Friday, April 29, 2005

Now this one's a doozy, so watch out and pay attention.

So yesterday, on my way home, I drove to an outlet mall about ten minutes away from where I work. I remembered there was a little used CD store and I felt like treating myself and browsing through their selection. However I had forgotten just how much going to an outlet mall North of Chicago is like being on foreign, almost alien, soil.

First off, time has been largely frozen in this place and the year is 1982. I remember 1982 and I can tell you that it wasn’t that great a year for mainstream fashion. Tight jeans, big hair and beer t-shirts rule the land. I swertagod I also saw a 16 year old with a huge tattoo along her lower back; you know, the place that most girls deem appropriate and “sexy” to add ink nowadays. (Okay, it IS sexy…but not on a sixteen year-old. I think what bothered me even more was the realization that there was a good chance her boyfriend was my age.

This got me to thinking about how Photogal has fallen in love with a more rural area in Michigan as of late. There’s an older artist’s community – much like her favorite Mexican city San Miguel de Allende – and she enjoys the country space and fresh air. She loves it and she has been nosing around and looking at property here and there over the last few months and I can tell she really wouldn’t mind moving there full-time if she could. She knows that it would probably just be a weekend getaway though.

What she can’t figure understand is why I might not be so hot on living someplace further removed from the city. Now you have to understand that Photogal has lived within sixty miles of Chicago her entire life. I haven’t. I’ve lived on a farm. I’ve lived eight miles from the Mexican border. I’ve lived five block from the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve lived with a small wooded area that I and some friends built a tree-house in from scratch in my backyard. I’ve lived above a coffee shop. I’ve lived in a neighborhood where gunfire is more common than cricket chirping. I’ve lived a lot of places.

I remember what it was like to live in a more rural area though and know that isn’t for me. The people bewilder me (even when I was six I was confused with how simplistic some folks seemed) and I truly believe that things are more complicated in a further removed area. People tend to be more judgmental because there aren’t as many folks to distract or dissuade you from a particular point of view.¹ I don’t know. I don’t really want to elaborate because I think my feelings on this are so intertwined in events from my past I can’t really speak as objectively as I would want to. Suffice to say that there is a difference between the country mouse and the city mouse and I am most definitely a city mouse now.

Anyway, so there I am at this outlet mall, shuffling though CDs and finding absolutely nothing. I’m just about ready to leave the store when I see a wall of 50% off CDs so I walk on over and what should be taking up its own little section than the debut Loud Lucy album! Now I was never a huge Loud lucy fan back in the day but they had their moment of fame based on a solid single named “Ticking” that I still spin when I DJ and the fact that one of the guys in the band dated Louise from Veruca Salt until he dumped her for Alanis Morissette.²

Most importantly though, the drummer of Loud Lucy was a man who years later would become a friend of mine; Mister Mark Doyle.

So I buy one of the CDs – and was tempted to buy the whole lot and hand them out at Ten56 but in the end I contained myself – and to my delight I discover that there are photos galore of the band on the inside booklet. I have decided to share a few of my favorite snaps of Mark with you today.

First we have Flying-though-the-air-Mark:

And then we have oh-so-thoughtful-Mark:

Okay, okay…I’ve teased him enough. This one actually looks like Mark:

Handsome devil, eh? By the way ladies, yes Mark is single and he holds the rare distinction of being one of the few of my male friends I would allow – even encourage – to date my sister…if I had a sister. He also currentoy plays drum in the most excellent rock and/or roll band The Cells and if you’d like to meet him they’re doing a show sponsored by me at Subterranean on Friday may 13.

Wow. From outlet malls to country mice to gross generalizations to the Chicago signing frenzy of ’94 to embarrassing my friend to shameless self-promotion! I am a god among men.

¹To be fair the same can be said of urbanites on many subjects, but I think that has to do with a more willful close-mindedness than with a lack of options available to them with which to form an opinion.

²For the record, I’ve always thought Louise was the hot one in Veruca Salt and couldn’t figure out why she kept getting so publicly dumped. Last I heard she was dating a friend of mine, who’s a solid guy, so at least now she’s being treated like the hottie she is.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dear "CLANG! BAM!" guy at the gym,

At this point, I’ve decided you might be more annoying than “Naked-Cellphone Guy.” And that’s quite a feat. I’m sure everyone really enjoys that loud banging sound that all those plates make as they slam into each other when you hit the end of your set. That really shows us that you’re working with a lot of weight and should therefore be admired. Oh, we do admire you. You are so strong. And stylish too. Love that tennis cap/band. Really.

I’m sure you thought that the fact that every head in the gym turned your way every time those plates slammed into each other and the looks that followed only serve as proof that this tactic is getting you the attention you desire. Instead allow me to offer a slightly different way to view those glares that are actually based in annoyance. People who can handle the weights they are lifting are impressive. People who lift and lower weight and finish their reps with control and grace are admired. People who allow their plates to bang and clang work under the suspicious cloud that maybe they can’t handle all that weight. The same goes for cartoonish grunting, though I’ll grant that you were innocent of that symptom that usually afflicts plate-clangers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Everyone just relax…there’s nothing to worry about.

I had been fretting over the fact that my old beat-up -- and no longer so much hip as it is a relic that ties me to my hipper past – thick leather-banded watch was no longer keeping proper time. Had I beat it against one too many stone corners stumbling down sidewalks and trying to get into scuffles? Was there just too much crazy glue on the inside of the watch face (a watch face through which you can barely tell the time anymore since it’s so scratched up and covered up with the aforementioned crazy glue) that had built up during its work reattaching the cover umpteen times in the past couple of years? Was it just shoddy workmanship and proof that at thirty bucks I might have, as I suspected all along, overpaid for this particular time-piece?

Nope. The battery was just dead. Three bucks at Radio Shack and we’re off and running again.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Who works in mysterious ways?

You know, after writing about how the love affair between tobacco and me seemed to be waning doesn't it seem strange that I suddenly get socked with the resurrection of the bronchitis I was fighting earlier this winter? Almost as if someone was trying to say, "Now really, is there even any doubt that smoking's so much worse for you than you thought?"

I really hope I feel better by tonight. Usually I would just ask Rudy to call on one of our legions of guest DJs to cover for me but since we never know whether or not this is our last Sweet Alice Tuesday at the Ten56 location I feel I must soldier on and spin through the wracking spasms that are valiantly trying to deliver the phlegm from the deepest reaches of my lungs.

Attractive, no?



DJs Tankboy and Rudy Tuesday Photogal¹
have both transcended space and time.

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest selections
from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

TONIGHT, Tuesday April 26, 2005
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Features of the week:

Weezer - Make Believe
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
The Redwalls - De Nova
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Cobra Verde - Copycat Killers
Dogs - Turn Against This Land
Fannypack - See You Next Tuesday
Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth
Maxïmo Park - A Certain Trigger
Textbook - The Great Salt Creek
The Ponys - Celebration Castle
Turbonegro - Party Animals
The Tears - Refugees EP
The Cells - Mayday

Okay, we lied.
It was actually just time that we transcended...not space.

Every Tuesday.
Only at Ten56.

¹Rudy has acquired a new dog and is learning the wonders of all-night whining and constant neediness so he will be unable to attend this evening’s festivities. Don’t worry though; he’ll be back (God willing the bar is still open) next week. The night off is well worth it too since I can attest to the fact that spending as much time with a brand new puppy is just the sort of thing that is without a doubt waaaaay better and more satisfying than DJing.

As an added bonus you get Photogal as a guest DJ! How awesome is that? Expect lots of cowbell and classic boogie rock type music. Also expect her to try and steal my Weezer CD so she can play all the new tracks before I get a chance to. I figure I’ll stick the disc down my pants since that way, no matter what happens, I win!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Your moment of zen.

I'm too lazy to write anything so enjoy this ferocious Photogal snap of The Cupcakes at SXSW a few years ago.

What's Preston looking at? Hmmmmm....

Friday, April 22, 2005

Smoke 'em if you got 'em?

I’ve been DJing sober the last few Tuesdays primarily as an attempt to NOT spend half the money I make on cab fare home – since I absolutely refuse to drive drunk – and have noticed an interesting aftereffect the next day.

I’ve never really been the sort of person to get hangovers. It’s just the way I’m built. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to notice that I don’t always feel as good as I used to after a hard night of carousing. Now that I’ve removed alcohol from the mixture I’ve discovered that it wasn’t the booze that was making me feel run-down the next day.

It’s the cigarettes!

That mild sinus headache and slightly slow feeling is the result of smoking too much! I had no idea!

It’s actually enough to make me consider stopping smoking entirely. At this point I primarily smoke when I’m out at night so I think it’s more of a behavioral habit than anything else and I had never considered quitting because I never noticed it having that heavy an effect on my health. Okay, that’s a lie. I still huff a little after climbing a flight of stairs and that is NOT the response my body should be giving to a guy who does almost an hour of aerobic activity at the gym five days a week. I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve begun to uncover some of the more insidious side-effects of smoking and it is making me begin to consider that which I never thought I’d have to face; the act of quitting.

I’m not saying I’m gonna quit right now, or even tomorrow, but the cards have been dealt and I don’t see a long-term relationship between me and Mr. Tobacco anymore.

Hmmm…that’s not at all the post I expected to write, but I’ll go with it anyway.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

So am I the Hipster DJ or the Angry Music DJ?
Maybe a little of both?

This article might help you solve the above question but it also sort of points out one of the things that I was whining about a few days ago. Nowadays nobody cares if you’re a DJ because everybody’s a fucking DJ now! Now I’ve been spinning records for people since the early early ‘90s and I’ve always maintained that the vest DJ was one unconstrained by genre so my sets have always been wildly eclectic affairs. I admit that through the years I’ve gone through definite phases – one of the most unfortunate being when I was trying to mix my love of the then-new Big Beat with Pavement and their ilk – but my philosophy has always been the same: play a wide variety, challenge the crowd a little bit, reward them with a few obvious hits and everyone has fun.

I guess back then one thing that made DJs a little more special was the fact that in order to be one you needed a pretty extensive music collection and most people couldn’t be bothered (or afford to spend every spare penny like I did) to build up such a beast. With the advent of P2P sharing and CD burners – not to mention iPods and other portable music systems – it got to the point where everyone was afforded the opportunity to amass a wide enough assortment of tunes to consider themselves a candidate for the ranks of DJ-dom. Yes, I just made that word up. Sue me.

I enjoy and believe in promoting a level playing field when it comes to individual opportunity and I think that to an extent that’s what we’re dealing with now. That’s also what makes this article both savagely funny and heartbreakingly true at the same time. Aside from a few heavy hitters that tend to be genre-specific it is true that nobody really cares if you’re a DJ anymore primarily because everyone is a DJ. On top of that not very many of this new legion of spinners seems to have much originality¹. They’re either mixing Journey with The Killers or sticking to a strict playlist of tunes created between 1986 and 1993. Boring Sydney, boring.

¹By the way, all you angry hipster DJs out there really need to stop stealing my shtick, m’kay? I’ve been doing "crazy juxtapositions" since back when you thought Guns N’ Roses was a little too scary and heavy for your personal tastes and you had no idea what "pastiche" meant. I do still maintain though that I’m the only guy who’s mixed Steve and Edie into Goldie and done it without a trace of irony so I guess I can always hold that a little sacred.

And I'd like to underscore that I've never claimed that DJing took any measure of actual musical talent but I've always maintained that proper and inventive song selection is a skill.
And I perform yet another public service for you.

If you live in Chicago, this is The Boondocks cartoon The Chicago Tribune refused to run a few days ago.

(click the image to make it bigger...g'wan...touch it)

Mmmm..."Da Butt" on Da Bush...mmmm....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Stupidist criticism ever? Maybe.

They were talking about the new food pyramid on NPR yesterday and one "expert" said they had misgivings about it since they thought (and I'm paraphrasing here,) "You can't give out the idea that people can eat fatty food and erase the damage by walking up six steps."

I'll try and track down the exact quote because it's even more asinine than what I dredged up from my overly forgiving memory. I'm assuming NPR included this particular commentator as comic relief...kind of like those talking heads on all those VH1 shows that seem to run 24-7 about pop culture and Paris Hilton.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Looks like I moved just in time.

Lifted from Chicagoist but actually reported by Crains:

  • J. Crew is scouting for a spot in the neighborhood
  • The Gap is scouting for a spot in the neighborhood
  • An Urban Outfitters store is set to open on Milwaukee Ave. this summer
  • Los Angeles-based T-shirt Chain American Apparel opened on Milwaukee Ave. in November
  • A Dutch jean's G-Star Denim store will open later this year
  • New York's "funky" apparel store Scoop to open later this year
It looks like by moving to the West Side I have once again dodged the bullet of having to live amongst the yuppies. Fuckers.
A thought.

This was tied into a rant I was going to – and still may – write. Something occurred to me about getting older. It’s not so much that people grow obsolete with age than it is that other people just grow used to them. If you were an individual who pioneered certain things, then after a while -- when other people follow your lead -- those things become less noteworthy to the perception of other folks with the passing of time. And once people expect wonderful things from somebody, then every new thing they produce becomes less and less wonderful and more and more of an expectation that is simply fulfilled.

I need some coffee.
Baxter, you know I don't speak Spanish!


DJs Tankboy and Rudy Tuesday
know the only way to bag a classy lady
is to give her two tickets to the gun show...

[kissing their biceps]
and see if she likes the goods.

Or we could just spin some kick-ass tunes, no?

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest selections
from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

TONIGHT, Tuesday April 19, 2005
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Features of the week:
We guarantee we'll play something
off brand new or unreleased albums from these artists!

Common - BE
The Cells - Mayday
Fleeing New York - A OK
Elope - The No Name Record
Dogs - Turn Against This Land
Fannypack - See You Next Tuesday
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
The Flaming Lips - Seven Nation Army
Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth
Maxïmo Park - A Certain Trigger
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
The Ponys - Celebration Castle
Snowglobe - Doing The Distance
Turbonegro - Party Animals
The Tears - Refugees EP

I wanna say something.
I'm gonna put it out there;
if you like it, you can take it,
if you don't, send it right back.

I want to be on you.

Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

I... I wanna be on you.

Every Tuesday.
Only at Ten56.

Monday, April 18, 2005

In regards to next week's episode of 24:

It's about fucking time.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Here's something I bet you never thought I'd say.

I actually enjoyed just mowing the lawn.

Of course blasting Sonic Youth through my iPod certainly helped but I did find the act of pushing the mower back and forth while the dogs frolicked and jumped out of its path and breathing the fresh scent of mown grass to be soothing in itself. Meditative almost.

What the fuck is wrong with me?!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Breaking news!

  • The new Nine Inch Nails album shreds upon first listen. Just shreds.
  • What's the use in my office having casual Friday's if I keep forgetting to wear jeans on Friday?
Early morning exercise.

So remember when you were in college and the instructor would just say write don't look at the clock don't look back don't change anything¹ sometimes when you do this it allows lower levels of thinking to surface and that can provide the nugget for something useful in the future but then you thought the future was never going to come and mortality was a myth even though your friend Neil got struck by lightning and died while camping but that was just a fluke and it could never happen to you so bring on the drugs bring on the sex bring on the late nights and acid-tinged days because you're immortal and no one can take that from you but you grow older and you start to take things more seriously or at least if not seriously you begin to see the weight of your actions and everything you do affects someone close to you or is that effects that's one of those words I always doubt and fear since I have a mental block on its proper usage no matter how many times I look it up in reference books and is that a key I'm missing the fact that I hate to be wrong and look wrong and when I was younger I hated being wrong too but back then I had the luxury of never actually believing I was wrong and this piece has turned out wrong but how can that be since all it started out as was an emulation of an earlier writing exercise since I couldn’t think of anything to right down today ion the first place?

¹Okay, I did go back and correct the spelling so your eyes wouldn't roll into the back of your head in shock that, without revisions, my typing is atrocious. I can partially blame that on my old keyboard and it's sticking keys but really I tend to type slower than I think so I always have to double back and make corrections. Everything else was untouched.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sick. And wrong. And funny.

Also, in other news, I just found out I won tickets to see that private Spoon show here in Chicago May 2! Hooray for me! (And hooray from Mssr. Duffy, for cluing me in to this offer in the first place.)

I lurve the new album so this is very exciting for me, especially since I couldn't get into their last sold-out Chicago show. I guess this is the good-karma payback coming my way for being such a decent human being, right?

After talking to Tom last night I suddenly feel inadequate. No, not that way you pervert. I too want an On-The-Go Playlist and I want it now! So sign up here to help me get a free iPod so I may start enjoying the benefits of adding songs as I feel while saving my battery's power.

And yes, today's post can officially be filed under "geeky."

Speaking of geeky, the Chicago MetroBlog meet-up last night went rather well and once again proved that the genus blogger¹ is no longer comprised of a group of people who never see sunlight and lack public social skills.

I'm saying I had fun, okay?

¹Also, I want to predict that next SXSW will be, as the kids say, "off the hook" and it will be so because of attending bloggers that I know from both MetroBlog and Oh yeah, and the rock stars.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

An equation.

Two sober DJs
a great collection of music
an obscenely large number of people
no pressure
very vocal and rabid regulars
one scary dude behaving himself
Purple Rain with the sound off¹
a pretty dandy way to spend a Tuesday night

Tonight is the MetroBlog meet-up so I’m looking forward to that. I don’t really know my fellow MetroBloggers all that well – aside from Tom – so do you think it’s too early to try and get them involved in a drinking game a la Indiana Jones’ ex-girlfriend Marion? Maybe we could do body shots off each other in an attempt at some sort of bonding ritual?

Maybe that ain’t such a good idea. Perhaps I should stick to shaking hands, waving, smiling and kissing any babies that are presented to me.

¹Complete with subtitles where “to” and “you" are actually spelled out “2” and “u” as per Prince's dictum.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Oh, Canada!

So I think my body is rejecting the nipple ring in my right nipple after ten years of it being there. I think the beginnings of this can be traced back to a rather, um, physical evening with a young lady a few years ago who has since moved to Canada¹. Let’s just say there was a lot of biting and scratching involved as well as a bit of nibbling on the aforementioned nipple ring and leave it at that. My nipple took a long time to heal after that.

Then, a few years later I was in Canada for a wedding and met another young lady who also seemed fond of my nipple ring and further exacerbated the issue. Then, years later Lucy the Dog – whom for all I know could originally be from Canada since we found her wild on the streets of Chicago – decided to use my right nipple as a launching pad onto my bed and got her claw stuck in my nipple ring. Ouch.

Well the end result is that the ring seems to have migrated ever so slowly closer and closer to the surface of my nipple, almost as if my body was saying, ”Enough! It’s time to leave now!” I’m holding on in hopes that things will eventually return to normal since I don’t want to go through the hassle of letting everything close up and heal and then have to re-pierce and re-stretch the hole in my nipple again…but I’m beginning to think that ain’t gonna happen.

So I'm blaming it all on Canada.

Just thought I’d share.

¹Canada has also swallowed up my little brother, his wife and my nephew as well. We've really got to do something about whatever recruiting methods they're employing!

Now that I've probably ruined your breakfast... about a nightcap?

You know the deal. Me. Rudy. Tonight. Ten56. New stuff from Elope, Fannypack, The Flaming Lips, Gorillaz, Maxïmo Park, Robert Pollard, and The Ponys. And, in honor of today's DIG! DVD release I'll be playing a bunch of Dandy Warhol and Brian Jonestown Massacre stuff.

Remember, Ten56 ain't around that much longer so you're running out of chances to see Sweet Alice Tuesday in its original environment!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Still ridin' the vibe.

You know, I had something totally different planned for today's post but I think I'll save it for tomorrow since I'm still enjoying just how perfect yesterday was. Right when I didn't think it could've gotten any better last night, I stumbled across Some Kind Of Monster being shown on VH1 and I've been wanting to see that since it came out.


Sunday, April 10, 2005


Today was perfect. Brunch with friends. The purchase of two Dinosaur Jr. re-issues. Drinks at Pontiac. A stroll around Wicker Park with my best gal and spotting a beagle in the dog park. A killer haircut given by Jenny Evil followed by a return to Pontiac to bask in the confused looks of, "wasn't your hair really long, like, half an hour ago?" Home and quite possibly the most perfect episode of Arrested Devlopment -- how about those self-referential digs thrown around by the narrarator? -- and a repeat of last week's 24.

As a matter of fact I'm in such a good mood I even did some work at home! Why? Because I am in that good a mood right now.


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Meet and greet.

Do you ever come to this page and wonder just who the heck all those links to the left lead to? Or why I even HAVE links to those folks? I bethca didn’t but you’re going to get the skinny anyway!

We’ll start with the music stuff. Donewaiting is there because I write for them, but the link was there even before I did. Why? Because it was one of my favorite music sites based on both content and writing style. I think one reason Rob Duffy at Donewaiting took a liking to me because he discovered Tiny Mixtapes and I think we both can agree that they report music news the way Pitchfork wishes they did. That doesn’t mean I still wouldn’t mind writing for Pitchfork at some time in the future. Coolfer, Productshop NYC and Stereogum all have content that varies from just plain silly (I’m looking at you 'gum) to really well researched (and the applause is for Coolfer.) Chromewaves, Deviated Septum, Her Jazz and the excellent The Rub are music blogs that are far more personal in nature and I gravitate towards these because while my tastes aren’t always in line with theirs we do share a similar aesthetic view. Ultragrrrl is so bubbly and fun and excited about music I can’t help but love her and Karen+1 never fails to turn me on to great new bands. One day I will DJ with those girls and we will have a blast.

Man, this is getting wordy.

The MP3 blogs are pretty self explanatory. I would like to thank Matt for turning me on to one of the most perfect songs of all time, Yellow Note Vs Pukka’s “Naked Drunk and Horny.” If you don’t believe me go ahead and download it and then come back to thank me.

Bands In The Know are primarily Chicago groups I’ve worked with pretty extensively in the past and love doing shows with. If any of these folks comes through your town DO NOT MISS THEM!

Okay, now for the bulk of my links. #1/usr/bin/girl was something I stumbled across and don’t really know how. It’s usually filled with lots of geek-centric links and is written by a computer programmer – I assume – in Washington. Quirky and fun. Fiendish Plot also appeals to my inner quirkiness with Sarah's views on pop culture, comics and some generally nerdy stuff that I can identify with. She also used to live in Hong Kong which is pretty neat. Also I think Sarah is the only person on my links list who has seen me but I haven't actually met yet. Alright and Oak Park Mastermind were both discovered when I saw that they had been checking out my page. The two writers are roommates and seem to be opposite sides of the same coin. Alright is sunny and enthusiastic while Oak Park Mastermind is borderline psychotic and reads like a bout of tourettes. Both are insanely funny. Sour Bob is a bitter and darkly comic dude that reminds me of me about six or seven years ago. Ken And Ariel are a team that tackles sex related issues and inject them with much hilarity. Paige Six is a hottt Canadian that writes both intelligently and impulsively and almost makes me forget all those Canadian jokes I tell my brother and his own Canadian wife. Anchored Nomad is a recent addition filled with great writing and views on being married to a foreigner.

busBLOG is written by Tony Pierce in a style heavily influenced by poetry and stream-of-conciousness and is one of the more famous blogs, as is the unique verbal dexterity of Detroit’s Whatevs. Thighs Wide Shut is the best destination when it comes to finding a point to leap off and explore the absurdity that the 'net holds. It also remains the only site where Kim Baur being chased by a coyote or wolves or whatever would be seen as a good thing. Oh yeah, Defamer is famous too and is read occasionally by me if I need any hot Hollywood gossip.

The Booze Cabinet and utchmynitz are written by friends of mine who happen to be in the same band. Danny tackles lots of politics from a far-left standing while Rick tends to deal with more personal issue in a conversational tone. Shappy also falls into the category of one of my real life friends but now that he lives in New york I keep up with his goings on through his blog.

Bored yet? No? Good. Let’s keep going.

Danielle Clock is a blog that I began reading for a rather odd reason. I had stumbled across a friend of Clock’s blog through Blogger and really dug the content. I began reading this original writer’s friends’ (following this?) blogs as well and realized that when they were all read together they formed this sort of grand story marked by subtle shifts in perspective. It was really cool. Since then more people have started reading this groups’ blogs, some freaks have intruded and now most are updated sporadically and the content has toned down since the writers – I feel – are afraid of people they know judging or fucking with them. It’s a shame. Anyway, another in this group is On Being Disgruntled And Broke and she got a link because she basically sent me an e-mail and bullied me into it. She updates infrequently but when she does it’s always a hoot. She’s also got a great style to her writing.

I think I found The Decadent West while looking for MP3s one day and was knocked out by the savagely funny writing that took no prisoners and seemed to hate everyone. The Presidential Debate moderated by Subzero is still a classic in my eyes. I Rock/I Roll was also stumbled upon while hopping around NYC blogs and the fact she’s from Chicago is what kept me reading. She seems a little too overeager to be one of the cool kids so her writing tens to be a little overenthusiastic but I don’t really care. I like it. The Superficial combines pictures of hot celebrities with hot gossip and is my one true guilty reading pleasure. What can I say, I’m human.

I’m running out of steam here so I don’t think I’m going to cover everyone. I just don’t have the energy. I’m saving some of the best for last though.

South Of No North and Tripindicular are written by fellow MetroBlog writers. Tom comes in when I DJ rather frequently and I really enjoy hanging out with him. I’ve only met Lauren once but I really dig the tone and content of her writing. So Sayeth The Peabs travels down the same roads as Mark Leyner and if you don’t enjoy reading his delirious misadventures doing hookers and blow with Dr. Bill Cosby you must be brain dead. Daisy Knows Rock is finally back to life and filled with my friend Julie's wickedly stinging views on the state of rock and/or roll. Finally we have The Watergirl, who might just have been the first link every on the ol’ Tankboy blog (it took me a while to figure out how to code in links.) I’ve described her writing as that of a Judy Blume character that’s all – mostly – grown-up but what I really mean is that her output is just simply delightful.

Okay, I think that’s it for me right now. That didn’t all come out quite the way I wanted. I was hoping for more anecdotes about each blog and why I read them but about two paragraphs in I realized how daunting a task that was and gave up. Hopefully what I did get out is enough to maybe spur some of the more casual readers to do a little exploring.

Tonight's assignment.

Joe's On Weed Street is pretty much my definition of a nightmare fratboy bar. But that's where you'll find me tonight. What could possibly make me throw myself so carelessly into enemy territory?



Be there or be square.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The unhearable noise.

The unthinkable has happened.

I was out last night, enjoying the rock show I put together, and Photogal showed up ready to rumble. For once I wasn’t loaded or being overly obnoxious so I admit to being a bit blind-sided by the whole experience. I had to duck out of the show faster than I wanted to in order to try and douse this particular fire. I even went to sleep feeling confused and wondering if maybe I had done something I didn’t remember to so raise her ire.

Then this morning she apologized and said she overreacted.

What!? That’s never happened before! Photogal is always right and I’m always wrong! That’s just the natural state of things. So this morning my world is a bit topsy-turvy…and I kind of like it.

For once I wasn’t an idiot. Yay for Tankboy!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Interview by The Watergirl

Here's what happens. I answer five questions. The first person to comment requesting an interview gets on talor-made by me and I'll come up with five questions for THEM to answer. And so on, and so on...

The questions below were sent to me by the inimitable Watergirl and think she did a smashing job. I mean, what great questions…

The interviwer helps the interviewee get a leg up.
(NOTE: Big white leg not to actually to scale.)

1. What are your top-five, all time, desert island albums?

Jesus, this is the toughest question ever. I guess I'll tackle it from the vantage point of which five albums have impacted me, the most thus justifying their journey to that desert island. The first would have to be something by Bowie so I'm going to cheat and say the Sound+Vision box-set makes the cut (the original Ryko version due to sentimental reasons even though it has less tracks than last year’s re-issue.)

Next would have to be Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking since that album was the flash-point for me as far as my musical tastes were concerned. It sort of distilled everything I liked, from punk to classic rock, into one sound. I so used to want to be Perry Farrell.

Now it's getting tougher but I think Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain would have to come along to sate the snarky black-rimmed glasses-wearing indie kid in me.

Next we’d have to include something by The Who and I won’t cop out with a greatest hits package although Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy would be appreciated. No, I’m going to go with Quadrophenia since that was the disc that showed me a rock opera didn’t have to be about Jesus Christ in order to be epic.

Oh man, I’ve only got one left don’t I? Crap. I just don’t know. I remember old funk and soul used to have a huge influence on me but I don’t really know if I’d want something like that on a desert island with me. I think I’m going to forgo the rule about an album having to have had an effect on my development and go with something filled with layers that would unfold and never bore no matter how many times the disc was on “repeat.” That helps narrow it down to groups like Spiritualized, Mercury Rev or some of The Flaming Lips stuff. But I’m going to go with something a little out of left field and say the fifth disc would be the Sigur Rós album Ágætis Byrjun since it never sounds the same no matter how many times I play it.

Of course next week the five albums would probably be completely different but there you have it for now.

2. Most embarrassing drunken moment -- describe.

There are just so many I don't even know where to start but I'll give you two early ones that formed the template for behavior I tried hard to avoid in the following years.

Number one would be that first time I got drunk on a bottle of Southern Comfort in college, kept passing out in people's lawns on the way home, puked all over my bed and fell asleep in it and woke up to my friend Dave just going, "oh man...what DID you do to yourself?" To top it all off it was parent’s weekend so my Mom and little brother showed up later that afternoon. Mortifying.

The other would've been a Halloween party where my girlfriend Laura got pissed at me for being too drunk so she disappeared with another guy. I still don’t know what happened there. What I do know is I made it home, puked all over my bed, fell asleep in it and then was woken up by my friend Nancy, who took off all my clothes and put me in the shower while she changed all my sheets. I just hope the Little Tank made a good impression but something tells me the chilly dorm air didn't do me any favors.

3. You can have dinner with any author, living or dead. Who do you pick? Why?

David Foster Wallace is too obvious. Also, 'm not sure how much we'd really have to talk about. Just because you like someone's prose doesn't mean they'll make for scintillating conversationalists. Shakespeare is too hokey. I've already fucked it up with Kurt Vonnegut. So who?

Hunter S. Thompson. Even if I didn't like a single thing that came out of his mouth I'd have a blast (ha!) getting all loaded and blowing things up. And if I did get him to talk coherently? Gold,

4. If you could change ONE THING about your past, what would it be?

I would have stayed in town the weekend my dad died instead of going on the road with a band. I know that he told me to go and there was no way to possibly know he was going to pass aways that weekend. I also know I don't regret any of the good times I had on the road and I still hold those memories as some of my favorites in recent years. That still doesn't change the fact I wish I could have been there when my dad actually did die.

5. You are magically able to live one year of your life over and over again for eternity. What year do you pick and why? (We will accept one birthday to birthday year as an answer; for instance, age 23 or something).

This question may actually be tougher than the desert island discs one since each year definitely had its unique strengths. I mean I miss the wonder and seemingly unlimited energy and idealism of my younger years like when I was twenty and kissing lots of girls and singing in a band and writing all the time and pining over countless girls and so on and so on but then I think of the (limited) wisdom of later years and the friendships I've built. This actually ties in nicely to the dilemma that's been facing me in my personal life for a couple months now. How do I grow up without giving up the childish things I love? Can I? Is it possible?

So I'm going to choose nineteen as the magic year. I had finally escaped the high school where most folks thought I was a freak and had entered a college where I had lots of like-minded folks to hang out with. I was still on good terms with my first serious girlfriend and I was also meeting the girl who would blow my mind sexually and emotionally for the first time. The friends I was making were interesting and engaging and so much cooler than I thought people had any right to be. I was meeting the White Trash Girls and going to parties at 113 Cherry and my friend Lisa would come into town and we'd dose and kidnap Kenny Scharf for an entire night or we’d team up in Chicago and make the world tremble at our obviously superior feet.

Everything went and there were no boundaries or adult regret. It was topsy turvy, delightful and altogether terrifying. And I think it probably had the most impact on the sort of person I was solidifying into. Granted, at the time I was just a visual artist and I wouldn't really become a dedicated writer until I ran into a girl named Claudia a year or two later...but this was the moment in time when being the person I was seemed the most natural and easy.

Okay, that's it. I'm done. Drained.
This PSA has been tailored especially for you.


Thursday April 7
Tankboy Presents

The Cells
The Lesser Scene
Clearly And The Mainstream

Doors at 8:30pm
Show at 9:00pm sharp!
$7 cover

First off, The Cells are hands down one of the best rock and/or roll bands in the city. Their new album is the sort of thing that would melt the oversized faces of Mount Rushmore into so much slag so it makes me sad that it isn't released yet. However here's a chance to see the band performing a lot of that new material as well as some older faves. This is my first time working with both The Lesser Scene and Clearly And The Mainstream but both bands have the pop smarts and rock and/or roll hearts that I tend to gravitate to so I can guarantee this is a can't miss sort of evening. The show starts right at 9pm so don't be late!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

In the immortal words of Ben Stiller:

Was that a cover band or what?

Well, last night's Queens Of The Stone Age show was entertaining if not really engaging. I caught wind that Josh Homme was fighting a temperature of 102 and the band cut their set short by about an hour. On top of that I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was watching a band playing Queens Of the Stone Age songs as opposed to actually seeing Queens Of the Stone Age play their own songs. Did that make sense?

The evening was spent with many many friends -- and with the best of friends Photogal -- so in that regard the night was an absolute success. I could have done without going to Liar's Club afterwards, and I definitely should have done without the obligatory White Castle stop that caps off any late eveing with Photogal, but all in all it was a winner of a night.

Oh yeah, we stopped briefly by Ten56 and I'm happy to say that Josh and $in did a superb job filling in behind the decks last night. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ain't nothing gonna break my stride,
Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no...

How many ways does this day rule? Well, first of all it's going to be over seventy degrees and sunny all day long. Secondly I've got a whole bunch of work that's crunching up against deadlines and I'm always happiest when I'm slammed since it really makes the work day fly by. Thirdly, I'm heading out to see Queens Of The Stone Age tonight with Photogal and some of my best friends. The only downside is that I might not make it back to Ten56 to DJ tonight but even that has a silver lining since the two guys we've tapped to fill in for us -- Josh and $in -- are sure to do a smashing job of keeping the joint trembling in our absence.

On top of it all, I just got this picture of my nephew striking his favorite Hartigan Sin City pose:


Monday, April 04, 2005

It really does knock out the fat!

So the last post was just way too negative to really kick off the week with so I've decided to share a little observation I made last night.

I own a George Foreman Grill and I use it at least four or five times a week. I primarily cook chicken breasts on it since they're good for me and it certainly doesn't hurt that they cook so darn quickly. I can literally walk in the door, plug in the grill and within fifteen minutes I have a whole dinner all set...even less time if I don't make any pasta.

Now since I usually cook chicken breasts on the grill I don't really get to see it "Knock Out The Fat" all that much since the breasts are pretty low-fat to begin with. Last night, though, I decided to cook up two little steaks for Photogal and myself and was amazed at the amount of grease that rolled off the grill and into the drippings tray underneath. I felt like I was in an infomercial it was so amazing.

My fist is tiny compared to George's!
So not cool.

The following things are so not cool:

  • Do you know how to really impress your girlfriend? Stumble home so drunk you can barely talk at 6am. Then explain that you were at a friend's house talking about music with she and her boyfriend. Top it off with the fact that you proimised your girlfriend earlier in the evening you wouldn't be staying out all that late. Girlfriends love that. Let's just say I'm lucky I'm not sleeping in a tent in the back yard. Or the next county over.

  • While I enjoy the fact the moving the clocks forward an hour means there's a greater chance the sun will still be out when I leave work each evening I hate the fact that while my body still got up at 6am (there's that number again) my alarm clock reads 7am. Yuck.

  • My right niple ring is all itchy and bothering me lately. I think it's never recovered from when Lucy the Dog decided to use my chest as a launcing pad one morning.

  • Going shopping at the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon is for suckers. The place is packed with people that have no shopping agenda other than to block your cart, walk slowly and annoy you with their children's screeching.

  • The Pope dying. I didn't always agree with the man's policies butI did always respect him for doing what he always thought was the right thing. Also, he was the first Pope to have a Marvel comic book done about him so I think that influenced his placement on my internal "Cool-Meter."

  • My brothers leave for Rome on Wednesday. They've had this vacation planned for months but man-o-man did they pick the wrong tiem to try and visit the Sistine Chapel!
Well, I think that about does it for now. Griping just sems like such an appopriate way to kick off a Monday morning, doesn't it?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sin City...literally an on-screen graphic novel.

Man, I'll admit I would've benn happy just to see 'em get the shot where hulking anti-hero Marv slams feet-first into a cop car. Had they nailed that one shot I would've been pleased as punch. But no, they had to go one better. Make that one million better.

A more faithful comic book adaptation has never been done so take that as you will. Me? I'll take it. Quite happily.

I mean, kee-rist, any movie that casts a hobbit as a homicidal cannibal and gets it right is really impressive. Wouldn't you agree?

Aw, Marv, it's always nice to see you!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Guarding the gates!

Lucy the Dog hates the mailman. More precisely, she hates anything that comes through the mail slot. That is why she spends most of her days doing this:

When the mail finally does come she undergoes this Exorcist-like transformation and turns into a ball of snarling, snapping and attacking fur. I’ve gotten used to getting my magazines with a custom fringe design around the edges.


Kevin Smith interviewed Frank Miller and Robert Rofriguez about the Sin City movie and comics today on Morning Edition. Listen to the love here.


THAT'S a lot of storage space!

Does anyone need a Gmail account? If so I've still got lots of invites.

And they just became a whole lot cooler:

On the eve of Gmail's one-year birthday, our engineers were toiling away furiously. Notes scribbled all over the walls. Complex calculations on napkins and empty pizza boxes. Millions of M&Ms.

The result?... starting today, we're beginning the roll-out of our new and top secret Infinity+1 storage plan...[so] write, don't worry. You want to stop caring about storage. We want to keep giving you more. Today, and beyond.

Gmail turns 1 today. And we've always loved a good joke. We know we won't reach infinity, but...To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able.

That's a lot of space! And provacy advocates need not comment to me on this. I believe that you control the content of your e-mails so you hold ultimate responsibility for them.

I got nuthin'!

Yeah, I've had all my creativity sucked dry this week due to an increased workload at the office. The odd thing is that I don't mind since I've been in such a good mood work-wise ever since the trade show! Funny, huh?

Actually I had planned a rundown of the links over to the left -- a sort of "why they're there" and "what connection (if any) there is between me and the authors" -- but I kind of want to get in early so i can get my weekend started as soon as possible. Maybe next week, m'kay?