Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Man, I just can't get back to sleep. I zonked out on the couch midway through The Colbert Report only to be woken a few hours later by those oh so annoying tin drums that provide the soundtrack to the late night Girls Gone Wild commercials. Ugh.
So I need to clear my head of that shite so I can get some sleep, and the only way I know to do that is to play something groovy, and if I'm going to do that I may as well share a cool tune with you while I'm at it. It's a win-win all around!
Sometimes I like to enter an album willfully ignorant of what to expect. I don't read the accompanying press release or bio, I don't do any initial research ... I just enter the first listen completely blank of most expectations. Not all -- since that's just about impossible -- but most.*
In the case of Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Ark 1, all that I knew is that it was a side project of Erol Alkan, a dance producer currently popular with a number of British rock bands. As the album started up my initial reaction was that it sounded an awful like a dance music producer trying to make authentic sounding psych rock with a modern groove mentality in mind.
I had an "a-HA!" moment as the third track fired up, though, recognizing a quote from The Monkees' classic cult larf, Head. As the music started up I thought to myself they were doing an awful good job of approximating the vibe of one of that album's stand-out tracks, "Can You Dig It?" and was digging the dubby middle section ... until Mickey Dolenz's vocals kicked in and I realized that what I was listening to wasn't just an appoximation of "Can You Dig It?" but was in fact a bona fide remix! Who the hell remixes The Monkees?
So it turns out the whole disc is a personal remix project tackling a number of psychadelic tunes,. and I'm giving it props for taking a song I knew well and twisting it enough to make said song sound fresh to my ears after years of familiarity. Had I known what the album was ahead of time though I have to wonder if I would have the same gellful reaction once I realized what was going on. Hm, and if that's the case, I suppose I've ruined the surprise for you too, huh?
Oh well, y'know what? It's worth it ... so dig on the track I so enjoyed from a fresh perspective so recently.
MP3: Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve "Dig It"
*It should be noted I only utilize this approach, when I utilize it at all, for the first listen. I always do my homework before actually writing a review for public consumption.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I actually managed to avoid going online at all this weekend. (Well, I did check my email early Saturday, but then I logged off and didn't log back on until about 5 minutes ago ... amazing, huh?!)
So I'm catching up on all the day's news and such right now. More later...
Friday, September 26, 2008
So, word has it that Guns N' Roses are finally gonna make good on that whole "We're gonna beat MBV by releasing an album before them!" threat and release Chinese Democracy around Thanksgiving. That's the rumor at least. Me? I'm inclined to actually believe this one, especially since so much of the disc has already leaked and the sucktitude of its tracks are now confirmed.
I'm already waiting in line for my free Dr. Pepper!
My old DJ partner Rudy Tuesday has asked me to guest with him at The Burlington tonight. Our original legendary stint spinning at Ten56 led to at least two babies, two marriages, quite a bit of naked dancing, and plenty of shirts vs. skins pool games.
Let's see if we can one-up that track record tonight.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Man, did I have a blast shooting the bands last weekend. I think my shots came out well, and I tried to get angles and feelings that aren't present in just about every other concert shot you see nowadays. The only bands that proved impossible to approach this way were Neko Case on Saturday and The New Pornographers on Sunday due to the lighting onstage ... so every photo out there looks the same for those two. Regardless, I still like those shots for the stark simplicity, and I think I caught a few of Neko in those "between the pose" moments. Anyway...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I'm still painting a friend's farmhouse -- thus saving me from the ever present peril of watching daytime television or accidentally losing my footing and slipping into the Oprah Vortex -- so I'm pretty much unreachable once I hop off the Wi-Fi I'm riding at Bob's Big Boy. Head over to Chicagoist between 9 and 9:20 to peep LOTS of Hideout Block Party pix, including a full set devoted to Monotonix (the boys to the left, there). I'll be uploading loads more photos to my Flickr page, but these are the creme de la creme, so please head on over and enjoy them.
The painting is going well, depsite a wasp infestation outside one of the upstairs windows. This would only mildly freak me out if the little buggers didn't keep finding some way to get into the room I'm painting, so I'm constantly checking my arms and legs to make sure one of the little buggers hasn't snuck up on me. I have my shot in case I do get stung, but I really don't want to deal with that hassle. Hopefully I'll be able to wrap things up and head back to Chicago this afternoon, unmolested by stinging insects. Wish me luck!
Monday, September 22, 2008
I'm heading out of town to go make some money painting a few rooms for a friend, but you REALLY should head over to Chicagoist to see a bunch of photos of the zombies dancing to Robbie Fulks' rendition of "Thriller" at this weekend's Hideout Block Party.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This is from David Lipsky's excellent essay about DFW that ran on NPR a few days back:
When someone very gifted kills themselves, it's like the best student dropping out of high school. There's the tragedy, but it's set in a particular and personal fear: What are they seeing that we don't?What indeed?
Read this Lester Bangs review of David Bowie's Station To Station right now. Go ahead, it won't take you more than 2-3 minutes, I'll wait.
Done? O.K. Wasn't it awesome? Didn't it make you want to run out and buy (or at least download) the album right away? And why do you think that was? I'll tell you why. It's because Bangs wrote with equal parts passion, critical acumen, historical context, and downright unflinching honesty. Of course, Bangs being Bangs, you can't be 100% sure he actually liked the album, but his impressions make you want to find out for yourself.
Personally i don't strive to emulate Bangs' style -- that'd be pointless -- but I like to think I share the same hopes that he did (or at least the hopes I personally divine through his writing). I hope that what I write makes some people think about music. I hope what I write turns some folks onto something new, even if that exact same piece steers other folks away, since either result means I'm having some sort of effect on the reader.
I know I keep returning to the theme of what justifies one person to be a critic over another (and I'm not sure that phrase is really precise enough since I still maintain everyone has a right to their own opinion), and that I'm still sort of formulating my own definition (although I think you have to admit that I'm growing fairly consistent in my thoughts on the subject, even if there are still a few sloppy sections that either don't quite gibe or wholly contradict each other). What I do know is that particular Bangs piece on Bowie qualifies as "excellent" for all the reasons I mentioned above and one more, that may be even more important than the rest; it's a piece I can read and re-read without growing bored of it.
Criticism as an art form ... what a concept.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
You know what the thing that strikes me most about the first ad? How well spoken the guy is, even when supposedly flustered. When did we stop speaking like that and why?
You know what else I noticed? Just how interchangeable the messaging of all these ads is with today's issues. Makes you wonder if we're damned to constantly repeat the mistakes of our past, huh?
1978: Two photos of me exist, both taken at Sears.
1988: One photo exists, yearbook.
1998: Four photos exist, all for Photogal's MA.
2008: 2,078 photos exist, hello new generation.
I document my life online, but it wasn't until I thought of the above that I realized, really realized, how much of what I -- and the people around me -- do is now documented through words and pictures. We've all truly become living novels. If it weren't for the fact that I'm so entranced with everyone else's story along with my own this might worry me. But I realize we're not headed towards becoming a compartmentalized exclusive society, no, we're growing to become a weaving web of inclusive stories connecting us all to each other like never before.
Ever since Photogal's interest in shooting concerts waned a few years ago, I've slowly been shooting more and more shows. At the outset it was a good team; she photographed the bands and I wrote about the performances. After a while she started to complain about it and I never understood why.
Well, over the last few concert seasons I've begun to see why. Let me preface this by saying I understand there are a number of freelance photographers that make their money off shooting concerts for various periodicals. I respect their work greatly and really enjoy looking at many of their pictures. And a large number of them are super cool folks. But a few of them, and I do mean the minority of concert photographers, are kind of big jerks that can give all photographers a bad name. When you're at the bigger shows, with barriers separating the stage from the crowd, this isn't as apparent, but when you encounter a show with no barrier, where the photogs have to embed themselves in the crowd to get a decent shot, the difference becomes glaring between the nice guys / gals and the jerks. Allow me to present a recent example.
I shot last week's Dandy Warhols show. When I got there I found out I was one of only two photographers with photo passes and there was no barrier. So between the first and second band I went down to the front of the stage and introduced myself to the security guy.*After that I went through the folks in front of the stage -- one by one -- and introduced myself, assuring them I would only be in their way for a few songs and making sure they were cool with that. Every single person I talked to said that was totally cool.
The first band I shot was Darker My Love, and I only stuck around to get a few shots of them before rejoining my friends near the back of the venue. One of them asked me why I was back so quickly so I explained my overriding philosophy to them in this situation. The folks down in front paid $30+ dollars for their tickets, got here when the doors opened so they could have a good spot, and the last thing I wanted to do was ruin someone else's concert experience when they had put in so much effort to ensure they had a good time.
We all watched Darker My Love, really enjoyed their set, and while they were breaking down and The Dandy Warhols' gear was being set up I went back down in the crowd. I got a little good-natured ribbing from the kids I had spoken to earlier, but everything was cool. Once the band started I crouched down and started snapping shots. That's when things got a little weird.
In my peripheral vision I saw a whole bunch of other dudes with SLRs pushing their way through the crowd and blocking people's view. One of them almost knocked me over -- which ain't easy since I'm a reasonably big guy stature-wise -- and I could see the disappointed look on fan's faces as these goons blocked their view and shoved kids out of the way to get their shots. I still have no idea how they got in with SLRs since there were only two photo passes** but there they were, ruining the beginning of the show for countless people.
Now look, folks want pictures of concerts. Heck, often the folks that want them most are the people who were actually there, so there's no reason to shove people out of your way when you're both aiming for the same goal!
I've seen hints of this behavior in the past, and always suspected that it's that sort of behavior that creates a situation where the vibe is security and fans versus the photographers, but this particular situation was the rudest behavior I'd seen yet.
So what's to be learned? Photogs, take a minute to talk to the folks around you. They'll let you take your shots, and you'll get even better ones because some pissed off kid won't be pushing you while you're trying to focus or kicking you in the back of the leg while you wait for halfway decent lighting. And you've GOT to learn that just because you have a photo pass, it doesn't put you on some higher plane that the rest of the folks there. In fact, I consider the fans a higher social class because they're the ones saving up the money to go to the show, and putting in the time to make sure they have just the right spot to see their favorite band.
Showing those folks a little respect will go a long way, and make the concert experience far more enjoyable for everyone.
*It should be noted that the vast majority of the security guys given stage duty are super cool and super professional. They're not constantly yelling at the crowd or intimidating them because they don't have to. They're usually seasoned and know what to look for, and what to defuse before it becomes a problem.
**I noticed the one other guy with a legit photo pass stayed in his spot at the side of the stage that he staked out with the same kids who had been waiting in front all night the whole time and bothered no one, by the way.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
O.K., now I've repeatedly received that email claiming my taxes will be lower under John McCain if he's elected so I'm finally snapping and refuting that. Sure, if you're making $250,000+ your taxes will be lower ... but me and mine are nowhere near that income bracket.
Anyway, you've probably seen the same email, and I don't expect you to blindly take my word for it, so check out this point by point refutation
In fact, look over this whole site since it goes through and rates the truthfulness of each candidate, and seems pretty non-partisan (Obama and the Dems get quite a few thwacks for distorting the truth too).
This election has been driven by a lot of false information, and much of that has been in the form of forwarded emails that most folks seem to just take at face value. This stuns me, but I guess if you get an email forwarded to you by a friend your first instinct is to accept its claims. In fact this week's On The Media had a really good interview about this phenomenon and contained this head-bending little exchange:
I would take that one step forward and point out that I think it's also people's responsibility to verify claims they're going to make on behalf of one candidate or another. This goes as much for the Republican touting incorrect tax figures as it does the Democrat falsely accusing Sarah Palin of banning books.
BOB GARFIELD: Well, that’s interesting that you should observe that. Do you have any reason to think that people are sort of catching up to the dynamic of political emails and learning to discount them as much as they would discount, say, a political ad?
BILL ADAIR: Not yet, in fact, to the contrary. Originally we were seeing a lot of these chain emails from the right criticizing the Democrats. And what we've seen in the last two weeks is that the left is using the same tactic. I don't think we've reached the point yet where people are that savvy about these things.
And if you look at the polls, the percentage of people who believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim has actually increased, and I would attribute that largely to the chain emails. So I think we in the media really have an obligation to tell people what’s true and what’s not.
I was in bed and asleep before 9:30 p.m. Sunday night. Last night I elected to stay in again. Tonight I'm planning on skipping my regular Tuesday visit to The Burlington to stay in yet again. part of this is due to money issues as my safety net shrinks and my bank account teeters closer to the psychological edge of oblivion. I think another factor is just my need to slow down for a second and catch my breath. Last week I was out almost every night writing about or photographing concerts, and starting Wednesday I'll be going non-stop until Sunday as I shoot shows, DJ, and attend my friends' CD release ... whew!
So I suppose I needed this break.
This has also been a somewhat emotional week due to some reasons that will remain private, but I think it's fair to say that Margaret's exit from Chicagoist to move to New York, and DFW's death have both taken their toll on me as well. I know, I know, who knew I could be a sentimental sap like that, but there you have it, I am.
In cheerier news those Dandy Warhols photos are up on Chicagoist, with more on my Flickr page. I'm working on editing a bunch of other concert photos from this summer so I can put larger sets of bands like Battle, Radiohead, and Love and Rockets on my Flickr page as well. That reminds me, I have a story to tell you about concert photographers, but it's a little long so maybe I'll tell you about it tomorrow instead.
UPDATE: Hm, the above wasn't meant to bum anyone out or make them worry about me, but judging by the emails and messages I'm getting it did. I'm fine! I swear. I'm just sharing some opf my immediate concerns ... I mean, I was laid off during the last recession and back then I was far more worried about getting another job than I am now. In fact, it's only been 1.5 months that I've been out of work, and the minimum time they say it usually takes to get a new job is 2 months, so I think I'm doing O.K., especially given the number of interviews I've been on.
However, to those of you who expressed concern anyway, I do appreciate it!
EVEN CHEERIER NEWS TO OFFSET THE ABOVE: Congratulations to my little brother Sean for finally asking his long time girlfriend Maryann to marry him and she -- shockingly -- said yes. So big ups to my little bro, and my most heartfelt condolences to his future wife.
Monday, September 15, 2008
...this is the aftermath of what happens when Tankboy gets home at 3 a.m. on a Saturday and absolutely HAS to have some popcorn RIGHT NOW.
Subtitle: A rip roarin' lack of patience.
I'm still sort of reeling from the announcement about David Foster Wallace's death. People close to me know that he was my favorite living writer, and that I severely regretted leaving ISU before he started teaching there. Had I known I could have taken a writing class with him I would have toughed it out just to spend a semester under his tutelage. Friends of mine were lucky enough to hang out with him and by all reports, personally, he was a funny generous guy.
But his writing was what did it for me. I had just gotten into Mark Leyner when I picked up Infinite Jest, and while I admit that the book somewhat flummoxed me, I finally saw that writing could be whatever you wanted it to be, as long as it was good. That sounds simplistic (and this seems to be a week of me touting simplistic writer's workshop-ish phrases) but he really did open my eyes to just how far I could stretch things. He also led me down the path to discover writers as varied as William Gaddis to Judy Budnitz. I use those two as an example to identify the vast sea of writers between them that DFW also led me towards.
Ultimately he taught me how to imbue writing with great intelligence, sharp humor, and deep insight into human interaction. Sometimes his writing frustrated me, and sometimes it filled me with great satisfaction, but it never failed to amaze me.
We've lost one of the greatest literary voices in the last century, and what makes it even more sad is the fact that I believe he was getting even better as he grew older. We hadn't seen DFW's best work yet, and now we never will.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Girl 1: Way to stand in front of the five-foot-two girl, dude.
Me: I asked if I could and you said yes!
Girl 2: He did and you did.
Girl 1: I know, just messing with him. Anyway, why do you get to photograph them?
Me: I got cleared through their publicist.
Girl 1: No, no, I mean why are you allowed to take pictures. How long have you been doing this.
Me: Oh, I dunno. I've been writing about music for about 20 years.
Girl 2: What?
Girl 1: Wait, how old are you?
Girl 2: No fucking way.
Girl 1: I thought you were like 21. I'll stop giving you shit now.
Last night's show was excellent. It was easily the best I've ever seen The Dandy Warhols play. In the past their shows could be incredibly self-indulgent, and much of the band's attitude came off as "we're deigning to play for you, so you'll fucking love whatever we do." That vibe was completely absent last night, and the whole band seemed honestly appreciative to be performing in front of a sold-out crowd. Maybe now that they're on their own, and completely free of Major Label-land, they no longer feel like serfs being sent out to perform their master's bidding and instead are honestly happy to be in front of their fans. A full photoset will be up on Chicagoist on Monday, and the S-T even ran a decent review of the show, despite the misleading headline.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Margaret and I were discussing what makes for good pop cultural critic writing, and we both agreed that folks who write in such a way that you can actually hear them speaking are the best. Many writers adopt a more staid approach and think they have to adhere to one style or another -- I notice this a lot when combing through submissions to Chicagoist -- and they write the way they think they're supposed to. If you read my stuff, it flows the way I actually speak, and if you think about it that's actually harder to accomplish than it seems. I was thinking of other local critics and realized many of them do the same thing. DeRo, Kot, Ebert, SuperBird, and Hopper are all local critics I enjoy reading and all of them write the way they speak.
I'm certainly not saying that the ONLY way to write is like that, and Lord knows I've written in about a bajillion different styles when the occasion calls for it, but when it comes to pop culture I think a distinctive voice is crucial.
O.K., class dismissed for the day.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Bjorn Yttling remixed Tobias Froberg and Peter Moren's song "Just Behind A Brickwall." I like it, it's kind of dark and ominous.
MP3: Tobias Froberg & Peter Morén "Just Behind A Brick Wall (Bjorn Yttling Mix)"
I've mentioned my friend Jim's weekly radio show about pop culture before, but his recent one about how to prepare for post-apocalyptic events is absolutely hilarious.
He and his co-hosts go through lists, both practical and fantastic, suggesting what one should and shouldn't do in case of armegeddon, as well as breaking down different end of the world scenarios.
One of my favorite moments is the diplomacy of making nice with the lava people.
MP3: Clobberin' Time "I for one welcome the coming of our Giant Banana Slug overlords!"
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I saw something in the craigslist Missed Connections last night that I thought referred to me, but after thinking about it I don't think it is. Instead I realized that people's feelings are so universal it's easy to think they're all about you. Maybe that's why so many folks read the missed connections, huh? Me? I'm usually looking for something weird for Chicagoist, but I guess after my reaction to this one I must be looking for one that's about me as well.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Y'know maybe GalPal and her friends are onto something. The reason I look so young is because I'm really 18 and have been aging backwards for the last few years! This picture seems to be proof of this theory...
(Notice the row of drinks on the railing behind me? it was an open bar, but the lines were so long, we decided to grab multiple drinks at a time to avoid having to get right back in line over and over again. Nixon also tried this approach, walking away with 7 drinks, only to have 6 of those drinks hi-jacked by friends as he made his way from the bar to the band. Poor Nixon!)
I can't even remember the last time I saw a show without consuming so much as a single beer. I'm not saying I get blotto at every concert, but I almost always have at least one or two beers throughout the night. Lat night the weather was so crap I decided to drive my car to Metro to see Spiritualized®, and since I just do NOT feel comfortable driving after even a couple beers, I decided it was going to be a dry evening.
Boy am I glad I didn't, since the show was amazing. I mean, I'm sure I would have thought it was amazing anyway, but the fact that I came to that conclusion stone sober means it was REALLY amazing. I enjoyed the band's set at Pitchfork this summer, but hearing their neo-psychedelic gospel guitar freak-outs in a club sweating and expanding and contracting with acolytes put the songs in an entirely new context. It was grandiose. It was touching. It was a spectacle built on little more than a minimalist light show and a collection of incredibly powerful songs. It was a night to remember, and I'm glad that due to the lack of any booze in my system I will remember every second of it.
By the way, if you want to see more photos of the show, see 'em at Chicagoist.
My bank account has finally dropped under the balance I didn't want it to sink below, so I'm officially starting to worry a little bit about the job hunt. I had been fighting to keep it at a certain point -- just in case an emergency popped up -- but after paying rent and a bunch of bills I no longer have that safety net. Aargh.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Who the hell is Tokio Hotel? Or does me saying that mark this as my Lars vs. G. Brooks moment of being completely out of touch?
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
GalPal and I have been trying to figure out what the official song of Summer '08 should be. Originally we were both stumped. I honestly couldn't think of anything that just fucking overtook my DJ sets or personal soundtrack this summer. But then this track surfaced, and I think it may have just saved the season.
P.S. GalPal is in the video, like, 80% of the time. See if you can spot her.
Oh yeah, the biggest thing about McCain's speech last night? The fact that Stephen Colbert was crapping his pants with laughter at the fact that the screen behind McCain's head was filled with a bright blue sky or deep green grass throughout his whole speech. I can't wait to see what they fashion out of that material.
Last week I ran into my landlord and he apologized for not putting screens in my windows yet. I told him it was O.K., and since it was near the end of the summer anyway. I also let him know that it hadn't been that bad this year so no biggie. There were only a few days where I sweated my ass off.
He said, "Yeah, but when it got really hot didn't you just turn on your air conditioning?" I replied I didn't have a window unit and he looked at me wide eyed and said, "But you have central air!"
I did? I mean, I do?!
Apparently, I do. I've had central air for the last six months and I had no idea. Just another sign that I am truly an idiot.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
This dude is hosting the "One Night in Bangkok" 12" and I recommend downloading it. He's got a great site when it comes to unearthing obscure little gems. At 3:40 the b-side kicks into what sounds like a long lost Peter Gabriel single.
FUN FACT: I've always wanted to play Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Murray Head had a big effect on my early singing style because of that.
FUN FACT TWO: Murray Head's younger brother is Anthony a.k.a. Giles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer!
FUN FACT THREE: "One Night in Bangkok" was one of my favorite singles when I was in 7th grade!
Look, I've been following the guy since the super early days when he would play anywhere, even The Note. And I've never been a fan. I don't actively dislike him, I just find him o be super boring. And I could never figure out why so many people liked him ... until now ... when I realized that the vast majority of Andrew Bird fans are chicks thanks to Lizz's awesome review of his show last night in Millenium Park. So it's not my fauly I don't like him ... I'm a dude!
Um, after finally watching Sarah Palin's speech from last night, I am struck at just how charismatic she is. I think all the folks vigorously discounting her, or hoping that American's common sense will guide them away from her, are in for a rude surprise. While she's not as intelligently spoken as Obama, she is a better speaker than he is. It turns my stomach. I guess I should gird myself for the possiblity of artifice trumping the better candidate yet again.
Some folks ask me why I think this way, and it's because I'm a single liberal in a family of conservatives. And I can't figure out why that is. My brother and his wife work hard to support their family, my other brother put himself through law school, and my mom has been heroically toiling away at an age when she should be retiring and enjoying herself. My whole family has college educations. They're intelligent people. Yet they still vote Republican year in and year out, even though that party's interests aren't really aligned with the realities of their day-to-day lives. Sure, i'd love a tax cut too, but Republican's don't really cut taxes for most of us, only the richest. They tout the dream of ordinary folks reaching the heights of the upper income brackets, and the freedom of living in those lofty branches, without ever admitting that you -- yes, you -- aren'tever going to get there. They sell empty dreams and promises, and they sell them through fear, and that makes my stomach turn.
I was watching the convention last night and while half of me was just slack-jawed that all those people were dancing so badly to country his, and waving their signs, and chanting "drill, baby, drill," the other half knew that what I was seeing was a reflection of the way lots and lots and lots of other Americans really feel. I wish each and every one of them would read Thomas Frank's What's The Matter With Kansas? since that might possibly wake them from the haze they're living under.
Here is the basic problem with Dems vs. Repubs this time around: Dems are actually trying to be honest with the voters for once and admit that electing them will not turn everything into peaches and cream instantly, while the Repubs are telling people what they want to hear, facts be damned. (Just look at the fact checking against Palin's speech last night. Do you think anyone really cares? Nope. They just liked what they heard.) Guess which one plays better to the crowd?
So, my fellow liberals, you can sit back and snicker at what you think is simplistic rhetoric, but you're doing so at great peril. Recent history has proven that grand ideas don't win elections, but deep deceptions do.
As I was making plans with GalPal, I honestly forgot what day it was. I NEED to get a full-time gig, stat!
A word of advice to anyone else out there in my situation: find something to do consistently to help keep you grounded outside of the job hunt. You should religiously be sending out resumes and following leads, but you need something outside of that to help delineate the days. For me it's the gym. Going there day after day and spending an hour or two there really helps keep some sense of order in my life, and when your unmoored by unemployment that sort if anchor is invaluable.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I try to explain myself to others through words. Often I feel like I do a better job of it through writing than I do speaking, because with writing I can craft those words to carry as much weight as needed and to be as specific as I want them to be. In the real world -- advertising and marketing, and music and pop cultural pieces, and that sort of thing -- I am really good at this. In the emotional world, when I'm directly conversing with a single person, I'm less than successful, but I think I've figured out why.
When you're writing about an emotional subject your reader isn't going to notice your nuanced choice of vocabulary, they're just going to react to the portions that directly effect them and skim over everything else. They're usually looking for a direct answer to a particular question, and the surrounding verbiage is just so much detritus they have to sort through to find their goal.
So what's the solution? Maybe when writing to someone about an emotionally difficult subject I should stop worrying about trying to make my point as clear as possible, or to explain my motivations, and simply give the reader the answer they're looking for and leave it at that.
Of course all the above is untrue in the world of actual spoken conversation, since in emotional situations that's perfectly suited to messily veer from one point to another in its search for answers.
I'm not DJing out and about that much this month, and this is the only time I'm spinning a solo set in the next 30 days, so I urge you to come on out to Jerry's Sandwiches in beautiful Wicker Park this evening. All the info is below so make with the clicky, m'kay?
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I can't help but notice how much my body has been changing. I'm leaner than ever, but I'm also broader than ever. If I stopped going out I'd probably be completely ripped in under two months, isn't that kind of weird? Putting the "Tank" back into boy? I dunno.
You know what I'm talking about, right? So much has happened in the last 7 days, so many highs into so many lows back into so many highs, it's grown impossible to try and catalog it all here. One one hand I'm reminded of why I instituted the "write on the site EVERY weekday no matter what" rule, but the last week has been me treading water on my keyboard while the waves crashed around my real-life head. I guess if you're looking for "content" content from me today you should probably check out Chicagoist since I'm going to put up a few pieces there, or you can download the PDF of the new UR Chicago that comes out this week since it has a profile on me in the front of the issue and an article about the Dandy Warhols I wrote near the back. (And not to be all high and mighty or anything but I noticed Chicago Innerview has a Dandys article too but they only got to interview Pete the guitar player while I talked to main Dandy Courtney Taylor-Taylor, and got some great quotes. Just sayin'.)
And of course, then there is this.