Monday, October 31, 2016

When I first heard 'Being There' I almost fell off my barstool.

That title is a true story.

Learn more about it in my look back at Wilco's Being There. The album turned 20 over the weekend and I still think it's an amazing piece of work that was completely unexpected given the expectations of the band at the time.

And as a bonus, my piece is couched in a slightly more personal recollection of the time, so that sets it apart from most of the other pieces out there on this subject's anniversary!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Total musical blindspot. Whoops!

Usually it's me teasing younger co-workers about not being aware of music everyone should know. Today it was my turn to be on the receiving end of that teasing when they discovered I had never heard of this song or the group that did it after I was riffing off someone saying "jagged edge," surmising that's be a great name for a metal band out of south Florida. I had no idea a group already had that name, and judging by my co-workers and pretty much every other breathing being I am the only one who didn't.

Shhhhh ... don't tel Mich. I don't want her to know I was unaware of a song that featured Nelly!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Too tired to even sing you a song.

I was looking for some music to pep up my evening and realized that even searching for a song was too exhausting an endeavor. Instead, here is a picture I took.

Adorable, ain't she?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I wore tie-dye yesterday.

I have never worn tie-dye in my life. Ever. Thank god it didn't make me break into hives or projectile vomit the second it touched my skin.

The things I'll do for the company holiday video when the actor we had cast for the part couldn't make it.*

*I'll admit it; I had fun acting the part and hope it looks as goofy and hilarious as it felt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beginning to sound like a broken record.

So busy around these parts. SO BUSY. I keep waiting to catch a breathe and I know one must be coming soon. I long for a vacation, I think. I've been out of town a couple times recently but those weren't exactly the kinds of trips that led to peaceful relaxation and mental recharging. Sadly no opportunity to do just that appears to be on the horizon any time soon.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Green Day's "small club" show was pretty freaking great.

31 songs? Check. Well over two hours play time? Check. Pretty much every hit and deep cut you might want to hear? Check! Amazing set? Check, check, check!

See my photos and read my review on Chicagoist.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hey Heyrocco!

I saw Heyrocco play a couple of songs Wednesday night. I had to miss part of their set because the band went on 40 minutes late, which wasn't their fault at all. I should have known that a small indie bill might push it's start time back in hopes of a larger crowd. Unfortunately Cute is What We Aim For (who I didn't even know was still around!) was playing a few doors down and had siphoned off most of the all ages punk/indie/what-have-you crowd.


So I caught part of Heyrocco's set, and luckily bought an old CD and a new t-shirt from their drummer I the show. Had I waited I would've walked away empty handed and that woud've made me sad. Wah wah.

What does not make me sad is the band's music. They're heavily indebted to '90s indie guitar rock, with a really hefty chunk of that debt owed a certain Seattle-based label, but to my ears it's all good. Check out a track from their latest EP below. Download it for free if you dig it.

And if you really dig it consider picking up either the band's new EP or their latest full length since they are both quite good.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post-debate dizziness.

Mich shared these with me this morning.

Oh, 2016 election; I can't wait for you to be over.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My coffee keeps getting cold.

The last couple days (wait, has it only been two?!) has seen an alarming uptick in the disturbing trend of me pouring cups of coffee, going to sip from them a few minutes later then discovering they are ice cold—because, in fact, more like 4o minutes has passed and not a few, because I am so buried in what I'm doing.

I need to start setting more alarms on my fitness tracker to snap me out of these deep mental dives and give my brain a few moments to come up for air and breathe. At the same time, at least I'm busy, which is better than not!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The return of my taste buds!

I made a remarkable discovery upon the eve of my 50th day sans alcohol: yesterday I was eating some potato chips and they were exploding in my mouth. Little daggers of salt and pepper felt as if they were pricking every nerve ending along my tongue and roof of my mouth. I just assumed it was because the chips were over-seasoned.

This morning, I was drinking my customary cup of pre-gym Bustelo coffee and thought to myself, "Is there sugar in this?" But that was impossible (unless there was a sugar imp hiding in my kitchen, throwing tiny fistfuls of the stuff in my coffee when I wasn't looking). In fact I was realizing that Bustelo had a natural sweetness to it that I had never tasted before.

Apparently when you stop drinking the booze, taste returns in new and exciting ways!* And considering the fact that my taste has probably been blown for decades it's no surprise that these new sensations are exciting, if a tad scary.**

Quitting drinking continues to be the best decision I could have made and the benefits continue to surprise me!

*This is incredibly surprising for me, especially since I must confess an uptick in smoking since I quit drinking, and I had always assumed the smoking is what was numbing my taste buds. Apparently alcohol was the much larger culprit!
**I really did think there was something wrong with those potato chips and that coffee at first.

Monday, October 17, 2016

What a lovely weekend.

Photo by me
It's been two back-to-back weekends of travel, but the last few days were quite lovely as Mich and I attended our friends Sam and Scott's nuptials in rural Pennsylvania.

We need more weekends like that.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Donald Trump is so insane he probably thinks this song is a compliment.

Franz Ferdinand breaks their recording silence with this brand new track, part of Shepard Fairey's 30 Days 30, Songs project.

Dig the print above that's inspired by the song? Buy it and help support the Center for Popular Democracy "and their efforts towards Universal Voting Rights."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

And sometimes things don't work out, and that's O.K.

Today has been an exercise in learning bad news and rolling with it. In the past this would have probably set off an internal tantrum or grousing or some other sort of negative reaction, but given things I've learned and been personally working on this development has actually been met with acceptance. I'm starting to truly get the notion that things happen for a reason and you need to try and see that reason and the positive results it can trigger instead of getting hung up on an event that doesn't go your way and not moving past it.

I know this probably sounds rudimentary but sometimes it takes the longest to actually learn (and live) the simplest things.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

That legendary Nirvana gig I didn't attend.

25 years ago today Nirvana played the Metro, Kurt and Courtney started dating, Dave smashed his drum set, and it sounds like everyone involved kept the party going way into the night.

I wrote a piece on it for Chicagoist, so head on over and relive the glory.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Was out of town for the weekend attending a gathering with Mich's family. But there's been a lot of activity around these parts and it's all very exciting if a tad overwhelming! More on this soon, but for now we're just trying to keep up!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why can't our elections be decided through sing-offs and/or dance-offs?

Last night's debate was dismal. Thanks to Nell for finding this—it doesn't change anything but it makes me dream of an alternate reality where the candidates work in harmony to build a conversation instead of simply trying to destroy each other.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Big things are happening. RILLY BIG THINGS.

That's all I can really say. But I think these rilly big things are also rilly good things. So cross your fingers and help me think good thoughts.

Also, I am up rilly early because I can't stop thinking about these things. I think that's good? Right? Right?!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

A Giant Dog are your pop lifeguards of the day.

A Giant Dog, photo by Sean Daigle
I saw A Giant Dog a few months ago on a weeknight at The Empty Bottle. It was one of those times I didn't even make the connection that I'd listened to their new album months before, so when I went home that night jazzed about their live show* I was taken aback when I went searching for their LP only to realize I already had it!

Sometimes that first listen doesn't really make an impression, huh? However after seeing the show I was able to—fairly or not—hear the music differently and found myself enjoying the disc quite a bit more.

All of this is to say, give A Giant Dog a chance. And today is an excellent day to do so since they just released a new video!

*Once I got past the kind of over-the-top stereotypical stage antics of their singer** I was able to really get into the show.

**Don't get me wrong, I was clearly in the minority reading the performance asa bit canned; everyone else was way into it and I admit I found that crowd enthusiasm infectious.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Free Letters To Cleo, including new music!

Letters To Cleo is back, y'all! they have a new EP coming out soon (which is fabulous, trust me) and leading up to it they're offering up a tune from it, alongside some odds and ends from their back catalog, as a free (or pay what you want) download. And catch the band on a limited tour if they're coming through your town (they hit Double Door in Chicago on November 4).


Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Gorillaz—phase four!

This is prettier on Twitter, but the video above tells the whole story as well...

Monday, October 03, 2016

Gettin' domestic. And other stuff.

Sigur Rós, photo by me.
I saw Sigur Rós on Friday and it was lovely. Their albums have given me feels in the past, but I have to admit the couple of times I've seen the band I didn't make an emotional connection to the music, and this show was no different. So I feel a weird sense of disconnection when I read posts and see photos with captions from other attendees that evening, detailing how the sounds brought them to tears and deeply moved them. I mean, I've been moved to tears at plenty of shows, but I seem emotionally immune to Sigur Rós' live sets. So be it; they're still a phenomenal live band regardless.

Other than that it was an unremarkable weekend, save one big event. But I won't talk about that event just yet. I know, THE SUSPENSE! Actually for the most part the weekend was spent with Mich ad I just hanging around, running various errands, and laying low. Gloriously so. In fact it was such a low-key weekend I was fast asleep by 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening! Someone buy me a shawl and walker now, I've already got the cat.