Friday, June 30, 2006

Doo-be doo-be-dooo...

That is all.

Okay, maybe not all all. One. Thanks to the bands last night. (Rudy, I am so proud of you!) Two. Numero uno blurker? Shame! You missed a great party! But there's always Elbo Room tonight...

And three. Rachelle, you left after I had already poured you a pint but...SPARKS!

So far, this has been an awesome birthday. Today? The Taste, Superman, (maybe) Fogo and then the last ever (again) Figdish show.

And yes, Jason, the penguin is for you.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tonight’s Rules.

I figure I may as well lay out a few ground rules before the big birthday bash tonight, just to avoid any unpleasantness.
  1. Don’t bother buying me any shots. I’m going to turn them down because I’ll be too drunk already. Thanks anyway, honestly.
  2. Any hard evidence (photos, DNA samples, moving picture films) of me being a complete and total idiot must be approved by me the next day before you go posting my stumbling ass all over YouTube.
  3. No, I’m not playing any Doobie brothers tonight, so just don’t even ask. That one’s played out for now.
  4. Yes, I’ll probably play Kelly Clarkson. It too is played out but I don’t care.
  5. Tip the fuck out of the bartenders, even when it’s crowded and it takes a little longer to get to you. They’ll be working their asses off tonight.
  6. If you see Kip sidling up beside you, keep your drink above “wing-wang level” or you might be in for a surprise.
  7. Dance. To the DJ. To the bands. To your own beat.
  8. Have fun.

I’ll see you in a few hours.
Drink specials tonight!

Since I want to make sure all of my pals (especially Scott and Sarah to the right, there) are just as sloshed as I am at my party this evening, The Pontiac has been kind enough to extend the offer of a drink special this evening. So for anyone attending my party, make sure you get $3 bottles of Budwesier and (here it comes, wait for it...wait for it) $3 shots of Maker's Mark!


I mean, the only thing better than that would be free Sparks¹ all night long, wouldn't it? And i can assure you that's not going to happen.

Oof. It's gonna be a hell of a night, isn't it?

¹That reminds me. I'm thankful that Sparks was being served at Intonation last weekend so at least now some of my friends get my crazed infatuation with that burst of pure liquid evil.
Let's be specific about this.

My actual birthday is tomorrow. Or tonight at midnight. Whichever definition you prefer is fine with me. I just wanted to get that out of the way so that when I'm flashing my ID to get free booze on Friday people aren't all like, "Hey, weren't we at your birthday party last night? What's up with the two-day birthday?"

Well, one, in my family we stretch the birthday celebration out as long as possible. I think my mom holds the record for eight days although Photogal came close this year with six days of celebration. Me? I'm lucky if Photogal gives me a full 24 hours within which to celebrate in any way I see fit.

And, two, yes, that was a hell of a party. oh wait, the party hasn't happened yet. Why? Because it's tonight! Wa-hooo!

My birthday parties are fun. Thousands of satisfied customers over the years can attest to that fact. The music is always great and I am never less than entertaining. Especially when I'm falling down and saying, "Deja vu." Tonight will be no less than completely mind-blowingly alien-orgasmically awesome. I've upped the ante by booking Muchacha and Textbook to tear the roof off the joint (word is multiple members of both bands have taken Friday off in anticipation of all the "fun" they will have.) Photogal will provide cowbell laden tuneage when I'm not drunkenly pawing her or the mixer.

But the thing that makes tonight really special is that it also marks the debut of Rudy's new band, The Midnight Shows. I can not wait to hear what they sound like. My anticipation has ratcheted up yet another notch since I just found out his band features both a Fender Rhodes and a full phalanx of female back-up singers. A bevy of beauties? Whoa! What is that about?! I guess we'll find out tonight. I am dying of anticipation.

For details, you can always look at the lovely poster that Josh and Gina designed for me, but for those who prefer their information in a more straightforward manner, you may find the following information useful in constructing an agenda for this evening while mapping out the best route to take you to the party of the century/month/day:


It’s The Tankboy Birthday Spectacular!

The Midnight Shows

DJs: Tankboy, Cowbell

Show at 9:00
no cover!

Okay, we've gotten that out of the way. I expect to see each and every frickin' one of you there tonight. That includes the blurkers. The place will be packed so you can just continue to blend into the trim if you so choose. or you can pop on up and say hi. Also, a number of Chicagoist writers will be there so this would be a perfect time to just smack them upside the head instead of leaving them faceless snarky commentary underneath their posts. Also, ask Mr. Smith to show you his Superman tattoo. And you think I'm kidding.

Seriously, tonight will be memorable. Or it may be wiped clean from your memory due to over consumption of alcoholic beverages. Either way I guarantee that, in the moment, you will have more fun than you thought possible. Well, almost possible.

Oh, about two of the three above photos: I don't know why, but it just seemed like a Swayze kind of morning. I mean, doesn't he look so happy leaping and bounding?*

*Yes, between that phrase and Mr. Smith I am certainly a bit Super-slap happy this morning.


What I learned.

Sarah Silverman's comedic songs don't strike people as being as funny when you can't see her cute as a button lips actually forming the bracing verbiage that can easily scrape sensitive sensibilities. As a matter of fact, when you play one of her songs there is a good chance 98% of the bar is going to look at you like you just stepped on a baby and shoved it in the microwave while the remaining 2% will be laughing so hard snot will be running down their chin. You will also realize that Silverman gets away with an awful lot by sheer virtue of her being so frickin' hot and, while you still think her comedy would be funny as dry black and white type on a page because your own sense of humor is just that fucked up, you see how her observations might lead the blood to drain from 73% of the (general) population's face.

And then you'll wonder why people find her shocking while finding someone like Mancow to be funny. And you'll just shake your head.


Did I mention this?

I'm having my birthday party tonight!

Oh, I did mention it? Sorry to repeat myself then. I'll see you tonight.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My nephew is a pimp, yo.

Is he totally ready for The Grotto or what?


The teaser trailer for Spiderman 3 is here. in other uber-geek news i will be making Photogal take me to see Superman Returns for my birthday proper at some point Friday. I'm also trying to talk her into taking me to the last Figdish show at Elbo Room. it should be quite a birthday day, eh? I'm sure it shall seem tame compared to my birthday party but, eh, I'll be old and won't care.

Also, what do you think the chances are of me getting Photogal to wear a get-up like the one the young lady to the left is sporting? I mean, it will be my birthday, right?!

Okay, maybe birthday wishes can't make every dream come true...


Speaking of growing old.

Dear Louis Menand,

I read your Talk Of The Town piece in last week's New Yorker and I've got to say it shocked me. It shocked me that The New Yorker would choose such an incredible puff piece as the lead to that section when they usually reserve that spot for honest bits of cultural (or (gasp!) political) criticism. Instead, this week what we got was a piece that painted its writer as being the epitome of the old codger bleating at those wild and crazy kids, along with the bleated caveat that said kids will never understand the bleating in the first place because they just wouldn't get it anywayt. I understand some of your points were meant to be "witty" and "tongue in cheek" but I regret to inform you they actually came off as "flat" and "foot firmly in mouth." Especially "delightful" is your clumsy comparison of teenagers to dogs in the schematic of which one makes an audience feel further diminished. And your defense of the "adult" regard of Billy Joel's music. I'll grant you a couple of his tunes pre-'84 but if you honestly are trying to defend anything from the last 20 years then I grant that your "chemistry has altered" and your internal critic is a compass without a point.

Keep in mind that I am no longer firmly within the ranks of youth. But I don't begrudge them their experiences and I'm not jealous that I can't possess their joie de vivre and temper it with my experienced wisdom. Tell me, as I get older will my humor fall over more tone deaf as well? Golly gee willikers, I hope not!

However I guess if you dare to question the viewpoints of an elder there's a very real chance that he won't hear your words so, for all intents and purposes, if you're over 54 this screen might as well be blank.



And one more thing.

When I was in San Diego proper (a.k.a. city 'hoods and the like) the populace looked like a bunch of Californians and the locale, to my sensibilities, seemed slightly exotic. However when I was eating breakfast at the Denny's next to my hotel, which happened to be across the street from a faceless shopping mall that bordered a featureless highway on the edge of town, I realized the clinetle looked exactly like the folks I might find in a Denny's anywhere in Southern Illinois or rural Indiana or upstate New york or anywhere else in the U.S.A. They all had that slack-faced, overfed sense of frustrated entitlement, along with the anger bubbling under that comes with losing out in the class war that aligns them with their oppressors and turns them against their percieved enemies. I realized even our most interesteing communites house the consumerist wastelands that serve to deaden average Americans and pull them away from the light.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The photos in this segment have nothing to do with the content. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

So, San Diego. I feel like I should write a guide titled San Diego in 72 Hours or Less When You Only Actually Have About 6 Hours to Actually Do Anything. The subtitle could be A Conscientious Conventioneers Guide to San Digo, I suppose.
My first impressions both flying in a driving to the hotel was that the landscape really reminded me of Mexico. Big surprise, huh? Also, any time I see palm trees I get violent sensory flashbacks to my youth in Texas and my mouth fills with the flavor of the kind of beef you can only get down South or within spitting distance of the Mexican border.

I discovered Friday night that one's internal schedule is actually more screwed up on a flight from Chicago to San Diego than it is by a flight from Chicago to Hong Kong. No kidding. For that reason, Friday night was a wash. I planned out trolley routes and picked out shows to see and selected a place to grab a burger and then promptly fell asleep -- with my boots still on -- at about 8pm P.S.T. What a rock star, huh?

Saturday day was spent expanding my horizons in my professional vocation, meeting fascinating people, listening to stories that moved my soul to new empathic boundaries and opened my eyes to foreign vistas of human strength, and generally becoming a better person and by default better suited to write about the things I write about from 9 until 5.

Saturday evening my old friend Missy came by my hotel with her awesome little girl Lydia, and the two of them whisked me off to Ocean Beach. We were surprised and somewhat delighted to discover a street fair in full swing so we pulled out the stroller and battled out way through the crowd of surfers, punks and (lots of) hippies to grab some food. Mm-mm good.

The beach smelled just like I remember it smelling every other time I've stood at the edge of an ocean but thi was the first time I'd ever seen waves big enough to surf anything but a body through. And this was late in the day when surf was most definitely not "up" in the local parlance. Also, during dinner Lydia got hungry so I got to see more of Missy's breasts than I had seen during all the previous years we've been friends. I am so immune to breast-feeding mommies by now. It was a lovely early evening activity and next time I go to San Diego Missy said i could do all the "un-hip tourist stuff I wouldn't want to admit to wanting to do" with her since having a baby gives you carte blanche to do stuff like go to SeaWorld and visit the zoo. Not that I'm really worried about losing "cool points" by this point, but it's nice to know I have a guide ready and rarin' to go be touristy with me.

After that I met up with my old roommate Leslie, who hadn't changed a whit since we last saw each other oh-too-many years ago (aside from seeming happier and more focused, that is) and she took me on a whirlwind sampling of San Diego's nightlife.

We started off at Lancers, a quiet little tavern-type spot with a pretty great jukebox. Leslie warned me that the place got packed after 9 or so but it was a perfect start-point since it afforded us the chance to catch up with each other in a chill atmosphere.

From there we moved on to The Whistle Stop. This place really reminded me of Pontiac with that whole "renovated garage" feel. Oddly enough we discovered the door man had just relocated there from Chicago and used to live a few blocks from me! Again the tunes were cool and the place was chill...until 10pm. Suddenly a line appeared, a cover started to be charged and a DJ who looked like he should be fronting a Flok Of Seagulls tribute band started spinning some of the poorest hip-hop selections. Suddenly the place was packed with a wild cross-section of hipsters, beach bunnies and ex-frat boys (too many of which were crowded in the the unroofed portion of the bar I will refer to as "the smoking alley." Now with all of these factors in play you would think I would be annoyed to the point of poking strangers and offering unsolicited insults. Instead I found myself digging the vibe and would have been haappy ending the night there. In retrospect I realize that this was a physiological manifestation of the "California vibe" and I was powerless to resist. I also realized that if i ever moved to CA I would stop hating hippies because there just is no psychic underpinning for that sort of behavior. Therefore I can never move to CA. I mean, what is tankboy without his righteous indignation?

From here we moved on to what would prove to be the most surreal experience of the evening: the Turf Supper Club. Think of a place with hipster ambience (and crowd) plunked right down into a 1920s supper club/jazzbo hangout. Now imagine people gathered around a big ol' grill in the middle of the room cooking their own steaks. Now imagine your slight partner in crime of the evening bellying up to the bar and asking for a Newcastle and rib eye. Now imagine the bartend returns with a bottle of beer and a huge cellophane wrapped steak that your companion quickly extricates from its plastic prison and plunks down on the sizzling grill ten feet behind you. Yeah, just imagine that. All to Pavement's "Silence Kit." It was a helluva an interesting way to close out the evening.

Okay, that wasn't the total end. I did get a quick chance to ooh and ahh over Leslie's house and see the kitties that had once been my roommates as well...and I got to meet her big ol' dog Bella. Then Leslie, and Bella with her head out the window trying to bite the onrushing air for the whole ride, gave me a ride back to my hotel where I was snugly asleep by midnight.

I feel that I got as good a taste for San Diego as anyone could in such a teensy block of time but I certainly wouldn't mind returning and getting to know the area a little bit better.


Steps to a Successful Flying Experience.
  • There was a puppy in the security line, which led me to this conclusion: Going through airport security would be much less nerve-wracking if there were puppies at every checkpoint. TSA, you can take that a run with it, you don't even need to give me credit.
  • Attractive objects for people-watching. California seems to haave no shortage of this.
  • A captain with a wicked sense of humor. I've got to find the name of our flight's pilot because he was killing me. His non-stop one-liners over the planes PA during boarding and disembarking the plane really helped lightne the mood. And nothing helps a plane-load of white-knuckled nervous nellies bumping along some turbulence than a captain who says, "If you're in the bathroom don't forget I warned you about this, so when you pop of the toilet and into the aisle I've told our flight attendants they can run over you with their drink carts if you raise a fuss." Seriously, that man's good humor made this the least scary flight, that just so happened to also be the most turbulent, that I have ever been on.
  • One Xanax, two glasses of red wine and zero coffee also really helps you through those bumps in the air.
  • Here's where I have to give it up for United, but I love the fact you can listen to flight deck chatter on their headphone system. Not only did I know what the weather conditions were and what we were doing to make the ride as smooth as possible...but I also learned (on the way in Friday from another pilot) where a good taco joint was that served "excellent margaritas."
  • Juana Molina's Segundo is the perfect mixture of esoteric noises and soothing vocals when not listening to the flight deck.
  • When the dude two seats away from you has a new MacBook he lets you look at, that certainly helps things out.
  • When the girl next to you is from Iraq but you don't find out until five minutes before you land you realize you wish you had known this sooner. Not only would it be fascinating for you but it might have stopped her ceaselessly kneading of the rosary beads (yes, rosary, she happened to be Christian) clenched in her fist.
  • Rushing towards the arrivals where your girlfriend has been sitting in her car for 40 minutes because your flight was delayed (dodging thunderstorm cells) only to be intercepted by her inside the airport and realizing she came in so she could see you and welcome you home right away.


Tonight's guest DJ is...

Yes, tonight's guest, spinning along my side at The Pontiac, is none other than Ms. Kelly D. You've undoubtably seen her popping in every once in a while to plug in her iPod and dazzle the masses with -- or at least get them to lift their heads off the bar long enough to show they're paying attention to -- her (often) brand spankin' new and cutting edge playlists.

I've known Kelly since she was a wee lass, and (Come to think if it she's still a pretty "wee lass" isn't she? I mean she hasn't really grown much (at all) since I met her way-o back in the mid-'90s.) I've had the pleasure of watching her as her musical acumen has grown over the years. While her tastes do sometimes clash with mine, she does work for a Major Label after all, any time we've spontaneously teamed up in the past sparks have flown and interesting sonic juxtapositions were never far behind. Tonight she actually gets a stand-along set to strut her stuff (versus the usual back-and-forth one-song-to-another we've done in the past) so be sure to stop on buy to hear what she decides to throw down.

Also, don't forget that the promise of $3 Buds and $3 shots of Maker's will insure that Kelly's choices sound better than you thought they possibly could!

Oh yeah, and I'll be playing stuff too.

Monday, June 26, 2006


This Thursday! These things seem to come up faster and faster each year...

Click the poster to view the Josh James design
(with typographical help from Gina Knapik)
in all its glory!

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm outta here!

I'm off for San Diego. While I am supremely bummed to be missing Intonation, MOBfest and the grand opening of The Pleasure Chest I am excited to a) visit the West Coast for my first time ever and b) attend a conference that really will enable me to be better at my job and c) I'll get to see the Pacific Ocean from the Occident rather than the Orient.

That doesn't mean I haven't planned lots of fun events for you to attend in my absence though...

Go see this tonight!

Go see this tomorrow!

Also, I might have access to a computer at some point this weekend so still feel free to send me any San Diego suggestions. Thanks. Also also, happy birthday to the great love of my college career (phase one) Ms. Laura (née Minnich.) Happy birthday Laura.

And now...Tankboy out!

I think I should slap myself for that last line, don't you?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Puppies! Kitties! Warm Fuzzies!

Yeah, it's gonna be another "Tankboy is such a chick" days. Deal. First off in the parade of pets, we would like to congratulate Belle the Beagle for calling 911 and saving her owner's life. No kidding. We here in Tankboy HQ firmly believe Betty the Beagle would do the same thing. After opening and raiding the refirgerator, of course.

In other thrilling animal news, we are slowly and steadily teaching our pups not to jump and slobber and go all nutso whenever anyone enters the apartment. (Okay, there isn't any slobbering, but there is lots of overexcited jumping and barking.) It has been through this training that we discovered that Lucy the Dog had been hiding the fact that she knows how to "sit" from us! Can you believe that! Well, now the jig is up and she can't get away with that cute/dumb "I have no idea what you're talking about" look anymore. Lucy!

Let's see, what else. Oh, look at that picture. Aren't they adorable? Cat fights dog! In our house this actually happens. As a matter of fact, the very first time Lucy the Dog met Chloe the Cat, Chloe kicked the crap out of Lucy. No joke. I don't think Lucy has ever forgiven her, and Lucy will bark and bark at her...but I've noticed Lucy never gets within claw's reach of Chloe. Heh.

Hmmm...what else. I feel like I'm forgetting something. Like I should tell you how to spend your free time. Tonight. OH YEAH! Tonight Photogal (a.k.a. DJ Cowbell) and I will be DJing at our favorite spot in the city to DJ...Liar's Club! You know you want to visit us. You know you want to request "Mmmm-bop" and see if DJ Cowbell will actually play it. Plus, you can see me drink lots of Maker's Mark while Tim and John just shake their heads in disbelief. I also will take this as a chance to encourage all blurkers (readers who live in Chicago but have never been to one of my events) to attend. I promise I'll keep the naked guy at the end of the bar from dancing too close to you. Or biting you. I promise. The evening will be as fun as this little guy is cute.

See? You can't resist!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Our corrupt and spineless lawmakers can kick your corrupt and spineless lawmakers's asses any day!

When I was in the Ukraine and Poland we definitely ran into this, "You from Chicago? BANG! BANG! Gangsters! Al Capone! Michael Jordan!" What we didn’t hear is "Corruption, corruption, corruption!" I guess even folk who view English as a foreign language figure, that when it comes to Chicago, corrupt politics is a given.

Case in point?

Swallow hard now, so you don't choke.

Our county president has been incommunicado due to a stroke for the last three months. And he was reelected in the Democratic primary WHILE HE WAS IN A COMA! And now, no one wants to remove him from office because they think, "We ought to look at a more compassionate, in a nonpolitical, way to look at this problem".

Did you read that? A dude in a coma won an election and people think it would (now) show a lack of compassion to remove him from office?!. Yesterday almost all of our county-wide officials decided that was not a bad thing.

God bless our language mangling mayor and his seemingly endless clout.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First things first.

Well, we kick off the guest DJ thang at Pontiac tonight and out first non-Photogal entry come is the form of DJ Safecraka (a.k.a. Mister David O'Brien of TrapperKeeper fame.)

This should prove interesting since I know Mr. 'Craka's musical interests range far and wide plumbing the depths of the darkest metal and rising to the spires of the sunniest pop. Me? I've got loads of new and unreleased stuff to spin as well. I think I may even play a couple of newly discovered mash-ups on the early end since folks were digging those so much last week. It's funny, I always avoid playing that sort of thing since i just assume it's totally played out in everybody else's head...and then I discover that 99.7% of the populace aren't music geeks and have no idea what a "mash-up" is. Funny, huh?

So, yeah, look for lots of fun stuff tonight. Also, reserve this Thursday on your calendar since Photogal (a.k.a. DJ Cowbell) and I will be spinning at Liar's Club again. Wheeee!

And then, Friday I leave for San Diego. I'll have Friday afternoon/evening open in San Diego so please send me suggestions on things to do since i'll be killing some time before my conference begins Saturday!


Finally, a video I can get behind featuring a blonde in some daisy dukes dancing and causing trouble in a bar.


Currently rockin' my world, yo.

Cheap Trick - Rockford: Matt Sabin told me this disc was awesome but I figured since he does their sound, and his brother helped produce some of the disc, he was probably biased. Well, maybe he is biased...but I feel comfortable in saying this is as good as anything off Dream Police. The band is totally rocking and/or rolling and even the presence of a songwriting credit from Linda Perry ain't slowing them down!

Xlover - Pleasure And Romance: This too, shall pass. For now, though, I'm digging this Tectonically glossed fuck-me music. If I was trying to seduce a pseudo-intellectual darkwave chickadee i 'd pop this in for Barry White-like results.

totom - With Boots: Speaking of gothy stuff, this mash-up of the last Nine Inch Nails disc is really rather good. Okay, to be honest i would have to admit that it isn't really rocking my world per se. It's more a well-executed curiosity. I mean, crossing Reznor with Depeche Mode is a bit predictable but who knew a duet between Reznor and Nancy Sinatra would come off so deliciously? Download the whole thing here and let me know what you think.

Lily Allen - Alright, Still: See, even after a critical diss I'm man enough to admit that this is still getting lots of airplay in the Tankboy Compound.

Muse - Black Holes And Revelations: Perfect. Especially "Starlight."

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's seems to me a strange thing, mystifying...

I had a show at Elbo Room this Saturday and it was the polar opposite of the show I had there a few months ago. For those of you not keeping track at home, I had a show I promoted there a few months ago that had solid bands with proven track records (not to mention being artistically fantastic) that no one showed up to see. In my entire history of promoting I had never had a show do so poorly. I'm still mystified by what happened, though in retrospect I think it was just one of those nights where the starts were aligned against me.

Anyway, this Saturday's show was the complete opposite. Usually just the fact that there is a good crowd at a show makes me happy. However, when there's a good crowd at a show featuring bands that are underexposed and underappreciated in Chicago -- and that crowd is obviously digging all of the musical acts -- then "happy" becomes "ecstatic."

Saturday’s show featured two Columbus bands, The Miranda Sound and The Celebrity Pilots. The Pilots play bent pop phoned in from planet catchy and The Miranda Sound plays an aggressive, urgent attack of what in the olden days would have been called "indie rock," but which I now just call unFUCKINGbelievable. I've done shows with both bands in the past and folks always dig them and walk away impressed but I've had a hell of a time breaking them enough so that they get established with the press or other "tastemakers." Sometimes this part of what I do just drives me nuts. It's like, I have this band that I know is awesome and head and shoulders above most local acts, not to even mention other touring bands, but I just can't seem to get them any influential love.

I think that's why I loved Saturday's show so much. The crowd was, for the most part, an atypical one for both Columbus bands since the headliner was Dick Prall (another fine poppin' rocker) and his draw skews more towards the mainstream and away from that which could be called "indie." Another big help was the fact that the show was also functioning as a birthday celebration for my friend Marni (who is also a terrific local booster of the Columbus acts) and a load of her friends were packing the place. The funny thing about this "mainstream" audience? They gave the boys (and girl) from out of town more love than I've seen go their way at any Chicago show in the past. So thank you, audience. I honestly really appreciated you that night.

Also, I didn't fall down once, I didn't get drunk and insulty and mouthy and I left right after the show to ensure I stayed out of trouble. So the show was a success in that regard as well.

Photo of Billy from The Miranda Sound by Kim Rottmayer

Friday, June 16, 2006

"You're the same person you used to be, and I'm not."

So I've decided that High Fidelity has pushed its way toward the top of my all-time movie list. (Other films holding that coveted spot: Philadelphia Story, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Blade Runner. In case you haven't been paying attention.) When the movie came out I was deluged with phone calls/emails from friends (many of whom to which I had recommended the book in the first place (see Tom, that's proper english, although I could've gotten away with "many of whom I reccomeded the book to" but I'm erring on the side of stylistic integrity here)) who were like, "Tank, we just saw a movie, and the main character is you."

Now if one is going to be compared to a John Cusack charachter, I'm going to guess -- if they want the girls -- that character should be Lloyd Dobler, not Rob Gordon. But there you have it, you can't always get what you want. (Which song, by the way, is number two on my "Top Five Rolling Stones songs" list. Number one is "She's A Rainbow.)

But I came home last night, l, and popped in the film in question and realized that I am no Lloyd Dobler. No. I am the pop culture dweeb, smarter than your average bear, that is constantly struggling with the notion of "growth."

(Here I really have to apologize for the overabundance of quotes and parenthetical asides, but in this situation, and for what I'm trying to convey, I honestly think they are appropriate.)

At my core, it's true, I am who I am. And, for all the responsibility I've managed to shoulder over the years, the base -- the core -- of my being is still centered around music and the night-life and all the detritus and satisfaction that orbits that mentality.

Is this appropriate for one in their early '30s? Is this the mark of a mature human male? Is this what my parents hoped for when I popped out in 1972, full of ambition and promise? Is this what I was meant to be?

To be honest, the more I think about it, the more I think the answer to all those questions is "yes." I mentioned the whole idea of a "core" top my being and I'm pretty sure that I need to be honest to that core. I've wavered and hemmed and hawed and vacillated between a number of states in the past few years but I think that the most I (or anyone else) can ask for is that I follow my own path and do so with conviction.

If you do that which is right for you, then everything else will fall into place. Eventually.

So I think it's time to stop all the second guessing and faux-internalization (especially since said faux-internalization always ends up being a sallow (shallow (weak)) attempt at justifying dubious (internally, to me, again) behavior) and begin just being. Again.

This isn't to say that happiness will be found through mimicry of a movie, or regression to past states that once held easy happiness. But it is to say that perhaps it's time for me to stop trying to figure out what I think I want and just center on making myself a better and more complete -- and by extension, happier -- person.

Everything else will fall into place.

POST SCRIPT (as opposed to a P.S.): Oddly enough this started , mentally at least, along a whole different tract. Predictably one that involved ex-girlfriends (since the first thoughts of this started to germinate during the "Top Five Break-ups" list outlined in the High Fidelity cinematic experience.)

Obviously it took a completely different tangent. At least now I know I can mine that whole "Top Five Break-ups" thing at a later point. Huzzah!

Post-post Script (a.k.a. the P.P.S.): The sad thing is, all the above hornswaggle is actually the way I talk. Minus any "air-quotes" of course.

Absolutely the Final Post-script:
I'm really good at creating events that leave people with fond I need to create something concrete that affects people over a span (infinite?) of time and allows them to develop reactions and create memories responsively.

What I've done is fleeting, what I need is a legacy.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I'm sure everyone has heard this story, but this is the first time I've seen a photo of Jack the Cat running a brown bear up a tree.

I think Lucy the Dog would do the same thing. She's pretty territorial too!

While I'm in a kitty kind of mood...

Geez, I know, when did I turn into a girl? Remember when I actually used to write stuff? Whatever.


Wherein I break down and decide to, in fact, actually write something instead of skating by on pictures of kitties.

Okay, here's something. I was listening to Lily Allen's debut and thinking to myself, "Man-o-man, Tankboy, if this isn’t great summer music I don’t know what is." Then I thought about it some more. Stereogum turned me on to a couple of her demos a while ago, and the bloggerrati commenced the full-on freak-out. She was touted as a female Mike Skinner or something. Now that I've digested the whole album, though, I would say that she is actually more like Len with her reggae-lite beats and mockney accent.

This doesn't mean I don't enjoy the disc...but then again I also like Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, and any other number of female popsters. It's amusing to me that crit-types are all agog over an artist who is really no different than most of the stuff they slam on a pretty consistent basis.

This is the problem with "everyone" being a critic. Pronouncements are made without further review and things get totally out of hand. (Ref: tapes 'n tapes for further evidence of the backlash that invariably ensues. Ref also: CYHSY, although this is not as strong since my own personal backlash with this group occurred before the tidal wave of acclaim came their way and ruined The National's tour.) Having an opinion is not the same as having a critical viewpoint. It just isn't.

So from a critical viewpoint I have to say Lily Allen's album is primarily a fluff-filled affair that gets by on sheer cheek and wit. If anything, that wit is the only thing that really keeps her from being a full-on novelty though it doesn't save her from the unavoidable quick trip to the cut-out bin a few months down the line.

My own personal opinion though? It's a fuck-load of fun to listen to and will surely see much play in my car stereo with all four windows rolled way down.

Further on the topic: This is where critical and opinion can meet safely and lock arms. The new Muse disc is so fanFUCKINGtastic it takes my breath away. Without a doubt this is the best album I have heard in a long time. I loved Absolution and just sort of assumed that would be their peak but boy was I wrong. I like it when I'm wrong like this.


Go to this!

I'm not staying out late tonight, but I am going to be sure to stop by and see what Tom knocks out for a bit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Look at all the fun that was had without me!

Photogal went on a motorcycle trip a few weeks ago and did interesting things while I sat at a variety bars in Chicago doing utterly predictable things.

Here is the motley crew she traveled with.

And another photo of the group. Here comes trouble...if you saw these cats on a street in the deep, deep, DEEP South wouldn't you just assume they were really lost? I mean, the chick in the "CHAMPS" sweatshirt is obviously a worshipper of El Diablo!

Nice tongue Photogal!

Of course what is a long road-trip without some sweatshop child labor in tow? Who else is going to carry all the gear?

Kidding, kidding. Actually, when riding a long distance, one must armor up like so:

It's also a good idea if you have some idea where you are going.

Don't forget to eat! You want your senses to be razor sharp...

...otherwise how will you ever win at air hockey. Oh. Wait. Look at those eyes. EL DIABLO!

Also, it is wise to always look good no matter where you are, so strike a pose ladies.

All joking aside, I really wish I had gone. I mean, just look!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

There, that's a lot better, don't you think?

I'm still feeling conflicted about the use of yesterday's photo in the "search for guest DJs" post. On one hand the photo is obviously staged, and it's supposed to be surfing the edge between gross-out and guffaw, and ultimately folks coming to my blog have a pretty decent idea of what sort of person I am so I really shouldn't worry about it,right? Then I think about what my mom, or a co-worker who doesn't know me so well yet, or my third grade teacher who happens to be a pretty hard-assed nun would make of it. So to make up for my possibly pushing the boundaries without actually apologizing for doing so, consider this instead as we veer far away from the precipice of eye-poppingly poor taste into the pool of overabundant cute:

Hmmm...well what do you know; that picture just so happens to link right into the message I was hoping to convey in the first place. And that message?

Join me at Pontiac tonight as I officially kick of my summer of guest DJ partners. To get things off on the right (the good (?)) foot I have asked the lovely yet tough as nails (I kill me!) DJ Cowbell to lend her certain blend of rawk to my rock and/or roll.

Plus, get this, we have confirmed drink specials:


I know, can you believe it? How awesome is that? Now you can no longer blame your pocketbook/chain wallet for your non-attendance. And, as if that were not enough, I'm breaking out puh-lenty of hot new tunes that haven't hit the market yet. Come on by and listen to me test drive:

Lily Allen's Alright Still
Primal Scream's Riot City Blues
Muse's Black Holes And Revelations
The Futureheads' News And Tributes
Nouvelle Vague's Bande A Part
French Kicks' Two Thousand
Nelly Furtado's Loose
Thom Yorke's Eraser
Priestess' Hello Master
The Oohlas' Best Stop Pop
Mystery Jets' Making Dens
Klee's Honeysuckle

Plus, via special NYC delivery, I've got a copy of Young Love's "Discotech" just in case things start flagging and asses stop a'wigglin'.

Holy kramoley, huh?!

If you miss tonight I am SO revoking your cool kids club card!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Looking for guest DJs Tuesday nights at The Pontiac!

Honestly? This has never happened to me.

I admit I've had the odd offer, but I just can't choose songs and insert them into the mix while something that distracting is going on.

But maybe you can! (Ladies, use your imagination and picture yourself on the receiving end of something just as, erm, nice.)

If you are interested in spinning with me in a guest DJ spot on a Tuesday send me an email ASAP to tankboy (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm setting up the schedule this week for the next few months while Rudy is on sabbatical whipping his band into shape. You will need to provide your own iPods/CD players/turntables/Walkmen/laptop and I will provide the mixer.

If you feel like bringing an electonic device by this Tuesday to test the waters, feel free! Just drop me a line beforehand. I will begin scheduling guests starting the following Tuesday.


P.S. The picture¹ is purely for yucks. And it almost didn't make the post. No, it's not because I find the notion of that particular act offensive or anything like that. Hell, I'm now kicking myself for not taking advantage of such tomfoolery in my younger and unattached years. However what I do find offensive is such a terrible abuse of the exposed thong. S-to-the-kank-to-the-ee.

The thong debate rages on.

¹Photogal asked me about the "offers" I received in that capacity and I had to admit that the type of women offering me such a "favor" were always so awful I never took it as a compliment. Honestly though, I went through a lot of agonizing over that picture above...that it might come off as too chauvinistic or "Maxim-dude-ish" or something...ultimately, though, I figured anyone that reads my blog knows me and knows it's supposed to be very tongue in cheek. If I could've found an image of a guy giving a female DJ the same type of "props" I would've used that.

Plus, sorry mom!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Holy crap.

That's all I'm sayin'.

When photos are up I'll let you know. Photos are here. I successfully dodged every one. I am so proud of myself.

Oh yeah, and everyone? Do the Hanna!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Relevent pictographical representations to encourage attendance.



Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Top Ten Reasons Tankboy is in a Bad Mood today.

  • My car died on the way to work. I just picked it up from my mechanic yesterday after it had been there for a week and a half. And the exact same thing that caused me to take it in happened this morining which means all the work they did on it was for something that wasn't even wrong with the car in the first place.
  • I found out that the place I used to DJ is now promoting a night opposite ours. They say that they are playing "Ten56 style" music. Nice way to see them rip us off by trying to mimic the music we made popular at Ten56 in the first place!
  • I can't stop sweating and feel constantly "moist."
  • Last night was a beautiful night but almost no one I know stopped by Pontiac. Where the hell was everyone? (I mean if Gina can come out when she's eight months pregnant NONE of you has a valid excuse.)
  • I've been to the gym twice in the past ten days and i feel like a lazy slacker.
  • My cell phone's ear piece no longer works no matter what I try so I'm reduced to walking around with an ear bud hanging down and I feel like a half-deaf fool.
  • I now remember why I always cut my hair in the summer. Humidity + Tankboy's long hair = BOZO.
  • Did I mention my car FUCKING BROKE DOWN AGAIN?!
  • I am still sans mixer so the whole guest DJ thing I had planned for June and July is on indefinite hold.
  • My $8 mandals finally bit the dust. Oh wait, maybe that’s a good thing.

BONUS NUMBER ELEVEN: I ran into a door¹ at home last night while letting the pooches out and now I have a dent in my forehaed. OW!

¹No, Photogal isn't knocking me around. I actually ran into a door!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wouldn't miss it for the world.


DJ Tankboy
is all by his lonesome.

(I betcha if you bring an iPod
he might let you play a song or two.)

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

TONIGHT, Tuesday June 6, 2006
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

There will be a beer special, I promise!

And I've got LOTS of new
and unreleased goodies to play.

And no, I'm not making some lame-o
six-six-six reference
so you can stop holding your breath now.

The Pontiac
1531 N Damen
Chicago, IL

*Oh yeah, that picture is of Photogal and was taken by photographer Joe Harnish. Doesn't she look bad-ass? Did I mention she just got home from a 700 mile motorcycle trip? She is bad-ass!


Still in need.

Still need some help locating some turntables and soliciting advice on a mixer to purchase.


Okay, one lame-o six-six-six joke.

But only because it's so fricking funny.