Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's been a long week.

There have been a couple late nights at work. And I just told a co-worker how happy I was that it is Wednesday and that the week is half over.

She stared at me and said, "Jim, it's Thursday."


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gonna see one of the best touring bands out there tonight.

The Darkness is a band I've seen at every step of their career, beginning with a sold-out show at Double Door during their first U.S. tour.

They have always brought their A+ game to the stage and I don't expect this evening's show will be any different. And while they do keep releasing new music that actually is still pretty rocking, I'm gonna flashback to one of their breakthrough hits as I amp myself up for tonight!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Building something out of nothing at all.

Creation is truly a marvelous thing. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself what amazing things we are all capable of.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Two princes.

I'm not sure who did this, but came across it here. It's adorably sweet.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Wailing, weeping guitars.

Is there anything Prince wasn't the best or near best at doing, musically? The answer is no.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I can't even.

Yeah, yeah, yeah—it's April 20. Let all the Beavis and Butthead "heh heh heh"-ing commence. Wake me when it's safe to go back online.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Feel like I've been under a photographer's hood and suddenly the light stabbed in.

This has nothing to do with the post, I just like the photo I took.
As I left the office today I realized i'd only left my desk 3 times over 9 hours, and each of those 3 were only for a few minutes. I didn't notice the passage of time. It rushed past me as I focused my eyes on computer screens and notepads and sketches of work I had to do; where words would fit and rough ideas of images that could support the content I was helping craft.

Something I don't think most who haven't actually practiced the craft is that copywriters have to think visually. And that never ends, no matter how far you progress upward along your career path. And I think it's probably even more important today. And it got me to thinking that now that the web is filled with "writers" who believe they can try their hand at everything because they can craft some snappy copy there are probably less actual writers, who can practice a true and well rounded craft, than you'd think.

It's also led to a whole bunch of people who think lyrical, creative writing is simply based on jokes, or irony, or whatever. If you don't think I'm correct read a lot of what you see out loud and then you'l realize how blunt and dull the majority of it is. I like to make words dance, and bring forward internal rhythms, that then lead to mental images or at least impressions. It's what I do to make myself feel good. And it's a talent that serves me well professionally and privately. And I want to grab every young writer who shows a shred of talent and shake them and tell them to stop emulating the tone and cadence of every other writer alongside them. It might get the job done, but it's never going to move anyone.

And all I want to do is help people feel, or discover things that make them feel. At the core, that's what I think I do.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lose your marbles.

Things getting hectic? Then let this incredibly convoluted musical instrument that employs many, many marble to augment its sound soothe you.

I am aware that sentence might lead you to believe this contraption is anything but soothing but it's actually quite capable of producing beautiful sounds to set your soul at ease.

[h/t to my co-worker Jackie for this one]

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tax day .... not quite!

Here's a PSA—due to various holidays, tax day in the U.S.A. is actually this coming Monday and not today! So if you procrastinated again this year, you have a whole two extra days to continue procrastinating.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Getting reel real with Love.

When we were heading back from Michigan, Mich wanted to hear some "road rock." This tends to be the timeless stuff that just makes you want to drive and drive, but I admit I wasn't into a full-on nostalgia trip, so I figured I'd play her a timeless album that most people have never heard.

Love's Reel To Real was released in 1974 and then went out pf print from abut 40 years. HighMoon Records—a little label specializing in lovely re-issues—finally brought the album out again last year, and packed with a ton of bonus material.

Reel To Real is Arthur Lee's last "proper" Love album, and while none of the original members were even backing him, the sidemen he had accumulated could rock hard and delve down heavier avenues while also showing adeptness at tackling fun, soul or folk. In my option I really dig this. I respected Love's '60s work, and it displays a  lighter touch most people seem to prefer, but man, is latter-era Lee and company just slamming.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The spirit of Nerf Herder.

I had no idea Nerf Herder was even still around. They just self-released a new album and it's filled with the crunchy, poppy punk rock the band executes so well.This isn't my favorite track on the album, but it's my favorite that is streaming of has a video.

Ever lyric on every super catchy song is a joke, and most of them are razor sharp, sharp but I fear they'll always be filed under punk rock nerd comedy. Which is a shame because singer / guitarist Parry Gripp has a long history of being insanely talented at writing music under pretty much every variety and genre under the sun.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Getting outta Dodge, er, Chicago.

See that second floor deck farther back? We’re staying in the room up there. Jealous?
A few weeks ago I planned a little weekend getaway to one of our favorite B&Bs as a surprise to Mich, and we're about to hit the road and head there this evening. It's in Michigan, so of course what I had hoped would be a nice spring and outdoorsy trip now looks to be more of a wintery snowy one, but I think we'll still manage to have fun.

Even more surprising is that I've turned into a guy who genuinely enjoys doing the B&B thing. If you'd asked me my thoughts on the same subject a couple years ago I probably would've laughed. Further proof that we should always be open to change as we get older and not remain stuck in our ways. If you can't admit you've been wrong about something then you're probably not an adult, no matter what your actual age is.

Anyway, we're off!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

I'd like to teach the world to sing in 4K.

I bet a generation or two of folks primarily know the "Hilltop" Coke ad through an epiphany Don Draper had in the final seconds of the Mad Men season finale. And then they went and looked for the full ad and couldn't understand why something that sounded so murky and appeared to occurred behind a veil of grit (a.k.a. film stock and old lighting) was such a big freaking deal.

Well, now those kids—and the folks that do remember the original ad—can enjoy it in a full remaster of color and sound!

I'm looking forward to the updated Max Headroom commercials that are sure to follow. Right? RIGHT?

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Holy Holy mackerel!

Tony Visconti and Woody Woodsmansey's Holy Holy is coming to Chicago! (This is huge news for Bowie fans.) Get all the details here!

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Let The By Gods pick up your week with their excellent new album!

The By Gods
I mentioned my excitement for The By Gods' new album months ago, and then completely forgot to let you know when it was released!

Well, it’s out and you can buy it and you absolutely should because it’s just as good as their debut. There’s just something so winning about their energetic take on loud indie pop that feels, well, different than most of their contemporaries.

Bassist Natalie Natalie Pauley and drummer Tye Hammonds are in lockstep to create buoyant rhythmic beds to guitars and singer George Pauley to lay big ‘ol power chords over. And George’s vocals have this raspy throatiness that makes it feel like he’s feeling what he’s saying and not just over-emoting for theatrical effect. It’s refreshing.

 So go ahead and stream their sophomore effort Get On Feelings below. And I urge you to also lay down the few bucks it’ll cot you to download the album and keep it forever and ever in your personal collection.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Physical therapy hurts.

Still trying to identify exactly what the cause of the chronic pain plaguing my right arm and back for years is, but at least some of the newer exercises my doctor has me doing seem to alleviate the pain for a spell longer than previous physical therapy work I've done.

I also had a sports massage trying to work out if the issue is actually related to a more rare medical malady. That was not a pleasant massage. And now my right pectoral and upper arm feel like someone beat the crap out of me.

If this helps solve the issue though, I'll take the uptick in pain to move along a longterm solution.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Remember when April Fool's Day was actually fun?

We used to have some fun with April 1 over at Chicagoist, but once every single outlet, brand and marketer decided to abuse the fuck out of the day with increasingly lame jokes we stopped doing it.

This is why we can't have nice things.