Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good words to you.

I'm a bit of a word geek. I think that's fairly obvious. I also take great pains when choosing the words (for the most part) that I say out loud. This is in an attempt to speak as clearly as possible while vesting my word choices with meaning that is often beyond the obvious. As one can imagine this causes problems from time to time when I get all frustrated that someone didn't pick up on a subtle nuance I intended, when in fact I'm just being an idiot for assuming everyone will invest the time to perform a close reading on every stupid sentence that comes out of my mouth.

I do appreciate a good word discussion though. Oddly enough I usually get kind of bored by articles about words (like Word Court/Fugitives) since they are often written with an air of smug superiority rather than attempting to elicit the playful fun that I believe should accompany every good linguistic dissection. Why try to alienate people, right?

This is why I want to recommend what is quite possibly my absolute favorite podcast right now. I listen to quite a few 'casts and enjoy all of them, but NPR's generous digging through the archives of John Ciardi's On Words with John Ciardi is always a superior source of enjoyment for me. Here is a man whose love of words is palatable and infectious and will grab the attention of any listener no matter whether they be SNOOT or monosyllabic Neanderthal. Give it a listen here and judge for yourself but I am quite confident you will come to the same conclusion I have: Words are fun and John Ciardi is a man who knows how to have fun with words, and you don't have to be a word nerd to appreciate that.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Black Ops.

You will all be pleased to note that, even with Photogal out of town this past weekend, while I had a lot of fun this weekend at no point did the "evil Tankboy" make an appearance after too many "drinky-drinks." I actually managed to just have a pretty darn good time. Saturday evening was a particular highlight since I ran into a lot of old friends I haven't seen in a long time and was able to do a lot of catching up. The only real snag in this weekend was when I retunred home Saturday night to discover that my house key had fallen out of my pocket during my cab ride home.¹

I suppose I can take solace in the fact that it is really difficult to break into our house and that if someone were to make the attempt I would be awake, on the phone and letting the cops in through the front door before an attempted breach was ever successfully concluded. It was a bit disconcerting though that an hour and a half of me banging on doors, walking around and testing windows, our dogs barking and (finally) the sound of shattering glass drew zero attention from my neighbors.

I finally did get in though. I'm not telling you how since I don't want to give anyone any ideas but i will say that it was not via our roof. I did consider trying that as a point of entry but then rapidly came to my senses and realized the quickest way to break my neck would probably be through drunkenly stumbling all over my roof.² Bye bye Tankboy.

Lessons learned? Well a) I learned to check for my keys before exiting a cab since had I done so Saturday I probably could have just gotten a ride to Rudy's (to crash) or Julie's (since she has one of our extra keys) and taken care of things that way. Also b) I learned that it's a bad idea to leave my cell-phone at home since even after the cab had left I could have tried to call someone for assistance. And finally c) I learned the best way to avoid this happening in the future is to teach the dogs how to open locks from the inside of the house so that next time they can just let me in instead of uselessly running all over the place barking their fool little heads off.

¹Just a reminder; Tankboy never drives drunk and neither should you!
²Eeeeeeeeeek!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Yesterday I wrote about tonight's record release show at The Empty Bottle starring The M's.¹ Today Photogal goes out of town for the weekend, Skid & Dave DJ at innjoy, The Decibators play their last show ever, my friends Gina and Dan are gettin' their bowling mojo on and I am so overwhelmed in general I may just end up staying in and doing nothing.² Tomorrow is another day.

Check me out, waxing philosophical.

¹This was also the first post I've done that fell under the purview of the new Chicagoist copy editor and may I say that while I love the fact he catches mistakes and ends up making me look smarter it's still a shock to get an e-mail with those edits and realize just how many mistakes you made in the first place. Granted, most of the stuff I do for them is composed rather quickly and I (regrettably) don't always proof it as closely as I should, but still!
²Yeah, right. I'll probably try to do all of these things at some point this evening.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our house is under contract! The inspection is in 20 minutes! I'm freakin' out!

On the plus side, once we move into our two-flat, we will be near all of our old favorite restaurants again...and I can bike to pretty much any location without having to covert op it through suspect neighborhoods.

The weirdest thing? I was the one to propose selling the house and now I'm the one with the coldest feet. It will all work out for the best in the end though, right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WHAT?!

How did this get past me?!!!! Harmon, you're roadtrippin' up to Chicago when this comes out.

Nice to see Jason Lee sportin' the Earl 'stache in the preview.

(Credz Rudy fer peepin' this to me)
Mahna mahna.

That is all for today. Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. The new Sparks (band, not drink) album sounds like a cross between Queen and the Pet Shop Boys and it is oh-so over the top and delicious.

P.P.S. Whilst looking for my TFA rarities disc to re-burn to the tanbkPOD I redicovered the old Pillowmints EP from 2000! Also delicious. I'm really re-digging Debbie and Gina's team vox. (However, ladies, I still have no copy of "Heroes" so I expect that to be delivered to my doorstep with the utmost of haste.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

An idea considered as a replicator, esp. with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do.

I have been tagged by both Rachelle and Nancy so okay I'll do this I'll do this!


4 Things


Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Cook in a Vegetarian Coffeehouse
2. Talent Buyer
3. Trophy Engraver
4. Bookseller

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Breakfast At Tiffany's
2. Bladerunner
3. This Is Spinal Tap
4. Philadelphia Story

Four places I have lived:
1. McAllen, TX
2. Spring Lake, NJ
3. Riva, MD
4. Chicago, IL

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. The Simpsons
2. Arrested Development
3. The Avengers
4. Monty Python's Flying Circus

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Kiev, Ukraine
2. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
3. London, UK
4. Krakow, Poland

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Chicagoist
2. Done Waiting
3. Fluxblog
4. Coolfer

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Popeye's Fried Chicken Breasts
2. My family's rather distinctive Birthday Cake
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
4. Little Debbie's Snack Cakes/Swiss Cake Rolls

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On my couch, with a pile of DVDs, books, news mags, Photogal and our dogs.
2. New York City, independently wealthy
3. I've never been to the Middle East or Africa and I think I'd like to see those places for myself.
4. At a show I booked featuring David Bowie, a regrouped Pavement and The Flaming Lips. Oh yeah, and the original Pink Floyd line-up. Playing Double Door. That would be pretty cool.

Four bloggers I am tagging:
1. I will steal a page from Erin's book and let you all of the hook by tagging no one.

__________

The geek out continues!

My little brother lent me the first season of the reimagined Battlestar Gallactica and thus far it fucking rocks harder than I thought was possible for a new millennial rehash of a treasured memory of mine. Especially since a certain boyish yet hot blonde has taken over the spot previously held by one of my youthful imaginary idols. I am fully prepared for it to being to suck and get overly soap opera-ish but until that point I'm gonna enjoy myself.

By the way, and forgive me if this has actually been touched on since I've read an amount of press roughly equivalent to nil in regards to this show, but doesn’t the writing/social structure/equality of sexes (like I said, thus far and by that I mean the four hour pilot) as well as the general feeling of TANSTAAFL bear a striking resemblance to the world created by a certain R. Heinlein?

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About templates and my lack of knowledge thereof.

For years anyone reading this site using anything other than Explorer probably noticed that the frames were all fucked and some stuff was probably hard to read. Well, I lifted this template from an ancient version of Blogger and grew attached to it (but, more precisely, I also grew terribly afraid of fucking things up if I tried to "improve" or "fix" anything with my severely limited knowledge of code) and learned to just sort of live with its foibles and flaws.

Well, just the other day Jon dropped me an e-mail with a suggestion for a fix to my little quandary -- detailed in such a way that even an idiot like myself could easily follow along -- and thirty seconds later four years of funky flawed design was righted!

I (and I suspect a large segment of my readership from this point on) owe Jon a huge wet kiss.

__________

ENOUGH ALREADY!

This post has veered closely to teenage A/V-titude so allow me to provide inoculate against permanent damage by once again reminding you that the DJ evening pictured next to "hipster haven" in the dictionary is still going strong Tuesdays at Pontiac. Tonight should be extra wobbly since we're celebrating our good friend JB's birthday. Plus, hear cuts off the new Flaming Lips and Secret Machines discs. Woweewoweewow!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stretched thin, thin, thin.

Alot going on. A whole lot going on. On a bunch of different levels. Biggest thing to deal with right now is the house. The house we decided to "test" on the market. The house we decided to sell ourselves in order to save a bunch of money we would otherwise pay out in commissions. The house we decided to sell not so much because we had to but because we thought it probably made good financial sense (and, plus, whose selling would allow us to move into and completely rehab our other two-flat.) The house that, now, more than one person wants. The house that looks like we will be parting with over the next week or so. Now after all this work -- stressful late nights cleaning/tidying/touching-up; sharp tempers brought on by a lack of sleep amplified by a strenuous timeline divided by a lack of downtime in which to re-energize; seemingly endless walks with the doggies in subzero temps in order to give that "unoccupied new house" vibe during showings -- after all that work now the doubt grips my heart like an icy vice and causes my already overloaded brain to try and comprehend one final massive fact: Do I really want to move?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wherein I complain, "Everyone's a fucking DJ!" for the umpteen millionth time.

Yup. Some of us have been spinning for almost two decades now...so we get a little peeved when we see Madge behind the tables, doing nothin' and taking all the credit.

(credz Irene)
Like that fuzzy dude from Worl Party said, "Thank you world!"

Last night was more than I could have hoped for. The club was packed. The staff was awesome. After the show Mother Hubbard's crew threw down some massive tracks. And did I mention...free Sparks!

It was a winning equation all around. Thank you to everyone involved. Now I have to come dowjn off my cloud and go to work the 9 to 5.

Loves you!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bring on the bloggers rock and/or roll...

Oh yeah, it's the very first Chicagoist CTRL-ALT-Rock show! This one's been a long time in the offing. Due to my background I was the natural choice as ringleader when it came to setting up the first Chicagoist live music showcase but i've got to admit that I've really enjoyed working with other people for once when it came to the nuts and bolts of promoting the show. Special props must go to Mr Scott Smith for handling a lot of the behind-the-scenes promotion stuff as well as introducing me to the second band playing tonight, May Or May Not. I love it when folks turn me on to great new music.

I can't tip you off to all the cool stuff we have planned tonight but it is suffice to say it would be in your best interests to get to Schuba's before the doors open at 8:30. Oh yeah, did I show you the nifty poster The Assembly came up with for this show? Look:


What a bunch of go-getters. Someone tell me why I never tried to scoop them up and manage them? Oh right, I don't want to manage bands because I'm afraid that would take all the fun out of it. Still...

Anyway, tonight will be awesome. However, and I picked Schubas for just this reason, it's going to get packed so get there early! Don't say I didn't warn you when you're stuck outside the music room sobbing and dripping your runny nose all into your beer while missing Alphabet's opening set.

So I'll see all of you tonight? Come up and say hi to me. I'll be the slightly soused guy with a head full of curly hair toweing over most of the crowd with a grin slitting my face from ear to ear.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Back to the Future.

So you can read a preview of yesterday's Ponys show I wrote here. If you really read that last sentence you'll see it's a bit wonky time-wise. Anyway, some personal fun facts about the band not included in the article:

  • Jared, the singer, used to drum for a punk band that played on bills with my old band. Once his whole band got mad at me over a poster my band made for a show and the whole band terrorized me for a few weeks and kept threatening to pin me down and cut off all my hair. This scared the shit out of me. To be honest Jared didn't really have anything to do with this, it was more the domain of his psychotic (like scarily so) bassist. Instead jared distinguished himself by being the likeable statesman of his peer group who just happened to be a monster behind the drum kit.
  • Melissa, the bassist, was my old roomate and I've known her since our Freshman year of college (which is further in the past than anyone would immediately think by just looking at either of us.) I have no wild and crazy storis about her because she was never particularly wild and crazy. Instead she stood out from the crowd by mainly being kind. This was a rather unusual trait amongst the motley crew I used to run with.
  • Nathan, the drummer, actually knows Photogal from her early years at college. I actually remember being at a party where he told me he was in a band but it took me another year to connect one and one and figure out that he was in fact playing with old friends from way back. I don't know him really well aside from a few drinking sessions at a few parties over the years but he is, like Melissa (and come to think of it,actually, Jared), one of the nicest people I've ever met

So I read back over yesterday's review and hope my affection for the band came through. I purposely haven't written about them over the last couple years because a) they certainly didn't need it and b) I was afraid that I might be terribly biased and turn in a piece of fawning crap rather than a fair-minded survey of the group's actual talents.¹

Well, which side of the fence does the piece fall on? You tell me.

¹This is also the reason I rarely write about Rachael Yamagata.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Guess who rediscovered their guitars and their (real-live) drum set?

The Flaming Lips, that’s who.

Now I realize that there is a chance that the following the boys have picked up due to their softer, weirder compositions on their last two discs may be a bit turned off by their new one, At War With The Mystics, but it would be a shame if that proved true. One thing that has always worried me about the more recent fans – and here I run the real risk of playing the same card those fucking 'Deadheads did once "Touch Of Grey" became a hit and fratburbia discovered "their" band¹ – is the near universal disdain they have for albums pre-Soft Bulletin. Often the discs are derided as weird, tuneless, loud or messy. And they are. And that’s just fine. I mean, I was there for the mid-day bubble-machine at Lollapalooza. I groaned and cheered and found myself generally confused when they played The Peach Pit. I was there when Wayne pulled out a piano and told us a story about his brother’s amazing powers over the tiny yet mighty waterbug. I would like to note, however, that I was not there at the first Suicide practice², even though the Lips have covered one of their songs.

The point is that one of the things that made The Lips so loved, and probably the same reason Warner Brothers kept pouring money into the band, even when they wanted to record an album that could only be heard if four CDs were played at the same time, is because they have always been honest in their attempts to create music that will resonate, effect and move you.

Now the new disc is by no means such a great leap backwards that it will completely threaten their newer fan-base. At least I hope it’s not. I don’t think it is. I do think it is a sign that the band has finally dealt with all the turmoil of the past decade and now feel free to re-embrace a bit of the guitar weirdness they’ve steered clear of all this time in an attempt to make a break from their past sound. I’m not even sure the band realized they were doing this, but hindsight being what it is I think it’s fairly obvious that once drummer Steve Drozd moved off the (drum) kit³ (full-time) the band took a turn into willfully exploring new territory at the expense of the familiar. This was healthy. But it was also a little frustrating for long-time fans because while the resulting albums were lovely and stupendous and altogether breathtaking they seemed to lack the spontaneity that made their earlier work great as well.

At War With The Mystics seems to be an attempt to bridge this self-induced gap. There are finally a few guitar freak-outs and the drums return to a pulse-pounding center stage on a few of the tracks. There are still the languid symphonic pieces that float and tickle the yin but the yang returns with a vengeance to anchor these pieces creating, for me at least, the most satisfying album by the band since In A Priest Driven Ambulance.

As a post-script, and maybe this will provide a tough of context within which to view this rhetorical survey, I confess to being leery of the band after last year’s documentary and career spanning video collection since such things are usually signs of a band near the end of its creative tether. Instead I should have never underestimated the boys and seen these actions for what they actually were; the closing of one chapter in order to make way for a grand new one.

¹Please note I am not truly confusing recent Lips converts with Johnny-come-lately-wanna-be-hippy-‘Deadhead-types. This is actually more of a slam against pretentious assholes like me that always trumpet the fact that we were first to the party and then gripe about having to share our cake. This is, of course, after we’ve yelled ourselves blue in the face about how tasty the cake is and why people that aren’t eating it are stupid. This is known as the Paradox of the Music Critic™. It is a plague amongst hipster and post-hipsters like myself. If I knew how to solve this paradox to everyone’s satisfaction I would truly be a god among men.
²Lame joke, I know. Hey, it’s early!

³I could make an obvious reference to moving onto another kind of kit but not only would that be in poor taste, it really has nothing to do with this piece. I do feel the need to include the possibility of that reference though to head off the folks that might think I'm implying something that I'm not.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ndololo the Little Blind Elephant
R.I.P. 2005 - 2006



Photogal met this little guy (note how small he is, that's why I didn't crop out the guys standing next to him) when she was in Africa last month. He was a little blind baby elephant whose mother had allowed to be taken away when she realized he would never survive in the wild. Here is what they said about him on the site of the refuge that resued him:

Little Ndololo was a charmer who captured all hearts instantly and became the darling of the Elephant Nursery and the foster-elephant of hundreds of people in distant lands.

He was our pride and joy and returned the love that was lavished on him by all who met him. He was the favourite of every Keeper; clever, intelligent and understanding, so very special in his dependency, and so quaint and amusing in how he made his wants and needs clear to all, in a forcibly gentle manner. He began to walk with growing confidence, even without the tapping of the stick, weaving his way through thickets, and even managing to kick the elephant’s football accurately during a game with the Keepers out in the forest one day, which left his human family convinced that the time had come when he could, in fact, see again.

Mysteriously, he could detect the presence of his favourite Keeper, even when totally blind, either by scent or intuition, or perhaps a combination of the two. In short, therefore, we were overjoyed with his progress, and optimism replaced despondency. We were convinced that little Ndololo was going to become whole again, and end up as a full-grown member of the wild elephant Kingdom of Tsavo. Certainly, in character, intuition and intelligence, he had the makings of a very fine elephant bull. (full text)

Unfortunately, that was not be. The full details are here but suffice to say Photogal and I are very saddened by his passing. I never met the little guy but feel as if I got to know him through Photogal's stories and photos. Hopefully now he's in a place where he can see and play with all of his other little elephant friends.

If you would like to learn more about (or make a donation to) the people who resuced him and gave him a home then visit the website for The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

So long Little Ndololo...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Too much cuteness!
(This adorable photo is meant to soften the blow caused by the subsequent PSA.)



And now, the PSA: FOX will be running the final four eps of Arrested Development tonight starting at 7pm CST and since there's been very little (actually, no¹) promotion I figured I should let all of you know.

Bummer, huh?

¹Actually, if my little brother hadn't alerted me that tonight was the last night even I would have totally missed it.
Tankboy's Simple Life Lessons: How not to be a dick at a restaurant.

I was thinking back to my days or bartending and managing restaurants and so on and so forth and decided that the following things are just a given and you should never, ever question any of them. Think of them as The Golden Rules For Eating Out and realize that by following them you can help ensure that no one will ever spit in your food or put eye drops in your Chianti.

Bon App├ętit!

  • Never leave less than a five dollar tip, even if the bill is only for a $3.99 breakfast special. Anything less is really just a slap in the face. The food may be cheap but the server puts in the same amount of time regardless of the venue. Be nice.
  • Everyone should have to work in the service industry. It should be like mandatory military service so that people could see just how evil other people can be. If you've never waited on a customer you do not know just how base the average customer acts in even the simplest situations.
  • Say thanks to that busboy that refills your water. You'll be amazed at what a small kindness will do for another human's ego.
  • It is totally okay to complain about a sub par meal, but don't always do it in expectation of a full comp. In other words you should speak up as soon as you taste something is amiss and not wait until you've polished off your plate in hopes of a free meal. Duh.
  • Waitstaff have bad nights just like you have bad days at the office, only they have to keep smiling and have no cube in which to hide. Just keep this in the back of your mind for reference.
  • That waitress/waiter is being nice to you because it's their job, not because they are your friend, so they -- 999 times out of 1000 -- really DO NOT want your phone number. And never EVER ask for theirs. A lot of creepy people come in and make assumptions so don't be one of them.
  • Celebrities that have their meals comped and don't tip are the lowest of the low. Celebrities that run around the restaurant introducing themselves to every single table at one in the morning are awesome. I'm looking at you Keanu.
  • Yeah, I have other celebrity stories but who really fucking cares?
  • If you made a reservation and the host/hostess tells you it'll be a few minutes until a table opens that is totally cool and expected and you should take it in stride and go to the bar for a drinkie-poo. If that table still hasn't materialized in fifteen minutes it usually means a few parties have camped out and thrown the reservations off for the evening so don't get all pissed off. However, that being said, if you have to wait more than twenty minutes for a reservation somebody working at that restaurant had better offer to buy you a drink or appetizer at the bar. Anything past thirty minutes? You should walk out. And I'm saying this as a guy who will almost always side with the restaurant on most issues. However if you wait more than thirty minutes for a reservation someone fucked up royally and you should take your business elsewhere.
  • Okay, here I'm gonna cheat and let you in on a secret. Bring your own wine to the restaurant. Even if they charge you a corkage fee you still come out ahead.
  • Okay, to make up for that previous one, if you bring your own wine...tip as if you didn't and your server will totally not care.
  • I know I said this at the outset and it should just be so evident and it is so sad I really feel the need to underscore this point but be nice. That's it, just be nice. It's that simple. And tip on the total bill, not the pre-tax figure you fucking cheapskate!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

So THAT'S when Jack Bauer eats!

These commercials solve a mystery that has plagued 24 viewers since we first met Mr Bauer.
Creating Salivation In Your Fellow Man 101 a.k.a. The Agony of Defeat.

So here’s one of the interesting things about being a Grown Up™ that is in the midst of trying to sell their house: sometimes staying up late isn’t as much fun as you had envisioned when you were a kid.

For example, and this applies double when you are trying to sell your house sans a representing real estate agent, whenever a request to see the place the next day comes in one can be assured that one will be cleaning/tidying up/”trying to make the place look, you know, bigger” late into the preceding evening. One learns to just bite their tongue and do it, even if they are tires or cranky or just don’t really feel like it. The reason one just ‘soldiers on” is that one realizes that there is no other option and that this is just the sort of things that grown-ups do.

That still didn’t stop fear from worming its way into my heart when I emerged from our basement last night, after putting various items away in various places in order to help with the effort to create an overwhelming Spartan and thus spacious environment, and smelled paint. At 11:00pm. It seemed that Photogal had decided to touch-up the area beneath the windows with a bit of paint in order to erase the tiny dirty paw prints left from years of Betty/Lucy trying to get a better look at whatever they were barking at. This act in itself is quite forward-thinking however in Photogal’s hands I worried that a little touch-up might turn into a situation wherein I fell asleep only to awake at four in the morning to Photogal in overalls, floors blanketed by drop-cloths and fresh paint on every wall and ceiling. Of course that didn’t happen but the fact that I even thought it could, even for a second, should shed some light on the sort of behavior that can seize even the most reasonable person when they are faced with the daunting task of trying to make a complete stranger covet their property.

So that’s why I’m hoping the place sells quickly. It’s not because I want to really leave our house – because it is a great little house and I know that moving into our two-flat is going to end up requiring more work than is currently demanded from us – but because I just can’t take the repeated late-night cleaning sessions fraught with worry that something will be out of place or strike a prospective buyer wrong andr function as the fulcrum point that allows them to say, “Naw, I can’t really see myself living there.”

Maybe that’s it. At the base of all this is a continuos courtship laced with the fear of rejection and every night we clean the house is mirroring every girl’s pre-prom preparation that is doomed to end in tears when their date never shows up with that corsage to ferry them away to a dream-filled land of dancing and punch and glee and separated from terra firma in the loveliest of ways.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

From your friends at the Human Resources Dept...


... because of insurance liability, you will be limited to ONE beer at the company picnic. Thank you.



Okay, it's stupid but I really have nothin' else to say today. No deep thoughts, No universal truths unpeeled. No words of wisdom. No original sins.

Nothin'!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hmmmm...it's Tuesday, eh?

I wonder what could possibly be going on on a Tuesday night?

Hmmm...I wonder.

Also, don't forget the contest that's in full swing. We've gotten some great entries from lots of folks...except for Gina Knapik. Unless of course you consider "Gina Knapik is totally hot" a good replacent name for our Tuesday night residencies and, to be fair, you might. But we nixed it. Also out of the running? "Free Beer and Chicken." It's been done. Don't feel bad though, since my original idea -- "Gentrifuckation" -- was shot down by Photogal before I even had a chance to share it with Rudy.

Anyway, display your smarts, your creativity, your, eh, real genius as it were and get those suggestions in! We'll announce the winner at the end of the week.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Whiskey Soaked Tankboy.

Hoo boy, so Saturday, huh? The last Rockit Girl show at Double Door. The show was awesome but I was a disaster. Somehow a surplus Maker's Mark snuck into my system and caused me to become so inebriated I actually fell down more than once. Very unattractive. It has been years since I got that drunk. Hell, by the end of the evening Jesse the Soundguy had to come to my aid and count the money and divide it amongst the bands. I must've felt pretty badly about that and dropped my usual take by a pretty large percentage judging by the amount of money in my pocket the next day but by then I reckon all the bands deserved more cash for putting up with me. Oh well, at least I didn't puke in the dressing room like some other folks who shall remain nameless.

I had a great time though, from what I remember. Actually my primary regret is that the last quarter or so of the evening is more a series of impressions rather than any concrete solid memories. I did manage to keep from being rude (to most people) and I think "Jolly Tankboy" was out instead of "Jerky Tankboy" so I, other than the whole paying the bands fiasco, was pretty harmless and probably rather entertaining. I do wish I had been able to exert a little self-control earlier in the evening in order to avoid getting so blasted. Not exactly my proudest moment. And to anyone who witnessed my shirtless torso in the sound-booth when I was changing into my Phil Collins tour T-shirt Betsy had just given me for a gift...well, I hope your sight has returned by now and the mental damage is nothing a few weeks in an asylum won't cure.

I have a huge list of people to thank but in lieu of sounding like an Academy Awards speech running into a bleed-over from the orchestra so I think I'll handle those on a one by one basis. I would like to give props to my Almighty Creator right here though for miraculously sparing me anything even resembling a hangover the next day. What a miracle.

The bottom line? It was stupid of me to get so drunk.

__________

Comfort food in film form.

I revisited two of my favorite movies of all time this weekend. Saturday included a viewing of The Philadelphia Story and Sunday I watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s These are two movies I absolutely (and yes I’m using that word properly here in full knowledge of its “absoluteness”) will never get tired of seeing over and over and over again. I realized yesterday that I have no idea why that’s true though. Why are they my favorite movies? Bladerummer is up there right behind them but its inclusion – based on my background, personality and simple fact that I’m a dude – makes a heckuva lot more sense on that list than a comedy with Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, doesn’t it?

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A contest!

We've decided to change the name of our Tuesday night DJing event since we’ve moved it to Pontiac. So, instead of just coming up with a name ourselves we’ve decided to turn it into a bit of a game and ask other folks to come up with a name. Other folks like you!

So come up with a name and we’ll choose a winner before the end of the week and the prize will be some free drinks, maybe some free music and whatever else we can scrape together that’s sitting around in our prize closet. Send your submissions to me via e-mail and, like I said, we’ll announce the winner by week’s end. Wheee!

Friday, February 03, 2006

What are you doing tomorrow night? Let me tell you what you're doing...no excuses!

You could do this:



Or even this:



Or, maybe, this:



Holy mackerel waitasecond...those are all the same thing!

While I am seriously sad to see Rockit Girl pull the plug on their amps, I am mighty proud to be part of their final show. Chicago bands have a penchant for going out in style and (here I am cheating since I'm privvy to the plans) I am sure this will be up there with the wall o' guitars at the final TripleFastAction show, the naked dancer at the last Kelly 18 show and Kip and 'balls making out on-stage at the farewell Woolworthy gig.

It's gonna be awesome, I promise.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Right out of the gate...Whoa Nellie!

So Photogal and I have been toying with the idea of selling our house and earlier this week Photogal made up some flyers and distributed them amongst local real estate agents. We figured we'd test the waters and see if we got any bites, especially since the market seems about to soften a bit.

Apparently the fish in our neighborhood are hungry. We have two showings scheduled already and one of them was, at the prospective buyer's insistence, today so last night Photogal and I went through a marathon evening of cleaning, moving furniture and quickie repairs. I'm taking Friday off so I can get even more work done before the next showing(s?) this weekend.

I'm a little freaked out at the prospect of selling the house and moving but at the same time I've been too busy to really let it settle in so I guess we'll just have to see how this all ends up!

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I should hate this guy, but I don't.

File this under "completely unrelated to anything else, it literally just popped into my mind."

George Clooney is impossibly cool. I mean he's got a stylishly timeless look that makes women swoon and men grow jealous so I should totally hate him, right? Well, I just can't. I was reading a round-table interview with him and a number of other directors up for Academy Award this year and he just came off as effortlessly being funny and topically informed at the same time. He seems to embody the joi de vivre laced with intelligent reflection that was the hallmark of the images the old Studio Systems used to try and disseminate in regards to their own particular stable of stars. Only Clooney seems to be the real deal and not a Studio's wishful thinking behind a marketing scheme.

In other words, he's the closest thing to an honest-to-god actualy Hollywood Star™ that we have.¹

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Dear Kip,

I am sorry that each week I have neglected to mention that the stage at The Pontiac would be perfect for go-go dancing on Sweet Alice Tuesdays. Maybe we need to work on getting this out via word of mouth. We should get some hott boys and girls together, dress 'em in tight T’s and short-short hot-pants and then let them loose on the stage. While they’re dancing we get Tom a.k.a. Little Kip a.k.a. stop-calling-me-that-or-I’m-breaking-this-chair-over-your-back to take some digital snaps and spread them around the Net. The following week we are sure to be mobbed by the youth of tomorrow hell-bent on taking control of today. It will be awesome.

Love,
Tankboy

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Did I mention what's going on tonight?

Okay, much like last Thursday, there is a lot going on tonight. Lots and lots of excellent options. Lots and lots of friends' bands playing around town. Lots of shows I would like to see.

But I ain't telling you about any of them.

Why?

Because I'm DJing at Darkroom tonight with some close pals and that's where you should be!

Come catch Gina as she joins Rudy and I behind the wheels of steel laser guided precision as we start to ramp things up in expectation of the final Rockit Girl show this Saturday. Join us!


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Speaking of Rudy...

Two things:

One – Rudy has joined MySpace under the guise of his new musical project The Midnight Shows. Go and ask him to be your friend so you can get all the info on upcoming dates, releases, blah de blah blah blah and all that exciting stuff. To be honest, I almost swallowed my tongue in surprise when I saw he had created a band page...but then I got excited because it meant he’s seriously at work on his new music.

Two – This Tuesday Rudy executed a particularly fucking sweet mix of Michael Jackson into Depeche Mode. You can do it!

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...and, speaking of Gina again...

Since Rockit Girl is going away I’m proud to be involved in setting up their final bill (as well as providing the in-between set soundtracks) and can guarantee that this is one of those "do not miss" shows. There’s a lot of cool and surprising stuff planned for the evening and the end result will be a truly unique and unrepeatable event.


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You know me, I'm your friend, your main boy, thick and thin.

Explain this to me: Why is it that the last few weeks, every couple of days, a New York Times will end up on my doorstep -- gratis -- alongside my Chicago Tribune? Is the NYT delivery guy sneaking around behind the Trib's delivery guy just trying to give me a few tastes until I can't live without my morning Paper Of Record? If so, it's starting to work since I keep weighing the notion of cancelling the Trib and subscribing to the Gray Lady...

¹You know, like Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn or someone of that vibe/stature.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The only way I kept from throwing stuff at the television screen last night while our lovely President was speaking...

...was to imagine Jon Stewart doing his "weasely Bush" heh-heh-heh after each time our dear President paused for his trained monkeys' applause.

The other thing that kept me sane was watching Logan's Run directly after the SotU and realizing that while the vista of a ruined planet seemed oddly prophetic after Bush's speech, at least we could look forward to women in really short skirts.


God Bless Jenny Agutter.