting Lady Sovereign's new album sent me a copy the other day. However, being the good little consumer voter I am, I already bought the disc the day it came out! So now I have an extra disc. What a quandary.

Now I know I could go and sell it for a couple bucks, but why be satisfied with getting the price of a latte when I could make a ready happy instead, right?

So I'm running a contest from today until Friday. Send an email with lady sov contest in the subject and your contact info in the body to: tankboy (at) gmail (dot) com before 4pm Friday November 17 and you'll be entered into a random drawing. Please only enter once. Also, feel free to include mash-notes / criticisms / artfully-taken-photos-of-whatever in your entries. It won't improve your chances of winning, but it will amuse me.

Also, this is completely off-topic, but I would be remiss in my duties if I did not point out that Mister Crispin Hellion Glover will be in Chicago this weekend presenting his big slide-show, and his movie What Is It? complete with a question and answer period at the end of the evening. Photogal and I already have our tickets. Glover has been talking about doing this for years and I am very excited he's finally following though! It should make for quite the memorable experience.

Also way off subject, have you become one of my Flickr contacts yet? And if not, what's stopping you? Get to it, kid!


And, a momentous event.


It seems as if they’ve been separated
longer than Odysseus and Penelope,
but tonight it ends as
DJ Tankboy
Rudy Tuesday
finally reunite!

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

TONIGHT, Tuesday November 14, 2006
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

$3 Budweiser bottles

Don’t miss this, since god knows when they’ll spin together again.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh oh oh lazy ... y'know, like that Love and Rockets song.

I just don't have the energy to be creative. So I'll just share a picture or two with you this morning. To prove to my mother that I no longer look like a scary disciple of Manson, I offer this picture, snapped by Olivia at the Chicagoist dinner least Friday. The two most amazing things about this glamour shot? She shot it with only available light, and she managed to take this photo completely without my knowledge. The only thing that could make it better would be if there we lasers in the background.

Okay, I promise, no more pictures of me for a while, so just suppress that gag reflex a little longer and it will all be okay.

Yesterday Photogal was reading a story about Courtney Love and brought this photo to my attention.

Sitting next to her in that car ... is it? Could it be?

Hey! How did Betty the Beagle get in that photo? Betty!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Shot.

I don't look like this anymore. I grew the moustache and beard for a Halloween costume i never actually followed through with. Last week Photogal got tired of my scratchy kisses and I got sick of being mistaken for a mountain man, so I shaved it all off and took about a decade off my appearance by doing so.

If I actually ever trim the mop on TOP of my head I'll look even younger. Dorian Gray, I tell you, Dorian Gray. I'm going to pay for this someday.

And here, I feel generous. This is a shot from last night's Chicagoist outing. I'm singing "Sweet Caroline." Seriously.

I would like to add that, inthe above photo, I am wearing my ol school donewaiting T-shirt and my brand new Chicagoist hoodie. Represent! For another perspective on the evening, as well as links to other folks who took pictures that night, check out Rachelle's recap of the evening. I guess I forgot to tell her that while now I am primarily known for DJing, once upon a time I was the frontman for a band!

Also, next week, look here for contest giveaways! I have two!

Bottom photo by Caroline

Friday, November 10, 2006

Congratulations ... now get to work.

It's been a heady week. It began with great trepidation, blossomed into elation, and now I find that I’m becoming more grounded in pragmatism. I have high hopes for our country, now I beg and plead of the Democrats in power: DO NOT FUCK IT UP.

The Dems have a chance to actually get something done now, and I truly believe that Bush might be willing to work along with them as long as everyone remains reasonable. I applaud Nancy Pelosi's pledge to keep the dogs at bay, and not unleash a slew of subpoenas (or even an impeachment charge) on the thumped Republicans. Since I believe many Republican gains were made previously by appealing to voter's "moral standards" in an effort to mask the fiscal damage the voters were doing themselves, I find this observation from the current issue of The Economist to be a heartening one:

There are some signs that social conservatism has peaked: a bid to ban abortion failed in South Dakota; a ban on gay marriage failed for the first time in Arizona; and in Ohio the Bible-bashing Ken Blackwell, who aspired to be governor, went down in flames.

This signals, to me at least, the early failings of "hot-button" topics as motivators, and I hope it ushers in a new era of voters perhaps paying more attention to issues that loom larger I their day-to-day life. At least on a national scale.

Okay, that's it on politics, at least for a while.


And now, time for the (semi-regular) Friday Five!

Yes, you've all been very good this week, so I reckon I can reward you with five more songs geared towards expanding the horizons of your listening habits. This week we’ve got a little of everything. Do you like bedroom pop a la The Postal Service? (Well, judging by their album sales, I think the question is more "who doesn't?".) How about sleazy rockin' Hollywood starlets? Hard hitting indie unknowns? French electro-poppers? How about Reunited pop-proggers? You do? You like 'em all?

Well of course you do. You are a person of great distinction and taste, otherwise you wouldn't be a regular visitor around these parts, right? I love it when we agree on things. We're just so perfect together, you and I, aren't we?

Before I unleash these goodies, though, here's a bit of an advance warning. Rudy and I will be DJing at The Pontiac together next Tuesday. This is our first appearance together in a couple months, and our first appearance together at The Pontiac since before the beginning of the summer!

(Okay, technically we are DJing a friend's wedding this weekend, but you’re not invited to that. So, let's just say this will be our first "public" appearance together in a long time.)

It will be serious fun.

Okay, the tunes. Only Son is a one-man band out of New York led by the guy pictured to the right. From what I can gather the dude usually tours with a guitar and his iPod, though it seems as if he breaks out a full band ensemble from time to time. I think I warmed to his debut album, The Drop To The Top so quickly because it really sounds like my friend Josiah’s solo stuff he was doing outside of his own band, Light FM, a while ago.

Only Son "Long Live the Future"

Next up is a tune off the latest Juliette & The Licks album, Four On The Floor. The group is led by, um, Juliette Lewis (the young lady pictured above mid-freak out), but please don’t hold that against them. Their debut was a bit (okay, very) uneven, but their sophomore effort is SO much better. The lady loves her some New York Dolls and The Stooges, and while the first album felt like she was trying too hard, now I think she's got the hang of it. I think "Purgatory Blues" is a stand-out track on the album since it sees her tempering her sneer a bit to make room for a smidgen of melody that expands to reach for the rafters.

Juliette & The Licks "Purgatory Blues"

This next band, The Plastic Constellations, was recommended to me by a female mechanic last year. I had actually just gotten their Crusades album in the mail a few days before, and her rabid raving about the album moved it to the top of my listening pile. I listened to it, dug it, and then promptly forgot about it in the holiday haze. As I was going through CDs to listen to at work this week, I came across their disc and decided to see how it stood up. You know, since music is "so yesterday" within a week of it's release now, right? Well, I think it's still pretty swell. I've chosen "Sancho Paza" because it is the tune I would earmark as the "hit single" if the band ever cared about that sort of thing. But I assure you they do not.

The Plastic Constellations "Sancho Panza"

This next band has actually been getting a little coverage, so you can consider me officially late to the party. I got the disc months ago, gave it a cursory listen, and then decided to put on the pile of "listen to more closely and write up later" ... where it stayed unlistened to and unwritten about. Bad Tankboy. Prototypes are French, and this fact is betrayed by the fact that they, oh so presumptively, sing in French. I couldn't understand a word of it! Well, except for when they say "merde." Then I giggle a little. For the most part the whole album is a bunch of bouncy tinny tunes made for the benefit of jetsetting sixteen year olds with nothing better to do than slurp caviar in a mud wrestling ring. In "Autonomie" they shamelessly rip off Marc Bolan and I love it. (They rip of ? and the Mysterian on "Dis Moi" too, so I'm actually not sure if they're paying homage to the bands, or if it's just an unwitting theft instigated by the cultural metaconsciousness.)

Prototypes "Autonomie"

I know we're all excited about the Genesis reunion. Oh so excited. Okay, maybe not THAT excited. I suppose if it was going to be a version of the band co-led by Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, I might get a little tweaked, but it's just the latter-day line-up, so suckage is almost guaranteed. I would like to point out that all of the band's latter career did not totally suck. Sure, when we listen to Invisible Touch now, we are much more likely to think of those puppets or the graating title track, or that awful karaoke tape of "Sussudio" I made at an amusement park when the album came out. Oh wait, did I say that last part out loud?

When we visited Chicago when I was a kid (I was born here, but did not grow up here) I vivdly remember driving around, at the end of a long road trip, with "The Brazilian" playing on the car stereo. I lived in southern Texas at the time, and skyscrapers were an exotic piece of landscape my young brain had never encountered before. The juxtaposition of the music and the metal and glass canyons was, and actually still is, one of my most powerful and emotional memories.

Genesis "The Brazilian"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Layin' low.

I think I'm just going to continue to surf on yesterday's natural high. However I weould like to point out that Panther Style and Phistine Verona are playing at The Pontiac tonight. Both groups sling a brand of rock and/or roll heavy with both melody and brawn.

Maybe I'll see you there?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So long, sucker!

Why the glum look Rummy?


And now, a few choice quotes from Bush's press conference this afternoon. The first one shows how EVEN NOW he's still trying to play the "fear card". The second makes me laugh because he's basically saying he lied. And the third is included because it may be the most astute observation the man has ever made.

"Amid this time of change, I have a message for those on the front lines. To our enemies: Do not be joyful. Do not confuse the workings of our democracy with a lack of will."

"Right. No, you and Hunt and Keil came in the Oval Office, and Hunt asked me the question one week before the campaign, and basically it was, are you going to do something about Rumsfeld and the Vice President? And my answer was, they're going to stay on. And the reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer."

"Look, this was a close election. If you look at race by race, it was close. The cumulative effect, however, was not too close. It was a thumping."

And now, my absolute favorite quote about last night's returns, via Stephen Colbert:

"Tomorrow, you're all going to wake up in a brave new world, where the constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones created in a stem-cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags, where tax-and-spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. And everybody’s high!"

I am giddy from last night, for once. I hope my poli-sci teacher I had in college in 1994 isn't crying too hard right now. When Newt and his pals had their revolution that year he brought in doughnuts for the class. I'm assuming this year he brought crow.

Anyway, now that the country has a leg up, let's not fuck it up. And that is why I offer this warning.

I like the guy. Really I do. But I think it's important to note that he is no different than any other senator, as far as being beholden to big money interests.

I'm just saying, let's keep perspective from this point on and continue working towards making a change for the better.

Also, and this will tickle my family of Republicans, I'm glad Duckworth lost. She had nothing other than an Iraq war record to recommend her, and that alone is not sufficient to elect a representative, in my opinion.

Like I said, let's look at this election as the one that got a nation's belly fired up again, and keep working towards positive goals.


And now, the fury.

So Photogal went to her polling place last night and was challenged. No biggie, I guess it's a democratic right, right? However after being challenged, she was then denied a provisional ballot! What the fuck?! I was / am furious. Keep in mind this happened in the middle of what is a pretty affluent area of Chicago, so I can only imagine what sort of ill informed high-jinks were going on elsewhere in our city / county / state.


And finally, I have no time for this phenomenon.

No, you're not famous.

Actually, one of these "club" photogs was trying to get in Double Door last year for the Lolla after-party, and was incensed that no one knew who he was. All Photogal and I could do was laugh.

However, he wasn't all bad, because he did manage to snap this shot. Come to think of it, I actually like this guy. I guess I just don't like the scenester attitude of the attendees then. Fair enough.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A redirection towards previous musically inclined writings.

Man, have I been quite the busy little writer lately. Let's see, who / what have I written about in the past few days?

And to show how much I love you, here's an empeethree for your listening pleasure:

Henri Fabergé & The Adorables "Ventriloquist Love"


A plea from the author.

It's November 7, 2007. If you like in / area citizen of the U.S.A., today is the day we vote. So do so. I don't care who you vote for, all I care is that you vote. Okay, I do care who gets elected, but I'm not going to foist my personal views on you, and at this point I think it's more important to get everyone to actually start participating in this most important process. Plus, if you don't vote and dare to bitch about the state of thing tomorrow, you are guaranteed a punch in the mouth from my. And then I'll ignore everything you say about politics and civil responsibility for the next two years.

And, let freedom ring.


Join DJ Tankboy
as he celebrates Democracy
and plays tunes to smite the terrorists.

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

TONIGHT, Tuesday November 7, 2006
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

$3 Budweiser bottles

Oh yeah, and ... DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Borat and the genius that is Sacha Baron Cohen.

I have one thing to say this morning: GO SEE THE BORAT MOVIE NOW.

Anything more would really be giving too much away. Photogal and I went yesterday with her sister and the Mad Moldovan (who was equally tickled by the critique of U.S.A. / poking fun at backwards ex-Soviet republics) and the laughter was just about non-stop. I'm so glad I went to the doctor on Friday to get my cough and sore throat under control, because if I hadn't, the laughter spasming my throat yesterday during the movie would've rubbed my innards raw. Even Photogal, who had been against going to the movie because she thought it looked more cruel and mean than funny, had tears rolling down her cheeks.

So, see it before one of two things happens:
  1. Too many of the plot's particulars and surprises are given away via various media outlets.
  2. The word of mouth hype grows to Blair Witch / SoaP proportions and the actual film can never meet expectations.
It's 5 a.m. and I'm still chuckling. And a little disturbed. That's the mark of a really good comedy.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday Shot.

It sort of seems a pity to never post anything on here over the weekend. I mean, what about my peeps who have jobs that force them into the office over the weekend? So, with that in mind, I think I'm going to try and start posting something quick, probably image related, every Saturday. This shot is from Secret Machines' set at Lollapalooza this year. I thought it was cool they were playing in the middle of the afternoon and still had a big ass light show going on. I think I like this shot so much because it sort of looks like the band is playing under a huge heat lamp, not unlike the one's found at various public transportation centers in Chicago.

I was going to make a terrible pun here employing the use of the heat lamp imagery and the word "baked," but I'm taking the high road here and skipping that joke altogether.

(As always, click the image for a better look.)

ALSO, PRIVATE TO MY FAMILY: Happy birthday Dad, we all still miss you.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lungs like lead weights.

Yeah, still sick. This blows. I think I'm actually going to have to make a doctor's appointment or something at this point. Usually if I can't ride something out within a week, it's not going to go away by itself. Why does this always happen when there's so much going on? For instance, last night I would have rather been at The Assembly / Ladies & Gentlemen, Bon Mots / Farewell Captain, Twilight Singers, or Justice shows, but instead I was on my couch coughing up a gallon of phlegm. Yum.

(Speaking of which, did anyone here see Twilight Singers last night? I'm curious to hear how the show was.)

Regardless, I have things I need to do today. Look for that Lady Sov piece I promised earlier in the week to actually go up today right here.

Also, I am sad to inform you that if you didn't get your tickets to the "secret" Naked Raygun show at SubT tomorrow, you are out of luck since it's all sold out. I'll be covering it though, and Photogal will be snapping shots of the show, so if you can't make it I'll try and make you feel like you were there anyway.

Tonight The Blue Meanies play Double Door. I won't be there, which bums me out since they were one of my favorite bands that used to play The Gallery in the early '90s and I loved their reunion show a few years back. If you can make it, though, do! You'll thank me for it later.

Finally, I'd like to alert you to my presence on Flickr. I've had a page over there for years, but recently -- spurred on by finally owning a computer that could handle such a task -- I uploaded a whole slew of images to the site and will continue to do so. If you are so inclined, feel free to add me as a "contact." Also, you can find other photos I've contributed (like this year's Chicagoist Lollapalooza pics I shot) by searching for images tagged with "tankboy." Fun!