Friday, October 29, 2010

BRI-CURIOUS!

BRI-CURIOUS!

GalPal has an unhealthy fascination (O.K., attraction to) Brian Williams. I'm O.K. with it though. In fact I am so O.K. with it I have no problem posting this video, just for her.

IRL.

IRL.

So I’ve been trying this new thing at work, and it’s called “get up and walk over to talk to somebody when you have a question instead of sending them an email or IM, if they’re in at least.” It’s great!

When you work in digital for as long as I have, and when so much communication is done online, it’s easy to forget how terrific personal interaction can be. It also comes with the bonus side effect of people getting to know each other even better! I’m obviously adept and presenting my personality via text, and when most folks meet me they are astounded that I come across exactly as they expect me to (no fudging the facts here!), but there are still nuances I can’t convey in writing that I do in speech. Heck, there’s probably reams of stuff my co-workers could clue you into about myself I don’t even know because it’s just a reflex I don’t pay attention to. Kind of like the day Keep pointed out my funny vocal delivery wherein I start sentences slowly and speed them up as I keep talking.*

So yeah, next time you have a question for someone, head on over and ask them in person! I’m really digging it.

*By the way, my theory behind this is that since I spent so many years in bars and clubs I had to slow down the beginning of conversations so people could adjust and latch onto what I was saying, and once I knew they were tuned in I could speed things up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So, I missed this tour back in '95...

So, I missed this tour back in '95...

...and I'm STILL kicking myself over it!

Writers! In the wild!

Writers! In the wild!

So I’m not saying this is happening, but if you wanted to see what a bunch of writers look like after one too many cheap beers you might want to swing by Holiday Club tonight. Folks that write for a certain Chicago-centric website will be congregating there for their monthly happy hour and I may or may not be one of them. If you are a reader of a certain Chicago-centric website you could show up, as long as you bring baked goods or some other form of comestible, and we would not shun you. Well, it may seem as if we are shunning you but the true fact is that writers can, at times, be a somewhat shy and timid bunch. That’s just another reason we use as an excuse to drink copious amounts of bourbon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Post 3,100. Wow,

Post 3,100. Wow.

Some days I struggle to come up with even a single line of interesting text to justify your visit here. This is one of those days.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Great Lakes Cyclone!

Great Lakes Cyclone!

Aaaaaaaaah! Windegeddon is upon us! Storm of the century! How will we ever survive?!

All kidding aside, we're supposedly in for a humdinger of a storm tonight and tomorrow and while I know weatherpeople can exaggerate I have a healthy respect for Mother Nature. I hope it's not as bad as they're saying because if it is, that could get really scary.

It's all fun and games until you realize just how powerful the elements are, and just how helpless you are when they decide to flex a little muscle.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whoop!

Whoop!

After an exhausting (and super fun) day at the 9-to5, what do I discover in my mailbox upon returning home? The Pinkerton deluxe reissue!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dandy video, eh?

Dandy video, eh?

The Dandy Warhols continue their tradition of bad timing that keeps me from seeing them the few times they come through Chicago by playing a show on the night everyone is celebrating Halloween in Chicago. Boo! So I guess this new video for the new track tacked onto their "greatest hits (while we were signed to a Major label" album will have to tide me over until next time they tour.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things I need.

Things I need.

  1. A new template.
  2. An updated avatar.
  3. Four extra sets of ears to listen to new music.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When indie rock was more HAWT, less HIP.

When indie rock was more HAWT, less HIP.

I've been spending a lot of time listening to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion reissues that are coming / have come out, sort of rediscovering how much I loved 'em the first time around and what a fun and exciting time in music they marked.* For a while that band and Boss Hog pretty much ruled the indie rock world, the former fronted by Jon Spencer and the latter by his wife Cristina Martinez. They were the king and the queen.

GalPal finally got a chance to see Jon Spencer front the Blues Explosion over the summer, and she was impressed, but it wasn't until I showed her a photo of him from the Orange-era that she understood just what about him would make so many girls all moony-eyed. And then I explained to her that his wife had the same effect on the male half of our race. Together they were far sexier than Brangelina. And impossibly cool.

And you know what? there is no recent example of that in the music world. Spencer and Martinez made sexy music that made you want to dance and fuck and sweat and they looked great doing it. They still had those last tenuous ties to the real NYC underground, and while they didn't exactly have rough upbringings I think they did have an honest artistic curiosity that drove them to try and make something "real." Spencer sometimes has swipes taken at him for mocking the blues but I think he was honestly just looking to make visceral music that connected. And when you see the man play live there is no doubt he is dead fucking serious about pouring his all into each and every second of the songs he plays. And seeing the two of them together onstage in Boss Hog was almost just absolutely unfair to anyone in the room hoping to score with the opposite sex since all eyes were on the king and queen on indie hawt.

I don't even know if something like Spencer/Martinez could even exist today since the blog age has all but decimated mystery and myth (and it's not like I'm judging it for that, just making an observation) and really, isn't that what creates real sex appeal and not just a knee-jerk momentary crush?

*I'm working on delving way more deeply into the reissue stuff, most likely on Donewaiting, in a bit.

Top photo is The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Spencer in the center) back in the day
Bottom photo is Cristina Martinez by Richard Kern

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gorillaz! Gorillaz! Gorillaz!

Gorillaz! Gorillaz! Gorillaz!

The show was wonderful. My photos and review should be up sometime this afternoon, but until then enjoy this taste of what's to come!


UPDATE: Photos and review are up!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today was pretty awesome.

Today was pretty awesome.

Really, it was. I love it when everything's clicking and you feel like you're firing on all cylinders. Let's see if I can take that into tonight! And tomorrow! And tomorrow's morrow!

P.S. VERY EXCITED to be shooting the Gorillaz show tomorrow. SQUEEEEE!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You know what's good just about any time of the day?

You know what's good just about any time of the day?

Cakesters! Oh yeah!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh yeah, that reunion thing.

Oh yeah, that reunion thing.

So last Friday I trekked to the 'burbs to see people I once went to high school with. I got to the bar and realized that despite most attendees having been "popular" in those halcyon days I didn't recognize 99% of the folks in the room. Once girl had an incredibly square jaw and looked almost exactly like she did in high school, leading me to wonder if we shared some similar genetic material, but I couldn't even remember her name. The gentleman who literally saved me from getting killed by the football game was there, though, and I was happy to see him. One of my exes -- a girl far out of my reach in high school but who dated me during my college years and is now a cop in the city I spent my later teen years in -- was there and I was happy to catch up with her too. A few folks approached me throughout the evening, recognizing me, but I had to admit to each of them I honestly couldn't place them when they wanted to walk down memory lane with me.

There was a truly awful suburban cover band so we left the bar early and went to another, scuzzier joint across town where GalPal and I had a few beers and laughed about a girl who looked just like latter-era Liza Minelli.

I'm glad I headed out to the 'burbs. Otherwise I'd have always wondered if my 20-year high school reunion would have been worth going to. Now I know it wasn't.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Purring motorboats in the dark.

Purring motorboats in the dark.

So I'm sitting in my dark office, lit only by my screen, and somewhere buried in the inky corners of the room I hear what sounds like a small purring motorboat interrupted by the occasional chirp. I crept off my chair and inched towards the source of the noise; Pickle the Kitten happily sitting underneath our papasan chair. That cat is so silly.

In other silly news I'm DJing at The Burlington tonight! This looks to probably be my last Tuesday there for a while (I'm going to try out a few Fridays there in November and December) so if you can make it out tonight I'd really appreciate it. Hopefully they'll have the Bulrington house beer on draft. It's been a while since I had one and I've really been craving it lately.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Airplane, A Melodrama!

Airplane, A Melodrama!

Who knew that under all that humor lay such a compelling story about the victory of man over tragedy being such an edge of your seat experience?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Beyond the horizon, where the land ceases to exist.

Beyond the horizon, where the land ceases to exist.

I am going to a bar in the suburbs tonight. Willingly. For the evening. No rushing back to the city, just drinking in a suburban bar. It's a bar with the same name as a bar I hung out at when I would visit home during my college years -- that bar went from being an artsy-fartsy hangout to becoming the destination for every douchebag in a twenty mile radius -- but I assure you it is not the same bar. Same owners, I think, but a new location. The new space is cavernous and wrong and built to pack in as many sweaty desperate bodies as it can possibly hold. I am looking forward to seeing generations of alumni from my high school clumsily flirt, and I am especially looking forward to the moment a 40-something hits on a 21-year old without realizing they are hitting on a 21-year because, sometimes, in the suburbs 20 is actually the new 40.

This should be interesting.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

It was twenty years ago today…

It was twenty years ago today…

O.K., not exactly twenty years ago TODAY, but this weekend is when my twenty-year high school reunion is taking place. Kind of mind-blowing, huh? Especially if you know me. Most people have a hard time believing I’m not IN my twenties, much less than I graduated from high school two decades ago.

I went to my ten-year reunion and it was pretty much what I expected, almost cartoonishly so. The jocks looked like miserable inflated balloons and everyone that had been picked on had fabulous jobs and looked great. Oh, and the DJ sucked. In the end I was glad I went because I did get to touch base with a few folks I hadn’t seen in, well, ten years, and I certainly got my fill of the open bar so I counted the whole experience in the win column.

This time around I’m skipping the actual reunion. Primarily this is because there’s not that many folks attending that I really feel that strongly about seeing. Plus, there’s a certain amount of “competition” at these things when the room is sparsely filled and you have a little too much time to gauge other’s lives in relation to your own. I’m old enough at this point to not want to attend simply to rub the nose of folks that gave me a hard time so long ago in just how well I’m doing now. I was a real weirdo back then – literally spending my senior year trying not to get beaten to a pulp by the football team -- and it would seem like the ultimate revenge to show up good looking and fit, professionally successful, with super cool hobbies and an ultra-hot girlfriend … but really, now, what’s the point?

Instead I’m going to attend a little get-together in a Palatine bar tomorrow night. It’s my high school’s homecoming weekend and this place is sort of the informal meeting place for al alumni, so some of the girls arranging the reunion thoughtfully reserved a section of the bar early in the evening for the class of 1990 to congregate in. It’s more informal, there’s no admission price for an open bar, and it’ll afford me the chance to see the few folks I might want to catch up with along with some other old high school acquaintances that graduated in years other than mine. There’s less pressure and there’s more of a chance that I, and my old classmates, might actual find we enjoy spending some time together n a less formal setting.

So I guess in a weird way I’m actually looking forward to not attending my twenty-year high school reunion, but I am kind of excited about seeing some high school classmates after twenty years.

Click the picture to embiggen and see if you can find me!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Flip it up, flip it down.

Flip it up, flip it down.

Once she lit my fire but now Uffie's music fails to turn me on. Her videos are still hot though. Check the new one.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Remote control starter, anyone?

Remote control starter, anyone?

As the mornings steadily grow colder, and we refuse to fire up the heat yet because that feels like capitulation, it grows more difficult to haul my frame from beneath our heavy covers and launch it into the curtains of chill hanging about the house. My day's start has been pushed back an average of 15-minutes just to convince my body that it should voluntarily enter a hostile atmosphere.

Someone out there want to tell me again how this is better than summer?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Who is too stubborn? Maybe me.

Who is too stubborn? Maybe me.

A few weeks ago we were in Milwaukee for a friend’s wedding when I started to feel funky. My sinuses started to act up and occasional chills rippled under my skin.

Crap, I thought, I’m getting sick. And I was. I did. And it has hung on stubbornly to make my life as uncomfortable as possible. Each day GalPal would tell me to stay home from work and each day I’d point out all the reasons I couldn’t. Plus, everyone at work seemed to be sick to so why should I look bad by calling in?

I really should have. Maybe I would have gotten better a lot faster. But that’s not in my nature. Throughout my entire professional career I’ve called in sick under a handful of times. I rack up sick days until the form towers to house me should anything calamitous actually occur. I push through the pain and discomfort and just move on.

This weekend we attended another wedding – a truly stunning affair, it must be said – and again I was still sick. My throat was on fire, my head ready to explode, my joints ached, and still I acted as if nothing was wrong, doing my best to smile and have a good time. Yesterday I decided enough was enough and camped out on the couch. Outside the wedding I had already spent much of the weekend asleep and I decided to beat this thing once and for all. Did I want to go to brunch? And the gym? And then try out a new BBQ place nearby? You bet I did, but I decided to act like a human being for a single day and admit that maybe I deserved to stop moving and rest a little in order to give my body a chance to fix itself.

And that seems to have worked.

I still don’t fell 100%, but the sore throat is almost gone, my sinuses are no longer the size of fire hoses and I haven’t shivered for almost 24-hours. So of course I wonder if this is just because whatever was making me ill finally moved on regardless of my actions or if by taking a day “off” – albeit on the weekend – I finally gave that bug a final kick in the pants to get the fuck out of my system. There’s really no way to know for sure, but maybe next time I’m feeling that crappy I will just call in to work and give my system a day off and see if that keeps me from suffering for weeks on end.

Maybe part of growing up is being mature enough to know when you should call into work, huh?

Friday, October 01, 2010

So things are a'changin' over at Chicagoist...

So things are a'changin' over at Chicagoist...

Today is Marcus’ last full day at Chicagoist as Editor-in-Chief before he heads off to greener pastures in the faerie laced fields of the Onion’s AV Club. I still remember getting his application to be a Chicagoist music writer, being impressed with his work, and bringing him on board after a brief audition period. Little did I know that one day he’s outgrow the A&E section to take over the whole ship! He was the perfect choice at the time and has helped the site through an amazing growth period. He put in a lot of really hard work – YOU try working a schedule where you are basically ALWAYS WORKING, no matter what – and I’m glad he’s moving on to a job that will be a little less stressful but hopefully just as rewarding.

And who is the site being handed over to? Chuck! I admit I was a little worried back when Marcus told me he had started interviewing (since I knew he’d be hired because the folks at the AV Club aren’t fools). I couldn’t see a clear successor amongst the non-editorial staff and I knew there was no way I would leave my job to take the reins and I assumed Chuck felt the same way. So my fear was that we’d have to bring someone in from outside the family and who knew what would happen? Would they jettison staff? Would they just totally screw things up? There were a lot of unanswered questions.

Then Marcus asked me how I would feel if we DID offer the job to Chuck since it seemed he was interested in ditching his 9-to-5 gig for a full-time gig heading Chicagoist and I breathed a sigh of relief. It just felt right. In some ways the two of us have been the backbone of the site for a long time – constants through a number of structural and editorial changes over the years – so there would be no upheaval. The transition should go pretty seamlessly and we can all work on continuing to build on the progress made under Marcus’ oversight. I'm really glad Chuck is going to be the one that takes us there.

Of course with Marcus gone this means I’m going to have to up my quotient of posts mentioning unicorns to make up for his absence…