Friday, June 29, 2012

Wherein Tankboy hits (supposed) middle age.

Tomorrow the soundtrack to Singles turns 20. I turn 40. Yowza. To celebrate the latter event (though there's a good chance you'll hear music from the other celebrant) my friends have put together a party for me. In previous years I threw many a massive show / party on my birthday but this is the first time I had absolutely nothing to do with it and can just sit back, relax, enjoy myself and listen to my bones creak as the kids get down to the get down. If you're in Chicago tomorrow, June 30, I hope you'll join us.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blonde boys with curly hair.

Photo by me, when Brenson played Schubas in 2009.
There are a number of reasons I like Brendan Benson, a few of which have to do with how similar we are:
  • We both get super, absolutely dripping, sweaty.
  • We both have curly golden locks when our hair grows out.
  • We both prefer wearing t-shirts and jeans pretty much all the time.

Where do we differ?
  • He writes amazing songs, I do not.
  • He's in a band where he pretty much holds his own against Jack White.
  • He's from Detroit, I'm from Chicago.

Something I think we both totally, 100% agree on?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Maintain a sunny disposition.

Sunday it poured non-stop. Monday was better, mostly cloudy with only occasional mini-monsoons, and moods improved. Today it keeps flipping back and forth between torrential rain and bright sunny skies accompanied by hazy heat. All thanks to Tropical Storm Debby deciding to just camp out over Florida. Obviously we're still lucky since we haven't had flooding and no on in our area's been injured. So I'm thankful for that. And, despite the weather, we're having a good time. GalPal and I have learned to let the little things go (but, seriously, people need to learn to pay attention to where they're going and not just suddenly stop your group of twelve plus two strollers in the middle of the sidewalk) and just enjoy the downtime with each other. And I've had a chance to hang out with her family and that's always enjoyable.

So Debby, despite your best efforts, we're still enjoying our vacation.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Debby Downer.

Due to a certain Tropical Storm that has was overstayed her welcome, it's been a wet few days down here in Florida. Today though, the second we stepped into a certain magical kingdom, the rain stopped.

The second we left? The rain started again! Coincidence? I think not!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fallon has Bieber Fever.

Jimmy Fallon continues to be the king of late night sketches--unsurprising given his roots--and Justin Bieber continues to be game for anything as long as it's funny.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bourbon and BBQ.

It's been a rough end to an otherwise awesome day, and GalPal's at a company dinner at an awesome steak house, so I'm gonna treat myself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Hair: 2012.

I remember the summer by brothers and I all got flat-tops. It was a terrible idea. There's nothing worse for a young man's development than being one of three little blonde boys with the same terrible haircut traveling across America in the summer. You get noticed a lot, and not in the way that builds confidence. Earlier tonight I got a haircut and man oh man is it short. On the one hand it's great for early summer because my previous 'do was getting way too shaggy and the humidity that's sure to head our way would've frizzed it all to hell. On the other I feel like it's really short. On the other, other hand I don't have to worry about it getting messed up by the Chicago winds for at least a few weeks! I probably should have gotten it cut a few weeks earlier so it would've grown out to the "early summer muss 'n fuss (without all that much muss)" by this point. But at least I know it should be the perfect length by the time Pitchfork Music Festival rolls around in a few weeks! And lord know you wanna look fashionably fine, but not too fine, at that festival.*

So my hair is short, and at first it threw me but now I realize it's probably the perfect length for this point in the summer. Well, unless I lived in California in which case my fellow surfer dudes might think I'm a narc.

*Full disclosure: I actually don't really care about looking fashionably fine at P4K Fest. As proof, you can view just about any picture of me there in the years I've attended. Stylish ain't my thing, really. Vanity? Yes. But on my own terms. Though that sounds a little dumb because isn't vanity always on one's own terms?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's just a month away.

The biggest event of the summer is less than two weeks away, and the second biggest is only a month away. I'm so excited I can barely wait for both to get here! Oh, what's the second biggest? This...

I saw the first Nolan Batman on opening day and the second at the midnight showing on opening day. Something tells me I'm going to have to wait a few days to see this one since the anticipation for it is greater than the other two.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mad Marathon.

We're almost all the way through season one of Mad Men* and it's funny how much and how little the characters have changed. Pete is still despicable bit his insecurity driven spite at least makes a little more sense. The independence that will so mark Peggy already shows up in brilliant flashes. Don is oddly more human but that's probably because while I know his secrets he's only starting to confront them at this point. And Roger is, well, still Roger and has the best one-liners on the show. GalPal keeps asking me where Lane is though. Heh.

*Amazingly I didn't start watching in real time until the end of season two. Wild, huh?

Friday, June 15, 2012

"...for me to puke on!"

Conan's been in town all week, and ironically I missed his show because I had to attend a different late night talk show! GalPal went Tuesday and had a good time, but I know we both wish we could have attended the show below where a boy and his dog take on a Chicago institution.

For the record, I've never been to Weiner's Circle, and never plan to go. I'm getting too old for that sort of thing. But this is the first time I've actually ever seen the staff meet their match!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

See what I was doing in L.A.

One of my clients launched a new superhero this week and I was on hand helping out with the shoot below!

Feel free to share far and wide!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


So yesterday I got a new nephew, helped direct a bunch of awesome, and drank with the LA Kings. And saw Martin Short. And Cee Lo. For the record? I take none of this for granted.

Oh, and I saw this guy again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Internet go 'sPLODY!

?uestlove again killing it, pulling double duty! Nay, THREE INSTRUMENTS!

Friday, June 08, 2012

It's been a hectic day.

So let's look at something serene.

And then something DANGEROUS!

BONUS QUIZ: Can you spot the Sasha?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Losing my edge.

Remember when I used to photograph awesome bands all the time?

Matter of fact, remember when there were actually tons of awesome bands to photograph all the time?!

Hell yes, I do. I remember. Do you?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Forty years ago, Ziggy first played guitar.

June 6, 1972just 24 days before my birthDavid Bowie released The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. It's not Bowie's best album (or, maybe on some days, in my estimation it is) but the world was forever changed by its release.

How many other musicians can honestly make that claim? Not many, my friend, not many.

It's hard to overstate Bowie's influence on me since I got waaaay into him, man, in my teen years. It was at just the right time, when I was starting to consume different music voraciously alongside deep plunges into every rock and/or roll encyclopedia, reference or review books in an effort to educate myself. And it was down these twisting paths of discovery that I discovered countless new musical thrills. I admit I kind of wish that kind of world still existed since it had a vast effect on how I view music, but I'm not ging to play the old man card and definitively claim "things were better in the old days."*

It was during this time that I started hunting out Bowie stuff since I liked the singles I'd heard on the radio (all his early stuff was considered classic rock, of course ... even in the mid-'80) and once the Ryko reissues started coming out it was all over. I bought them all on tape, wore them out and then bought CDs once I finally owned a CD player in 1991.

Anyway, I remember playing the first four albums over and over, with Space Oddity and Hunky Dory eventually dropping off, then Man Who Sold The World and then, well, Ziggy never did drop out of rotation, even after the subsequent reissues cam out and got played to death by me.**

And the funny thing is, like I said earlier, Ziggy is not his best album. It's not the one with the kost interesting ideas or the craziest (and most successful) experiments or any of that. So why is it often considered Bowie's "classic" album? There are two reasons for this, and once you hear them it's really quite obvious.
  1. He was popular before the release of Ziggy, but his popularity was largely marginal. After Ziggy he truly became an international super star.
  2. There isn't a weak song on the LP. It's close to perfect. Listen after listen, it never gets old.
So cheers Mr. Jones. As always I stand in awe of your accomplishments.*** And despite what appears to be your retirement from music I hold out hope that here is still more in you that will awe me in the future.

And thus endeth my meandering musings on David Bowie ... for today.

*They kind of were, though.
**I'm slightly fibbing here. Young Americans and Station To Station never got played to death in their tape form because I thought they were slight and didn't fall for their charms until years later. I partially blame both the terrible Fame '90 remix and the fact that nothing on Station could really match up to its title track so I just played that over and over.
***O.K., I'm not in awe of Tonight, but it still has a few strong tracks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Monday, June 04, 2012

Monday funday.

I took a long weekend off the 9-to-5 and boy oh boy was that  a good idea.

Plus I got to see how the pets spend an average weekday.

Lazy jerks!