Friday, November 28, 2014

To shop or not too shop?

Face it, Black Friday is no longer really a shopping holiday so I have a hard time feeling one way or the other about it. Most sales now extend all through November and anyone really looking for bargains knows to wait a few weeks and pick them up when retailers really start to get desperate. So what's there to get upset about?

Stores opening on Thanksgiving.

That is fucking ridiculous. If doing that isn't going to actually give you a financial jumpstart—and I have yet to see any stat that supports that it does—why drag employees away from a family meal on one of the few days folks might have to spend together as a full family. I don't know what we can do about it at this point? But I do think that just sucks.

Thus endeth my less than persuasive argument without a solution.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


2014 is certainly a year I have more to be thankful for than not. I won't go into the litany of positivity, but 2014 has treated me about a million time better than 2013 did.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quentin Jones and 'Miley' might melt your mind.

Still from “Miley” by Quentin Jones
This one is for those who still doubt Miley Cyrus isn't open to more than a dash of the truly avant, courtesy a video collaboration she did with Quentin Jones (which supposedly plays during her live show, but I must have missed when I saw her play in March).

[h/t SBSG]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This was one of my favorite bills at the Metro.

Yup, I still have the shirt and it still fits!
Mike Watt with Foo Fighter and Hovercraft (Eddie Vedder's band with his wife at the time) at Metro in June of '95 was one amazing bill. Foo Fighters were just starting out, Vedder was in mid-Pearl Jam explosion and really seemed to love playing the act of sideman in Watt's backing band along with Grohl. And Pat Smear is motherfucking Pat Smear.

Here's what they looked like live, courtesy an appearance on the Jon Stewart show during that tour.

[h/t COS]

Monday, November 24, 2014

Who are the people who are Lana Del Rey fans?

Who is actually a fan of Pitbull?
Or Imagine Dragons? 
Or One Republic?
Or Mumford And Sons?
Or Sam Smith?
Or Iggy Azelea?

Just to name a few.

Who are these people?

Like, who really finds any of them interesting?

I try to be respectful of others' tastes, but there mainstream is once again clogged with bands that make dry white toast seem like the choice for an adventurous palate.

Friday, November 21, 2014


The other night I watched Car Wash, at 3 in the a.m., not Thank God It's Friday, and was shocked that I had totally forgotten about George Carlin as the cab driver. Which then led me to wonder, had I actually ever watched Car Wash before, or had I just assumed I did since I was a child of the early '70s?

I honestly don't know, now. And if that's the case, how many other cultural touchstones have I taken for granted that I may not have not actually experienced (or if I have, have no honest recollection beyond the surface belief I've experienced it)?

History is a weird thing when you realize how unreliable it actually is.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Faith No More's new song does NOT disappoint!

Photo via the Faith No More Facebook page
Sounds pretty sweet to me. I can't wait for the new album!

And the motherfuckers had BETTER play Chicago!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The commute from hell.

It's not enough that Chicago weather had to suddenly drop into single digits, our entire transportation decided to go kablooey at the same time.

What. The. Fucking. Hell.

The amazing thing is that due to an 8 a.m. meeting I actually made it into the office on time since that forced me to get ahead of the pack that got mired in the traffic woes of the day! Who would've thought I'd be thankful for an 8 a.m. meeting, ever?!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday Adventure-day!

Due to missing an appointment to begin creating a wedding registry—something it turned out neither of us felt compellingly passionate about to drag ourselves out of bed super early on a Sunday morning—Mich decided to take me on a Mystery Date. Several trains and many hours later we found ourselves drinking beer in a bar off the Flossmoor stop and generally having a great time together. Our trip home was equally epic and by the time we arrived back in the city and made it back through our home's doorway we had left an epic Sunday in our wake.

Here's to more Adventure-days in the future (though I think the next is mine to plan so I'd better start looking for ideas)!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The new TV On The Radio album is kind of "normal."

Photo credit: JUCO
I've started taking notes on every album in a spreadsheet—something I really should have started doing years ago—since it helps me keep track of initial impressions when writing about them. I don't think I'm going to review the new TV On The Radio album, Seeds, but I will share those rough notes I jotted down after listening to it.
Pretty catchy stuff. It says a lot that their sound is the same only the environment around them has changed to the point where this is pretty mainstream stuff. Not quite as adventurous as earlier work but still solid. This is what Genesis would sound like if they formed today?
Sounds about right. Haven't heard it yet? this should help you get a bead on what I wrote.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hello, cold.

We've hit the point where fall, winter and spring are all just basically winter, and summer is barely even cutting it as fall. Chicago weather, you're wearing on my last nerve.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Too many cooks is fucking amazing.

O.K., I admit I slept on this one. It was all over my feeds and I put off watching it because I figured the amount of hyperbole being thrown its way meant there was no way it could be taht good.

Boy was I wrong. This is amazing. And I am jealous of the creative impulse that birthed it was not my own.

Digital gurus.

Yes, David Shing is ridiculous, but EVERY huge agency / corporation has someone like him—folks that talk a LOT and say absolutely nothing and don't actually accomplish anything—as a digital guru / figurehead. Be jealous of these people only if you are jealous of a gig with an expiration date that will leave you nothing but your piggybacking on the hard work and thinking of others to show for it.

I've worked with digital wonks / figureheads like this in the past, and the only remarkable things they did was sell existing clients on stupid tactics while singlehandedly losing every new business pitch they contributed to.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wedding planning.

Just in case you were wondering, it's still moving along. I'm dragging my feet on things like suits and such, but overall Mich and I are handling things remarkably smoothly!

Knock on wood.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Itty bitty Bleachers are just too adorable.

I go back and forth about how I feel about Bleacher's debut—sometimes it feels right and sometimes it feels wrong—but after seeing them lie this summer I have zero doubt as the question whether to Jack Antonoff's enthusiasm about the music he makes in sincere. It absolutely is. So I almost squealed like a little girl at just how he took the band's live set up to—or would that be down to—the next level with this appearance on Conan.

Friday, November 07, 2014

The return of ABBA! Well, more like the reincarnation of ABBA via L.A. courtesy Music Go Music.

Music Go Music, photo by Aaron Ruell
This is the time of year I finally get a little breathing room and get to dig through all the music in my review queue that maybe wasn't time sensitive since it was either a) regional only or b) from a band with no touring plans. Subsequently November is a lot of fun for me since, while there is a fair amount of dross I have to slog through, there is an unusual percentage of gems I totally missed earlier in the year.

One of those gems is Music Go Music's Impressions, 9 songs of insanely catchy electronic pop that channels 1978—only the good parts of that disco pop era—perfectly. The trio of Gala Bell, Torg, and Kamer Maza build songs that sound as if ABBA wrote them, and I mean that as the highest sort of compliment. There's a one-two swirl of the disco ball below to get you out on the dancefloor, and then I suggest you grab the rest of the album ASAP.

Let's boogie.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Today's assigned reading.

Scott and I agree on many things when it comes to digital engagement and his latest about how banners and social media engagement is currently broken at the brand level is a good read. Take in his high level synopsis and if that piques your interest click on through and read the full piece.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

You've got to fight! For your right! To STICKERS!

Join us!
I'm not going to wring my hands and say the world ended last night, but we certainly took a few steps backward and aren't gonna make any real progress any time soon. So instead I think it's time to re-driect our attention to a change we can make!

Join Mich and me in our fight for our right for "I voted" stickers! 


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

70. He'd be 70 today.

Check out that handsome young fellow!
Today is my dad's birthday and had he lived to see it he would be 70 years old. That's pretty mind-bending to me. The fact that I would have had a parent in their 70s? What?!

I don't really know what to write beyond that. I mean, by this point I am able to spend most of my time just not really noticing my dad of gone gone, and can occupy a mental space that leans on the notion that maybe I'm away at school and will see him over the holidays, whenever we both get the time. Days like his birthday force me to once again face that I can't even call to wish him "happy birthday" much less check in on him over Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I'm pretty sure this is as easy as it gets, which is to say not easy at all, but it's a burden or sadness I can at least bear without fear of being crushed by it. And that's a good thing, right? I think my dad would think so.

Monday, November 03, 2014

God bless daylight savings time.

Yes, I think daylight savings time is probably an idiotic concept at this point, and I'm going to curse the fuck out of it next spring when we move the clocks back forward, but for the first time in months—after moving the clocks back an hour—I finally feel like I'm not so rushed in the morning and it's far easier to wake up without being a total grouch.