Thursday, August 31, 2006

Today's post is in three parts.

PART ONE: The audio. listen to this first.

PART TWO: The image. Look at this next.

PART THREE: The denouement. Read the following last: So I fed her and then she trounced off to the couch for her early post-breakfast pre-dawn morning nap.

Don't cheat and listen / look / read it out of order!



Okay, that was a little precious, so to thank you for indulging my foray into mulitmedia storytelling, please enjoy this super-secret downloadable song. It's so secret I can't even tell you who it is. What I can tell you is that it is from an eagerly anticipated fall release, and the band -- particularly in this song -- displays a previously hidden jones for all things Pink Floyd and Yes.

Super-secret Band "Super-secret Song"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I played this song last night.

The charming little tune in the video below is by The Blow. It has already burned its way all over the webscape, so I'm not going to link an empeethree. Now when my little site started, it was text only. Then, as I figured out how to, I would "spice things up" with the occassional illustration or photograph. Then Blogger made it balls-easy to post pictures, so they became more commonplace on this site. I had always posted the rare empeethree, but I'm sure you've noticed I'm posting more of 'em lately. Why? Because that too is now balls-easy. All of these advances create a more engaging environment, wouldn't you agree?

Well, now this just raises the fucking game a bit too high. I know it is now balls-easy to edit and post video, but I'll be damned if I will ever adopt this simple (but highly amusing) method of music criticism!

Then again ... I'm sure if you fast-forward six or so months from now, this will have turned into a video blog and my fingers will no longer ache from pounding out these missives to you on an ancient, and barely functioning keyboard.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another sure sign we are getting old.

Last night I was supposed to see Uffie at The Funky Buddha Lounge. I should have known better than to expect a hip-hop show at a nightclub to start anywhere near its scheduled time, but I went in thinking she would hit the stage between 10:30 and 11:00. As 12:30 came and went I gave up. A full write-up of the experience will be live at Chicagoist later today right here. To say I'm bummed would be a woeful understatement, but, hey, that's life. I will say Funky Buddha has gotten a lot cooler since the last time I was there (which was when Bobby Conn played there years ago) and, especially considering the fact I wasn't drinking, the experience with the club itself was a positive one. Except for the bartenders at the front bar. They sucked. You would think that when someone consistently tips $2 on a $3 bottle of water service might improve, bout you would think wrong.

Anyway, here's an Uffie track. Listen, and I think you'll see why I really wanted to see her...

Uffie "Ready To Uff"


New (?) album Tuesday.

What does it say when the only album coming out today that even remotely excites me is a compilation of R.E.M.'s early pre-Warner Bros. years? Nevermind. Apparently it was included on some lists as being released today, but is in fact not coming out for another two weeks. Oh well, if i feel I must waste some dough I could alwayd pick up that Pretty In Pink DVD reissue...


Popping the DJ cherry.

This should prove to be very interesting and I am really looking forward to it. One thing I can definitely say about instituting a regualr series of guest DJs at The Pontiac on Tuesdays is that it has filled me with enormous pleasure watching folks that don't usually DJ kick so much ass. It reminds me of how it was when I started DJing way back in the beginning of the '90s, and it has effectively inspired me to step up my game again. Folks have reintroduced me to songs that I had forgotten how much I loved, as well as introducing me to new ones I would have never considered playin, and isn't that one of the main reasons people want to listen to a DJ in the first place?

So tonight, my friend Casey (a.k.a. Rusty Renegade, bassist and singer for Chicago's own Knife Of Simpson) is strapping himself in and letting his freak flag fly. Or something like that. The dude has a deep appreciation for music and I am really looking forward to hearing what he has to lay on the masses tonight.

Details, suitable for printing out and handing to your friends / strangers on street-corners / flyering cars in your neighborhood with, are as follows:


DJ Tankboy
Is joined by
Knife Of Simpson's very own
Rusty Renegade.

Expect to hear some deep cuts, kiddies.

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

TONIGHT, Tuesday August 29, 2006
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

$3 Budweiser bottles

New and Unreleased Stuff From:

120 Days - 120 Days
Snowden - Anti-anti
Lily Allen - Alright Still
Die Hunns - You Rot Me
Electric Six - Switzerland
Teddybears - Soft Machine
The Oohlas - Best Stop Pop
The Assembly - New Songs
The Changes - Today is Tonight
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Thunderbirds Are Now! - Make History
Eric Metronome - You Should Be Happy
The Hold Steady - Boys & Girls In America
Oxford Collapse - Remember The Night Parties
Chin Up Chin Up - This Harness Can't Ride Anything
The Robocop Kraus - They Think They Are The Robocop Kraus
Some Action - The Band That Sucked The Life Out Of Rock N' Roll...

Heavy, man, HEAVY.

Every Tuesday.
Only at The Pontiac.



Join DJ Tankboy,
and special out-of-town guest Ringo Starkey,
along with Rudy Tuesday
(and maybe DJ Cowbell?)
for a special Pontiac Holiday Weekend session
from 9pm until 3am.

The Pontiac
1531 N Damen
Chicago , IL


One last thing worth noting.

It appears as if The Like Young's show with The Assembly at The Hideout this Friday will be their last in their hometown. This blows, especially since I think that their last album, appropriately titled Last Secrets, was easily their best, but I guess they've grown tired of the industry grind and have chosen to call it a day while they're at the top of their form. I can respect that. I don't have to like it, but I can respect it. Due to these circumstances, I'm going to have to say that if you want to see some live music this Friday, this will probably be your last chance to see them in Chicago.

Here's a good example of what we won't be hearing any more of:

The Like Young "For Money Or Love"

Monday, August 28, 2006

Um, this is not the Primal Scream I was promised.

Did anyone else buy the American version of Primal Scream's Riot City Blues, only to find the bonus track listed on the back, "Stone Ya To The Bone", replaced by a shitty live version of "Country Girl"?

I am more than a little pissed.

So let's say you are given a male Moldovan' thirteen-year-old's iPod mini with the request toi fill it with music he likes. The iPod mini currently contains selections by Metallica, Pantera, HIM, and a number of Russian and Romanian bands you've never heard of. You want to introduce him to some new music while also satisfying his obvious penhcant for the finer points of metal. Wolfmother, Queens of the Stone Age, Guns 'n Roses, Def Leppard, Fu Manchu, The Sword, ALice In Chains, The Scorpians, and groups of that ilk naturally make an appearance.

Was it too daring to sneak some Bowie, The Who, Jane's Addiction, and Operation Ivy, though?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rock and/or Roll, from me to you.

So I have a show tomorrow at Double Door. I know it seems like I have a show every other freakin' day now, but don’t worry, this is the last big one for a while. This one is kind of a walk down memory lane for me too, it's kind of neat. Opening is Constant Velocity, featuring two old buddies from college. You know you want to show up to hear them tell stories of what a nut-job I was, don't you? Trust me, they are the kind of folks I count on to actually remember most of the crazy stuff I did ... since I seem to be so good at forgetting it!

Up second are The Ghettobillies. When I was booking The Note I used to use them a lot. At the time they still lived in Michigan so I only saw them every other month or so. Then I completely lost touch with them until a few years ago when I discovered they had moved to Chicago finally. I was pleased but since I wasn’t booking that many shows anymore, and I never really found a bill they would fit on. No matter, they did just fine without me. A few months ago their then-manager, my friend Alison, asked if I would put together a bill with them on it and I said sure. I'm glad I did because I hear their set will feature cheerleaders tomorrow night, and who doesn’t like rock and/or roll cheerleaders?

In the third slot is The Midnight Shows. Their singer is some guy named Rudy. I think I used to DJ with him. This will be their sophomore show (their debut was a certain someone's birthday party a few months ago) and I am dying to hear how their rock and soul review translates through the Double Door's sound-system. Bring your full-blown sexy face and prepare to shimmy throughout their set.

And batting clean-up is the almighty Rock Star Club, making their first live appearance in months. The original fourth act, who shall remain nameless, but their name rhymes with Moth, backed out on me earlier this week. Luckily for me, in a rare occurrence, the guys in Rock Star Club actually had a slot in their schedule (a number of the guys also play in the super popular Wedding Banned so it's hard to coordinate them to be all in the same place at the same time) and were willing to bring on their sledgehammer of a show. These guys are seriously one of the best live acts in Chicago. You want honest rock and/or roll? Then these are your guys.

Oh yeah, and apparently some crappy DJ is spinning beforehand and between the acts. His names DJ Tank-something-or-other. He’ll probably try to play something like Paris Hilton so feel free to throw stuff at him if he does.

So there you have it! Be there, tomorrow night at Double Door. I promise you won't regret it.

Oh, here's the pretty poster The Midnight Shows made. The, um, line-up revision touch-up is my crappy work, so don’t blame it on the original designer.



So, it's Friday and I feel the need to share two super long tunes with you. The first one is by a newer band naamed Favourite Sons. They're from Brooklyn so I have no idea why they threw in the UK "u" in their name, but their sound is so snappy I'm not really going to pitch a fit about it. I've heard them being compared to Echo and the Bunnymen, but I personally think they're peppier and more fun. I'm going to guess that this is sort of like their theme song, since the phrase "favourite sons" actually pops up in the lyrics a few times.

Favourite Sons "No One Ever Dies Young"

The second tune is from a band called 120 Days. I just got their new album sent to me and I am digging it. Anyone who is turned off by Primal Scream’s return to roots-rock and misses the Kevin Shields inspired madness of their last few discs is going to love 120 Days. Clocking in at just under nine minutes, here's the lead-off track from their forthcoming debut.

120 Days "Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)"

So there's some new music to get you through the weekend and tide you over until you get to Double Door tomorrow night. I'll see you then.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sloan's new album has thirty tracks.

I am understandably psyched. And hopeful that maybe THIS time the U.S. will finally "get it" where Sloan is involved. I know you will, right?

To psych you up, enjoy this video -- populated by folks that make the Chic-a-Go-Go dancers look like seasoned pros -- from the short-lived MTV Oddville show.

And for Photogal, here they are performing her favorite tune live on TV, with a bit of a twist at the end...

An open letter from an old friend.

Dear Tankboy,

Remember when you were interesting? Not that we're wholly complaining, since lots of what you write still amuses us and, occassionally, even informs us, but remember when you were actually interesting? Maybe it's because you used me more. Maybe growing up, working the nine to five and working at a relationship causes me to shrink, atrophy, and constrict my output. Or maybe you're just not the young maverick you once were.

Remember when you would openly mock hippy-drippy or pseudospritual idealism, only now you actually find yourself a little jealous of the unoored mind that makes such beliefs possible. And by this you don't mean that you live completely trapped in a world ruled totally by logic, only that your world is no longer rooted in the belief that Ayn Rand had it right, or Bukowski saw things no one else did, or that Tarot cards work, or that there really IS a Santa Claus, Virginia.

You remember how your friend recently asked you how it felt to be a grown-up; after the two of you stopped mid-conversation because you both realized you were talking about painting bedrooms instead of cavases, and picking up compost containers instead of girls?

We can't say all of these developments have been bad. We understand that you weren't always going to be the crazy libertine who occupied both the day and the night worlds. We realize that you're probably better informed about the world around that you have ever been before. We appreciate that these are all actually positivie indicators of inner growth and we resepct that. We're not asking you to change.

All we're asking is that maybe, in the midst of all this, you find ways to exercise us and push our boundaries again. You don't have to put your arm through a window, or snog a bunch of birds (said shagging would of course take place after reading some UK author since any other time you'd be less pretentious and just call it "making out with girls"), or sleep three hours a day for fear of missing anything anymore in order to get a good story. Part of growing up is losing a bit of the outer lunacy and allowing that lunacy to regroup in the form of a rampant imagination.

It's time to stop analyzing and start questioning again. We know you can do it. We have faith in you.

Yr Brain

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I never thought I'd say this, but Weird Al is kind of cool.

Okay, I thought he was funny when I was a kid. "Like A Surgeon" fucking ruled. But then he sort of fell off my radar. Maybe it was the rise of Nirvana and his lame-o spoof of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that finally did him in for me. But now, man-oh-man, he fucking rules again. I mean, just listen to this!

Weird Al Yankovic "Don't Download This Song"

Who ever thought the dude could exude so much postmodern cool this late in his career.

Plus, bonus points for the choir. Choirs always rule.
Wait a minute, "Pam" is married to THIS dude?!

To reiterate ... she:

... is married to him?!

Sweet baby Jesus, there is a God and prayer does work! Because that dude pictured above obviously spent a lot of time, dropped down on bended knee, head tilted towards the heavens, begging The Almighty for a Saint-grade™ miracle. Usually I would be all "she is WAY too good for him" but, in this case I will instead to defer to the "he gives dorks everywhere hope for landing a total babe."

And, since this piece is sort of referencing a charachter from The Office, this is probably a good time to share, with you, a gift Photogal gave me last week.

What, you want more stuff related to The Office? Here, check out these training videos then.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Two more things to make your Tuesday super special.

First off, Vice posted a Flosstradamus remix of Bloc Party's "Helicopter. Go here to see what I wrote about it and right-click-save-as here to download it.

Secondly, I have to teach Betty the Beagle how to do this.

Music for the puppies and the kitties.

So it must have been a month or two ago that Photogal approached me asking if I had anything to donate to a fundraiser for PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) her company was having. Every year they hold an auction for these donated items and all the proceeds go towards helping out PAWS. Since Photogal and I are suckers for animals – having pulled the car over to chase lost puppies and kitties on more than one occasion – we tried to come up with something kind of cool for the fundraiser.

She knew that I was utilizing guest DJs at The Pontiac all summer long, so she asked if maybe I’d like to auction off a spot spinning with me, including a lesson if the winning bid belonged to a novice, and I said yes without hesitation. Hopefully we could use this to raise a few bucks.

Well, the auction came and went, and Photogal called me breathlessly after the bidding was finished. The conversation went something like this:

TANKBOY: So, c'mon, how did it go?
PHOTOGAL: It went oooookay.
TANKBOY: Did anyone buy the guest DJ spot?
PHOTOGAL: Um, yeah.
TANKBOY: Well, for how much?
PHOTOGAL: It was … um, pretty popular.
TANKBOY: Really?!
PHOTOGAL: Um, yeah.
PHOTOGAL: It brought in the highest bid of the whole auction.
PHOTOGAL: Yeah, a little bidding war actually broke out over it!

I’m not going to tell you what the winning bid was, but I will tell you that, if a puppy or kitty wanted to, they could buy an iPod with the money generated by putting tonight’s guest DJ spot up for auction!

Because of the winner's unbelievable generosity, I would like to make sure his experience is as positive as can be, so I'm hoping to get a nice healthy crowd out to The Pontiac to see him spin. Seriously, by coming by and hanging out tonight you'll be rewarding someone who gave quite a bit of his own support for a very worthy cause. Plus, we know him well enough to say he will play some great music!

So, the details are:


August 22
The Pontiac

DJ Tankboy
is joined by DJ D²
the winner of
the PAWS charity auction
guest DJ spot!

9pm until 2am

$3 bottles of Budweiser
$3 shots of Maker's Mark

Monday, August 21, 2006


I was about to write something all sunny and happy about the past weekend, but something just came to my attention that darkened my mood so I don't really think I can do that anymore. I will say that Friday's show was a smashing success; the bands were terrific, the corwd was responsive, and MPShows has done a good job of generating a promoter/artist friendly atmosphere at The Note. Well, at least until about 1am when all the yahoos start streaming in, but I guess there's nothing you can do about that, right?

As for the rest of the weekend, it was filled with airplanes, canoes, kitty searching and finding, Carnivale, and the always epic and rewarding task of grovery grocery shopping.

Too exciting! I just can't talk about any more right now!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Recommendations for the masses, and that includes you.

You know about the show tonight, right? At The Note? See you there? Good. Also, tomorrow at The Pontiac, Team Band saves the day and pulls through at the last second for another band that regrettably had to cancel their show. Expect raucous life-affirming rock and/or roll from both events. Do not expect to see Tankboy getting sloshed and/or into fights at either.

Speaking of raucous life-affirming rock and/or roll, I think it's time for another installment of Five Albums Totally Kicking My Ass That I Can't Stop Listening To™, don’t you think? Yes, I do think. So, without further ado:

Five Albums Totally Kicking My Ass That I Can’t Stop Listening To™

The Hold Steady: Boys & Girls In America – This is the one that's going to break them. It has to be. Craig Finn's Bruce Springsteen thing has blossomed into a flower of such blinding brilliance that The Boss's own body of work ends up looking like a monochromatic print from the 1930s dustbowl. Couple this lyrical brilliance with rock and/or roll that rolls like a steamroller and rocks like one of those "flab-away" electronic belts and the ecstatic jiggling just won't, can’t won't stop. This has thrust to the lead for my own personal album of the year. At least this week.

The Changes: Today Is Tonight – It was only a matter of time before the more polite undercurrent of the neu-New Wave trend hit Chicago. The Changes write tight little pop tunes with sunny choruses and float-away vocals. I’m listening to this a lot, but I'll be honest … the jury is still out on these guys. They’ve gotten a lot of buzz, seem super-nice, and have put together a nice opening foray of a debut, but I'm not sure if what they’ve put together is actually great, or if it’s just refreshing. I'll have an actual review on this closer to it's release date, but until then it’s certainly doing me no harm to listen to it over and over and over again. The same can't be said for the equally buzzed about debut by Catfish Haven. But this isn't about them, this is about stuff I like right now.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: Sinner – Seriously, between Joan Jett and Mission Of Burma, younger rockers should be ashamed of themselves. This is possibly (well, almost certainly) the best, strongest album in Jett's career. She rips, she snarls, she sashays and she absolutely slays. From the evisceration of our current political situation in the lead-off track through the tender power of the closing "Bad Time" Jett proves conclusively that she is one of the (again, if not the) coolest woman in rock and/or roll.

Teddybears: Soft MachineI've written enough about these guys already. Let's just say they’ve taken Lily Allen’s place as my guilty summer pleasure.

Snowden: Anti-Anti РThis one has been a grower. I've read lots about them over the last year but had never really given them a listen, figuring they were just yet another NYC band that probably sounded like every other NYC band that girls in tight shirts, short skirts, and a passel of band buttons on their handbag were championing this season. My bad, there. The band delivers a woozier take on the whole neu-New Wave thing that relies more upon interesting sonic textures than it does gimmickry. Singer Jordan Jeffares' voice is what you might think a sedated Robert Smith would sound like after a spate of singing lessons to cure any nervous tics. My personal draw, though, are the skittering guitars that poke around the songs and keep them from falling into anything resembling a clich̩.

So there you have it. Some new music to check out now / look forward to as well as the heads-up about two great shows in Chicago this weekend. What more could you ask for?

Don’t answer that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Screw you Mr. Smith, I'm the president of the K.C. fan club!

My love of her goes way back. And this only makes her that much cooler.

Thanks to Chuck for pointing this most excellent video out to me.
And, on to business.

Guess where you're going tomorrow night? The Note! It's my first show there in, well, years. I'm co-promoting it with the nice folks over at MPShows and couldn't be more excited by the line-up of Milk At Midnight, The Assembly, Farewell Captain and TrapperKeeper. I will be DJing between sets so have no fear, there will be no jock-rock in the joint to ruin the mood.

Now look at the purty poster used to promote this musical event!
(Make with the clicky to enlarge.)

And now, I hope my nephew had a better bithday yesterday than this poor guy..


Super-brief thoughts on a sporting event.

Yesterday Photogal and I attended a White Sox game. It was my first ball game on the South Side in over five or six years. Neither of us are really baseball fans so our primary focus was on how much crappy food we could waste our money on while there. We had some sort of super premier parking (Photogal got the tickets from a friend) and ended up parking about 100 feet from the gate! We were out if thecar and in out seats in under five minutes. Seriously. The accomodations were ridiculously nice. I could've used a little more legroom, but hey, the tickets were free and we were eight rows from the field.

I could go on and bitch about how people at a Sox game are an almost entirely different breed than people at a Cubs game (both are drunks, but Sox drunks are a little less pathetic than the Wrigley yuppies get, however they seems a lot more dangerous and I had a couple guys act pretty aggressively towards me for no real reason at all) but I would prefer to share my favorite two memories from the game.

Memory One:
I loved the little boy, opne row back, who had obviously just finished stuffing a big wad of blue cotton candy into his fave. Well, most of it was on his face. His poor dad looked like he had no idea what to do.

Memory Two:
We were a few rows behind the visiting dug-out and between each inning people would run down in hopes of getting a game ball tossed into the stands by the visiting team as they came off the field. I saw men pushing aside little kids and genberally behaving badly in an effort to get that ball. One little kid kept getting shoved aside ands I was feeling worse and worse for him. In the sixth inning, though, one of the visiting ball-boys noticed what was happeneing, got the ball, walked away from the throngs shoving and pushing each other, and handed the ball to the little boy. It was so sweet.

And then there was the guy who won the dance contest between innings. One cheerleader-type girl thought she had it by utilizing the generic club booty shake, but the dude stole the show by taking off his shirt and running around like a madman with his flapping belly jiggling in time with the music. I must still be scarred by high school because even today I love seeing the underdog beat out the popular crowd.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

First things first.

Happy birthday to the cutest nephew a guy could have!


And now, the rest of you are on notice!

A quick note about last night. DJing with Chatman was truckloads of fun. Especially when we went head to head using our opponent's iPods. That created some interesting moments.

And now, take it away Mr. Colbert!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A very special ep of Rock and/or Roll Tuesdays at The Pontiac.

Tonight is very special at The Pontiac. I will be joined by a fellow I've known a REALLY long time. The one, the only, Chris Chatman! We both used to DJ at the same bar, Bloomington-Normal's only freak hangout at the time, The Gallery. In Chris's words:

I met Tankboy back before he was even 'Tankboy.' He was Jim Kopeny, a skinny, long-haired hippy type from the wrong side of the tracks, ISU. I was a suburban punk/indie rock snob from the snooty private school up the street. We shared our music with the masses at B-N's only 'alternative' bar. He packed 'em in with the party tunes, and I alienated my 20 person crowd with shoegazer drivel, grunge and the latest Superchunk 7". Not much has changed, 'cept our hair.

Whilst I admit I could look like a hippy back then, I assure you I was, in fact, most certainly NOT a hippy. Just ask any number of hippies I tormented at the time. Also, I played grunge as well, since I totally had the hair for it!

Seriously though, Chris has terrific taste in music and i am really looking forward to hearing him spin tonight since it's been an awfully long time. There's even rumor we may go head-to-head, song-to-song, tuneo-a-tuneo for a spell. Maybe.

Also, I will not be breaking up any fights or drinking lots of whiskey, so that should make the evening even better!

Full deets, again via Chatman:

You got it, tonight, Tues 8/15, a duel 15+ years in the making. A college feud rekindled....

In the first ever event of this magnitude, Tankboy (aka Jim Kopeny) has called Chatman (aka..... Chatman) to the mat, out of retirement, for a friendly head-to-head DJ Death Match. We'll see how 'friendly' it stays after a few rounds of Jameson.

Call it the Bicker in Wicker. Call it the Throwdown Near Bucktown. Call the police, this could get ugly.

A Musical Melee for the Ages.

Pontiac Cafe
1531 N. Damen

Tues, Aug 15th
9pm-til the first man falls.
(or 2am, whichever comes first)

Hope to see you there.
First 3 rows may get splattered, parkas recommended.

Thanks for the preview, Chris. You're going down.

And, I will most definitely play this new DJ Riko mash-up:

DJ Riko "For Those About To Clown"

And finally, Teddybears have released a, um, unique teaser trailer for their upcoming U.S. release.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm getting too old for this.

So Saturday night I had a show at The Pontiac. During the opening band I noticed this big dude sort of walking around staring at girls inside the bar. Then I saw him put his hands on the waist of one of the servers who works there. Then he approached the female singer of the band that was performing and tried to strike up a conversation with her in mid-et. At this point I began to suspect that the dude was maybe not all there and seemed to be missing the many social cues being directed at him that his behavior was inappropriate. After failing to get anywhere with the singer he sidled up behind the band’s manager and grabbed her shoulders.
At this point the bartender signaled enough was enough and asked me to help get rid of the guy. So I approached him and told him I needed to talk to him outside. He didn’t want to go. I told him he was really going to have to go, leave for the evening, but he was welcome to come back the next day. He told me he had to say goodbye to some friends. I looked around and it was obvious he wasn’t there with anyone so I asked him who these friends were. He stammered and mumbled and finally made his way out of the bar.

Two minutes later he was trying to come in again. So I went outside, told him he wasn’t welcome to return for the remainder of the evening and he turned to leave again.

So I go back in the bar, thinking everything is cool, until I hear the bartender yelling my name and pointing outside … where this big dude is trying to wrestle the doorman to the ground after apparently AGAIN trying to get back into the bar!

So I run outside, pull the bug dude off and start yelling at him to go or I’m calling the cops. This whole time I’ve been trying to deal with him respectfully and, even after he’s attacked one of the staff, I’m still trying to solve the whole ordeal through words.

It’s at this point that the dude decides to land a roundhouse on the left side of my head.

Now when you get hit, especially in the head, a burst of stimulus floods through your brain but you essentially have two options; return fire and behave like a wounded animal (which is, to be fair, one’s basic instinct, and the route most folks follow) or you can decide to end the fight then and there with a minimum of damage to either party. I decided to take the second route. I leapt on the guy, somehow got behind him, pinned his arms behind his back and pushed him up against a truck. And set the truck’s car alarm off. So now anyone that hadn’t been watching the events unfold were certainly paying attention.

For the record, I pushed him up against the truck because I didn’t want anyone misinterpreting my pinning the guy’s arms behind his back as an invitation to throw any punches. In the heat of a fight people do things without thinking and I didn’t want anyone to regret anything that happened.

So, now with the help of the bouncer and the bar’s cook, I pull the guy off the truck and lay him down, on his back, on the ground. I pinned one arm, the bouncer got the other and the cook stood just in case either of us needed relief. A valet from across the street called the cops and we settled in and waited. And waited. And waited.

While we waited the guy started begging to be let go. Saying he couldn’t go to jail. Asking why we pinned him. And it slowly became evident that he didn’t realize he had hit me. He knew he hit someone but he didn’t realize it was me. And I began to realize that I was beginning to feel sorry for this guy. I mean, nothing excused his inappropriate behavior, or his punching me on the side of the head, but I was feeling sorry for him nonetheless. It was also becoming pretty obvious that the cops weren’t coming. So I told the guys to get off my assailant – which the did, cautiously – and I helped Mr. Inappropriate to his feet and told him to leave and not come back. He thanked me and, literally, ran as fast as he could in the other direction.

The remainder of the evening is pretty fuzzy, since many shots were consumed directly afterwards in an attempt to ease the adrenaline rush. I know I ended up going to The Continental to see Skid and Dave DJ, but I don’t think I was there for long. I really don’t remember. So if you saw me, I was probably a blithering idiot and I apologize. I do know I didn’t get into any more fights though!

The next morning, however? Oof! Apparently, when you get older and you do things like push people up against trucks, and bring them down to the ground and take hits upside the head, your body is les than pleased. I pulled muscles in my shoulder and chest, my knee, and elbow, and hands were scraped up … I was a mess. I ended up hobbling around like an old man all day long and kept saying, “I’m obviously too old for this shit.”

Because I am, you know.

So, to recap, fighting is not cool but if it has to happen try and make sure people get hurt as little as possible. After you hit 30, though, you should be advised that the mere act of fighting may be enough to put you in traction, even if you’re the undisputed victor. And finally, after a fight, don’t drink lots of bourbon, because all that’s going to do is disguise the fact that you should probably be icing your shoulder at home.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Yeah, so why is it when I'm out the night before I, more often than not, actually end up awake and mobile even earlier than usual. As a result I think I usually end up at work super-early as well. I'm going to guess that this is because, after going to a show the night before, I really lack the motivation to hit the gym the next morning. It's not that I'm hung over (since that rarely happens,) it's more a general blah-ness that overtakes me in the post-show AM.
Wow, that was painfully mundane, huh?

Oh hey, did I mention that are dogs can hypnotize people? Or are they zombies? You be the judge. Look.

Also, my friend Alison and her husband are superheroes with Wondertwin Power rings, as you can see.

This is genius. Every publicist and music writer should watch this. This is in fact how the industry works. (Okay, not really. Well, not completely.)

And finally, you should go see this tomorrow. (Click to enlarge for all the gory details.)

Okay, I go drive to worky now.

Oh yeah, thanks to this young lady for giving me permission to use her photo in yesterday's Teddybears piece. We here at Tankboy Industries appreciate her cooperation.

Now go dance, my little monkeys, DANCE!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

And now ... Teddybears!

Okay, so there's this band Teddybears that's just been popping up everywhere over the last few weeks, particularly on the MP3 blogs. People keep posting the same track over and over (and I am going to as well, with a twist) and the buzz is predictably building. There's one thing that strikes me as really weird about the whole thing.

Teddybears isn't exactly a new band.

Not by any stretch of the imagination!

They're better known everywhere else in the world as Teddybears STHLM -- the STHLM is for their home of Stockholm -- and they've realeased quite a few albums over the last, oh, fifteen years. In fact their U.S.A. debut, Soft Machine, is filled with previously released songs. A few have been re-recorded to bulk up / update the sound and now feature vocals from instantly recognizable voices like Neneh Cherry, Iggy Pop and Annie. For the most part there isn't anything new so I'm not sure why people are only now going gonzo over the band.

Heck, their actual lead singer is the lead singer of The Caesars (though I can't figure out if it’s Teddybears or the Caesars that one would consider his side project,) so it's not exactly like his own vocals are exactly alien to the American ear!

Anyway, I've enjoyed the bands last two albums so I'm pleased to see them getting some exposure over here finally. I guess my only gripe is reading all the blogs that go on and on about them but get so much of the information about them so wrong.

To give you an idea of what I mean by the songs being re-worked (and how i'm not 100% sold it was actually always necessary) here is "Yours To Keep," the lead-off single (I presume, though it may be "Cobrastyle,") off Soft Machine. Compare it to the song's original incarnation on 2000's Rock'n'Roll Highschool.

Teddybears STHLM "Yours To Keep" (with Paolo)

Teddybears "Yours To Keep" (with Neneh Cherry)

See? The new version with Neneh Cherry is rather bulked up, and I dig it, but the original with Paolo just has this sort of wistful air that is so timeless I'm always in the mood to hear it.

Anyway, here's another track of the new album. It has a sort of dreamy beauty to it that plasters a big smile across my face that's tinged with just a hint of regret and sentimental melancholy. Only I have no idea why.

Teddybears "Little Stereo"

Yeah, I think that's just the sort of tone I want to leave on today. What a lovely little couple songs. I hope you enjoy them too.

As a whole the album is a piece of quirky, slightly left-of-center electronic pop. It actually sort of reminds me of that Len album from a few years back, and I mean that in a good way. On first listen the songs don't really seem built to last, but when you take into consideration that most of the material is a few years old, and how fresh it still sounds, you realize we are either dealing with a band that was ahead of its time, or we're dealing with a band that nows how to write a pop song that is of every moment.

The disc isn't a masterpiece, to be sure, but it is another example of the Swedes showing the rest of the world how to write smart pop songs that go right for the pleasure center without resorting to cheap tricks to get there.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Even though I still don't feel about writing about this, I will.

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my dad's death. It was made all the weirder by the fact that my mom was in the hospital most of the day for tests. She has this infection -- primarily in her joints -- and they can't quite figure out what's causing it. It wasn't really a good day for her to be surrounded by doctors and nurses and such. Needless to say, the more I thought about it, the more it freaked me out.

You know what, I actually really don't feel like writing about this, so I'm not going to.

My mom will be fine, the timing of this was just too eerie though.
Sometimes unintentional humor leads into unintentional ranting. Sorry.

The Economist is great at throwing sly little jokes into their articles from time to time. Their sense of humor (or is that humour?) as actually most obvious on most of their covers. For instance, see the recent Kim Jong Il "Rocketman" cover for a prime example of this. Every once in a while they do something that is unintentionally funny and underscores why I love The Economist for its political and world event coverage, but ten to take its cultural critiques with a grain of salt. A prime example of this is within this week's issue as they try to define the term "emo."

According to The Economist "emo kids" are "young people afflicted with melancholia"

Erm, so that makes everyone between the ages of 13 and 19 emo? Perhaps their understanding of the term is a tad to, shall we say, broad? Oh well, even our most trusted news sources reveal their faults from time to time, right?


Speaking of unintentional encounters, why did no one warn me away from The Exorcism Of Emily Rose? Why did no one tell me it wasn't a horror movie at all? Instead it's a thinly (incredibly thinly) veiled recruitment / propoganda piece for the Catholic church, in particular, and Western Christian religion, in general!

I find it incredibly interesting that when the movie reviewers discussed the movie during its original release they mentioned the fact that the long court room scenes held the movie back from building up any real spooky tension. I was okay with that, though, since even a few moments of pure creepiness are usually enough to keep me haappy. However what every review I read neglected to mention was that those courtroom scenes were basically recruitment pamphlets for a certain religion. And just in case the court scenes didn't maake that clear, the typed epilouge certainly helped hammer the (nine inch?) nails home.

Now, I don't mind the Catholic church supporting films, it is a free country built upon freedom of religion, right? What I do have a problem with is when their recruiting tactics are buried in popular entertainment in the form of a "if you don't follow our way you're going to be possessed or go to hell" sort of way. It's a little too Rovian a tactic for my taste.

Which brings me to comething else that popped up recently, and should also settle any complaint that I'm just attacking this flick out of a reactionary bias. I've grown up Catholic. Photogal and I have discussed bringing up our kids (whenever / if ever they come along) Catholic and whether or not we could become active members in a church ever again. Until my teenage years I swallowed the Catholic ideology hook, line, and sinker. To be honest, I still consider myself, at base, a Christian, and, in partular, a "lapsed Catholic" who still believes in The Golden Rule, but doubts much of the rest of the whole "organized religion" thing. But as far as modern Christain belief systems go, I think Catholicism, despite its flaws, is still probably the best.

But that doesn't mean that I think it's the only way. And I certainly don't agree with any sort of propoganda that tries to scare anyone into accepting one religion over another. So that's why I find The Exorcism Of Emily Rose to be particularly execreble, but have no problem with the Narnia flick. Both are based in Christian belief systems, but one just uses its structure to entertain, whilst the other employs the Hollywood system to baldly recruit through fear.

And don't even get me started on Mel Gibson's previously suspect, but now transparent, attack on Judaism in his own little film couched in outrage and fear.

Jeez, how did I get to this point? Honestly, I started off just wanting to share that little piece of humor with you from The Economist, and now I've drifted into an attack on religious propoganda. WTF? I'm not even sure if all that meandering above had a central point, aside from my apparently violent reaction to a certain style of marketing (religious or otherwise.)

Hmm, we need to end on a lighter note, so enjoy these Lollapalooza pictures I took for Chicagoist. They represent my favorite three shots of crowd reactions as viewed from the photo pit. The top picture was during The Raconteurs' set and the guy to the far right just has the most priceless expression. The bottom two perform a sort of action shot thing as the girl on the far right was jumping up and down and just absolutely losing her shit while watching The Shins. I have cooler looking crowd shots, but these three capture the unabashed excitement of true fans before an altar built on the ecstacy of the pure enjoyment of rock and/or roll.

To me those are terrific examples of a true religious experience.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hrm, right.

I'm still pretty "written-out" after two weeks of monster Pitchfork and Lolla coverage (you did read my Chicagoist piece on Lolla, didn't you?). However you may have missed my thoughts on the new OKGo video over at (yes, I still write there as well), so if you're looking for something a little new from me that's music related, well, there you go.

In other news, I'm taking the evening off from DJing at The Pontiac, in order to get some much needed rest and watch last night's ep of Life On Mars as well as the rest of Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0. Luckily for you the extremely able team of DJ Safecracka and Skid Marks will be covering for me. The heat wave has broken, so The Pontiac should be an especially nice place to visit tonight; stop on by and say hi to the boys for me.

Monday, August 07, 2006


It has been a LONG weekend. Lollapalooza knocked the stuffing out of me. On the bright side I got a massive workout running from one end of Grant Park to the other over and over again, so I don't feel bad about not making it to the gym this weekend.

My official thoughts on Lolla should be live on Chicagoist later today. (It is now up right here.) I will say this though; the organizers did another stelar job this year as far as logistics and vibe went. Other than briefly fearing for my life in the Red Hot Chili Peppers photo pit, as kids kept getting dragged out of the crowd and thrown over my head (though I would like to note that all the security guys were doing this as gently as possible and trying to make sure no one got hurt), the weekend was a wonderful experience. The crowd was totally into pretty much every band that played.


Well, except for that kid in the mohawk. He or she is totally staring at me.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Promotion, parties, and popsters.

Go here and read this. Paul sums up the whole club / party / band promotion-thing perfectly. I also think its terrific that someone promoting a successful night in Chicago actually took the time to anwer this kid's question without getting snooty about it.

It got me to thinking about my own history of promotion. I reckon I'm best known for my work with bands, though lately the DJing seems to be taking up most of my free "music-related activity" time.

Sometimes artists want crazy thing in a tour rider. One time I had to go to four different stores to get everything on Slymenstra Hymen's rider. Other times, like with Electric Wizard, all they want is free booze. I just read an article on riders for the Orange Couty Fair and Gnarls Barkley gets my vote for most sensible rider.

  • 1 bucket of fried chicken (20 pieces)
  • 1 bag of Snickers Miniatures
  • 1 dozen Dunkin or Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  • 1 pack of Magnum condoms
  • 1 pack of Swisher Sweets Blunt cigars

I mean, that makes total sense. I just hope the condoms and the chicken aren't used simultaneously. Ew.

Seriously though. So then it got me to thinking: How did I get involved with this whole promotion thing in the first place? I still don't know. I guess I sort of fell into it. I mean, the parties I threw in college were pretty legendary, and I've always been the guy that needed to control to music so DJing and band promotion came naturally. What are those two things if not an attempt to control just which station the "radio" is set on at any given soiree, eh?

So yeah, there's that. What else? Oh yeah, Lollapalooza is here! I'll be attending today and Sunday's shows (I'm missing Saturday due to plans that were set in stone before I was granted a press pass) and you can catch my thoughts on the whole shebang within my preview for Chicagoist. So get on over there and lay your peepers on my words.

I guess I'll leave you with this piece of good news. Although Christina Aguilera is all cleaned up visually (for the most part) she wants you to know she's still a minx in heat at heart. Her new double album splits its time between a disc on "contemporary pop" and a disc of "faux-oldies." My personal favorite song off the first disc is "Still Dirrty" which manages to be far sexier than the song it's a sequal to. On the second disc, you might think she's going to tone down the content to match the '20s flapper vibe, but then you'd be forgetting just what a bunch of sexpots those showgirls were. Aguilera confirms this with the Vaudeville-bound "Nasty Naughty Boy." I actually prefer "Candyman" off the second disc as far as which the strongest tune is, but I'm going to share the former with you to compare/contrast the content of it against my favorite cut off the first disc.

So, here they are:

Christina Aguilera "Still Dirrty"
Christina Aguilera "Nasty Naughty Boy"

The album as a whole is as uneven as one would expect. A tad too much treacle for my tastes, but when Xtina starts to belt out the more engaging tunes it's impossible to resist. Who would have thought that she would end up being the laast Mousketeer left standing at this point?

*Oh, about the non-Xtina snaps, no, I have no idea why I have Ryan Starr on the brain this week. I have a feeling there's something subliminaly at work. Is she in the news or something?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hey, guess what?!

I'm DJing again tonight!

I have a super-secret surprise guest accompanying me on the decks/pods, so make sure you don't miss it! Especially if you have the next day off because of Lollapooza; then you have no excuse for not showing up.
It's been a while since I spun at Liar's Club, and I always have a blast there, so please do stop on by.

And now, for no particular reason, my second-favorite contestant from season one of American Idol:

Okay, I don't want to seem one-sided so here's one for the ladies too, particularly Photogal:


Morally ambiguous.

I finally saw V For Vendetta last night, and while there were some major changes to the story line (and I'm not so sure what I thought of the "tougher" Evey¹), I'm kicking myself for not having seen the film in the theaters. I'm also amazed, given today's cultural climate, that a movie basically casting a terrorist as its hero wasn't met with widespread gasps of horror. I'd like to say its popularity was due to the public's sophisticated tastes fostering a viewpoint capable of traversing a landscape of questionable morals, thus allowing for a movie with such a provocative viewpoint to gain a wide audience while inspiring intelligent debate. However I suspect that what actually happened is that, since V is ostensibly a white, British male and Evey is a white, cute, Brtitish female, that it never occurred to the majority of viewers that either charachter's actions could actually make them "terrorists."

I'm just taking dig at the general movie-going public here, not the movie itself. All told, the film ended up being inferior to its source material, and I can understand why Alan Moore had his name removed from the finsihed product, but as far as Hollywood blockbusters go, this may have been the most subversive movie to find such wide public acceptance / acclaim / profitability in a really long time. Divorced from the original graphic novel and judged on its own merits, this movie gets a solid thumbs-up / 9.2 / A- from this reviewer. Highly reccomended.

¹By that I meamn the "pre-incarceration" Evey. In the original book her transformation is all the more stunning because ofthe contrast between the woman she becomes with the (slightly oblivious) girl she was.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Last PFest pic, I promise.

Can you spot the Tankboy in the image below? Hint: I'm the tallest guy in the pre-Spoon photopit.

Image via Chicagoist Flickr Stream

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tankboy's "off-the-record" thoughts on that whole PFork Fest thing.

So, as promised, here are some more personal musings on the whole Pitchfork Music Festival goings-on this year. If you want to know what I thought of the bands and the fest in general you can find that over at Chicagoist.

First off, the vibe was definitely different than last year's "wow, this is all brand new and (even dorkier) 'it's really happening!'." There was an idealism and excitement that was missing from this year’s edition. I suppose it is partially because it is no longer new (even though the original Lolla did keep that sense of wonder going for at least the first three years) and, due to our accelerated times, is already slipping into the role of "the establishment."

This was even more apparent in the treatment the press received, which was odd since Pitchfork is itself a media site. Last year, we were given free reign to go pretty much anywhere, photograph anything and talk to anyone. This year we were locked out of the backstage area and were only allowed front-stage for the first three songs before being shuffled off into the crowd.

Now the three song thing I totally got, since I wouldn't really want a horde of photographers and writers blocking my view if I was a fan that had staked out a spot front and center just behind the barricade. However there was a cordoned off area to the side of the stage, that could have housed all of the press, that seemed to be off-limits to everyone until Sunday when I was told it was there to meet the requirements for handicapped accessibility. This would have made total sense if we hadn’t seen a girl in a wheelchair kicked out of the same area the day before!

Now I'm going to lay the brunt of the blame for these gripes on the security staff (especially the overly strict dude we dubbed "Cowboy Hard-ass" that seemed to be running all stage security on day one. He was the dude kicking out the girl in the wheelchair.) Even so perhaps Pitchfork wasn't clear enough on stage rules and they were left open to interpretation. I know from years of doing show you NEVER allow hired security to interpret ANYTHING. This rule is different in clubs when you have a permanent staff, but for a festival or a setting using freelance hired hands, you leave NOTHINTG to their purview.

The "no press backstage" policy was only annoying in that it kept me from really interviewing any of the bands. There was a press tent, but it only consisted of three tables and a few chairs ... and I think I saw two interviews conducted there all day. The one big plus was that they gave the press free water, which was greatly appreciated. Next year, maybe they'll revise it ... or maybe the press friendliness was actually on the part of the folks who split off to continue Intonation (since heard the press treatment was much better there, even if (in my opinion) the festival was lacking artist-wise in comparison to Pitchfork.) So take note Pitchfork-types, next year lets give the press a little more leeway; don't forget your roots!

Ultimately, most of the bands fell a little flat for me, but that's to be expected in any festival setting. I still had a great time watching so many people lapse into ecstasy during main-stage sets by The Futureheads, Art Brut, Ted Leo, Mission Of Burma, and Spoon. And the vibe in the Biz 3 tent threatened to spark with the hot summer sun and set the whole festival ablaze ... seriously, that tent was B-A-N-A-N-A-S! It was awesome.

On a wholly personal level I really enjoyed running into old friends, meeting a few new ones who read my ramblings on a regular basis as well as a few publicists, like Karen, I actually enjoy corresponding with. On an artistic level I think Pitchfork set the bar for themselves after the first go-'round that the second was destined to pale in comparison. However, as far as a terrific way to spend two days – even taking into account the oppressive heat – I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.


...and now the usual Tuesday thing...

How about a bit of cut 'n paste from the usual weekly email ... I'm a bit "written-out" right now after al the above blathering.


DJ Tankboy matches wits with DJ JB.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get
any hotter, we just turned up the heat!

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

TONIGHT , Tuesday August 1, 2006
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

$3 Budweiser bottles

New and Unreleased Stuff From:

Snowden – Anti-anti
Rye Coalition – Curses
Lily Allen - Alright Still
Teddybears – Soft Machine
The Oohlas - Best Stop Pop
The Dears - Gang Of Losers
Aphex Twin – Chosen Lords
Wires On Fire – Wires On Fire
Ad Astra Per Aspera – Catapult Calypso
Oxford Collapse – Remember The Night Parties
Thunderbirds Are Now! – Make History
Primal Scream - Riot City Blues
The Like Young – Last Secrets
Cursive – Happy Hollow

It’s Buster Poindexter hot hot HOT!

Every Tuesday.
Only at The Pontiac.

Also, don’t forget I'll be at Liar's Club with a special guest DJ this Thursday! I know a lot of you don’t work the next day due to Lollapalooza, so if you fall into that category you have no excuse for not showing up. Hell, come to think of it, NONE of you has an excuse for not showing up!

Help me make the night a blow-out to end all (well, almost all (well, most (?))) blow-outs!