Tuesday, December 31, 2019

So long, 2019.

Yesterday I realized I had no New Year's Eve plans, and it took K asking me if we were doing anything for it to register that I'd made zero plans. No shows. No parties. Not even a dinner reservation. So I only reached out to my two closest friends, but even they don't seem to be doing anything tonight. New Year's Eve used to be fun for me. It was seeing out the old and celebrating the new. It was an excuse for a party. It was a happy event best shared surrounded by the ones you love.

Now it's just another day.

I don't have any resolutions. I learned a while ago that when you need to make change in your life, January 1st isn't gonna do it for you.

Change can start any day that you're ready to embrace it.

Change should start as soon as you're ready to embrace it.

So I have no plans for tonight, but I've already implemented plans for my life. There were stretches of time in 2019 I honestly didn't see how I would make it to 2020. But I'm glad I did make it here, even if in the grand scheme of things it's just another day.

Then again, isn't every day a triumph of some sort?

Monday, December 30, 2019

Letting go to actually move forward.

I mean, I think I do still have some personal lessons that are worth sharing. Things that can help others know they're not alone, or get over similar obstacles. But in 2019, I had to rebuild an entire life almost from the ground up after a truly disastrous 2018. And while with others that would probably feed into a litany of inspirational stories or quotes, I don't think I'm there yet.

I can tell you where I am at right now though. And that is a place that is so much better than where I was a year ago. Once I stopped trying to get my life back to where it was going a few years ago, and accepted the fact that was all gone and I needed to focus on accepting where my life is going now, things calmed down a lot for me. I also made a big decision in 2019 that set me up to navigate that new path with clarity, generosity, and gratitude.

Maybe I do have a little bit of the beginning of an inspirational story, huh? Let's see where this path takes me.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The city's our song and the future is wide open for Harmony Woods.

Sofia Verbilla is barely out of her teens, but the music she’s creating under the Harmony Woods moniker shows the promise of an emerging talent yet to be fully explored. Make Yourself At Home is her second LP, and displays an ear for hooks that propel her narratives and complement her lyrical dexterity. All in all, an excellent starting point to get acquainted with Harmony Woods' music.

As a complete piece of work, it is flawed, and its cracks primarily curl outward from arrangements that tend towards the safe and the familiar. There's nothing wrong with the familiar, but when the framework of the songs is as solid as they are from a storytelling perspective, your brain kind of yearns for a little more musical tension. In other words, it feels like the band she's brought together to capture her vision does their job with precision, but don't fully do her songs justice. All that said, we are talking about a young, ambitious talent, so I'm deeply curious to see where Verbilla goes from here.

"The City's Our Song" is my favorite track from Make Yourself At Home, and hints at the grandeur Verbilla is capable of. At its core it's a brief reflection on youth and endless possibility, and how the threat of mortality should propel us to explore new and exciting endeavors instead of paralyzing us in an existential rictus. Its power is in it brevity, and its precision, and it makes me eager to hear more vignettes from Verbilla.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

That quiet time of year.

Lots of people are on vacation right now. The time between December 24 and January 1 is always a weird time of year. Some agencies I've worked at shut down during that time period, and some have stayed open. Either way, I always love the opportunity this week or so offers to catch up on projects that are usually lower priority timeline-wise but still essential in the grand scheme of things.

So whether you're working or vacationing, I hope this time of year offers you the same opportunities to catch your breath, catch up, and get stuff done.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Breaking up for Christmas!

I don't dislike holiday music.* I'm not someone who lunges for the radio to shut it off or declare its entry as always being too early in the year "for that sort of thing."

However I don't find myself playing much holiday music of my own accord, and even less holiday music that crosses the threshold into more modern sounds.

Every once in a while I do stumble across something of recent vintage that tickles me in a holly, jolly fashion, and thanks to a recent mix CD featuring various artists I was introduced to last week, I have a new holiday song to add to the rotation next year. It may be about severing a relationship, but it's still a rollicking good time to listen to, sitting next to the tree, and sipping a cup of low-fat egg nog (because, y'know, healthier—marginally).

*I do admit I'm not a huge fan of sleigh-bells in music though. Just a personal preference. Even in non-holiday tunes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Laying low for the holidays.

This day last year I was on a last-minute flight to the Dominican Republic to join a friend instead of spending the holidays alone. Parts of my family were out of town so we had pushed back our family celebration until closer to the new year, and I'd spent one other Christmas Eve/Christmas alone in the the preceding decade and that truly sucked, so there I was, on my way to the Caribbean.

This day this year? I'm staying put, spending time with K, and celebrating the holidays with my family tomorrow. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The one time I'd make the argument that the passenger, not the driver, should control the music.

It's the end of the year and I admit I've been feeling rather emotional—in that whole "let's review the past year and what I'm gonna do ton continue to improve myself in 2020" kinda way—but don't really feel like exploring much of that here, even though in the past I would've done so reflexively. So let's hear it for personal progress!

Each time I've been feeling particularly low, I remember that this exists and it makes me smile.

Friday, December 20, 2019

White Reaper believes you deserve love. And lotsa rock and/or roll.

Photo by Grace Lillash
Sooooooo, the show not to miss in Chicago this weekend is White Reaper at The Metro. Here's why you should go see them. And buy all their music.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Get to know DUMP HIM already!

Outta Northampton, Massachusetts comes the sensation you should all know and love, if you don't already ... DUMP HIM!

O.K., until recently I didn't know or love DUMP HIM but that all changed when one of the jillion podcasts I consume like an endless sleeve of Double Stuf Oreo cookies recommended the quartet's recent release, Dykes To Watch Out For. It ended up being an excellent recommendation.

If you are in the mood for a good time punk rock party music sound cut with clear-eyed messages both acidic and optimistic that celebrate and challenge and question and take chances and dare you to do the same, then this is the album for you!

I will say no more, and let DUMP HIM's songs sing for themselves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A laser cutting through the fog and fuzz.

Dead Feathers is one of those bands whose names have floated around the Chicago scene for quite a while. I had an idea of what their music sounded like—their logo, album art, and promo shots scream ‘70s loud guitars with a hint of mysticism—but I hadn’t really listened intently to anything from the group until this year’s All Is Lost. They’re not new to the scene, but they are one of those bands that seems to care very little about promoting themselves and getting their music out there. The link to their Facebook page via their Bandcamp profile is broken, their website address just loops back to that Bandcamp profile, and you can’t even find All Is Lost without a decent search through various links, finally ending up on their label’s website and Bandcamp page. Or at least I assume it’s their label.

So it wasn’t initally easy for me to track All Is Lost down and listen to it. In fact, I can’t even remember why I tracked this down, since a dig through my email shows the band has never sent me anything to promote their music or live appearances. All I can figure at this point is that someone recommended them to me this year and I finally decided to give their music a listen. The power of word-of-mouth!

The fact the band seems largely uninterested in self-promotion parallels their lackadaisical psych-stoner rock sound pretty perfectly. Dead Feathers is a band who likes what they likes, and don’t care if you like it to. I’m a sucker for heavy psych stuff though, and while Dead Feathers’ musical bed is a solid quilt of the scene’s sound, and it’s executed with great confidence, this whole genre admittedly sticks pretty close to a single formula—heavy HEAVY riffs BABY.

But Dead Feathers has a secret weapon.

Vocalist Marissa Allen is a powerhouse. She’s got a circa ’69 Grace Slick delivery, with volume that cuts through the walls of guitar and act as an incantatory element that brings you under a powerful spell. The lyrics don’t matter to me; it’s all in the delivery. And Allen’s voice is a force that helps raise the band to a different level. And that's why you should give this album a spin, even if psych-stoner-metal (though this isn't really metal at all) stuff is not usually your bag.

I’d let you know when the band is playing next—I know I’m curious to know if the powerful effects of the band on record manage to get even better in a live setting—but their Facebook page (the one that works!) has no info in that arena.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

It was 30 years ago today...

30 years ago today I was at my friend Mike's house and we were watching an episode of Married With Children featuring Sam Kinison as an angel. That sounds messed up, but it wasn't nearly as messed up as the TV show we were eagerly waiting to air afterward—the first full-length episode of The Simpsons!

Mike and I were into all things "underground" and subversive, and the notion of something created by Matt Groening—who we knew largely through his Life Is Hell comics and the original Simpsons shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show—was about to take a major television network(-ish at the time) prime time slot was outrageously, otherworldly, and super exciting.

I loved that first episode, and for years no matter where I lived, Sundays were a gathering time to take in every new episode of The Simpsons. This lasted well over a decade.

It's been a while since I was BFFs with Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie; but I still check in with them every once in a while. I'm glad they're still around, and barring any more run-ins between the show's voice talent and the network, it appears they'll still be around for quite a while longer.

So happy 30th birthday to The Simpsons! You changed my life and you changed the culture around us, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Please don't waste a dream.

"Don't look into my eyes. Open your ears to my music and look into my heart."
DEYO—known to friends and family and potential lovers as Christopher Deyo Braun)—released his self-titled debut in October. It's a lovely little collection of gently pulsing songs leveraging synth propulsion without being "synth pop." I'd probably slot it more in the stacks of indie R&B or DIY soul if I really felt the need to label this sort of thing. (I'm getting more comfortable with people's needs when it comes to "genres," just as long as you're not calling Green Day "emo," or Arcade Fire* "indie rock," or twenty one pilots "alternative rock.")

I was just about to file DEYO in my "pleasure to listen to, maybe give it another spin later" folder when the penultimate track "Overlapping" came on and I was newly in love. And found myself playing it over and over as its psychic effect cast sunlight upon my soul.

Y'see, I'm a sucker for insanely simple yet hooky synth lines—Gorillaz's "On Melancholy Hill" can move me close to tears with its deceptively simple synth plinks—and "Overlapping" maps its intentions firmly over that territory. And when Braun sings "Please don't waste a dream / I put my faith in you, you put your faith in me" it in fact refreshes my faith in hopeful outcomes.

Seems like an excellent way to kick off a new week, huh?

*Fun fact! One of the engineers on this album has also worked with Arcade Fire! I'm not sure why that's newsworthy! But now you know!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Get wild with Wyldlife!

Photo by Greg Gutbezahl courtesy Wyldlife’s Facebook page
I believe DeRo turned me onto this band a few years ago, and I am super excited that Wyldlife is making their way to Chicago to play Liar's Club tomorrow night!

Read me preview. Then go to the show!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A to Z but only as far as D.

I promise it won't take me a year to get my list of fave music of the year 2019 because that would be ridiculous. But I am still working through albums from this year, so it ain't coming quite yet. I have an alphabetical playlist of the tankPHONE where I file all new music, and I'm still working through that.*

I'm kinda parking a half-thought here since it popped into my head while perusing other year-end lists: I think one reason people of a certain age (ahem) still value year-end lists is that when we, um I mean they, were younger year-end lists meant something different. They were attached to publications you trusted and those publications came from different musical directions, so lists varied wildly, and you could discover tons of new music. Aside from more super niche publications that ain't so much the case any longer. C'est la via, right? Like I said, a half-thought.

Anyway, back to that queue.

*I'm currently in the "Ds" and while that sounds insane I do listen to some stuff out of order and I'm always adding to it. What I really need to do is latch down on a cutoff point for additions for consideration. Oh yeah, that'd be December 2019, wouldn't it?!)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The little things you notice.

I got an earlier start than usual yesterday, since I had a 9 a.m. meeting in the office. I'm usually in by 9 every day, but if I have a meeting I try and get in a little early to be prepared. So I went to the gym earlier than usual, and then got to the train platform earlier than usual ... to discover the CTA was experiencing major delays due to equipment issues.

By the time I finally got on a train an hour later (my entire commute rarely takes longer than 30 minutes rom my walk to the train to my walk into my office building) I had already missed my meeting and the platform was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with people unable to even get down the stairs and onto the platform. A woman next to me asked, "It this usual for the CTA? I usually take Metro but today I was in a hurry so thought this would be faster!" I assured her that delays of this sort were very unusual. And then went back to listening to a podcast and playing Two Dots.

And then I realized something else. I wasn't upset. Or agitated. Or even bent out of shape about the delay! I had sent out a cheeky tweet—more to inform people about what was going on—but beyond that I was super chill about the whole thing.

Previously I would have been worked up and upset and agitated and freaking out I was late for and then missing a meeting and angry at the CTA and wondering what the fuck was the problem and why did the entire transit authority have it in for me and internally screaming why wasn't I already at work already and so on and so on.

But I felt none of that.

I just stood, and patiently waited, and hung back even when trains did come through so the people that did seem to be feeling all this feelings I would have once felt had a chance to board first. It was all O.K.

And then I realized it.

I think I am really going to be O.K.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rockin' My Turntable in 2018.

Photo by Travis Wiens
No, that headline is not a typo. I am aware that even though I have long been a proponent of holding yearly "best of" lists until after the year is over, waiting 12 months to do one is pretty ridiculous. It's no secret 2018 was a difficult year for me, and a side effect of that was a change in my relationship to music. I've touched on why that was before, but suffice to say I can admit 2018 wasn't a year of broad discovery for me. Instead I often retreated to the familiar, meaning old favorites were in high rotation while new releases only nudged in here and there, relative to my previous music consumption habits. It's not like I didn't listen to a lot of new albums in 2018; I just had a difficult time evaluating them in the manner I did before.

That has changed in 2019—as many issues have been resolved, my ability to emotionally connect in the way I find necessary for my own critical writing has returned—but it still left a gap in how to handle 2018. In the end I returned to the same criteria I've always used and chose the albums I liked the best, while also understanding that my list may not be as varied or as deep as previous years.

I'm not going to make some grand statement about the state of music in 2018 since I still think we're in a transitional period as the entire landscape grapples with how people discover and consume music, and the effect that has on bands as creators. But I will always believe that people will like what they like, and this is what I liked in 2018. In some ways these were the bands I needed most during that time period, so let's see where I landed.

As always, these are not in any particular order. I still just can't get behind the notion of ranking favorites. That feels more like an exercise for writers still stuck on some notion of artistic hierarchies.

Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive

I'm lucky that my generation has had a number of our "classic" bands prove they can still crank out music as good or better than their "iconic" periods of work. In other words, a bunch of the indie rock bands I loved growing up are somehow managing to not only remain relevant, but they're kicking out stuff just as crackling as they did in their heyday. Superchunk is near the front of that resurgence and What A Time To Be Alive is both one of their angriest and life-affirming works to date. I listened to this a lot last year.

Sloan - 12

Sloan remains near the top of my list of favorite bands of all time, and like Sperchunk they are managing to release amazing work decades into their career. However Sloan is one of the very few bands who can retain the twin distinctions of never having released a "weak" album while steadily releasing new music and never "breaking up" or "going on hiatus." O.K., they almost broke up, but that didn't last long enough to actually slow down their release schedule. This was another that  racked up hundreds of spins over the last year.

Unlikely Friends - Crooked Numbers

I'm just gonna snag what I wrote about this album for The Reader early in 2018: Crooked Numbers takes midwestern power-pop and laces it with northwestern slacker sensibilities. The result is a collection of songs that feels immediately familiar—your dorm-room record player would explode with nostalgia if you threw this vinyl on top of it. Pull on your Sub Pop "Loser" T-shirt and then drop this album into the mix.

Extra Arms - Headacher

My history with Extra Arms runs way back to when bandleader Ryan Allen was in another one of my favorite bands, Friendly Foes. On Headacher he continued to write speed raw kin' power pop anthems at a blistering pace. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he was also going through a divorce, cataloged on his band's latest release, so we probably could've had a lot more to talk about when I ran into him touring this record than we realized.

Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending

I feel like Franz Ferdinand has never really gone away, but for some reason Always Ascending felt like a return to form to me. It also boasts such a solid collection of tunes that are equally at home in the car or on the dancefloor (or, in my case, on the train or my old back porch) that demand constant play.

Sonny Falls - Some Kind Of Spectre

Sonny falls recently broke up and  their bandleader is continuing on under the Old Joy moniker, so Some Kind Of Spectre will end up serving as the band's noisy, glorious swan song.

Gorillaz - The Now Now

I loved Humans, but I was super happy to hear Gorillaz get closer to the dancefloor again with The Now Now. But c'mon, if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for anything Damon Albarn does.
Also, seeing this tour with my friend Adam was a blast.

Telethon - Modern Abrasive

Telethon are "punk rock" but never seemed all that "angry" to me, but I assume they would find my use of "quotation" marks to be slightly silly as I attempt to describe them. Just listen and you'll discover how insanely "catchy" this band can be.

Ruler - Winning Star Champion

Ruler is Matt Batey and I know that when I wanted to see them play in Chicago they had to cancel so I have no idea if he pulls any of this off live, but the album is pure sugar laced with acid. And catchy as fuck.

Peter Bjorn and John - Darker Days

I don't have much to say about this one because in retrospect anything I do utter would probably be too personal. Too bad you didn't get me writing this last year, eh?

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

One of my favorite concert moments of 2018 was seeing Janelle with my friend Jill, Jill convincing me to trade our seats with some folks who wanted to sit with their friends, discovering these folks were friends (family?) with Janelle, leading us to meet Janelle after the show. Also, the album is magnificent and finally delivers on everything that makes Monáe a genius, all at the same time. She's come a long way since I first saw her play tiny Schubas...

The Dirty Nil - Master Volume

The Dirty Nil is a band you have to see live. Their records are big dumb smart raw all the way, and their stage show reinforces the joy that goes into crafting stuff like that.

Direct Hit! - Crown Of Nothing

They've been together over a decade, and live just across the border from me in Milwaukee, but I never heard of Direct Hit! until 2016's Wasted Mind—an album that blew the flesh off my bones. Crown Of Nothing continues you somehow graft inchoate rage at one second with a party-til-you-die chorus that shouldn't work by any stretch of the imagination, but totally does.

Jeff Whalen - 10 More Rock Super Hits

Jeff Whalen was the singer for Tsar, and I wrote about him here, so go read that. But holy shit, this is the real deal when it comes to power-pop and glam, or as Whalen calls it, bubbleglam.

Snail Mail - Lush

The spirit of Matador Records 1994 is alive and well and living in an enormously talented 20-year-old. Wait, what did I just type math-wise?!

Con Brio - Explorer

We saw Con Brio at Lollapalooza a few years ago, primarily because my companion at the time either read or wrote something about the band ahead of the show. I was less enthused since they were billed as a funk band, and in a festival setting that usually  means jam band over actual funk. Not in Con Brio's case! High octane tunes, horns, dancing, and a singer who could do multiple backflips ended up being an unexpected highlight of my fest-going that year. Explorer is a little more mature in it's speed and volume, but the energy is still there, and powered up my summer of '18. Oddly "Too Lit 2 Quit" is one of the album's weaker tunes, but the only upbeat number I could find with a video, since the newer stuff ain't on Bandcamp.

Danny Goffey - Schtick

Danny Goffey was (well, I guess now "is" again?) the drummer for Supergrass, but he's also a fucking great songwriter all on his own. Unsurprisingly, his solo stuff sounds an awful lot like Supergrass. The world needs more of that.

Hockey Dad - Blend Inn

I wrote about Hockey Dad when this album came out, and my opinion hasn't changed. Well, it changed a little. I like the album even more now than I did then.

Little Junior - Hi

I wrote about these cats a few times, most recently here. Again, this album has only grown better in my estimation.

Andrew WK - You're Not Alone

Wherein Andrew continues to party as if his life depends upon it. And it does. I know mine did.

Monday, December 09, 2019

There will be feasting and dancing...

I was never a huge Mountain Goats fan, early on. This isn't because I don't like their music. Not at all! This was more because I was just dumb and never paid the group all that much attention, and stupidly cordoned them off, leaving them—in my head—the nerdier corners of indie fandom.

Luckily I've grown wiser over the years. This gem from their back catalog has been popping up in a number of places over the last year, and that's probably because its sentiment, the feels it triggers, is something that feels even more universal than it did when it first surfaced in 2005.

When they played this on Late Show With Stephen Colbert earlier this year I burst into tears. It came out of nowhere. And now, every time I watch it, you can count on me to start ugly crying all over again. If I make it through the opening, I always crumble when Colbert comes out and you can just see the release the song sparks in him as he jumps around singing along with the chorus.
I am going to make it / through this year / if it kills me
I am going to make it / through this year / if it kills me!
And now I'm crying all over again.

Friday, December 06, 2019


There has been a lot of darkness in 2019, but I think we can all agree that the introduction of Baby Yoda may be one of the most genuine moments of pop cultural joy the year had to offer all of us.

That's all. I just wanted to celebrate something that was, for once, simply...happy.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Le sigh—impeachment.

It doesn’t change anything, but there are three things that keep swirling around my head during this impeachment process, and while I think they're obvious it seems few are addressing a few simple facts.

Trump honestly doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. The greatest motivating factor for Donald Trump is the promotion and preservation of Donald Trump. Because of this he doesn’t believe he’s capable of wrongdoing, and his constant stream of lies manifests itself as truth n his brain. I know, it’s dangerous and scary, but that’s the truth.

Republicans would better off by impeaching and removing Trump from office. If you get rid of Trump, Mike Pence becomes president. This would be a tremendous boon to the Republican Party and solve the majority of their problems! Pence would also probably fly through the next election and stay in office, giving Republicans another 8 years in the White House. This seems painfully obvious, and the only reason I can fathom to explain why this hasn’t caught on is that the party as a whole is suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

The people that matter aren’t paying attention. The saddest fact that’s risen through all this mess is that the majority of the U.S. public isn’t paying attention nor do they really care. I haven’t the faintest clue what to do about this. To add to the issue, the people that do care are operating with blinders on. In an era where differing points of view are so easily accessible in order to create a well-rounded and informed opinion considering various sides of an issue, most people seem content in either continuing on in ignorance, or only reading material that reinforces their worldview. (I’m looking at my liberal friends on this point as well.) Again, I haven’t the faintest clue what to do about this.

So, le sigh.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Soft pop?

This topic has crossed my mind a lot recently, so Steven Hyden's piece "Why Was Pop Music So Mild And Inoffensive In The 2010s?" was a welcome read. I recommend reading the whole piece—it won't take you long—but his final notes really resonated with me (which is unsurprising since Hyden is only a wee bit younger than me, and we are both definitely NOT Boomers, so):
There’s an obvious irony in adults tsk-tsking the youth for not rocking hard enough. Trust me, I can see it. (Please don’t “ok boomer” me just yet.) I get that this is the opioid era. (Our music usually sounds like our drugs.) Not to mention the bottomless debt era and, of course, the Trump era. The rest of the world is already screaming at us. Who wants to music to do it, too? 
Nevertheless, I find it strange that I might be the one telling my kids to actually turn their music up.
Anyway, like I said, read the whole thing.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Eiliding scattered thoughts into attempted cohesion to describe Byre with various levels of success (which said, true success would be measured by your listening to band, so go on right ahead and do so!).

Byre is dressed for success!
Last night I was watching a documentary on XTC, and today I’m listening to this EP from Byre and can’t shake the notion that they kind of sound like a more ruminative version of XTC. Which, of course, they don’t really—my recency bias is clearly clouding my ears. But one thing they do have in common with those English indie and psych stalwarts is both bands are capable of unexpectedly tender vocal melodicism (which in Byre's case I presume are primarily delivered by Aaron Tanner). But the sound is entirely Byre's own. But hey, I needed a starting point to write this from, and this particular starting point works for me.

Byre's music is supported by tastefully busy drums, propping up solid bass platforms and guitars that interlock to create walls encapsulating you in the group's sound. Raindrops of spiky notes drop on top of you as guitar and bass accents throughout the Byre's songs. The feeling is of a solid building growing around you with the structure's roof leaping into the sky here and there as the music takes unexpected turns.

That last bit was typed in bits and pieces as I was listening to Byre's Head In Dead Lights EP, but I think the majority of it popped into my head during "Melindiana," so if you're looking for a musical CliffsNotes (ClefsNotes? Har-de-har!) audio version of what I just said, go there first.

Wait! No! Don't miss all the other good stuff! Listen to the whole thing from start top finish and then hop around all you like. But c'mon, the thing's only 5 songs long, so you can take a break and pay attention for that long.

Monday, December 02, 2019

The hills are alive. ALIVE I tell you!

I saw The Sound Of Music for the first time in my life last night. Yes, you read that right. I somehow managed to dodge this film for decades and decades, but last evening it finally caught me.

I saw it at The Music Box Theatre, a real classic-stylee movie house in Chicago, and it was with a "sing-along" crowd complete with props. You'd forgive me for at times feeling like I was at a G-rated version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at times, given the crowd interaction. Overall I think it was a great way to first experience the movie though: on a big screen and with an appreciative crowd. Though one has to admit it is a little strange this became such a classic family musical experience throughout the years, given the whole harrowing "escape from the Nazis" ending to the story.

FUN FACT: This was the second movie featuring Christopher Plummer I saw in a theater within a week! And I do highly recommend that you see Knives Out as well.