Friday, July 29, 2005

Where do we go from here?

Writing-wise, I’m fried right now. Really, just absolutely worthless. I feel like a cell phone that’s beeping every two minutes because it really needs to be put on a charger right this second. It’s been a long and extremely busy week and I’m just in a Loverboy mood right now. I have a feeling the weekend will be a lovely chance to recharge since tomorrow I’ll be canoeing up the Fox River during the day and kicking out the jams at TreVia at night. Sunday, sweet sweet Sunday, will probably be spent watching a few DVDs and getting caught up with past issues of The New Yorker. Bliss.

Oh yeah, so tomorrow night – in case I haven’t stressed it enough – Rudy and I will be inflicting our musical tastes on the populace from the DJ booth at TreVia. We’re really excited about this since I’ve been there a few times when friends were spinning and it’s always been a blast. I really want the evening to be memorable so I’m hoping anyone who’s reading this (and lives in the Chicago area) will be kind enough to get all sexy, sweaty and groovy along with us. It really should be a blast.

So, yeah, that’s it. It’s Friday and it’s Friday not a second too soon. Enjoy your weekend kids.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Rudy and I will be spinning at TreVia this Saturday, July 30, from 10pm until 3am. We would really appreciate it it if everyone we knew were to come out and help us celebrate our inaugural session there.

These are the pluses:
  • It's in the heart of Wicker Park.
  • The staff and patrons are hottt.
  • If you want to grab a bite early on the food is awesome.
  • We'll be spinning all the favorite crowd pleasers as well as some hot new tunes destined to become your favoites in the future.
  • The soundsystem is perfect for rock and/or roll to shake your hips to, grind up against, and sweat along with.

  • These are the minuses:

  • Um, there are none.
  • Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    You know how I’ve said that it sometimes weirds me out to run into people who know who I am from this site (or one of the other’s I write for) and have them sort of just pop up in my face sans warning? Well, I think I did just that at Double Door when I ran into this girl Nora. I saw her as she walked past me and a soon as I ascertained that she was exactly who she was I realized I had nothing to really say to her. Of course by then I had already opened my mouth and felt like a complete fool. And I realized how I must make other people feel when they introduce themselves to me and I just sort of stare back blankly at them.

    So what is the proper protocol for this sort of situation?

    I also saw this guy Harper the previous weekend at Intonation – and I’ve seen him before and we’ve had a sort of meta-meeting where we’ve both written about each other without ever actually writing to each other – and was about to introduce myself to him when I realized that, again, what do I have to say to him?

    Obviously, for this (and I'm just sticking with these two even though I could pick others) example, it’s fair to say I dig the sites that belong to the two people mentioned above. So at least we have that in common. I think maybe my problem is that I’m older, and even though I’ve been floating around the Internet for over a decade it still seems weird to me to assume you know somebody through this medium alone. However someone even just a few years younger than I am probably has no problem making that leap since, for them, this particular arena has always been one within which is has been deemed viable for building social relationships. For me though that mental mindset doesn't occur as naturally which is why when folks I’ve never met before come up to me and ask if I’m Tankboy I tend to return their query with a blank look, so it shouldn’t surprise me at all when the tables are turned and the same thing happens to me.

    So back to my original question; What is the proper protocol for that sort of situation?

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Man am I glad I can play a few instruments
    and have a pretty decent voice.

    This cartoon totally cracks me up and I'd like to thank my friend Alison for bringing it to my attention.

    DJs should never confuse themselves with, or delude themselves into thinking they are, actual musicians. Luckily, Rudy and I are both actual musicians outside of our DJing though so I guess we could be considered a double-threat.

    Something like that.

    Anyway, as usual, we are at innjoy tonight. What makes this evening unusual is the fact that we are celebrating Mick Jagger's birthday so expect lots of Stones and Stones-related tunes. To assist me in my own selections I will be calling on the considerable Stonesian knowledge of a certain DJ Photogal since I am still suffering mild burnout from the last Stones night we did a few months ago.

    In other DJ news, and we consider this to be pretty big news indeed, we will be at TreVia this Saturday from 10-3. We really want the evening to be out-of-control fun so we're hoping everybody we know (and all they're friends we don't) will show up to dance, drink and get downright sexy. I know you can do it. How does that go? You can do it!

    So we'll see you twice this week, right on right on?

    Monday, July 25, 2005


    How the hell did I miss this chick at Double Door Saturday night?!

    Hmmm...maybe Photogal and I left a little too early. Meh. Probably not.

    (photo credited to these fools)

    My Lolla recap is here.
    That is all for today.

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    Heads up.

    The Brian Jonestown Massacre (past and presaent members) and The Dandy Warhols will be teaming up for part of The Dandy's set at Lollaplooza today. So if I were you I'd skip The Killers and catch that reunion.

    Saturday, July 23, 2005

    Well whaddya know?

    One of my friends won the grand prize on a local radio station that includes tix to Lollapalooza, as well as backstage access and food, and she invited me as one of the people to go along. Don't you love it when you set up an impossible hypothetical as as a trigger to attend something and then the impossible becomes possible?

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    That chick in the lower left totally wants me.

    Actually she's probably more like, "Dude, would you get your tall ass out of the way, put down the camera, and just let me enjoy the show? Creep."

    Last weekend brought back an appreciation of large outdoor concerts...provided they're done right. Lots of people seem surprised that I'm skipping Lollapalooza this weekend, even though I've been offered tickets both cheap and totally free, but I think it's pretty easy to figure out why. For one, it's going to be hot. One hundred degrees was nothing in the Southern part of Texas, but here in Chicago it wraps around you and the humidity seal the heat into your skin and suffocates you. Strike one. Also, I waited too long to try and secure a press pass so I'd be stuck shuffling amongst the crowd and watching teensy tiny little specks on a stage three miles away. Okay, I'm a snob but that's still strike two. Finally, I have tickets to see Ira Glass interview some guy about murder in Chicago and that seems a hell of a lot more fun than watching the painfully over hyped Redwalls channel The Beatles yet again. Steee-rike three!

    I do intend on going to a few "official" after-parties though so it's not like I’m totally shunning the fest. And I do want it to succeed since the idea of a major music festival (face it, Intonation was fun but this is waaaay bigger in scope) being housed in the heart of downtown Chicago. That's pretty cool.

    So if you are going I hope you have a blast. Just remember to bring a blanket, lots of water and your ATM card. Oh yeah, and enjoy the music. There are actually a lot of kick-ass bands playing so I don't envy the choices¹ some people will have to make.

    Whatever you're doing, have a great -- and safe -- weekend!

    ¹Whose idea was it to put The Dandy Warhols on at the same time as The Killers. How is that even close to fair?

    Thursday, July 21, 2005


    It's Thursday, I overslept, so this is what you get:

    • Paul is back! He's actually been back for a while but now that he seems to be posting regularly I think you should all make him a daily read.
    • Maddox hates bloggers. Which is funny since I've always considered Maddox a blogger. Regardless, Maddox continues to be insanely hilarious in his vitriolic outpourings of oversized text.
    • These Indie-rock pick-up lines have been making the rounds but just in case you haven't seen 'em yet, here they are. Couldn't you just adapt all of "Losing My Edge" into one big Indie-rock pick-up line?
    • Lately Erin's been on a roll. She's either going to completely unravel or she's going to...completely unravel. Either way makes for fun reading.

    And finally, on a more serious note, this remembrance of Doug Meis is wonderful.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Meta Wednesday.

    Okay, I'm functioning on four hours of sleep (which is okay since I didn't party it up last night and instead just focused on DJing and visiting with friends) and we have folks coming in from out of town tomorrow and I have a million things to do before they get here and before I can get to those million things I have to work an eight plus hour day and work-out before that and in general I just get the vibe I'm going to be running around non-stop like a little kid with a hot-foot all day long so instead of a record of what has gone on or what is on my mind I'm going to just jot down some idseas for future investigation.

    • Where have all the good guys gone? A girl's guide to picking up guys in bars and avoiding cheesy post-college quarter-beer dance clubs and the greaseballs that frequent them.
    • The philosophy of self-interest/exposure via, now, blogging and, before, other endeavors wherein I explain how the boundaries have naturally risen about what's okay to say and what's not and why it's being said in a pretty public forum in the first place.
    • Dear Other Naked Guy at the Gym, I need my personal space and you know it so thanks for being such a cool Naked Guy at the Gym.
    • CDs, tapes, tankPOD and me and why LPs will always trail behind.

    And here is some reader submitted art -- manipulated by a dear old friend and ex-roommate of mine who has recently stumbled across my verbal nonsense via that mightiest of dectives named Google -- that is just my way of saying happy Wednesday to you.

    Wait, that totally gave me an idea for another future post!

    • Hi, I'm Tankboy's Evil Twin and I've taken over again! Business up top but party in the back! That's me mutherfuckah! Yeeeeee-haw!

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Is it me?

    Is it just me or does it seem a little weird that, after insisting he was going to take his sweet time and implying that the process could very well take months, George Dubya suddenly decides after nineteen days to name a Supreme Court nominee...just as Karl Rove is coming under super-heavy fire for the C.I.A. agent leak? What kills me is that the American people are going to fall for this misdirection yet again and Bush and his cronies en masse will once again get off scott-free. WHAT THE FUCK?!

    Okay, deep breaths. Happy thoughts. Back to my happy place. Back to that awesome mood I was in earlier today. Ahhhhhhh....

    Almost forgot. We're spinning at innjoy tonight. We have lots of new stuff from bands like stellastarr*, My Morning Jacket, Dandy Warhols, Shout Out Louds, Super Furry Animals, Juliana Hatfield, Nada Surf, this kick-ass DFA remix of a Soulwax tune and, well, I think you get the idea.

    It should be a lot of fun. I'm still all filled with musical goodwill held over from last weekend. Pile on a new car and some Love & Rockets reading goodness and I think we can pretty safely say I'm in one of my best moods this summer!

    Plus, I had a bunch of really yummy chocolate chip cookies yesterday and chocolate chip cookies always make me happy.
    Recap as promised.

    First, ket's get Intonation out of the way. I write about it here and my pictures are here. Scott Smith did a nice overall recap I highly reccomend you read as well. It really was a wonderful festival and proves that with enough heart and some decent planning it is possible to have a huge outdoor gathering that isn't dominated by loud,obnoxious drunks just looking to hook up. That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of missed connections going up (and I even threw a fake one in to confuse people because I am silly and slightly evil like that) but it does mean that the focus was on music and community rather than drunken debauchery and idiocy.

    Secondly, it's time to end the suspense re: my new (used) car. Here are your hints. It's small but big. Huge trunk (butt) which is somehow fitting since the usual type of person who might drive this vehicle might be heard to (idioticall) complain about the size of their own butt. It's black. When driving it I'm tempted to frost my hair (or, if I'm feeling rushed I can totally just tie it back in a ponytail and toss it under a Loyola baseball cap) and call myself Trixie. I may have to move to Lincoln Park. It gets great mileage. It only has a cassette (!) deck but luckily I have an adaptor for tankPOD so he can ride shotgun with me. I've made fun of this car for years and now karma has come to bite me in the ass and I think that is only right. It's a 1998 VW Jetta and I love it.

    Monday, July 18, 2005


    I've been waiting weeks for this to arrive and it just showed up! I'm excited to revisit these stories that meant so much to me when I was younger but I'm almost more excited to be able to introduce Photogal to Maggie and Hopey!

    Full disclosure: The reason Photogal has never met these two ladies who meant so much to me before now -- I had a cmajor comic-crush on both of them at one time or another -- is that I was afraid she wouldn't treat my Love & Rockets comics and books with the appropriate respect. This hardcover compilation looks fancy enough to inspire the correct amount of care in Photogal's handling of the tome.
    Recap delayed.

    It was a pretty great weekend. I'll be posting lots of pictures from Intonation over at Done Waiting and I'll be contributing to a group recap of the event for Chicagoist so you're just going to have to be a little patient and wait for those details to emerge. In other big news, I bought a car but again you're just going to have to wait for the deets.

    I won'tleave you totally hangin' though. I did get the new Sybris full-length in the mail this weekend and I predict great things for this Chicago band. I liked 'em when they were doing the whole Combo. No. 3 thing, but they've really turned a corner and produced something beautiful in their debut disc as Sybris. But, again, a full write up will appear later when it's closer to the album's actual release.

    Oh yeah. My lungs still feel like crap. After one freaking cigarette! I'm so glad Photogal gave me the impetus to quit.

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    Saying goodbye.

    Mia Park has been kind enough to gather up the information below for the wakes and funerals of the three Chicago musicians killed last week. I had the pleasure of working with both Doug and John's bands in the past and...hell, everything I type just comes out all wrong. This is a tragedy that I just don't have the interior mechanism to really process at the moment. It's so fucking senseless. They will all be sorely missed.

    *****Michael Dahlquist*****

    From Tim Midgett: "We are having a wake for Michael Dahlquist this coming Monday. We wanted to do it while his family is still in town--they want to meet people, and we want them to see firsthand the wealth of influence he has had on people in Chicago.

    Monday, July 18th - 6:30PM until ???
    Electrical Audio
    2621 W. Belmont, Chicago

    BYO food and drink. Stuff you can share is great.

    Hit the buzzer and go up the stairs. Keep going, through the first door, at least as far as the kitchen.

    We want the event to be essentially unstructured but also dignified--much like Mr. Dahlquist was himself. With any luck, we will celebrate Michael's life as much as we will mourn his death. I know his family will appreciate it."

    *****John Glick*****

    Tuesday, July 19 - 1:00pm
    Piser Funeral Home
    9200 Skokie Boulevard
    Skokie, IL 60077

    Burial to follow at:
    Memorial Park Cemetary
    9900 Gross Point Road
    Skokie, IL 60076

    *****Doug Meis*****

    Monday July 18th - 2:00pm
    Unity Church
    3434 Central Street
    Evanston, IL 60201

    So while I didn't fall off the no-smoking wagon entriely, I certainly did stumble this weekend. The end result is that my lungs feel like absolute crap. I guess I hadn't really realized how much they had improved until I had this feeling to compare it with. Let's just say that it feels like I smoked a carton of cigarettes when, in fact, I only sort-of smoked one! Yuck. No more.

    Also, when did Tortoise become a hippy jam-band?

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    The Weekend Has Landed!

    Tonight I'm spinning at innjoy with Rudy. It will rock. Do not miss it. The last time we were there on a Friday unspeakable things happened. This time we're not allowing Kip or Little Kip to bring in any Astroglide or Chocolate Zingers though so you should be relatively safe. Tomorrow and Sunday I'm attending the lovely and relatively cheap Intonation Festival. It will also rock. And perhaps wail a bit. Doubly more so now that I hear they're allowing you to bring in your own water. I have no doubt that all the haranguing over at Chicagoist might have helped them change that policy. Power to the people! Yeah yeah!

    So I’ll see you tonight, right? No excuses!

    P.S. If you too will be at Intonation and would like to meet up, drop me a line and we'll trade cell-pone numbers or semaphore signals or something.

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Pitchfork hates The Redwalls.

    Now, I'm no fan of these kids but this may be a tad harsh. Okay, maybe it is fair. It'd be different if they weren't being hailed as the second (or seventy-third) coming of rock or they weren't trying to downplay all the Beatles comparisons or or they actually had an original bone in their collective body. But that's the price you pay for signing to a Major before you really have had a chance to grow.

    Maybe I'm being too generous here. They have had a chance to grow. They may be young but they've been playing together for longer than most bands around nowadays have even been together. And in all that time they can't write a song that doesn't sound like it was plucked directly from some Time-Life 1968 compilation CD? Please.

    Funny, I started this with every intention of defending these boys because of their youth and relative inexperience and as I started typing I realized neither of those factors is any kind of excuse when you willingly put your music out there and try to promote it as something new.
    Best. Pet Story. Ever.

    Read all about this guy's misadventure with his cat. I laughed my ass off. Literally crying here. Genius.


    Best. News. This. Week.

    Since we're talking about pets, it's a long story I won't go into, but Photogal and I brought a beagle we rescued to The Anti-Cruelty Society last week and we just found out he was adopted the very first day they put him out on the floor! What's even better is that we had stopped by to visit him (his name is Rocky) over the weekend and believe we met the family that ultimitely adopted him. I love happy endings.
    Easy as cake.

    The most striking thing about quitting smoking is the number of people who feel the need to congratulate you and then ask how you’re doing. Then their eyes get all wide when they find out you quit cold turkey sans patch or Nicorette® or any of that other junk. I guess that works for some people but I just don’t see the purpose.

    Actually the most striking thing is the sense of taste (and, Tom, just because I’ve written about it before does not mean I can’t expand upon it) that I didn’t even realize I lost in the first place that is slowly returning. It’s especially evident with tarter and tangier liquids. Tuesday I took a sip of my vodka soda and realized that Photogal has been right all along. There IS a truckload of booze in those drinks…I just could never really tell before since it all tasted like so much fizzy water to me!

    Another thing; I’m not breathing all that heavily after climbing up a few flights of stairs anymore. Wow! I do a lot of cardio activity but no matter how much I did the shortness of breath would always catch up with me. Now, after about two weeks with no cigarettes in my system, I’ve accomplished what two years at the gym could not. Does the human body really start repairing itself that quickly? It’s pretty amazing.

    I was just looking over the opening of this piece and it occurred to me I might have come off a bit too harshly. I do appreciate the support being shown to me as I quit a habit I’ve had for fifteen years now. And I don’t want you to think that there’s no struggle at all since I do want the occasional smoke. But it’s not the epic battle that some seem to face when they quit. I think it runs in my family since once we set our mind to do something, it’s done. This doesn’t always work in my favor since at times it just turns me into a stubborn bastard, but in this case I’d say it’s a good trait.

    Basically what it comes down to is this. Cigarettes are not heroin. Nicotine may be physically addicting but I have yet to hear an ex-smoker tell the tale of how they had to be tied down to their bed and puked through hallucinations for three weeks straight. It just doesn’t happen. Any habit can be broken. You just have to decide that you really want to break it. Deceptively simple, eh?

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    What is my friend Dave doing here?

    Well, he's probably singing along to Iron Maiden since he's got that classic "one foot on the monitor" thing going on. Either that or he's dancing some demented leprechaun jig. Who knows? Here's a fun fact though, the dude to the far right in the photo is Photogal's ex. They dated during one of our, um, breaks. Seriously, we were on a break!

    So last night was unusually mellow. We seem to have hit that summer lull that afflicts our Tuesday nights every year. No matter though, we still had a lot of fun. Photogal actually stayed out late and Rudy was kind enough to spin the closing shift so I could actually leave with her for once. Rowr rowr!

    Yeah, so, yeah. I got a late start this morning due tyo not sleeping well since our bedroom was a tad on the muggy side last night. I think I've finally come to my senses though so it's safe for me to operate a coffee maker without fear of blowing anything up. Toodles.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Little. Yellow. Different.

    Since you've all been such loyal and loving readers recently I have decided to reward you with a post that is heavy on the eye-candy¹ and light on the brain-food. So we lead off with the eternal question that has always plagued I love cake?

    Of course I love cake!

    Now while I was enjoying that particular birthday cake, my little nephew Alex decided to come down to vivist from the untamed wilds of Canada and we decided it was time to work on our modeling chops. Witness the dual attack of Blue Steel™!

    Alex, like his uncle, also enjoys cake. But what does Alex like even more than cake?


    You know, speaking of babies, I really have to get downstate to visit my married friends Jim and Gidget. They were in town a while back just to prove that married folks can indeed still be just as sexshay as you or I.

    Be still my beating heart! Whilst on the subject of married folks, itseems approproate to add here that two good friends of mine -- hi Gina and John -- recently got engaged! That might even be more exciting than cake. Let me think about that. Hmmm...I really like cake...but I suppose this news is actually more exciting. Anyway, I came across this picture of the Graham Coxon show we all attended a while ago and spotted . Can you spot the groom-to-be?

    While on the subject of music -- how's that for a segue -- I shouldn't have to remind you of what's going down tonight, but I will anyway. As always Rudy and I will be spinning at innjoy this lovely evening. I'm sure everyone took it easy last weekend so I expect some rowdiness tonight. Do not let me down. As always we take requests (within reason.) Here's a picture of Dave (is he DJ Yin or DJ Yang...I can never get those two straight) telling me just what he wants to hear right this second!

    Dave's so tough. I better play what he wants before he bust a cap in my ass!

    Also, check out the new doorlady for the evening. She's vicious so make sure you bring your ID!

    Now, don't be confused by the handsome gentlemen in the DJ booth who seems to have taken the place of that blonde, shaggy hippy that was there last week. It's still me...I just got a haircut!

    Hubba hubba rowr! Anyway, I'll see you all (who live in the greater Chicago area since I'm reasonable and realize not everyone is going to buy a plane ticket just to see me DJ on a Tuesday (but did I mention I'm also spinning this Friday at innjoy and that is plane-ticket-worthy)) tonight!


    P.S. Oh wait, check it out...Kip totally loves cake too!

    ¹As always, you can click on each photo if you wish to see 'em larger. Some folks like that sort of thing. Especially old people. Not that I'm sayin' your old or anything...I'm just sayin' for the sake of sayin'.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Incredibly geeky…

    …but this is kinda cool nonetheless. Keep in mind that in my freshman year of high school (1987?) I did a thesis project on the modernization of comics and the burgeoning renaissance in graphic literature and you might see why this appeals to me.

    Tankboy wasn’t always as cool as he is now. It took years of pure geekdom to turn me into the radically well-rounded and incredibly hip individual that stands before you today.
    Bland is grand.

    So I was getting my hair cut yesterday by Jenny Evil – I got it cut really short since she is about to give birth and will be out of commission for a while – and she asked me what I had done over the weekend.

    Um, aside from a few errands? Nothing. I mean Pohotogal and I did go outside but socially, as far as seeing anyone we know and interacting in a “nightlife” fashion, we were weekend recluses. It was nice. I think it was probably a natural response to last weekend being so damn. Next weekend looks to be pretty busy too so maybe our bodies just needed to recharge a bit.

    On the “no smoking” front we have a new development. My sense of taste is returning. The odd thing is I hadn’t even realized it left! It’s not a huge adjustment but I’ve noticed certain things are starting to taste just a little sharper than I remember. It’s interesting.

    Lastly, and I can’t believe I’m typing this, curiosity got the best of me and I went to see The Fantastic Four this weekend. And it did not suck. As a matter of fact the film nails the tone of the original comics, right down to the “family” squabbling. The only annoying thing is, surprisingly, the Dr. Doom character. His origin is a bit lame and the execution of the character itself is a bit over the top and hokey. The two biggest surprised lay in Jessica Alba’s surprisingly good portrayal of Sue Storm (I as shocked…shocked I tells you!) and the way The Thing looked on-screen. All the publicity shots had me worried but I’m guessing the CGI just wasn’t photographing well because on-screen. Michael Chiklis looks and acts just like I always thought Ben Grimm would. Pretty cool. Ignore my previous advice to wait for the DVD and go out and catch a cheap-o matinee show next weekend (or this week, if you have your days free.)

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    Should I sue?

    Who told these people they could name a restaurant after me. And a sushi restaurant no less! Thanks to Julie for pointing this out to me.

    Also, developing, I may be acquiring a new car. The make and model, should the deal go through, will shock you and force you to recalibrate your entire understanding of Tankboy at the wheel.

    Okay, not really. But considering some of my past diatribes against certain social stereotypes the choice of car is pretty funny. You'll see. Seriously though, it's a solid little car and I hope it all works out. I love the current ride I've been using but this one would be about a decade newer, so it'd also be a decade safer!
    Clap Your Hands Say No!

    Everyone loves these guys and I just don't get it. I mean, even folks whose musical opinions I value are flipping head over heels for 'em. To me they just sound like tired retreads of The Talking Heads. That's why I find this site so goldanged amusing. I truly believe that everyone's personal tastes are valid, so you won't catch me arguing too strenuously with anyone over this group, especially since I'm sure they're destined to flame out just as quickly as they've ascended the critical peaks they're currently perched upon. However anytime their hype starts to get to me, now I have someplace safe to retreat to.


    They killed. Period.

    Oh yeah, and they're all a lot shorter than I remember them being, but man oh man can they put on a rock and/or roll show!

    I had a blast DJing during the show and managed to stay sober (and smoke-free) and I still had a great time. Photogal even got me to do a little shimmy-shimmy shake with her. It was just so much fun seeing one of my favorite bands in such a small room.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Civility dies amongst the well manicured lawns.

    So Tuesday I went on a quest to find the new Sufjan Stevens album with the “illegal” cover. I figured that even though there was a cease and desist order against selling it I should be able to catch one that fell through the cracks. The funny thing is I wasn’t even that anxious to own the disc until I found out it was due to become an instant collector’s item. I was going to buy it but it certainly wasn’t the kind of release that would necessitate a trip to the record store the morning of the album’s release.

    Unfortunately I am, at the base of it all, a rabid collector and as soon as I heard that I might not be able to have this particular rarity I decided that I couldn’t live without it. So I drove around the desolate plains that pass for the suburbs I work in searching for the disc in vain. I did find an independent record shop that had a single copy behind the counter but they wouldn’t sell it to me since the owner had already promised the label he would send it back.

    This was frustrating but not nearly as frustrating as what would next occur. I was in a local strip mall, on my third pass through the jam-packed parking lot looking for a space, when I saw an minivan preparing to back out. I waited patiently but noticed that an SUV had pulled up near the spot I was waiting for. We could plainly see each other so I thought nothing of it and waited my turn for my space. As soon as the vehicle I was waiting for cleared though, the SUV zoomed into the spot! I couldn’t believe it!

    I pulled up behind them, jumped out of my car and upon noticing the driver was a teenager I said,” Hey kid, what do you think you’re doing? You just totally stole that spot I was waiting for?” I stood next to him and saw his dad was also in the car. I calmly awaited an apology from the teen driver.

    Instead, the dad yelled, “Hey, we didn’t see you waiting. And anyway, we got here first!”

    I was stunned. Was this the way frown-ups talk? I was ready to totally back down. I mean, I reckoned it could’ve been an honest mistake and was expecting a civil, “Oh we didn’t see you. Really sorry about that. Should we move?” to which I would’ve graciously answered, “Of course not. Simple mistake. Just try to look out a little better next time, okay?”

    But no, I get some pasty fat slob and his cushy kid throwing me attitude. So I return with intimations that while they are inside I might do something terrible to their car and walk away¹. The father tries to get my license plate but can’t see it so he starts running after me around the parking lot. I find this amusing but finally find a space and park only to have the guy run up to me, huffing and puffing and yelling, “Way to try and scare a kid like that!”

    I said, “Way to show your kid proper manners and social civility, dude.” Okay, I might have lost points for the dude bit, but my blood had started boiling again. I mean, one: I was right about the manners thing and two: I never threatened, or would threaten, his kid! After seeing the way his dad was acting I figured that it would of course only seem natural for this young man to snatch another person’s parking spot without even a second thought. On top of that, I didn’t even actually threaten their car! All I tried to do was make the dad think about his actions a little…but I guess it’s asking a bit too much to expect some pompous ass to do a little self-reflection and see the error of his ways.

    Anyway, I left it at that and left the two by my car as they frantically scribbled down my plate number. Big deal. And of course the Stevens CD wasn’t even in the store I had been heading to in the first place.

    However the karma train did pull into the station for me since I finally found a copy of the album, with the “banned” artwork, at my very next stop. So see, sometimes good things do happen to good people!

    ¹I would never ever ever do anything like that. I think it’s terrible. But I have no problem scaring the shit out of rich fucks who are terrified their overpriced rides might get scuffed or something. Pricks.


    Tonight is just jam-packed with fun.

    There is so much fun to be had tonight that Kip is all tuckered out just thinking about it. I however, as you can plainly see, am totally stoked!

    First of all I’m DJing at Double Door for the Sloan show. Doors are at 8pm and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to spin during the set change, since no one can seem to get a hold of their tour manager, so if you want to be sure to hear Le Selecionnes de Tankboy you need to either get there early or stay late. There’s only one opening band and Sloan themselves are on the “greatest hits” tour so the set should be amazing.

    Also amazing is the bill I set up across town at The Beat Kitchen with Textbook, The Melismatics, Moth and The Assembly. Things there will kick off at 9pm and be done by 12:15 or so, so there’s no excuse to miss it even if it’s a school night. Unless you’re going to see Sloan in which case we all totally understand.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005


    A little birdie told me that there are some pictures from my birthday party last Thursday here and here. Thanks to both Dave and Maggie for staying above the fray to capture these candid shots. Well, Dave stayed above the fray...Maggie kept clicking away until she dropped her camera and it stopped working. I'd also like to thank both of them for making me look like a goon in every single photo while managing to make everyone else -- especially a certain Photogal who was in attendance earlier in the evening -- look el fabuloso.

    Seriously though, I was glad someone was snapping photos. I'm terrible at it. With the advent of digital cameras it seems as if everyone has turned into their own personal documentarian while I, on the other hand, am lucky if I remember to take two photos a year as keepsakes of the passing time. Maybe that's why I write so much. I mean, even my fiction is a sanpshot of a certain time, or mindset or set of perceptions, right? I guess that would explain why the lack of visual history isn't as important to me as long as it's balanced by a complimentary literary history.

    Whatever. I've also posted the very first snaps of me taken shortly after midnight on my birthday when Photogal and our friend Mary headed out to Rainblo to ring in my own persoanl new year.
    And now a word from our sponsor…

    No smoke and no drink make Tankboy a dull boy.
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    No smoky and no drinky make Tankboy go crazy.
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    Don’t mind if I do!

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Well oh well oh well!

    Wotta weekend. Did I mention the out of control debauchery filled with unspeakable acts the evening of my birthday? I did? Good. The next day was more of a private affair for Photogal and I as we took in a nice evening of dinner and a movie. I enjoyed the movie choice immensely -- until the final minute and a half -- but Photogal was left with an upset stomach after the tension-filled ride offered by War Of The Worlds. My take? Eventually Spielberg will let go of his need for neat and tidy happy endings and get a movie done perfectly but this one a heckuva ride up until that minor failing.

    Saturday was the double birthday party at the one and only Skid's Party Palace and I was amused when some revelers discovered the miracle that is hot dogs injected with cheese. What a concept!

    This was also my first public event sans smoking, but I think I've prattled on about that quite enough.

    Sunday's plans were ever since we decided just before the weekend that we really should catch the closing performance of The Cabinet. This inventive retelling of The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari performed through he use of puppets and narrator was incredibly cool, even if the dream-like qulaity of the play mixes with the stifling heat of their warehouse space did make it difficult to tell whether you were awake or whether you had briefly dozed off!

    I then tried to make it to another friend's birthday BBQ only to find no one there...I later was told it hadn't even started when I went by. Bummer!

    However to salve my disappointment Photogal and I were guests of a friend at a small yet incredibly swanky private affair at the Shedd Aquarium where we had free access to the whole aquarium, open bar, a full dinner and dessert buffet and front row seats on the lake to view the city's fireworks display. It was great to see the whales and dolphins without hundreds of noisy, pushy, annoying people with their just-above-feral offspring surrounding you. Remind me I should become a media buyer...the perks are fantastic!

    Finally yesterday we wound down with another relatively quiet day that was capped off on the Mad Moldovan's rooftop deck watching the city's amateur fireworks displays exploding in a 360 degree display of countless colored explosions.

    Not too shabby, eh?

    And now, back to business.

    For various reasons I have been absent from the innjoy DJ booth for the last few weeks but tonight I am back with my partner and we will be spinning with a vengeance. It'll probably be a little quiet since it comes just after a long holiday weekend but it should be good nonetheless. I mean, I'm sure to be in rare form as I grind my teeth to the nub watching everyone around me smoke asI just helplessly gulp in clean air.

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    It's been a very cool weekend.

    Too cool to completely recap right now since I'm still on vacation but cool nonetheless. However I have learned one shocking truth about myself that i had absolutely no knowledge of before Saturday night.

    This whole "Quitting Smoking" thing is going to be a lot harder than I thought.

    I'm not an every day smoker anymore and haven't been for years. But get me in a situation with booze or DJing and I smoke like a chimney. I decided to give up smoking after my birthday and, on the positive side, I'm already noticing beneficial effects like the lack of a sore throat or chest full of phlegm after an evening out drinking. No smoking has also erased the only hangover-like symptom, the sinus headache, I used to encounter so now I am pretty much immune to the dreaded "H" word.

    On the other hand, when I'm at a party I need to stay involved with constant conversations since anytime there's a lull and my attention begins to wander, the whole scene turns into a bad Hitchcock movie. All I hear are stabbing violins and all I can see in clear focus is every cigarette at the party making their way to their hosts lips and vast plumes of smoke erupting from mouths and noses all around me.

    Pitiful really.

    Oh well, I've made it through the holiday weekend so I know I can handle it. I still refuse to go on the patch or anything like that because, for me personally, I think that's just silly. So let's see. The longest I've gone without smoking in the last fifteen years has been thirty days so if I can beat that I'm basically home free. The hidden plus side? I can be all grumpy and exhibit full tilt male-PMS and get away with it for the next few weeks by blaming it on quitting the smokey-smoke and people will nod their heads in understanding and actually past me on the back. Yeehaw!

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Why my friends rule.

    My birthday rocked. My brother, his wife and my nephew joined my mom and other l’il bro for dinner. Then I went to The Pontiac where Travis and James kicked the evening off with an awesome acoustic set. DJ tankPOD was in rare form and pulled Walt Mink out of its butt. Rachael shocked and surprised me by showing up. (I don’t shock and surprise easily so I’m sure the look on my face when she popped up out of nowhere was a real treat.) The Gina’s gave me so many shout-outs I’m surprised they didn’t lose their voices. Rudy was nervous for the first time in his life but totally killed (especially when he pulled that cover of “Sister Christian” out of his butt!) And Skid…Skid shocked and surprised everyone by playing with a cellist and still managing to totally rock the house and get people dancing.

    Again, my friends are so talented one can’t help but wear a big sloppy grin across one’s puss.

    The Pontiac was packed and at one point Photogal was all like, “So, how many people do you know in this room?” and my honest answer was, “Aside from those three girls over there…everyone.” It was awesome. After Pontiac closed we went to the Evil E but I must confess that the evening became fuzzy from that point on. I know Josh and I agreed to take Michele to see super-hero movies when her boyfriend wouldn’t. I know that I was in such a good mood that I didn’t insult anyone. I know I drank a lot of Maker’s Mark. I know I learned that Debbie and Andy were starting an Irish band and I made the international sign of the leprechaun dance whilst implying Debbie was short. (Then she pinched my belly, and I pinched hers, and I known I fought the urge to pinch Andy even though that guy has about –4% body fat.) And I know I shared a cab home with a lovely married lady. And I woke up this morning on the couch, wearing tankPOD, with Bowie’s “Sound And Vision blasting into my ear canals.

    What an awesome way to start off my thirty-third year.