Thursday, March 30, 2006


One of the great joys of moving is transferring all the services you enjoyed at your location to the new location. This transfer has been almost seamless. However I have to internet at home yet, and I don't really feel right posting from work, so accept this brief update/reminder to come see me and Photogal DJ tonight at Liar's Club and then cross your fingers everything is up and running tomorrow so I can be as loquacious as I wanna be.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

First, the important information you MUST have!

Photogal and I have spent the week packing, then moving, then closing the sale on our old digs and through it all we’ve basically been working our fingers to the nubby little bones barely sheathed by thin layers of skin that are themselves in grave danger of completely wearing off.

So we really need to cut loose and let off some steam.

So, tomorrow night, THURSDAY MARCH 30, we will be DJing at Liar's Club, drinking as much bourbon, vodka and whatever else we can shove down our gullets, while spinning some massive tracks full of rock and/or roll goodness.

Also, judging by Photogal's DJ name, I think you can expect lots of cowbell. And if you're super nice maybe I'll break out my Sugababes cover of the Arctic Monkeys song "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor." No, I'm no kidding.

So, relevant facts:

Liar's Club

DJ Tankboy
DJ Cowbell

Rockin' from 9pm until 2am


Liar's Club
1665 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL

And now, some levity at the author's expense.

Obviously I am drained. Beyond drained. And the week is still only half over. So, instead of going on and on about how psychically wrenching all the recent developments in my life have been -- albeit almost totally in terrifically positive ways -- I think it's time to share some sill pictures of Tankboy throughout the years. And today, we will focus primarily on what silliness poor Photogal has had to put up with from time to time.

So first, we have this photograph as sort of a palate cleanser. I think I'm sixteen or so and this is my attempt at a self-portrait:

Here Photogal and I are in the early stages of love and she's all like, "This dude is SO cool. I'm such a lucky gal!"

However the blush soon fades and she starts to worry that the sarcastic punk is in fact a guitar-totin' hippy. (Have no fear, I did -- and still do -- eat hippies for breakfast.)

Here we are after my first massive haircut in which my locks disappeared but my Sampsonian strength did not. Photogal is happy again. She no longer fears that she is dating a dork.

Oh, but wait a minute! Perhaps she rejoiced too soon. Get a load of that shirt I'm wearing! The only thing that makes me feel good about this photo is that, compared to my brother's ridiculous shirt, my wardrobe choice is slightly less offensive. Slightly.

Speaking of my brother, and my wish not to paint him as being totally challenged when it comes to dressing himself, here he is (along with my littlest bro) looking rather dapper. The same cannot be said (unfortunately) for my own Bono meets Layne Staley look. Ouch.

And here I am, last weekend, posing with Kip’s gal Leslie. This doesn't really make either of us look bad, it just cracks me up every time I see it so I wanted to include in somewhere. This seems as good a place as any.

So there you have it: Indisputable photographic proof that a) I am an idiot and b) Photogal is a saint for putting up with me year in and year out.

So be sure to stop by Liar's tomorrow to give the lady the appropriate props, m'kay?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


For the next 18 hours or so I will have no internerd, no land line, no cable, no solid mailing address, no bed, no utensils, no books, no stereo, no clothes other than the pants on my legs and the shirt on my back, no DVDs, no gym clothes, no bicycle, no no non on on onon nonnoooo nothin'!

Yup, i'ts moving day. If photogal and I survive this I feel confident that we can survive anything in the future.



If you want that piano I was selling last week, you can have it for free! All you need to do is cart it home with you today. As an added incentive, the moving guys have already agreed to move it out of our basement and onto your vehicle if you are going to take it.

Unfortunately I will be almost unreachable, and I'm not posting my phone number here, but if you want the piano shoot me an e-mail to my tankboy (at) gmail (dot) com address since I can check that mail via my mobile.

Again, I don't want to get rid of the piano but Photogal has told me that if the piano stays then I'm sleeping in the backyard from now on and I really don't like mosquito bites. So if you've always wanted a piano, the price doesn't get any better than this so contact me now!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Really? It all fits in there?

There's something disconcerting about walking around your house and seeing your entire life stuffed into a bunch of cardboard boxes. It also makes things really interesteing when you're trying to prepare dinner and realize that just about every cooking implement you own is buried in one of those boxes.

I can't wait to move tomorrow so our life can begin to resemble something slightly less stress-ridden and begin to at least aproximate the vibe of semi-normalcy. Ironically I find that I've been playing a lot of Flaming Lips stuff to sort of soothe my sould through the past couple of days. I say ironic because, while Photogal does like the Lips, the music does not have the same soothing effect on her as it does me. I do enjoy a jarring crescendo of chords that almost but doesn't quite fit together because I know that the denoument at the close will provide a comfortable sense of security after the storm. I guess that soesn't prove true for everyone though.

I just re-read the above and have to wonder: Did i just make an analogy to packing up and moving without even trying to? I think I did!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Banging and crashing and, basically, the sound of a wheelchair tumbling down the stairs.

That's what I figure tonight's show will be like.

South of North presents:

Milk At Midnight
America's #1 Sweetheart
Trapper Keeper
The Broke Players

The Mutiny
9pm show

Yes, so, Mr. Tom has put together a great little bill here! MAM will kill, as always. America's #1 Sweeteheart will not be featuring me on drums for this show but if Kip and 'Balls actually just do some sort of drum-machine backed duo, and it's anything like that Pontiac show they did last year, it should be a riot. Or a riot may break out. Either way it will be fun. The show also marks the debut of Trapper Keeper as well as the debut of Josh playing with a full band version of his group, The Broke Players.

I will be tippling back a beer or two but don't look for crazy Tankboy tonight because he won't be there. Photogal and I move on Tuesday, plus we have an early Saturday breakfast date with some of our friends in from Minneapolis, so there won't be much time for playing this weekend.

DeRo is also playing a show with a one-time only Flaming Lips cover band at The Abbey on Saturday but you'll have to wait to read about that until later today when I preview the show for Chicagoist.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This kills me, but...

So, does anyone out there want to buy a piano? I have mine listed on craigslist since Photogal has made it known that she would be less than pleased if we end up having to move the piano into yet another basement where it will hardly get played for years on end. I don't really want to sell it but have to concede that she has a point. I'm asking for $500 but that's just a conversation started...if I knew it was going to a good home I would take less.

It’s craigslist kind of day!

So Photogal and I are still trying to rent the upstairs apartment in our building so we have it listed on craigslist. Obviously by doing this we open ourselves up to a fair number of scam e-mail attempts and yesterday Photogal just decided that enough was enough.

Here is the e-mail inquiry we received:

i came accross the ! posted rent advert.i ll like to know if its stillavailable.I am in london as at now where i just finished my degree! programme and relocating.kindly email me again with the below details so we can proceed and have some things done concerning the Rent.
Kindly email me with

Now, the clue that this is a scam is the bit about the cashier's check. And here is Photogal's response (crafted with a little input from me):

Wow, this is such a great opportunity to rent to someone form another country. Do you have any rich uncles that recently died and you need my help getting his money out of escrow? Have you ever spent any time in Nigeria? I only take cash, feel free to send it to me, lots of it.

How awesome is Photogal? Pretty fucking awesome.


And what about that big news?

I'm starting a new job in two weeks. I got an offer from this great company located in Oak Park and have decided to accept the position. I was bummed that I had to give my current boss my notice over the phone -- especially since I really like her and she is the main reason I stuck out the hellish commute day in and day out for the past three years -- but she's out of the country for a few weeks and this new place needs me ASAP. I am really excited about this change since there are many, many pros about the new job (good people, no commute to speak of, I can wear jeans to work) and only one real con (I do really like my current boss and am going to miss wortking for her).

So yeah, it's not a wedding or a birth announcement but I think it does qualify as really big news.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Somethin's brewin'.

Seriously. Somthing HUGE. But I can't talk about it yet.

However I can talk about this fucking cool event DeRo has organized this Saturday:

Saturday, March 25: A special book release party for Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips, by Jim DeRogatis

Featuring the Satellite Hearts (performing the vintage, hard-rocking best of the ’80s and ’90s Flaming Lips), the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, and Kid Million at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace St., Chicago (; 773-478-4408). World premiere of the Flaming Lips’ At War with the Mystics at 8:30 p.m., available everywhere on earth April 4; continuous play in between sets in the Pub starting at 8:30; bands start at 10 p.m. Tickets $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Proceeds benefit the American Poetry and Literacy Project for the Chicago Public Schools.

(As usual, clicky to make the image larger and more readable.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Addressing those pesky rumors.

So it has come back to me via a variety of sources that the word has leaked out beyond my tight little circle and is spreading about the general populace and it (has also) come to my attention that the time is nigh to address the rumor that is making the rounds.

Whew! What a mouthful!

Yes, it is true. I have decided to join a band again after a long hiatus of working pretty much exclusively (I know, that's an oxymoron but I'm going for a conversational-type thing here) behind the scenes aside from my DJing – which, if you really think about it, is sort of behind the scenes too since folks are focusing on my selections and not my actions (usually) – and the occasional Live Band Karaoke appearance.

America’s #1 Sweetheart is one of my absolute favorite bands and their core of Kip and Fagballs are two of my favorite people (as well as being two of the most entertaining gentlemen I have ever met.) Well, it appears as if their long-term drummer (who is also a swell guy) has decided it's time to move on and even though dozens of more qualified candidates have applied for the job, the position kind of fell into my lap without me even really asking for it. So I'm their new least until Kip and 'Balls realize the folly of their ways and hire someone whose drumming is far more technically proficient than mine. And is willing to wear sailor pants. But until then I will do my best to destroy my kit in an effort to make the boys sound as massive as they deserve to sound.

I was to make my debut with the band this Friday but between my move, and various other obstacles, we haven't really had time to hammer out any songs yet so Kip and 'Balls will be playing with themselves (ha, I couldn’t resist!) and a drum machine. I promise I'll work hard so I can play the next show with them without everything falling apart spectacularly.

So yeah, I guess I’m a drummer again. Cool, huh?


I wanna go where the people go.

And the people go to The Pontiac where Rudy and I continue to bring rock and/or roll – new, unreleased, old, forgotten, dearly beloved – to the masses. Well, that drunk dude at the bar. And that girl over there smoking a cigarette. And Fritz the bartender. And you. And you. And you and you and you.

So I’ll see all of y'all tonight, y'hear?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Buzz buzz buzz.

Back o' my head there's a spark won't go out. Even with time off the battery and brain haven't been given a chance to energize and my lungs are running opn paint fumes. That can't be good since the last time I was breathing paint I ended up doubled-over post-spinal tap in a hospital and sicker than when I entered. At least there's no fever in mind or body even though my soul feels like it's burning up. Someone hand me an iced lemonade right now right this second or at least an ice cube or two to suck on. Ice cube? Ice chips. Ice chips? Chips ahoy. Chips ahoy? Ahoy matey...Land ho!

The dock is in sight. We just have to keep rowing with the faith that we'll get there before the squall does.

I think we'll make it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

And, plus, oh yeah.

I comment on the Lolla '06 line-up here. I am so pleased that my advance info about The Lips playing proved to be solid. Now I just have to scatch together $130 for a three-day pass before they get any more expensive since I want to make sure photogal can go with me whether or not I get a press pass...
Pass me a beer because I'm sober.

I’ve got a little thing about The Beer Nuts (yes, those Beer Nuts Darcell) going live at Chicagoist around 9am so check that out once it posts. In other news I spent most of yesterday running errands and packing so I have nothing all that exciting to report unless you really want me to run down the virtues of a super thick Sharpie versus a good old fashioned Magic Marker. I have had a chance to slot in a few DVDs over the past few days so here are my capsule reviews:

Saw II
= I saw what was coming within the first fifteen minutes
The Aristocrats = a few moments of hilarity but mostly (surprisingly) booooring
The Wedding Crashers = now that I’ve seen it twice I have to ask myself “why?”
V For Vendetta = oh, wait, I haven’t seen this yet…but I’m not getting my hopes

I’m also thumbing through DeRo’s bio of The Flaming Lips so I bet you can guess what artists is about to go into heavy rotation on both tankPOD and diPOD.

The cat just climbed up the back of the chair I’m sitting in and scared the crap out of me!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


The trade show is over and my brain resembles so much tapioca but regular posting will resume. I have the next few days off so I can get some work done on the building before we move in but check in periodically since -- I won't be in an office where I can't post during the day -- I will be able to slap (and tickle) whatever piques my fancy whenever. Okay, that lasty sentence was sloppy, but still correct. Re-read it if you're confused. Remember, my brain is like tapioca right now? Right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More awesome than awesome.

Some days I actually love working the yearly trade show. Especially when stuff like this happens:

Yes, Photogal got to meet Richard Simmons! She was sooooo excited.¹

Speaking of excited, today is the last day the trade show is open, so do you know what that means? Tonight I'm getting a little crazy. I've been really good about not going out at all this last week; getting to bed early and getting to the show and working working tonight I'm going to play a little. I can't get too crazy since I still have meetings and stuff tomorrow but I do plan of cutting loose a little. Where will I be? Oh, I think you know. Nothing says "unwind" more than getting out and spinning your favorite tunes for good friends and cool cats on a Tuesday night.

¹And me? Seriously, his visit has been the highlight of this show. The man is more fun in person than you can imagine. I highly reccomend everyone meet him at least once.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Coming up for air.

I slept on my head funny and my hair looks like something out of a Farrah Fawcet poster.

The trade show is going well even if I have lost all sense of what day it is. It kind of reminds me of working in the service industry in the way that there really is no difference between a weekend and a weekday. I think I'm going to take some time off after the show though to do work on the building and start packing up the house in advance of the move at the end of the month. Photogal has been a working fiend as far as painting and minor carpentry goes and, while I haven't exactly been slacking due to the nine to five (or, this week, the ??? to ???), I feel like I have to do a truckload of work from my end to even things out.

Did I mention how cute the pooches were last night during the thunder storm? They got all shaky and tried to burrow into my side for safety so I had to spend quite a while hugging them and reassuring them everything was okay. Not a bad way to unwind after ten hours of staning on your feet on a thin carpet supported by an unforgiving cement floor.

Anyway, my brain is scattered and I need to perk it up with some coffee before I catch the bus. Oh yeah, the public trans experiment has been a success so far. As a matter of fact there is a free Metra train between the convention center and downtown so that's shaved a good twenty minutes off the time it would take me if I were just depending on the CTA's bus and train system alone. However if I want to make use of it today I really should be going so...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Embarking on a new adventure!

Parking at McCormick Place is $16 a day and while my company reimburses that expense I just don't have the disposable income this week to spare. So instead I have decided to attempt using Chicago's public transport system to get to and from the convention center over the next five days. You would think that since this location is a vortex meant to suck in tourist dollars for the city that it would be easy to get to. You would think that maybe a train or bus would go directly to the heart of the building. But you would think wrong. I think I have a handle on how to get there, and luckily (timewise) I have a little wiggle room this morning since I'll be going there directly from the gym (which itself is closer to a transit hub). Will I make it there? Or will I find myself stranded in the depths of the South Side; cold, shivering and drenched by the fine mist that has laid itself across the streets and sidewalks over the past couple days? Or will I triumphantly stride into my company's booth; on-time, toasty warm and cup of coffee in hand?

Let's find out!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I've wrassled my critical demons and everybody wins!

Remember my inner questioning earlier this week? I think I found a solution that solved all of my issues. See?
Advance warning.

Content will be scarce over the next week. Why? Well, first we have a massive trade show that I must attend and this yearly event tends to eat up every free second for the better part of a week. Second, what with selling the house and preparing to move and fixing up the two-flat we’re moving into and general stuff like that, I am a very busy man.

This does not mean I do not care for you. As a matter of fact you should take every word I manage to pound out between now and next Thursday as concrete proof of my undying love for you dear reader.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Super quick Oscar related thingie.

  • Photogal won her office Oscar pool though proper credit must be handed to my littlest brother for coaching her through all of her picks. The one upset? Crash. Though, again, to my little brother's credit he counseled her to go with Brokeback Mountain as the safe pick for Best Picture even though he personally believed Crash wold provide an upset. Why is my littlest brother not a pop culture columinust or something?
  • I've read a bunch of follow-up commentary and can't figure out why no one has picked up on the George Clooney thread that ran throughout the whole evening. Even the Best Song winners gave him a shout-out! And Photogal loved the way he kept giving mischevious glances every time the cameras landed on him after someone yet again brought up his name. Like I said before, the guy is so cool I should hate him but just can't.
  • How cute were those overrsized stuffed penguins? Too cute!


Even quicker self-promotional thingie.

Me. Rudy. Pontiac. Tonight. Rock and/or roll with us.


And, finally...


(credz Erin)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Critical questions.

So I have to write up a review of the Figdish reunion show I saw this weekend but I'm not sure withing what perameters I should house my critical view. Do I take it for what it was, a bunch of guys reliving their youth and having a great time? Or do I take the cycnical approach and point out that both bands to splinter off Figdish ended up being superior musical beasts, yet neither offspring has drawn the crowd or devotion that was in attendance Saturday night? Sometimes with shows like this (and this difficulty is not made easier since I know key members of the group) I get flustered and confused and part of me is annoyed that nostalgia wins out over iknnovation. At the same time I am nostalgic by nature, I think, so I end up enjoying the show and the music and the evident glee on the players' faces and the happiness of the crowd surrounding me. However that critical little demon in me, the one that won't just let me let go and say what the hell, keeps poking holes into the apparent simplicity of the event until I can't help but wrestle with some of the larger qiuestion thatr get raised.

So, if you only had 350 words to do it in, how would you handle this particular review?

Friday, March 03, 2006

And on this day, five thousand years ago, Photogal was born!

Okay, she's older than me but not that much older. She has, however, begun referring to this as her "twenty-ninth" birthday for the first time ever. Personally I don't think anyone will believe her since she doesn't look a day over twenty-six. Seriously.

Happy birthday!

P.S. I love you more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Oh my.

Remember that whole thing about words I worte yesterday? Apparently quite a few folks really aren't close readers when it comes to some of my stuff.

So tell me, was I that far off? Or that inscrutable? Or, really, all that negative in the long run?

My favorite part? When some dude/gal insinuates I might be a flak. Awesome.