Friday, August 31, 2012

You make my dreams come true, ooh ooh!

Tomorrow we are seeing Hall & Oates! Very stoked because it means good music and quality time with family and friends. Ooh ooh!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Walks of shame.

On the way to the bus, GalPal and I came across a couple very definitely practicing a walk of shame. Er, well, the guy was slowly riding his bike next to the girl he obviously brought home and she had that slightly confused, without a compass demeanor you get when you emerge into the sunlight unsure of just what part of the city you're in and which direction is north.* My initial reaction was to laugh inside at them both. And then I realized I was actually a little sentimental.

There's something about being in your twenties and waking up in a room you think is yours for thirty seconds until you realize it most definitely is not. And there's a (hopefully) cute person in the bed next to you. And they're probably pretending to be asleep for fear of having to talk to you, so you do the same before saying "aw fuck it" and rolling over to hug them or pat their hair or let them know in some other way you're awake and it's all cool.** And then you chat a bit before blearily heading outside ad if you're lucky they have a car and will drive you home but if not you'll end up walking blocks in the wrong direction before realizing your apartment is actually over that way. And oh crap, you spent all your money on shots last night o it's going to be a long walk and who knew people were up this early?!***

But you know what, maybe you'll see that person again and maybe you won't, but you're young and you can do stuff like this and you think you're totally grown up and this is what grown-ups do but, really, most grown-ups simply don't have the time.

And I realized that in some ways I'm jealous people doing a walk of shame because it means they have the time to do so and that's something I'll never have again.

*This is even more confusing in my neighborhood since a bunch of streets run into each other or are one way and jeez is it easy to get turned around if you don't know the area.

**Hopefully the next step is surreptitiously trying to find a piece of mail to learn what their name is, but sometimes that is the next step. Whoops.

***It's, like, 7:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Makin' muscle music.

All credit for this little gem due Alyson.

Muscles, muscles, muscles, what?!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I might be allergic to L.A.

I swear, every time I come to L.A. I at some point have an anxiety attack. The first time it happened I thought I was having a heart attack. Backstage at a talk show. That was pleasant. At least that time I was under a lot of pressure so I could understand why it happened. The other times I've been in town working on projects that were already pretty buttoned down so the stress far lower yet I still have anxiety attacks. It's weird. Luckily gor me GalPal is always there to talk me through them until they pass. Thank god for GalPal.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I can't get you out of my head.

Here are some suggested moves for the dancefloor this weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Because some days you just forget to eat for too long so this is the only thing you can do.

Sadly, none of the food at my company's summer outing was the kind of stuff I could eat. Luckily I was able to hunt this down.

And this


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The rotors on the wind tunnel have just begun to turn.

I have looked at my schedule for the next week and realize that this evening is the only one where I am unoccupied. Birthdays, shows, work parties, a Saturday that is actually quadruple booked, and video shoots occupy all my other time. So what does this mean? This means all I want to do tonight is hang out with GalPal and enjoy a quiet moment before the storm.

So hello day two of taco dinners at home wherein I shall eat three tacos, she will eat two tacos and we will dance around the house with the pets singing, "Taco Tuesday! Taco Tuesday!" Because, why not?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Music make my head go splodey.

The only thing that would have made this more personally surreal is if Avril Lavigne had suddenly popped onstage to duet.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What to do?

Wow, this is the first time in quite a while I have no plans for the next two days! Heading to meet GalPal in Wicker Park right now and the possibilities available to us are endless!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holding onto hope.

So Betty the Beagle is getting on in years. I keep trying to deny this but it's getting harder and harder to do so. She's got all these little growths on her now, and one in particular on her front gumline that I think is making it harder for her to eat.* Her back legs are getting weaker. She tries but sometimes has problems controlling her bladder. And she has a heart murmur that's severe enough that the vet wouldn't risk putting her under in order to remove the growth on her gums or anywhere else on her body. And this is all making me realize that Betty's not going to be around forever. And that makes me want to cry. (I'm even tearing up writing this since the thought is one that truly scares me.)

I've had Betty for so long I can't even remember what live was like before she jumped in my arms at the shelter the day I went with Photogal so she could "just play with some puppies and give them some love." I NEVER expected to adopt a dog but when those baby beagle eyes looked into mine I realized I was already her dad. And we survived those first few years together when she destroyed just about everything she could get her teeth on. And the stint of her barking for eight hour stretches when I wasn't home, driving my poor neighbors close to the edge of madness. And it has all been worth it. Every single second.

Now, of course, my family has a history of pets living well beyond their expected lifespan. Our dog Scamp made it into either his late teens or early twenties, I'm not sure which. And GalPal has said she fully expects Betty will be around for another decade. I know she's just trying to reassure me she's in it for the long haul, no matter what happens.**

Of course I hope GalPal's right and Betty lives forever. And I hope that some of Betty's lumps, especially the one on her gums, deflate as other have. And I hope Betty's happy and her legs are just weak but don't hurt. And I hope I don't just completely fall apart the day that I realize our time together has ended.

*We've, of course, had these tested and all is benign. Thank god.
**GalPal took a while to warm to Betty, understandably since she moved in during Betty's extended spells of barking and peeing in the house, but now she loves her just as much as I do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Twilight living.

Lately I've had real trouble sleeping through the night. I fall asleep and then my eyes pop open around 2 a.m. and then I have to decide if I should just get some stuff done and hope that tires me out before I have to actually get up at 5:30, or if I should just hope I fall back asleep. So I get up knowing the latter ain't going to happen.

 On the plus side I get more done! On the downside, well, I'm not asleep.

I've always been a night person, but I'm also oddly function simultaneously as an early day person so I'm not sure this is even a problem. Well, aside from cutting into snuggling time with GalPal. But then again she tends to karate chop me in my sleep so maybe this is all just self-preservation!

 Maybe that's it! My insomnia is merely protecting me. Yes!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fang Island's happiness may bust your eardrums but you'll love 'em.

I've been trying to find the time to write a proper review of Fang Island's Major, because it is 100% fun to listen to. It's a big rock and/or roll album that's actually equal parts ear shredding volume and pop sunshine, with vocal melodies that take hold of your mouth, pulling it into a smile. I missed them a few weeks ago when they were in Chicago and now I'm desperately hoping they swing back this way sometime soon so I have an excuse to write about them on Chicagoist. This is exactly the kind of band I love introducing people to because I know they will (most likely) instantly fall in love with their music and feel the need to attends every one of their shows.

Listen to the album below; I dare you to not become a fan.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What happens when you discover something first but hold onto it too long?

So I scheduled this early this morning before work to go up at the usual time of 3 p.m. for the Afternoon Diversion. I should have just pushed it live right then because at that point the video had just over 300 views. I had no idea it was going to sweep the web like wildfire. What's the use of being one of the first to discover something when you don't beat everyone else in posting it? And how terrible is it that I even have that thought running through my head when I should instead be thinking about how best to schedule quality content throughout the day.

Whatever, it's a delightful video.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Stop acting like you produce anything even approaching orignal content 90% of the time. Yeah, you.

The average music blogger?
Also, irony of ironies, this photo is
from  BusinessJournalism .org and
doesn't attibute the Flickr user the took it from
So it bugs the hell out of me that every music blog jumped all over the news the LCD Soundsystem Shut Up And Play The Hits DVD (and Blu-ray!) was coming out in October.

Why did this upset me?

Because they all acted like it was breaking news when the movie's been on pre-sale at Amazon for a while (I bought it a week or so ago) which means all these sites either just got a press release about it, or one of them wrote about it and everyone else decided not to attribute in order to make it look like they were "breaking" news.


We live in a time where many, many people--too many of them professionals willing to blur ethical lines--either completely forsake or obscure any form of attribution when they write something.

Now it's one thing when a local music blog steals something from a post of mine, or does a local round-up and does everything in their power to link to any post but mine even if mine was up a week earlier. In Chicago they're upstarts and I'm reasonably established. And many of them just want to throw a "fuck Tankboy" attitude which is totally cool with me. It's what the new guard does to the old guard! Jeebis, I hope they think they're better than me because then that means they have a fire in them to be one of the best, and I can respect that. (O.K., sidebar, the more I think of it the more this actually isn't cool, on the non-attribution front, because it's just bad form. Take pot shots at the old guard and try to tear them down but you gotta cite them when you're writing something you discovered through them.)

No, I'm talking about larger music sites that rarely write anything truly original and base most of their news on press releases or cannibalizing another site's post, merely writing it in their own snarky voice instead of the snarky voice of the site they stole it from. And JESUS CHRIST, REALLY? WRITING FROM A PRESS RELEASE? How about doing two seconds of research to give some context to what you're writing. Or, better yet, do what I did after seeing Shut Up And Play the Hits and go online to see if there's a release date.

Be smart. Be inquisitive. Be a writer, goddamn it.

Hey, another professional music blogger, maybe?
Also, another image from  another site
that doesn't attribute where they got it from!
Let's stay with the LCD Soundsystem DVD for a sec and work through that. We all know James Murphy is very careful about his image and plans everything he does. His retirement of the band threw everyone into a tizzy but no one ever really talks about (and still seem to be more than willing to look past for drama's sake) the fact Murphy said he was retiring  the physical band. That doesn't mean LCD Soundsystem as a recording entity is finished. But talk like that detracts from te drama of the moment so why parse words and point that out? And when Shut Up And Play The Hits came out much was made about how it would only appear in theaters for one night! Which led people to believe that would be the only time they could see it. Which led lazy music writers to parrot that faulty assumption ad nauseam. And even when the documentary aired a second, third and fourth time people still acted as if it was some finite audio visual resource. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ALREADY ON PRE-SALE ON AMAZON.

Look, I'm glad nowadays everyone has access to being a content creator and has the power to exercise their voice and all of that, but fuck people, stop being so lazy about it in your search to constantly pump stuff out. People may think you're a trusted resource now but they will catch on, and you will go down. It might take a while, but it will happen.

Research for context.
Attribute honestly and transparently.
Don't reblog press releases.
Ask questions before you write the exact same thing everyone else just did.

That's not the whole kitnkaboodle, but if you follow those basic tenets, and are willing to write lots of your own original content, you're on the road to being successful.

Please, I want you to be successful.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Is that Olympic fever? Naw, just a summer cold.

GalPal is wrapped in the Olympics and that's seriously cutting into my TV watching time! I jest of course, since how can you not appreciate the efforts of people who've worked so hard to get as close to perfection as they can?

I certainly do.

You wanna know which event totally blew me away that I never thought would? The hurdles. Watching men and women run at incredible speeds while making those jumps is the kind of thing that makes an average human leaden and clumsy. It's fluid poetry just skimming through the air.

Do you have Olympic fever? What caught you off guard with its impressiveness?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Tankboy on TV.

Fox 32's Good Day Chicago invited me on to share my thoughts on this year's Lollapalooza. I've been on the program a few times now so I'm pretty comfortable with it now, plus the hosts always do their best to make the guests look good, which I obviously appreciate!

Friday, August 03, 2012

The Tankboy sanctioned guides to enjoying Lollapalooza.

If you're heading to Lollapalooza this weekend then the reading below is mandatory for you! Stay safe, stay hydrated and, most importantly, have fun!

And say hi to me if you happen to see me running around, and don't forget to swing by that kickball game on Saturday morning. And if you don't go, or don't see me, tune in to FOX 32's Good Day Chicago around 7:55 a.m. when I'm slated to appear and sum up the weekend in five minutes or less. probably less.

The Tankboy sanctioned guides to enjoying Lollapalooza 2012:

The Official Chicagoist 2012 Lollapalooza Survival Guide
What to see on Friday
What to see on Saturday
What to see on Sunday
A preview of Perry's stage

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Blur on the brain.

The lovely lady to the right there showed up last Monday. I think it's safe to say that Blur's Bur 21: The Box is one of the kost expensive items of prerecorded music I have ever bought. But it's also the first time in I can't even remember that I felt genuine excitement at ordering, receiving and unpacking anything musical. Seriously, I felt the same rush as I did when I wold make new discoveries at Music Warehouse in the late '80s. Heck, it was even similar to when I'd get that fist box of ten tapes (eleven if you make your first order now!) from Columbia House.

I miss that feeling.

I also miss reissues and box sets actually living up to the pomp and circumstance that usually accompanies their release but I have to commend Blur for not failing to deliver on the promised goods. Granted, I already have most of the music in this set through years of hunting down singles and gathering fanclub singles back in the day when I was a subscriber to Blurb, but the wealth of unreleased material, the live shows, the hardcover book, the 7" single ... I mean, really, it's all just absolutely terrific. This is the epitome of "not for the casual listener, but if you're a serious or longtime fan this will not disappoint." And just when I thought I was giddy to the point of bursting I found out that the set comes with an online code that allows you to download al the music (saving me from an hour ripping this stuff so I can listen on the go without breaking out my Sony Discman) and other bonus materials, including the entire run of the fanclub's Blurb magazines!

Honestly, the whole thing transports me back to the days of waiting desperately until every Tuesday to pick up some new piece of music. Call me sentimental, but I really miss that.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Can you see it slowly spread across the field?

One of the benefits of my office having a window is watching Lollapalooza as it builds up from nothing in Grant Park. I'm also a short walk from the box office so I was able to pick up my personal wristband today too and beat the lines! Also, I'm starting to get emails from friends coming in from out of town so that's getting me stoked as well. I have to admit that as recently as a few weeks ago I was still wondering if it was going to be worth it to kill myself for yet another long weekend of Lollapalooza but now that it's here I can't believe I had any doubts.