Friday, September 30, 2005

Aliens and science fiction as visual literature.

I'm very excited about the Criterion release of The Man Who Fell To Earth. I mean I'm obviously stoked because it's David Bowie's acting debut and I turn into a blathering fan-boy in the presence of anything related to David Bowie. I've had the supposed "Director's Cut" for a while but I have no idea if it's what Nicolas Roeg actually intended so this will settle any doubts I had on what the film's final intended shape was from the beginning. Also, there's commentary by Roeg and Bowie and it comes with the original novel the movie is based on so how freaking cool is that?!

I'll be honest and say I actually don't understand the full plot entirely but I love the mood of the film. When I first watched it there were a couple rather huge holes in the plot and I was never sure if that was due to overzealous editing or if the screenwriter just assumed the viewer read the book or (most likely) it was part of Roeg's plan to draw the viewer in by forcing the audience to connect a few of the dots themselves. Unfortunately that doesn't always work, especially if your subject is science fiction based and, thusly, devoid of a logical communally accepted groundwork.

Simply, you can't paint a picture if you're not sure of the colors.

Regardless it still stands as my favorite Bowie film and one of the first movies I saw that was "genre based" that tried to expand and rise above simple classification so I'm really looking forward to revisiting the final product with a more finely tuned critical eye.

Sex 'n (no) drugs 'n rock and/or roll.

Rudy and I are making a rare weekend appearance at innjoy tonight and I, for one, am really looking forward to it. I love Tuesdays and I love the Sweet Alice Tuesday crowd but when we spin on a Friday it gives so many other people a chance to come on out. plus the bar is busier by default -- since it's a weekend (duh) -- so we get the added pleasure of a) playing our tunes for a bunch of strangers who either start dancing or stare at us glassy eyes and mystified and b) we get to watch our friends interact (often with outrageously amusing results) with these newcomin' folks. I'm feeling particularly feisty today so expect a pretty raucous playlist from yours truly and I have complete faith my DJ partner will be there to administer a string of musical knock-out punches himself.

In other news, please DO NOT FORGET that Josiah is in town and that Light FM is playing an early show at Darkroom tonight by themselves and a regularly timed show tomorrow at The Bottom Lounge with The Assembly. My preview of these shows should be going live later today on Chicagoist so I'll let you know when that link pops up. here's a piece on Light FM and one on Brad Peterson.

In-between all of this I have to fit in some cat-sitting for Julie and some visiting with the C.I.A. agent Photogal's sister who is in from Nairobi for the next few weeks.

It's gonna be a helluva weekend, can't you tell?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Shouldn't toddlers be teetotalers?

Let's hear it for my nephew guzzling them down! What a genius idea. Lots of people seem to lose the power of coherent speech after a few drinks, but since my nephew doesn't really speak yet he need never fear losing that particular ability to the (liquor) bottle! Hear hear!

Har de har, I know. It reminds me of a story in my baby book that recounts my first brush with drunken stumbling. I was a wee one, probably under one or two I think, and my dad was watching TV with me. He got us to go outside and left the margarita he had been enjoying unattended. When he returned the margarita was lying on the ground and yours truly was lying down right next to it. Luckily, somehow, I didn't get alcohol poisoning.

I avoided the bottle entirely after that...until I was eight or so. I was upset with my brothers over something so I did something I had seen daddy do when he was upset with something. I went to a certain shelf by our bar, pulled down a bottle, filled a cup in the shape of the Kool-Aid Guy (okay, my dad used a different glass) and topped it off with rum. My mother made me go to school the next day with a ferocious hangover to teach me what a dumb mistake I made. I didn't drink again until high school and even then I think I got a later start than most of my classmates. I actually was more of a druggie back then since it fit my romantic ideal of the experimental intellectual.

So why do I booze it up now? Alcohol definitely made a roaring comeback into my life in my late teens/early twenties. Since then my liquid buddy and I have had our differences and the bottle has gotten me into some pretty sticky and/or embarrassing and/or completely stupid situations. So what does drinking do for me? How is it really helpful?

It's too early for Psychoanalysis 101 but I do know part of the answer lies in booze and social situations. I never drink at home. I don't even drink at family parties when everyone else is dipping into the cooler full of beer cans. I rarely even have a glass of wine when dining at a fancy schmancy restaurant. But get me in a club or bar or rock and/or roll show and a shot glass just seems to staple itself to my lip. Same thing goes for smoking. As a matter of fact, if I never went out to a bar again I could probably quit drinking and smoking with absolutely no problem.

The catch, of course, is that music -- and the clubs it is played in -- is a central part of my character. Screw character, it's a central part of who I basically am. I'm not sure I could divorce myself from that part of me even if I wanted to, but I really wouldn't want to. One guy I know, who was in my same predicament, eventually quit his band, quit his life here, got married and moved to a different city to separate himself from the temptations that drew him towards the stupid situations alcohol is oh so helpful in facilitating. I don't know if I could just leave everyone I know behind like that but that does certainly seem to be an effective way of tackling the issue.

Now don't worry, I'm not suffering some sort of existential crisis here. I'm just trying a little self-examination in hopes of growing a little bit more into the man I'd like to end up being. When you look at the partying Tankboy of just two or so years ago and compare him to the current model they barely even look alike. I am much more subdued now and don't get out nearly as much as I used to. However when I do go out, I seem to replicate the drinking patterns (and sometimes behavior) of early-Twentysomething Tankboy.

So maybe that's it. It's a self-control thing. All I've got to do is figure out what triggers the failure of the "No thanks, I've had enough" mechanism and I'll be free and clear.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Skritchity scratchity kaff kaff!

So my throat feels like I smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes last night when I in fact had none. Truth be told the quitting smoking thing seems to be a little harder than I thought and I took a major tumble whilst overseas. I'm back on track now but i feel like a dope because I also feel like I undid any of the progress that was made in healing my body when I quit smoking (for the most part) back in July. I didn't notice the bar being exceptionally smoky last night so I'm going to guess the scratchy throat is a warning of an upcoming cold so I've gotta knock that out in the bud.

Speaking of last night, I was afraid the evening was going to suck since there was a private party of a whole bunch of yuppie tools when I showed up with my discs. Once I started spinning they immediately attacked me with requests. This wouldn't have been so bad if the group wasn't so totally fractured. For instance one dude would ask for AC/DC and then a minute later a girl from the party would bitch about "that metal" and ask for something more dancey like Beck and then another girl would bitch about that "Q101 alternative crap" and ask for some shitty mainstream hip-hop. I couldn't win and was more than happy when Rudy took over after my first shift. However then Tom showed up with a copy of Disintegration for me to borrow since he had read about how badly I was jonesing for it. Then my friend Kristina, whom I haven't seen in ages, showed up and let me know I was missed (and I tried to let her know I missed her too but don't think it got across that well since Rudy was in '80s hair metal mode by that time.) And my friend Cory showed up glowing because after working his ass off copywriting at his new job he finally had done a piece outside of work, about music, for himself and I was happy to hear he had the ol' creative juices flowing again. And the vibe turned overwhelmingly positive with solid sets from both Rudy and I the whole night long. The only downside was that I got all jacked on coffee so it took me about an hour of reading The Economist once I got home before I could finally fall asleep.

And this has so turned into a "Dear Diary" entry but, even though I'm still kind of tired because I'm working on under four hours of sleep, I'm still carrying over residual feelings of last night's good mood and I don't care. The only thing that would've made last night perfect was if Photogal had shown up but we can't have everything, can we?

What was that They Might Be Giants quote?

"I don't want the world, I just want your half."

Dunno where that came from. Hmmmm. Since I see I've abruptly segued, but I have no idea what point I'm trying to make with this segue, I will abandon this train of thought and go fuel up on some more coffee. Bzzzzt!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Where's my copy of Disintegration?

So I was looking for The Cure's Disintegration last night since I was in the mood to load it up on the old tankPOD and give it a good listen in the next day or two but when I went down to the basement, traveled to the "C" section in my massive CD collection and ran my finger over the spines of the discs in the approximate area Disintegration should be I found nothing. It went from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me to the Never Enough single I won at the release party for Mixed Up my freshman year of college. But no Disintegration.

Now this is one of my favorite albums ever. I barely ever listen to it since it's one of those discs I have to be in "just the right mood for" (like, say, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless which recently got a spin on the plane trip to England and worked perfectly as it transported me away from a cabin buffeted by pretty bad turbulence and wrapped me in waves of lovely and beautiful sound) but it definitely ranks up there as one of the pieces of music I will never ever grow tired of. Only I appear to no longer own it. I haven't pulled it out to listen to it in years so it's not particularly surprising that I am only now noticing the gap in my collection but that doesn't make it any less annoying.

What's even more annoying is that one of two things happened to the album and it irks me it would've taken me this long to figure it out because if either of these scenarios is in fact true that would mean it's bee over a decade since I last gave Disintegration a spin. Now that's entirely possible since the album is one of those with such a deep hold on me I don't necessarily need to listen to it to enjoy the things it reminds me of or the emotional touchstones it skirts over, but that still is an awful long time to go without listening to a disc.

So what happened to it? Option one, I sold it. There was a period in time, about 1994 or so, that I was flat broke. Living hand to mouth. Literally unsure of how I was going to eat much less pay rent. At times sleeping in a basement on a mattress surrounded by about an inch and a half of water. It was during this period that I sold a lot of CDs to roommates, friends, siblings and music stores. The crappy stuff went first but as I grew more desperate I had to let go of things I really loved. It took me years to replace Alice Donut's The Untidy Suicides Of Your Degenerate Children and I actually had to buy the damn thing on vinyl before I finally tracked down a used then-out-of-print CD copy of the album. So I guess it's possible Disintegration took off at that point.

Around the same time, option two crops up. This little useless kid named Matt Mills was my primary DJ competition at the time and we both held multiple nights at this bar called The Gallery. Since I lived across the street I would often leave my CDs there overnight because I was too drunk to carry them home at the end of my set or (more likely) there was a party and a girl and more beer to be had and I just plain forgot the crates of music in the DJ booth. Well apparently this little fat fuck needed money too because even though he still lived with his mom he blew all of his money on music. Now that is the sort of addiction I have pity for but the pity party turns into a "you deserve a beating" party when you consider the fact that Matt Mills would steal my CDs and sell them to feed his musical jones. What made this even worse is the fact that I found out some close friends of mine knew at the time but failed to tell me because they didn't want to upset the equilibrium of our little group. My friends obviously don't always make the right ethical choices.

There is an option three, of course, and that entails the disc actually being somewhere in this house...only buried so deeply in a mislabeled box that it is basically lost forever. Kind of like my Menthol Danger: Rock Science! CD I haven't been able to find in two years. Man do I need to track down another copy of that! (I wonder if Rudy has a copy...)

So what's the moral of story? Apple needs to come out with bigger iPods -- or make them cheaper so I can buy lots of multiple copies -- so I can digitize all of my music so I never run into this problem again.

But it sure would be nice to unexpectedly stumble across that copy of Disintegration since nothing beats the actual physical presence of an album or compact disc. What can I say? I'm still kind of old fashioned that way.

Monday, September 26, 2005

This is ridiculous.

No human being should be up this early. I think I'm getting a cold though and I just couldn't sleep any longer. Figures. I must be paying for such a nearly perfect weekend. The Double Door show exceeded my wildest expectations, Photogal and I did some work on the two-flat she owns Saturday afternoon, The Cells played a great set Saturday night and yesterday a stray dog wandered across our front lawn so Photogal and I -- of course -- had to catch him and bring him in to Anti-Cruelty. What we didn't realize is that they no longer take in strays, they only accept dogs abandoned directly by their owners, so the dog we found was going to be transferred to the pound. This of course means we need to track him down today so we can monitor his progress. We CAN NOT adopt another dog...but if it looks like he won't be adopted I told Photogal we can get him and find a home for him ourselves. He'll be adopted though. He's a puppy and a husky mix and super friendly so who wouldn't want that?

Man am I out of it this morning. I just couldn't get to sleep last night. On top of this cold we have brand new sheets and they still have this sort of fresh processed factory smell that kept waking me up. Ugh.

So Josiah is in next weekend and I'm pretty stoked about that. Rudy and I DJ on Friday and then Light FM play on Saturday so I guess the weekend is all mapped out already. For once I think I'll actually be able to drag Photogal to a rock show since she likes the Light FM guys so much. On top of that her sister is in from Nairobi -- I swear she's in the CIA since what kind of small-loan local banker has to go to Nairobi for six months -- so I predict it's going to be a pretty busy weekend. It should be a lot of fun though.

So I guess, on that note, it's time to get the week officially started. Toodles.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I (sort of) keep my promises.

So I said I would continue the London travelogue today and I meant it. So go here and read what I wrote about the band I saw last Friday. Ha! See, I didn't say I'd write here today did I? Sneaky sneaky.

No today this space is reserved for news of this week's BIG FRIDAY NIGHT EVENT!

It's been a while since I put on a BIG show so don't miss this one at Double Door tonight!

Friday Sept. 23 at Double Door
Tankboy Presents:

Sour Deluxe
The Ladies & Gentlemen
The Melismatics
The Year After

Doors 8pm
Show 9pm
$7 cover

Double Door
Chicago, IL

Also, I will be DJing so that is awesome too. Now since I was just in England where people actually dance to rock and/or roll so I expect to see everyone of you shaking your asses/bootys/sweet thangs/cloven hooves and tails at the show Friday! Are you gonna let a bunch of pasty Brits show you up? I think not.

Repeat after me: A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

P.S. Tonight, no matter how much I beg and plead do not give me any cigarettes! The British have it right, as they oh-so-casually mention on their own cigarette packaging:

You gotta love a subtle hint, no?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

She's baaaaa-aaaack!

The woman whose viewpoints make my own critical musings look like so many Rolling Stone puff pieces is back! So go on over and welcome Daisy back to the world of music blogging. I love her tone, her views make me laugh out loud (whilst rockers the world over cringe) and it’s just an all-around good read.

This certainly brightened my day!
An interlude.

Ever feel completely blindsided? For a variety of reasons, the hectic schedule since my return as I struggle to catch up with everything and get back into the swing of things not being the least of them, I feel a bit off my mark today. So why don't you read what I most recently wrote about the RockStar: INXS finale (since finalist Marty is from Chicago) or some tidbits about Billy Corgan and baseball.

More about London tomorrow. I promise. Oh yeah, speaking of tomorrow keep your calendar open for the big show at Double Door I'm doing (just look to the right sidebar for details.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I keep putting off writing about my trip to London and it wasn't until this morning that I figured out why. By writing about it and remembering what a good time Photogal and I had I'm more or less admitting that the vacation is finally over. Sure, the experience will live on forever -- especially if it's bolstered by written remembrances -- but by writing a retrospective I'm effectively closing the door on the last chapter in my adventure book.

Ah well, I guess it's time.

We got in Thursday morning London time and figured out the Tube straightaway. It's remarkably easy to get around town -- before midnight (more on that later) -- so we found our way to our friend's flat in Fulham¹ in no time. We had a lovely breakfast and grabbed a quick nap before heading out to see a production of Billy Elliot at the lovely Victoria Palace Theatre.

The musical was lovely while being far ruder, funnier and energetic than I was expecting. The tunes were catchy (I believe the melodies were courtesy of Sir Elton John) and the stage design was rather nifty. My only complaint is that the seats were obviously not built with a six foot two American frame in mind. It took me about an hour to get feeling back in my knees after that one. All in all it was an aces experience. Also, the English really fucking hate Margaret Thatcher and really enjoy whipping out a fifty foot puppet in the middle of a Christmas musical number. Oh yes, and all the men donned tutus at the end of the show and got a standing ovation from much of the crowd. What is it with English men and drag?

The evening wound down pleasantly with a really good hamburger at a neighborhood gastropub and a final pint a few blocks from our hosts' house².

Day two started out with a lovely tour and lunch at a street market in the old town area of London where I had a really strong pint of cider and one of the sweetest and most sugary lemon meringues ever. Yow! We stumbled across the re-enactment of Admiral Nelson's some Admiral's (come on little bro, help me out with the name since it's too early for me to be messing with Google) funeral procession on the Thames (thanks for the name update Al.) We were expecting a huge fleet and were pretty surprised when the boats were actually much smaller rowboats with different nation's flags. I have to admit though that merely via its appointments the actual funeral boat was pretty impressive though.

After this we broke off an wandered around until we finally got to the Tate where I finally got to see Anselm Kiefer's Lilith live and in person. It's been a while since I encountered art that I'm familiar with that still has the power to knock the wind out of me and let me tell you that it's a lovely experience when it happens. I almost felt like I could crawl down the sides of the buildings in the painting and burrow into the depths of Sao Paulo and lose myself amidst the turbulent horrors.

We also got to see some Gilbert and George pieces and since that was my first time encountering any of those in the flesh that was pretty nifty.

By now Photogal had come across an ad for an exhibit at The National Portrait Gallery so we hopped a tube and made out way to Trafalgar Square. Lots of tourists there -- in the square -- but for one I didn't mind since the statues were so massive they rose far above the every day fray and stood as calm titans to reflect upon. That's the thing about European squares and their sculptures that really makes them different from a similar American experience. European sculptures just seem more timeless and I'm not sure why.

Anyway the exhibit at the Gallery was lots of fun and afterwards I stumbled across the four portraits that grace the cover of the Blur: Best Of album so that was pretty nifty too. The BP Portrait Award contest winners were also being displayed and Photogal and I agreed that the grand prize winner (left) won due to her eyes that seemed on the verge of tears but we argued over the meaning of the title of the fourth place winner, Any Monkey Can Take A Picture.

After that we climbed onto a bus and just wandered around London for a while taking in Hyde Park and other sights that happened to fall across our route. Oh man look at the time! I guess I'm going to have to continue this little travelogue with Friday night's events tomorrow.

¹London is broken up into cities/neighborhoods/boroughs and Fulham was one of those. So is Camden and Westminster and so on and so on. At no time did we ever (sadly) leave London so even though I'm tossing off names off what sounds like different cities it's no different than me saying Wicker Park or Williamsburg or Brooklyn.
²A note about our hosts: They were awesome. Not only did they save us a bundle by letting us stay at their roomy flat but they were also terrific when it came to helping us with directions or guidance or, really, anything. I wish I made more money so I could buy them a thank you gift large enough to show my actual appreciation for their generosity.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stroke yerself.

New Strokes single is here for now.
Credit due to the Duffster for cluing me in.
It sounds just like you'd expect The Strokes to sound like.
That is a-ok with me.
I'm alive, how's that?

Yup. We're back. My circadian rhythm is a tad off so work should be interesting today. And I don't even want to think about the torture session that the gym will be after all that smoking and beer drinking. (Yes, I smoked...I reckoned since it was a different continent I was allowed to...BIG mistake. My lungs feel like crap.) Okay, there actually wasn't an insane amount of beer drinking either -- aside from Saturday night -- so I think the gym will be tough just because it's been almost a week since I did anything more strenuous than walking up three flights of stairs at a Tube station.¹

So today is all about everyone getting back to normal. Photogal and I need to re-adjust to both the new time schedule and the fact we actually have to work. Lucy the Dog has to adjust to the fact that there won't be someone around to pet her twenty-three hours a day. Betty the Beagle's bowels need to adjust to having eaten pounds of dog food and three-quarters of a steak² while under someone else's watch. And Chloe the Cat just needs to adjust to no longer having full run of the house now that the dogs are back.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions on what to do in London as a lot of those came in really handy. Full write-ups will be appearing here, with extensions over at Lost in Guyvile and the London Metroblog as well. Cheers!

¹I sweartagod I had a dream last night where people kept saying, "Mind the gap!" to me.
²You wouldn't believe a) the noises her stomach made all last night or b) the amount of grass she ate this morning. I'm crossing my fingers that we don't discover an extra-large "surprise" when we get home tonight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On vacation!

NOTE: Photogal read this post and wanted me to point out that my little brother is housesitting -- and probably throwing a huge party Uncle Buck-stylee -- while we're gone so criminal types need not apply for the breaking-and-entering position.

Posts will be sporadic but I'll check in as I can my little playas and ho's. By the way did you read about the court transcript that had to be amended because the court reporter recorded all refernces to a woman of questionable moral values as a "hoe" instead of a "ho" and in the correction some rap lyrics were quoted for background? Awesome.

Also, private to Kip, keep fighting the man you rampant double parker! Mucho thanks for the ride. The $20 you saved me should be enough to buy me a Coke and a half a cheese fry while in London.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Par-ti-ci....say it...pation!

I think it's pretty funny that I could be heading out to the gym at roughly the same time I used to stumble home from an evening out in the old days. Were those days that old? I guess it has been about three years since I made a conscious decision to one tone it down and attempt to align myself somewhat with the working ranks of "the daytime people." The funny thing is that back then I was pretty functional both night and day. For a good portion of that time I was working unbelievable hours, though it didn't hurt that tail end of those hours included getting loaded in a bar...that helped take the edge off.

Anyway that's really neither here nor there and I'm not even sure why that cropped up when what I really wanted to say was that tonight at innjoy we're hosting a kind of audience appreciation night. Bring in your iPod with a short playlist,say five songs or so, and we'll plug you into the board sometime after 11pm. Sound fun? It is! Just don't bring any Andrew WK since I'm sure $in has that all Grateful Dead or new Country either. Everything else goes though.

We'll also be spinning new Franz Ferdinand, Metric, Twilight Singers, Morningwood, Editors, Dogs, Robyn and all kinds of other kick-ass tuneage. Plus you can bid me bon voyage before I head over to London...wheee!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another reason to hate Clap Your Hands Say Blah.

I mean, you saw this coming but it still sucks. I can attest to the fact that The National are extremely nice -- and insanely talented -- guys who will handle any live situation with great aplomb. I mean, hell, they played The Pontiac to a less than packed house a few years ago. They were super gracious at the end though and seemed happy to just have had a chance to play Chicago. I admit I booked the show as a chance for them to showcase in front of a local booking agent but I've seen them since in bigger rooms and they have been just as intense as the first time I saw them.

They should just flip the bill and have The National open at this point since at least that way moren people will see them.
The wonders of modern medicine.

So I love travel and flying from one part of the world to another¹ but at the same time I'm terrified of planes. Okay, terrified might be too strong a word. Let's just say I've always worried about the millions of things that could go wrong during a flight that might prevent me from making it to my destination. This fear only intensified -- predictably -- post-9/11 yet, ironically, I have actually flown more post-9/11 than I think I have at any other point in my life.

Now keep in mind the paradox. I am filled with wonder and excitement with the thought of and process of flying but the actual mechanics fill me with fear and dread. I mean I actually love flying and am scared of flying at the same time. One thing that has helped me a little though is self-education on the actual mechanics of flying. Turbulence is a little less scary when you have a better idea of what causes it instead of allowing your overly-fertile imagination to construct scenarios and its own explanations. However the thing I've found that helped the absolute most was recommended to my by a dear old friend a few years ago as we were discussing how we both find flying to be so stressful.


Ever since he suggested that magic little pill, and my doctor agreed that I would probably find it oh-so helpful, flying has become much more enjoyable. Instead of freaking out every time the plane starts to shake and rattle I instead just kind of, "Oh. Hm. Interesting." Luckily for me though the best thing about Xanax is it allows me to actually sleep on a flight so no matter what the distance the trip always feels like it only takes half an hour. Except for trips to and from China. No way could I sleep for the duration of those. However believe me when I say that Xanax really helped take the edge off and allowed me to enjoy the trip with more a sense of wide-eyed wonder thank slack-jawed terror.

God bless modern science!

¹Oh yeah, that reminds little brother just flew back from Toronto this weekend so I've got to remember to ask him if he saw any good movies at the film festival. Wasn't that new Cameron Crowe flick debuting there?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Reason #243,987,056 that I need to get my nephew out of Canada NOW!

I do not doubt for one second that my brother and his wife do not love my little nephew. It's obvious that they love him more than life itself and only want the best for him. However, they are clearly delusional as they have dressed him up IN A JESTER'S HAT AND (the proof is in the red ball he's holding) ALEADY TRYING TO TEACH HIM TO JUGGLE!

I will not allow my nephew to be resigned to a life of Renaissance Fair geekery. Unless he's actually acting (i.e. part of the cast that lives on the grounds each weekend) in one in which case he’ll get so much tail he won't know what to do with since it's a virtual Bacchanalian orgy on those campground once the "patrons" leave. I lost a girlfriend to a Ren Fair once but I don’t think I would have minded as much if I had been as neck deep in the non-stop sexing and boozing as she was!

I'm off the point though.

You see, if my nephew -- and I suppose his parents can tag along -- moves to the States I'll be in a better position to guide him down the path to self-assured coolness. The way to that path does NOT lie through wearing a jester's hat though! You know I’m right…
No, nobody knew her well enough to call her Val.

I often type out entries for this site first thing in the morning, moments after waking up. In some ways I feel it keeps me fresh, on my toes and, at the very least, relatively honest. As Photogal has learned, the best way to get info out of me is to hit me up with questions when I first wake up. It’s like a living lie detector test since my shields aren’t functioning and my tongue wags loose. I try to replicate that level of honesty, as best as I can, here.

Now imagine if you could get through to me while I was still asleep? What would come out of my mouth then? What would it sound like if I could narrate my subconscious?

Would my somnambulant utterings be called somniloquies?

I guess I’ve been thinking about this since discovering the collected “works” of Dion McGregor:

Unlike your average garden-variety sleeptalker, whose utterings rarely go beyond a few indistinct words here and there or perhaps the occasional semi-coherent mumbled sentence, Dion McGregor actually dreams out loud, verbalizing fully-realized miniature dramas of the subconscious. His clear articulation is underscored by the noises of the New York City street traffic below his open second-storey window...

[He] began sleeptalking as a young boy...but it wasn't until his late 30s that the unique qualities of his talent began to take shape. A diehard movie buff and struggling song lyricist habitually without a home of his own, McGregor was shuttling between the couches and guest beds of several apartments of a nondescript five-storey walkup at 961 First Avenue, on the east side of midtown Manhattan, when his various roommates began to notice the rare clarity and duration of his sleeptalking sessions.

[A roomate told] Mike Barr, another resident of the building and a songwriting partner of McGregor's, about the sleeptalking, Barr immediately recognized that he had stumbled onto something special. Barr, a budding composer whose hobby was tape-recording the audio portions of movie musicals off late-night TV, was eager to turn his microphone on McGregor's dreams. McGregor, on the other hand, was not quite so eager to have his dreams turned upon, but for the historical record -- as well as for a permanent address of his own -- he would endure. (full text)

Intriguing, no? Yes. Of course it is. I’ve tracked down some of the earlier recordings and they are indeed equally disturbing, fascinating and amusing. I think a perfect example would be “Val” off The Dream World Of Dion McGregor. It’s the story of an odd little girl who lives in the neighborhood and elicits whispers from every doorway. Here, listen for yourself.

Dion McGregor – Val

Wild, huh? It's just so conversational and matter-of-fact in tone and I think that's what makes the narration even more unsettling. A new disc of his stuff just came out and can be bought here.

So yeah, I'm not so sure I want direct access to my subconscious. I don't think I have any real business poking around those parts without a tour guide, to be honest with you. I think it's probably best for me to continue to try to get to the crux of the matter with the final sands of sleep slipping off my shoulders rather than plumbing the depths while buried headfirst in slumber's surf. I think it's just safer that way.

P.S. This is myt first time using a YouSendIt link so let me know if there are any problems or if it expires.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sorry to leave you hangin' but...

I got no time to write today. SUPER busy. I will at least try to do something constructive today and offer these words of warning:

DO NOT PURCHASE the new "tribute" to Sly and The Family Stone "Different Strokes By Different Folks" they're selling at Starbucks. I've had a chance to listen to it and it completely blows. Even the Roots sound ever so less than fresh. Bummer, huh?

ANd now, a picture of some raver chick facing off against a battalion of cops. Awesome.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

In a daze...

This weekend when I was mowing our lawn I hit my head on one of the giant sunflowers in our backyard and it actually hurt. That's a heckuva plant.

Last night was pretty D-E-A-D. We've been getting a nice little crowd at about 12:30 lately but the hours leading up to that are a little slow since I think everyone is still out enjoying the last weather. Here in Chicago we take advantage of temperate conditions as much as we can since we know it's only a matter of time before we're going to enter the inevitable deep freeze winter lockdown. I was also a little zone-y based on lack of sleep and that was only exacerbated by my DJ partner being M.I.A. No, not the Engilsh singer. In his defense I know he had a BBQ the previous day and he probably went to take a nap and woke up this morning going, "Oh crap..." I would've liked the sleep but I'm not going to complain about getting double pay since I'm desperately trying to scrape together as much dough as I can for the London trip next week.

Also, a reader of this here site showed up last night. If you're reading, Bill, am I right in assuming it was you? I would've liked to visit during my break but, as you can see, that wasn't really going to happen.

Betty the Beagle just went after Lucy the Dog over a water bowl. Why is she being so territorial with a teensy dog she's already asserted her dominance over? I know it's a dig thing, and they don't behave exactly like people, and it's natural, and no one is really getting hurt...but that doesn't make it any less disturbing to see since my brain is so used to interpreting certain actions in certain ways.

Okay, I'm groggy but I must get thy self to thee gymnasium.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fire coming out of the monkey's head.

I could go into the myriad number of things that are wrong with me and why I'm so lucky to have a girlfriend that loves me even when I act like a sixteen year old headstrong jerk just because I'm feeling petulant and angry and, well, feeling like a sixteen year old. But I'm not gonna. Because aside from a single blip we had a really nice holiday weekend. Well it was almost perfect. We had some leftover BBQ yesterday and something in the mix did not mix well with Photogal's tummy so that sucked. But we saw The 40 Year Old Virgin beforehand so that took some of the sting out of ending the days activities early. (We had a BBQ to go to but that ended up having to be cut from the schedule...)

What the fuck is this though, dear diary hour? I don't think so.

I'm still looking for London recommendations, just so's you know. The response I've gotten this far has been awesome and I'm so thankful to everyone for his or her advice. You've all insured that Photogal and I will have an adventurous trip jam-packed with fun and I can't wait to get over there a few weeks from now. Now if only I could figure out some way to do away with the need to sleep while I'm there. And no, smartass, I'm not gonna become a meth-head so don't even suggest that option. Sicko.

Early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy and really freaked out that the neighborhood is so quiet and even the dogs are still asleep. Yipes! I think I went to bed far too early last night.

Oh well, I guess I'll just freak people out at the office and show up early today. It's always fun to see how folks keep checking their watches when I come in ahead of my usual schedule. Ain't I a stinker?

Oh, before I forget, tonight Rudy and I are doing a Glam Rock thing at innjoy but we're leaving it open to interpretation. In my world Bowie, My Chemical Romance, T. Rex, Love and Rockets, Muse, Slade, Spacehog and mid-70s Stones all qualify as Glam. It should be fun so wear your heels and mascara.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I can't believe I'm typing this...

...but I'm sitting here listening to the new Rolling Stones disc and it isn't terrible. In fact it's pretty durn decent for a bunch of living fossils. It's not all sheeny and shiny and overproduced like, oh, everything from the last twenty years or so of their recorded output. It's certainly no masterpiece and it's overly long but it does sound way more like their later '70s output than I thought they had the power to muster up anymore.

Who'da thunk it?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A little help please?

Photogal and I are headed off to London for a few days vacation in the coming weeks and it'll be the first time either of us has been there. I know, I could it be that and Anglophile such as myself has never made it there before now? Eastern Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico...but not London?! It boggles the mind. That's beside the point though. I'm finally going to go!

What I need from you folks is ideas on what to see, where to eat relatively inexpensively, where to go out drinking and/or dancing, guidebooks we should read ahead of time, blah de blah blah blah. We do plan on doing some touristy stuff but at the same time I like to hit the ground with some inside info so I don't stick out like a Palace-Guard-starin' pasty bellied tourista. I think you get the picture. You can either e-mail me or leave suggestions in the comments. Thanks ahead of time for any help you can offer!