Tuesday, December 30, 2003


End of the year round-up with me and Rudy spinning all the hits from 2003 at Ten56...don't miss it!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Top Ten Freakish Things About Me…right now…
This list can, and usually does, gain additions almost daily.

1. I think I’m going bald. I’ve been worrying about this since my early twenties and whenever I share this fear with my stylist – yes, my stylist so shut the fuck up right now motherfucker – she laughs at me like I’m insane. Because I am. Because my hair is really, really thick. I’m just a worrywart.

2. Speaking of worrying, I can’t leave the house without making sure the stove is off. Sometimes I don’t realize this until I’ve driven blocks away and have to turn back. The upside is that Betty the Beagle acts as if I’ve been gone for hours and smothers me with love as I try to make my way to the kitchen…to make sure the god-damned stove is off!

3. When I go to a movie I HAVE to have a small bag of popcorn and a medium soda. If someone buys me a medium or – God forbid – a LARGE bag of popcorn I can’t eat it and it kind of ruins the whole experience for me. Freakish? Yes, but this IS my list of neuroses, right?

4. I buy new music constantly. Like, if I don’t have something new to listen to almost every day I get really distracted. It’s gotta be terribly unhealthy to think this way but at least I kick total and complete ass at music trivia. Unless you ask me to name an Iron Maiden album. For some reason I completely blank on those titles.

5. I like my job, even when I’m really really busy. I’m on vacation right now and kind of miss it. Now THAT’S sick.

6. I hate asking questions like "where's the bathroom" or "can I substitute this for that" and usually Photogal has to do it for me.It must be some deep-seated male fear of showing any kind of weakness or doubt…which is doubly odd when you consider I pretty much despise anything generally viewed as a deep-seated male trait. I prefer folks to act like themselves and not like an image of what they suppose they should be. I’m getting off track here, aren’t I? So…

7. I can’t kill bugs. Definitely not spiders. I’ll catch them in a cup and carry them outside of my apartment – otherwise Photogal wouldn’t live here – but I can’t kill them. Except those little millipede thingies with a million and a half legs. They move to quickly to really catch and they’re just so completely creepy…but all other bug, cockroaches included, are safe if I’m around.

8. I freak out if someone shuts off a song before it’s over. Like in a car when you pull up some where and shut of the stereo mid-verse? I hate it. The only exception to this rule is in the context of DJing in which case I love the practice. At all other times, though, I just wanna hear the whole song. And yes, I will sit in my car until a song ends if need be.

9. I can’t pee in a trough. I just can’t. No way. No how. Way too much stage-fright to function in that situation. Urinal, yes; trough, no.

10. I can speak fluent Spanish if I’m butt-ass wasted. This must be a throwback to the years I spent living in South Texas where I was surrounded by the language. Back when I worked In a Sushi restaurant I regained almost all my Spanish even in a sober state, but that dissipated in time. So I guess if you want me to order you that burrito in the native tongue it’s time to start pouring cervezas down my throat, no?

Monday, December 22, 2003

Well now, that's not really surprising, is it?

My life is rated NC-17.

How 'bout you, what's your life rated?
Things I learned this weekend:

- The Assembly really need to relocate to England, where the press will fawn all over them, someone will sign them to a big fat record contract and paparazzi will follow them to the corner store for milk in a box and back.

- While I loved local band Box-O-Car to death, seeing frontman Skid Marks strike out on his own, expand his sound and actually build up a livelier stage show -- and I never thought is could get more energetic -- is truly inspirational. Why this guy isn't huge I will never know. Maybe he should move to England too!

- Recent Chicago arrivals by way of New York Suffrajett put on an arresting live show with some of the gutsiest female vocals I've heard this side of Patti Smith. Raucous guitar lines seeping sex all over the stage and getting stomped to death by base drums is a beautiful thing to behold live.

- Woolworthy has really hit their stride with their most ferocious line-up yet. As lead man Rudy spits out lyrics and melodies that would cause Ryan Adams to blush newest guitarist Alex shreds his fingers on his strings and pumps out pure rock and/or roll noise from his Marshall stack. How the music can be so brutal yet so toe-tapping and hummable slays me.

- The Beat Kitchen's music room sounds better than I remember and their staff is truly lovely to deal with…but they take waaay too much money out of the door to cover the bar's expenses. When someone books a show that totally packs the joint -- like we did last Friday -- they should really kick some more money towards the bands since they're making money hand over fist with the liquor sales. Oh well, c'est la vie in the club-world...

- While Photogal is getting better about actually staying to entire duration of a show I put together she still collapses before the after-party. Oh well, that's probably for the best since I would have ended up being that really annoyingly jovial drunk guy going, "I had so much fun. Did you have lots of fun? Oh my god that show was so great!" Yeah, it's better I went home and went to sleep...

- I couldn't have asked for a better show to end the Tankboy Music Promotion part of this year with…it really was a great reminder of just how terrific the Chicago music scene is and how tremendous a show is when everyone shows up and just gives in to having a back-to-basics good time.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Maybe I'm English!

Sent to my little brother from a drunk Englishman:

Well if I was going to mention reasons the English go out and drink lots I would include....

New Year
Christmas Eve
New Years Eve
Boxing Day
Bonfire Night
St George's Day
St Patrick's Day
St David's Day
Pay Day

Funny thing is all the pubs who have special nights for American Independence Day!
Where we all go out and drink to celebrate being beaten in a war!
Any excuse for a drink!

...and now onto some serious business!

The Beat Kitchen

The Tankboy Holiday Spectacular

Skid Marks
The Assembly

Doors at 8:00pm
Show at 9:00pm
$8 cover

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Best of 2003

Yup, it's that time of year. Time for an entire web's worth of pundits to start posting what they dug the most in 2003. Well I am no different than most and have painstakingly constructed a list of my favorite albums of the past year.

Over the next few days I'll post a list of movies, books and moments that stuck out in my head over the past year but for now the following, posted at Done Waiting, should satisfy your appetites:

Tankboy's Top 20 of 2003 and Then Some

Biggest Chicago Musical Surprise of 2003


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Tests are fun!

I took The Music Nerd Test and this was my score:

74.39614% - Extreme Music Nerd

The funny thing is I thought I would score higher!

Thanks to Oh, Manchester So Much To Answer For for el linko.
Today is a great day in film history.

My little brother has informed me that today the Mel Brooks masterwork Young Frankenstein has been added to the national Film Registry. Since most folks are not the huge pop culture geeks my brother and I are he was even nice enough to send me an explanation, culled from the Hollywood Reporter story announcing the film's inclusion, so all you normal folks can see just how cool this is.

Each year Librarian of Congress James Billington selects 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant motion pictures for the Registry. The list is designed to reflect the full breadth and diversity of America's film heritage, thus increasing public awareness of the richness of American cinema and the need for its preservation, Billington said.

"Our film heritage is America's living past," he said. "It celebrates the creativity and inventiveness of diverse communities and our nation as a whole. By preserving American films, we safeguard a significant element of our cultural history."

For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress works to ensure that the film is preserved for all time, either through the Library's motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The Library of Congress contains the largest collections of film and television in the world, from the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture to the latest feature releases.

(Read the full story here.)

While this is indeed very cool I'm still wondering why Blazing Saddles didn't get in first since it is a much funnier movie and tackles great social and moral issues with sensitivity and panache. Maybe since it was shot in color they're holding that against the film...

Oh yes.

Also, our little One Year Anniversary shindig at Ten56 went swimmingly last night.
We got very drunk but didn't fall down.
We rocked very hard but didn't cause any internal bleeding.
I caught both guys and girls working their rump-shakers.
There was only one sighting of the unfortunate high-rise-thong-paired-with-low-rise-jeans syndrome.

All in all I'd call it a grand success!

Monday, December 15, 2003

"Al, you did not say that! You did not just break out the nine inch cock!"

The above was actually uttered my Mark of Light FM to a very drunk man named Al who insisted he did concert security and had been sent my Soundgarden to check Light FM out. Oh yeah, he also claimed, out of nowhere, that he was endowed according to the above claim.

Then the only skinhead in Columbus showed up and thoroughly made an ass of himself.

So I'm sure you can divine that the Light FM road trip was indeed interesting!

A full write-up of the fun and madness will be posted at Done Waiting in a day or two...as soon as I catch up with this huge backlog of work that flowed in over the weekend and lays stranded on my desk and clogs my Lotus Notes in-box...

Friday, December 12, 2003

On the road!

I helped my friends in Light FM get a couple of shows this weekend so I'm taking this opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge for a few days. If you wish to see me -- or the lovely and commanding Light FM -- here is where we'll be this weekend.

Friday December 12
Birdy's in Indianapolis, IN
2131 E. 71st St. (317) 254-8971
Chicken Leg
Johnny Angel
Light FM
Doors at 8:00
Show at 9:00

Saturday December 13
Bourbon St. Cafe in Columbus, OH
2216 Summit Street (614) 268-9377
Donewaiting.com's Monthly Bourbon Bash
Trapper John
Light FM
The Sure Things
Analog Radio
Doors at 9:00

Come out buy me and the boys a beer...or a shot...or some food...or whatever...

Thursday, December 11, 2003

H2? FU!

Really big SUVs have a tendency to really piss me off. When the original Hummers hit the road you could always tell what kind of person was going to be behind the wheel. Almost without fail the driver was a thirty- or forty-something with dark well groomed hair and that "fuck you" attitude worn well by people with the sort of disposable income to throw away on something as idiotic a truck you can't even park on an average city street.

The came the H2 and now I see a greater number of rich and bored housewives behind the wheels of these things as the car decline in price and climbs up the ladder of socially acceptable icons of suburban wealth.

Now, I have actually test driven an H2 and I have to admit that the thing is pretty amazing when it comes to steep inclines and the type of control in off-road terrain I didn't realize was even possible. In this regard I can truly appreciate the H2 as a marvel in modern construction.

However, and this is what annoys me, no one that is driving the damn things is taking them off-road or using them for any sorts of outdoorsy endeavors. I mean, come one, do you really think some pampered, hormone popping, menopausal society matron who lives is a 2.5 million dollar home is going off-road in anything other than a golf cart?

I realize I could just take my usual approach and hold back my judgment and allow that people are different than me...but when I'm paying close to two bucks per gallon of gas I can't help but think that the road is choked with these gas guzzling behemoths that consume gallon after gallon and spit it back out with a minimal return on mileage. As demand for gas goes up so does demand for oil and so do oil prices themselves.

I'm cutting myself off here before I wade into political commentary since this was just intended as a mild venting spurred by some yahoo on a cell-phone paying no attention to what she was doing as her fucking H2 was weaving in and out of her lane...suffice to say I'm not 100% behind my governments military moves over the past few years as I don't believe most of the move were primarily motivated by anything other than a concern for keeping that black gold flowing unobstructed in gas-tanks across this great nation of ours...

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This just in!

Photogal just got the below e-mail, a pitifully obvious attempt to snatch here banking info so her identity can head for the high hills and spend her money on stuff she would never buy.

I am posting it, though, because the host of spelling errors is just too damn funny.

Lesson #1 in Identity Theft: Try to look professional, mkay?

Dear Citi-Card Users,
This email was sent by the Citi-bank serevrs to veerify your e-mail addres. You must cpoemtle this psrceos by clicking on the link below and enntering in the small window your Citbiank Debit full card nummber and PiN that you use on Atm. That is done for your pocerttion -q- because some of our memebrs no lengor have access to their email addrssees and we must verify it. To veerify your e-mail address and access your CitibankOnline account, click on
the link below. If nothing hapepns when you click on the link -F coppy and passte the link into the adderss bar of your web broswer.
link deleted
Thank you for using Citibank!
This automtaic email sent to: xxxxxxxx@msn.com
Do not reply to this email.

Lesson #2 in Identity Theft: There is no lesson #2. You shouldn't be stealing anyone's identity in the first place!
I am in a great mood. No, really!

I kicked mucho ass DJing last night and I think it's safe to say that between me and Rudy we totaled the bar through the power of music.

Unfortunately, and as usual, I just had about a mountain and a half's worth of work plop down on and around my desk so no chatty chatty for Tankie today.

However, over at Done Waiting, one of our little collective of writers, David Cobb, has penned an especially terrific rumination over music and it's relevance as you get older. I can tell you as a music fanatic getting along in years this piece struck especially close to home but I think it's the sort of thing everyone can relate to. Read it here.

David is also strangely obsessed with Chicago bands despite his never having lived in Chicago.

I love that! Chicago rocks so much harder than any other city...

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Intellectually stymied.

So I'm taking the week between Christmas and New Year's off so I swear I'm going to get some PhD thesis sized writing done in that time. Lots of thoughts a-bubblin' but just no time to get it all out! I suppose this is the primary downside to being gainfully employed and would explain why so many artists with the time to say something profound are starving or living like leeches off boyfriends/girlfriends/patrons.

As usual, though, since it's Tuesday I will do my best tonight to sublimate any annoyance I might feel towards the forces conspiring to keep my innermost thought locked inside and will revel in the happiness unleashed by the wonderful choices spun by me and Rudy.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Greatest hits generally suck.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have just released a "greatest hits" disc that covers their output over the last 12 years or so and its revisionist take is disturbing. Almost all of One Hot Minute is excluded and they are presented more as an "Adult Contemporary Ballad" band since over the last few years most of their hits have been in that category.

I have decided to make my own mix of the last 12 years and 8t will be decidedly more rockin'. As a matter of fact I find myself tending to create my own "greatest hit's" compilations from a number of bands because they either do not exist, as is the case with Pearl Jam and Radiohead, or they suck terribly, as in the case of RHCP mentioned above. Greatest hits are convenient for me to tote around when I DJ rather than lugging around an artist's entire back catalog so I tend to obsessively create these mixes.

Speaking of mixes, a friend of mine has generously offered up some bandwidth to me so expect the Tankboy mp3 mixes to kick off in a few days once I work the logistics out. When we do get started remember to visit this space every Monday through Friday so you don't miss a song!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Spot on.

Weird when you take a quiz and it actually seems to hit the nail on the head, eh?

You're Generally Indie. There's nothing wrong with
this. You like music all over the map and
aren't adverse to listening to some Top 40
here and there. You just know to comment that
The Neptunes are the best producers around
right now. You don't feel the need to debate
constantly with other music geeks, because you
know that Pavement were the best band of the

You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Police brutality, regular procedure or misguided press?

Okay, so we all know about the altercation in Cleveland over the weekend that lead to a regrettable loss of life. We also all know that the cause of death has been ruled a homicide and that the victim's family is very upset. We also know that the video of the police subduing the victim is disturbing to say the least.

It's interesting to note, though, that most news hold the following points until the end of their reports or leave them out entirely.

- The homicide victim was under the influence of cocaine and PCP, among other things.
- The homicide victim suffered no blow to the head and only showed bruising on his thighs and buttocks.
- Defining someone as a homicide victim is not the same as defining someone as a murder victim. Homicide is a legal term meant as a descriptive and not a judgement.

I don't know what qualifies as justifiable force, but I do know that people whacked out on PCP are often uncontrollable due to the fact that they feel no pain and are basically completely out of their minds. While the loss of life is regrettable I really can't think the officers were doing anything that out of line.

What I find most interesting though is the way the media is unfairly covering this to blow up the whole racial aspect of this incident instead of covering it evenly as the drug fueled tragedy it really is.

God I fucking hate the mainstream media...

News got you down? Lighten up!

The Beat Kitchen

Tankboy Presents
The Lovelies
Dig For Fire

Show at 10:00pm
$8 cover

Beat Kitchen
2100 W Belmont

Thursday, December 04, 2003


How did this piece of Juana Molina news get past me get past me? She is my favorite Argentinian singer -- who rarely plays in U.S. and never plays the Midwest -- and she is playing at The HotHouse here in Chicago tonight.

And of course the fucking show is sold out. Oh woe is me...
Oh Grammy where art thou (head)?

Fountains Of Wayne, a smart and cutting pop band, has had their most recent disc Welcome Interstate Managers nominated for a Grammy!

Unfortunately it's in the Best New Artist category. Why is this sad?

Well, their debut was in 1996 and this is their third album.

Thanks to my little brother for bringing this to my attention since I was unable to watch the nominations live on TV like I did last year. Come to think of it I was actually in New York when the announcement came last year and I remember thinking -- as Avril Lavigne butchered David Bowie's last name -- that I was a short subway ride away from Madison Square Gardens and being able to fulfill my life-long dream of slapping the shit out of the idiots in charge of the Grammys...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Please kill me.

My body is doing its best to fend off a rather unpleasant stomach flu right now. I gotta leave work early or I'm going to die. Unfortunately I have so much going on right now with various projects I just can't afford to be sick, damnit! I've decided to jot down some random thoughts to take my mind off my lurching stomach and images of my intestines doing an impersonation of a nest full of snakes writhing all over each other.

- My DJ skillz last night were dodgy at best as I struggled to keep it together and sweat out the sickness. My last set kicked much ass and almost vindicated the two earlier and much weaker sets. Luckily for me Rudy was all over his game and turned in one killer song selection after another so the evening turned out okay in the long run.

- The new Air album, Talkie Walkie, is so dreamy and pleasant and acts as if that abomination known as 10,000 Hz Legend never smudged the simple and clean lines set forth by Moon Safari.

- OutKast = Soul Music for the new Millennium

- I'm noticing that the sedentary lifestyle of the desk jockey is starting to have a visible effect on my waistline. In the olden days I biked or walked everywhere and that helped combat the natural lowering of metabolism that comes with the onset of aging but now that I commute to the 'burbs and sit in front of a computer 8+ hours a day I'm turning into a five-toed tree sloth. What does this mean? Tankboy must do the unimaginable. He must drag his sorry ass into a gym and fully capitulate as he joins the throngs of working class drones running on treadmills to melt off the same fatty accumulation attendant to a static lifestyle. Ugh.

- I'm working on the Tankboy Top 20 Albums for Done Waiting and it's proving much more difficult than I thought it would. A lot of really good music has come out this year. Yowza!

- Here's an idea. I love making mix CDs and want to make one for everyone that reads this site. My idea is I find some bandwidth where I post one mp3 a day, in the order of the mix, and loyal readers get to download 'em and at the end of twenty or so days they'll have enough tracks for their own personal Tankboy Mix CD. Come to think of it, I'd just like to post more odd and hard to find mp3s in general. The problem is I don't really have anywhere to host 'em? Anyone out there want to donate a little space to me for mp3 posting? Just an idea...

- Double ugh. Stomach beast is really unhappy and has decided to start doing calisthenics. I can type no more.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Which is it?

Which is the correct phrase to use when you discover that you are at fault?

"My bad."

"My bag."

Until I had to write it down I never really thought about it!
As if you couldn't guess...

...that after a holiday weekend I am so swamped and have noooo time for you right now, my little pretties.

Also, I'm smarting from telling the lead singer of the Detroit Cobras that I was glad she didn't have "man-hands" since her hands looked like "flippers" from the back of the room while she was on-stage.

She really is quite lovely but my big mouth knows just what to say at the wrong time. She zinged me back though with a rather withering remark about my, um, L'il Tankie and we toasted over Maker's Mark so all seems forgiven.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


I'm taking a break over the next few days but here's a quiz on all things Tankboy to keep you occupied.


This exercise in complete self-absorption comes via the influence of The Watergirl.


Monday, November 24, 2003


How did it get past me that Opus the Penguin was returning to the funny-pages?

In the '80s, Berkeley Breathed drew the strip trhat originally pushed me in the direction of being a cartoonist -- an occupation I let fall by the wayside only a few years ago in favor of rock and/or roll y writing -- and provided my first exposure to political commentary not voiced by stuffy old suits on Sunday morning talk shows.

Welcome back old friend. Can you give Steve Dallas a call for me?

Friday, November 21, 2003

They do all the work for you!

Want the most famous artists in the world to sing lyrics you compose?

Click here for massive fun!

Thanks to Zannah for this link.
Busy as a beaver building the Hoover Dam.

That's right, I'm swamped. The only thing getting me through this mountain of work this fine Friday is the latest offering from The Webb Brothers entitled, The Webb Brothers. Unfortunately this disc isn't available in the U.S.A. yet, and I haven't even been able to find an import version of it anywhere in Chicago, but one of the Webbs was nice enough to slip me a copy at The Darkness show Wednesday night.

First off, The Webb Brothers put in a phenomenal opening set that evening. This was no small feat considering the anticipation and giddy payoff of the show put on by The Darkness.

Secondly, their new disc is easily their best yet. I'm going to do a more in depth review over at Done Waiting in the next few days. However, with the addition of the third brother James to the core team of Justin and Christiaan the blood mingles and zings and zags and swims to the surface of a sweet blend of harmony and dissonance.

Huh? Read the review in a few days to find out what the heck that means in the larger context of things...

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Fucking rock and/or roll!

I saw The Darkness last night and had my belief in rock and/or roll reconfirmed. My review can be found here along with some stunning photos courtesy of Photogal.

O.D.B. throws down the 411 on marketing.

The following are excerpts from an interview with Dirt McGirt a.k.a. Ol' Dirty Bastard that appeared in The Licensing Book. The interview was conducted by Heidi Minx. ODB throws down the basics of Marketing 101:

Guerilla marketing -- genius or overdone?

ODB: Genius. How else is anyone gonna know who you are?

Best quote you ever heard and chose to follow?

ODB: My mom always said God made Dirt and Dirt don't hurt.

What brand do you think is most on-target at: Specialty [stores]?

ODB: My teeth, those are special.

What campaign stood out most to you this year and why?

ODB: The free ODB campaign cause it got me back on the street!

If you could change one thing within your company, what would it be?

ODB: I would have liked to have thrown them out to the public quicker, my clothes that is, so I could please my fans.

What person do you most respect in this business and why?

ODB: Russell Simmons because he started the game of Hip-Hop and clothes with Phat Farm and Def Jam. I have always looked up to him for what he created -- I hope to create the same empire one day. Also, I have to say Damon Dash for giving me a second chance - he has built an empire as well.


Well, he is pretty spot-on about Simmons. That dude's a legend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Are quickies as good for you as they are for me?

Well, as my department shrinks my workload grows all the heavier and more varied. Personally I like this because it means I'm never bored. On the downside that doesn't leave me with much time to gather any thoughts today.

That's fine. I should keep my mind as blank as possible in anticipation of seeing The Darkness at Double Door tonight. I am soooo stoked to see this over-the-top glam metal English powerhouse. It should be a blast. And a hoot. A hootin' blast!

I mean, just look at these frickin' photos! Now just try and tell me it won't be a boatload of good old fashioned dumb fun...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

A minute for you, my sweet.

I am way too busy to regale you with tales of high intrigue and adventure today so if you want any of those drive to Chicago tonight, go to Ten56 and talk to me a Rudy while we DJ. Oh yeah, our friend Rick will be guesting on the laser guided wheels of steel as well so batten down the hatches and expect a boatload of Alkaline Trio to come your way.

What will I be spinning? Oh, stuff like:

Ryan Adams - Rock N Roll
Ellen Allien - Berlinette
The Bon Mots - Le Main Drag
The Desert Sessions - 9 & 10
The Dirtbombs - Dangerous Magical Noise
The Flaming Lips - Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell
Krokus - Headhunter
Mark Lanegan - Here Comes That Weird Chill...
Kylie Minogue - Body Language
Scissor Sisters - Filthy And Gorgeous
The Snow Fairies - Feel You Up
Sour Deluxe - White Noise
Twilight Singers - Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
Rachael Yamagata – EP

…and remember, we are still truly and deeply cool…

Monday, November 17, 2003

Note to self...

Don't forget to write about the indie movie you saw over this weekend.

These cool cats took Krokus' Headhunter and synched it to a live action movie they scripted and shot.

Mike wrote the film and Chris stars as the homicidal Ace.

News release about the film snagged from The Bon Mots site:

"Mike Coy and John `Zehnder's epic film, "Headhunter, the Motion Picture," recently swept the Audience Choice Awards at the Brighton International Film Festival. Headhunter the Motion Picture, starring Chris Frantisak as "Ace," is a trash-can cannibalistic travelogue masterpiece set to eighties' metal band Krokus' record "Headhunter." (Yes, it's the whole album)."

I a) never realized how good an album Headhunter was and b) this movie kicks ass. Don't forget to work up a review of it...ask Chris for an extra DVD to further digest the film...

...end note to self.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Mixin' it up.

I've added some new links to the side-bar and re-arranged the categories a touch.

The Milwaukees show yesterday was...weird...but cool. Against all odds they still put on the best show they could. Rock.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Words of wisdom.

If you live in the Chicago area you really should check out these two fabulous out-of-town bands at The Pontiac tomorrow (that would be Satruday November 15 at 10pm kiddo.)

The Milwaukees are a rock and roll machine that really knows the meaning of "dynamic tension" and Greg Wood is in to play the sold-out Jeff Buckley Tribute Show next week so I'm glad we are able to give other Mid-Westerners a chance to see him perform.

Other words of wisdom?

"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."
----------Calvin Trillin (1935 - )


"The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children."
----------Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938)

and finally...

"If your parents never had children, chances are you won't, either."
----------Dick Cavett (1936 - )

Thanks to my little bro for sending the above quotes my way!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Bush for President? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I'm sure you've seen the e-mail titled "Bush's Resume" that's making the rounds. It details all the slimy things he's done throughout the years and is pretty horrendous when you take it all in at once.

Personally, I think it's pretty disturbing. I remember reading a bunch of articles before the 2000 election and all I could think was, "How did this guy even get this far? He's failed at everything he's ever done. And he's the perfect example of a spoiled rich kid who never had to face any consequences and always got his way!"

That kind of puts his current actions into perspective. Man I hope he's not re-elected...
The dangers of thinking you are a rock star.

I was the talent buyer for a pretty good sized club here in Chicago for a few years and while it was a really, really stressful job it was also one I enjoyed immensely. It was probably the most rewarding job I've had yet. I basically threw a party seven nights a week, usually with bands I personally enjoyed, and tried to be as fair as humanly possible. I got out of the talent buying game and moved on to part-time independent promoting and found this even more gratifying. Now I only throw a party whenever I feel like it and only deal with bands I enjoy. Not a bad deal, eh?

Now I've never really had a problem with any other talent buyers -- probably because I already have relationships with most of them and understand pretty fully where they're coming from in a business sense -- but it became apparent to me during some casual conversation that most bands view talent buyers as a necessary evil they have to wage battle against in order to get a show. What's more, I discovered how terribly some talent buyers can treat bands as they think nothing of paying a band that drew a large local crowed seven bucks because they promised the headliner -- who drew next to no one -- three hundred bucks or make them jump through hoops just to get a lousy show on a Wednesday night in the middle of the winter.

I guess when I was in the talent buyer position I never fell into the usual traps. I knew when local bands offered to buy me drinks they thought it was because they had to and I always turned them down. I never assumed I was a rock star because I booked a club or hung out with people that were in fact rock stars. I always tried to pay people fairly and employed the theory that as long as the club made money off the booze sales then the bands deserved the vast majority, if not all, of the door money. Most importantly I booked a club because I loved music and let bands know the reason they were playing there was because I respected what they were doing and thought it was something special.

I mean, that only seems right...right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Hot off the presses.

The Darkness show next week at Double Door has sold out.

Photogal and I have tickets. You do not.

Now go get your blanky and cry over there in the corner at this tremendous missed opportunity.
Fooey on yooey.

I'm a tad sluggish today since Rudy and Skid actually got me to go out for a bit after DJing last night, so don't expect much from me.

I did however review the new Sour Deluxe EP since it totally kicked my ass this morning. Read about it here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Also, very important, me and Ru-day are at Ten56 spinning the matters that platter.

Also, we are very cool.
A "timely" read.

It's been a while since a book completely hit me from left field but The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger has completely sucked me in. The story's structure is completely non-linear yet the whole thing makes sense and the characters are so well developed it's astonishing. It's been a long time since I read a piece of contemporary fiction that felt so human while occupying an outlandish situation.

Don't be afraid of the title as this is no work of science fiction. It is first and foremost a love story -- can you imagine me actually recommending a love story (?!) -- and is also that rare example of a completely accessible novel that also challenges without being noticeably difficult. In other words this is one sublime journey everyone would be happy to undertake. Run, no walking please, to you nearest bookstore or library and pick this up.

I tend to be a bit of a literary snob but I really feel this is something everyone can enjoy. Even if it does come also recommended by The Today Show.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't actually finished the book yet but feel so strongly about it that even if the ending ends up being lame the journey of reading the primary story is well worth the time.

Monday, November 10, 2003

They call me mellow yellow.

Yeah, it was a pretty chill weekend. I guess the show at Double Door with Loretta et al. sucked me pretty dry energy-wise. The show itself fucking rocked and lotsa people showed up even though The Rapture was playing at The Metro so I was pretty psyched about that. Plus, I feel like I finally got Loretta some of the exposure they need to snag the love of Chicago's rather cynical music folks.

Friday a only worked half a day so me and Photogal saw The Matrix: Revolutions -- which was okay but now we know the Wachowskis are never going to deliver on the promise made by the first film - and kind of just had a "date night" complete with hot cocoa and snuggles. I know I know, it's enough to make you sick. But we enjoyed it.

Saturday Photogal, her sister and I headed up to bumblefuck Wisconsin and bummed around most of the day. We decided to hit one of the local bars around nine but had to leave a few hours later since Photogal kept winning at pool. Guys in Wisconsin, especially dude living out in the boonies, do not like to be defeated by a girl.

Yesterday I celebrated my dad's birthday with my family and caught The Twilight Singers at The Double Door. I wrote about it over here already so make with the click-click and see what I have to say about Greg Dulli and his gang. Also, I write about the new Pink disc right here. Weird, huh?

And here we are, today, and I am pretty busy. Pleasantly so. Too busy to say much more so I'm-a gonna go.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Double Door

Tankboy Presents

Tom Daily and the Volunteers
Doors 8:00pm
Show 9:00pm
$7 cover/$5 with discount tix

Loretta's coming high off being one of the most added bands to radio in CMJ magazine. Cordy's wash of guitar and ethereal vocals are well grounded in an earthen stomp. Tom Daily kicks out the buzz-saw pop that'll slice your ears. BITHCBECOOL combines the grating and the soothing with undeniable results.

Get yer discount tickets HERE

It'll be a blast. And you can help me get over yesterday's oh-so-depressing post topic by proving me wrong...please!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The end of innocence.

I was watching 24 Hour Party People last night and got a bit down. I was watching these crowds of twenty or thirty people just losing their shit and dancing to the rock and/or roll music coming from the stage while wearing the beatific smiles of people experiencing something genuine and new. These people were on the cusp of new movements and musical adventures and they were a small crowd who really had to fight against the flow to ferret out the nuggets of gold in the pop music basin.

Flash forward twenty or so years and we come to a time where everyone is in on the next big thing. As a matter of fact, because of the nearly instantaneous flow information we operate in on a daily basis, it is nearly impossible not to notice the great music that is out there. What this ends up breeding is show attendees that are more interested in seeing bands prove the hype pushing them to the club in the first place rather than giving into the music that's at the genesis of this whole biz we call show (subsection Pop, dig?)

I know I'm over-romanticizing a touch here and that some folks still do go ape-shit at shows but I feel the majority of that behavior is fueled by the yearning for a simpler age when music was more often discovered because of the feeling in engendered in the listener. I realize to a certain extent that still happens -- go to any Dave Matthews or KISS concert and you'll see the fans going ga-ga -- but most of these instances are driven by bands happier to scratch a surface emotion and elicit a planned reaction rather than digging deeper to unlock an honest reflexive reaction.

Of course my even bringing in the above point marks this rumination as beginning to slide, as is so often in these sorts of discussions, into a good music vs. bad music argument but I would contend that this actually bolsters my initial dismay at the lack of honest reaction akin to "losing one's shit" to a song. The constant flow of info, the constant ironic posturing, the almost scientific melding of influences and all the attendant hype we are forced to wade through before even listening to a song...all these things enforce an atmosphere where songs tend to be dissected, compared and contrasted with the pop cultural world they inhabit rather than just simply enjoying them as songs.

The end result, whether I'm being overly-cerebral or not, is that I just do not personally see people losing their shit to music like they did in the past. And that makes me sad. Most of all it makes me sad for me since I wish I could just let all filters surrounding me go and just dive head first into a simple pop song and drown in the experience.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A photo of...Photogal!

I didn't even know this was on the web. For the record, while that is my helmet in the photo I've never owned a motorcycle. Photogal currently own two BMW bikes.

Photogal kicks so much ass, don't you think?
A footnote to a relationship. Number 243 of 1320...

I love David Foster Wallace. Sometimes I love DFW's writing too much and betray my roots as an over-educated, overly-ironic, middle-class white-guy. But I don't love him so much that I didn't enjoy the laugh out loud funny that this "article" is in regards to a supposed break-up letter composed by DFW.

Thanks to Joe for the link to the above Onion article.

And, of course.

Tonight Rudy and I are at Ten56 tearing shit up. Join us, won't you?

Monday, November 03, 2003

I just remembered.

The only major bummer of the weekend was missing The Sights at Double Door. I got the set-times mixed up and walked in as the last note of feedback was ending from -- what I was told -- was an awesome and explosive set. Their albums are terrific and I'm dying to see that mixture of '60s garage and Motown Mod translated to the stage.

I'll get to see them live someday, I sweartagawd!
Seriously. What a fun weekend.

And seriously, I'll write all about it later but right now a deadline beckons me as it draws over the horizon and begins its approach towards me at an alarming pace.

Things I need to remember to tell you about?

- The cool Halloween House that looked like it could literally "eat you up."
- The amazing jobs accomplished by the bands at Double Door Friday night as they tackled The Scorpions, David Bowie in the Ziggy Stardust era, a scarily dead-on Leonard Skynyrd and an over the top Local H as Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.
- Rudy's birthday.
- Scary Movie 3
- My parent's new dog and the resulting chase around my apartment when Betty the Beagle picked up the new scent on my pant leg.
- Various other bits of wildness.

Friday, October 31, 2003

My bad.

It's spooky how well BITCHBECOOL covered Nirvana last night. Really. It was weird how much they looked and sounded like 'em.

What's even weirder is how drunk I got. Stumbly and almost slamming my head into a wall by accident. Very uncool. Maybe I'll spend this All Hallow's Eve in the clarity of sobriety to make up for looking like a dick last night....

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Further proof of how out of touch music biz execs really are.

"Teens respond to music as an authentic, hip and compelling medium, attendees at the What Teens Want conference heard Tuesday."

No shit. They paid money for this information?

This is further proof music biz types should stop wasting their money on business trips and conferences and start paying attention to actually putting out some good records for a change.

Other information I imagine was uncovered at the What Teens Want conference?

Teens want sex, drugs and a bigger allowance. What revelations!
Yup...still grumpy.

As evidenced by my latest piece at Done Witing, I'm still a bit irritable.

On the bright side the "dead guy" rock and/or roll theme Rudy and I had goin' last night was a complete success. It is safe to say we rocked the joint so thoroughly it's amazing that we ourselves aren't dead. Then again, I haven't heard from Rudy all day so maybe I'm just speaking for myself....

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Well, hmm.

I'm bummed. Usually I stay away from politics and the general bummer that seems to be world events today, but after the sequence of bombings in Iraq yesterday I just feel the need to say something.

I've been against the invasion of Iraq since the beginning but realized that once they committed U.S. troops to the ground there wasn't much left to do besides hope that as few people as possible died and that the whole mess would be over quickly. I knew that in a realistic view neither of my internal requests were really reasonable but, hey, I'm hopeful when it comes to matters like these because I have to be. Otherwise all of this would be too depressing to even contemplate.

After yesterday's bombings I'm beginning to realize just what a complete cluster-fuck the whole situation has become. Here we have Arabs bombing mostly Arabs on the first day of Ramadan. The people doing this bombing are both a) sick fucks and b) completely irrational.

Now I can't blame groups like The Red Cross from withdrawing from this situation should they choose to do so. While on one level I agree with Colin Powell when he says such and action by The Red Cross would be a victory for the terrorists I at the same time can't imagine why any civilian would want to stay in the middle of such extreme danger.

Granted, people who join international aid groups are aware that at some point they will probably be stationed in a hostile environment but for the most part I think this awareness is coupled with the belief that they are safer than most since the majority of people rightly view such aid groups as neutral and will leave them to do their work.

Obviously this is not the case in Iraq.

So what do we do? What does the U.S. do? I honestly haven't the faintest. We can't just pull out since something just as evil as Saddam Hussein will surely step into the void. At the same time our continued presence there seems to be fomenting an even worse kind of mass hatred for the U.S. and the Western world in general that even Saddam couldn't cultivate amongst the Iraqi people.

All I can think of is that it's time to hand more actual power over to the Iraqis while increasing our monetary aid to the country. While we're doing that why don't we take some of these plum rebuilding contracts from overly fattened American companies and put them in the hands of Iraqi companies in an effort to both stimulate their economy and increase trust in Western motivations.

I really don't believe President Bush invaded Iraq with any evil or imperialistic motivations. I may not like the man's politics or most of his beliefs but I do believe he does what he thinks is right. However in this case, like many others decisions and their resulting actions throughout his presidency (the environment anyone?), I hope and pray that some solution appears to dig us out of the hole he's put us in yet again.

One way to, at least temporarily, chase away the blues.


It's time for
The Sweet Alice
with free booze and food
and killer tunes
from your favorite dead rock stars
all night long!

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest music
from yesterday, today and tomorrow
with a special emphasis
on selections from performers
who have skipped their mortal coil.

Free PBR from 8pm-9pm
HOSTED BAR AND PIZZA from 9pm-10pm
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Dressing up as
yer fave dead rock star
is encouraged!

1056 N Damen
Chicago, IL

The Chicago RedEye says: "The teeny tables and scant booths don't leave a whole lot of room for sitting, but the crowd (hipsters from all over the city) is mainly music fans who are more comfortable on their feet anyway. Stop in on Tuesday nights, when the DJ plays the best retro-rock this side of Detroit Rock City...."

Monday, October 27, 2003

Things I did this weekend.

- Said goodbye to one of my favorite Chicago bands.
- Ate a buttload of turkey and Joe, Jen and Jeff's Thanksgiving in October dinner party.
- Picked a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch for carving up this week.
- Drank some cider at said pumpkin patch.
- Saw Bubba Ho-tep, which is about as typical a Bruce Campbell movie as you would expect.
- Spent some quality time at the Brazilian Consulate trying to secure a Visa for a co-worker and got annoyed at the woman who seemed to enjoy just chatting in Portugese at great length about every single application she was turning in. (Apparently she works for a Visa Service since I ran into her again this morning, and waited in line behind her for 20 minutes as she turned in three -- count 'em three -- Business Visa applications.)
- And now this morning I am swamped with work, so no nutty anecdotes about how much booze I ingested on Friday or how I almost asked my brother to settle up with the bands at the end of the night because, before TMSSD's set I was seeing triple (I stopped drinking and regained control before the end of the evening though and was fine), or how Betty turned feral when Photogal tried to pull her away from the late night pizza my little bro and I were chowing on or...well, I'll fill y'all in later.

Friday, October 24, 2003

The Double Door

Tankboy Presents

The Today's My Super Spaceout Day Farewell Show

Today's My Super Spaceout Day
Knife Of Simpson
The Jackie Bangs
The Penthouse Sweets
The Silents
Live Band Karaoke to open and close the evening...

Doors 8:00pm
Show 8:30pm
$7 cover/$5 with discount tix

Miss this and miss a piece of history being laid noisily to rest!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Remember when Indie Rock actually meant something, back when it was still called "college rock?"

My head is doing much better, thanks for asking, and while I'm super-grumpy today since I volunteered for the NPR pledge drive from 7:00 to 9:15 this morning -- way too early for anyone to be functional -- I am in a relatively optimistic mood since I feel I did something worthwhile. I'm very busy with work today, though, so instead of a nice long post you get instead a link to a primer on how to become a member of the Indie Rock nation. Mucho ha ha, really.

Thanks to Eric for forwarding this link my way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

My head hurts.

So yesterday I had two cysts removed from my head, one below my eye and one up on my scalp, and the one up top must have been a doozy because my head feels like someone is alternating between hitting my head with an iron brand and driving a spike in after it.

When I was a kid, whenever I would go to the doctor or something like that my mom would usually buy me something. As I got older this something inevitably turned out to be tapes and then CDs. After my little outpatient "procedure" yesterday I decided to head to the Tower Records in the Loop and pick up the new Travis CD as a treat to myself. This was made all the more appealing by its advertised sales price of $9.99. Yahoo!

I get to Tower and there's no parking so I pull up in front of a hydrant, throw on the flashers and run in. I grab my disc and am then held up in line by some clueless couple trying to return a DVD of Wolfen. Apparently it's been discontinued and Tower can't accept it -- and hasn't sold it in some time -- but these folks just didn't get it and kept asking, "So why can't we return it again?" Anyway, I finally make my transaction and run back outside.

Only now my car is gone.

On top of this, apparently there are no frickin' payphones downtown anymore ever since the phone company decided they would try to charge businesses for hosting the phones on top of the percentage they already take. So I had to run to the downtown DePaul campus just to call the cops to find out if my car had just been towed or just been stolen.


I'm in Tower five minutes and that's all the time they needed. They must have been hiding the truck behind a light post just waiting for me. Oh well, it was my fault so I couldn't get too pissed.

So I trek on home to pick up my title and run into Photogal, who then nicely offered to drive me to the pound and save me another fifteen bucks in cab fare. The pound downtown is on Lower Wacker -- which is one of my favorite hidden roads in the city since it's like a weird underground city down there -- so we got there with relatively little problem. Then I went inside and got all excited because there was only one person waiting in front of me and, miraculously, all the agents were aiding everyone else with car retrieval. Then I started listening to the conversations.

"But I wasn't parked illegally. You're going to make me pay to get my car out?"

"I'm the driver. No I'm not the owner. What's notarized mean?"

"I need my title too? But that's at home."

"Why would you do something like that? You can't really expect me to pay?"

Okay people, here's a clue. When your car is towed it doesn't matter if you're wrong, right, angry, persuasive or anything else. The bottom line is that your car is in the pound behind a wall of paperwork so you have no recourse but to pay to get it out and sue or fight the violation later. When you are at the pound though, just PAY YOUR FUCKING MONEY AND LEAVE! Oh yeah, call ahead to make sure you have all the right paperwork too.

So then it's my turn and all of a sudden everyone decides to go on break except for the old dude who is having a fine time chatting up the angry young lady yuppie in front of me. Chat chat chatting away. So I start tapping my foot, then my keys start beating out a rhythm on the countertop until finally I may as well be playing air drums for all the flailing and impatient writing I'm displaying.

Until finally the conversation ends, the old guy processes my paperwork. I then pay for and collect my car...only to find a $100 ticket under my windshield for parking in a tow zone. Nice.

Does it end there? Oh no.

I got up late this morning and was rather slow to get my groove on due to that red hot poker hitting my scalp so I didn't realize today was the street cleaning day where you had to move your car to the other side of the street by 9am. I got out there at 10:15 and was greeted by two more tickets; one for parking on the wrong side of the street and one for not having a city sticker. Really nice.

So one could say my day isn't going too well. Or one could say that after this wash of luck I'm destined to have a great rest of the week since, karmically speaking, I'm pretty due. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

So what? I broke my promise!

Do you have any idea just how much work and other stuff builds up when you’re out of the country for a measly few days? Hell, I even forgot I had a Double Door show I put together for my friends in Today’s My Super Spaceout Day coming up this Friday…and I’ve been looking forward to that for eons!

So I don’t wanna hear no griping. I have a minor outpatient surgery today so I’ll be home early and maybe then I’ll finally get to fill all you fine folks in on the rest of my China excursion. Let’s just say that while Hong Kong reminded me of most other international cities like New York and the like, the trip to mainland China was truly different. Never before have I felt like such a freak just by being tall, blond haired and blue eyed.

Lose control with
Rudy and DJ Tankboy.

Why not?

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

TONIGHT, Tuesday October 21, 2003
Free PBR from 8-9pm
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Features of the week:
We guarantee we'll play something off these new or unreleased albums!

Ryan Adams - Rock N Roll
Aesop Rock - Bazooka Tooth
The Darkness - Permission To Land
The Desert Sessions 9 & 10
The Distillers - Coral Fang
Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood
Muse - Absolution
The Ponys - Demos
The Rapture - Echoes
Sloan - Action Pact
Sono - We Were Working
The Strokes - Room On Fire
Sybris - EP
Wig In A Box
Rachael Yamagata - EP

Hell yeah!

Every Tuesday.
Only at Ten56.

1056 N Damen
Chicago, IL

The Chicago RedEye says: "The teeny tables and scant booths don't leave a whole lot of room for sitting, but the crowd (hipsters from all over the city) is mainly music fans who are more comfortable on their feet anyway. Stop in on Tuesday nights, when the DJ plays the best retro-rock this side of Detroit Rock City...."

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I'm alive, how's that?

So much for all that writing I was going to get done in Hong Kong and on the plane since my laptop battery doesn't seem to actually store any juice. Suffice to say for now that I'm back safely and will have a big ol' update in this space on Monday.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Back on track!

Fab meetings, fab dinner, fab day, lotsa fab drinks! More later.

Just wish Photogal was home to talk to but she DJed in my place last night so I suspect she took the day off and is recuperating at home...

...and for the curious out there, still no real music interaction though I suspect that'll change tomorrow since I'm hell-bent on dragging my boss to, at least, a genuine Asian karaoke bar!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Eleven twenty five in the PM Hong Kong Time, Tuesday night.

Well I had my first full day of business meetings here in Hong Kong and I am exhausted. I feel like I got a lot accomplished but that still doesn't mean that the day wasn't reaaaally long and near the end it grew nigh unbearable. Nothing like being stuck in mad traffic when all you want to do is collapse in your hotel room.

I've also learned very quickly that one of the reasons companies treat you like a king during a business is because you're working twice as hard as you're used to and even though you may be in a new and exciting place that doesn't mean you'll actually get a chance to see much of it! So far I've been trapped primarily in the tourist district around my hotel and don't feel as if I've gotten a real taste of Hong Kong. I've been driving further out from the city and some of the buildings are downright alien and I'm still getting used to all the mountains surrounding the city. I go to mainland China on Thursday so hopefully I'll get to see a bit more over there.

I have been eating well and had a great meal in this rather dodgy Afghan restaurant my boss likes. This may surprise most given my famously picky eating habits but I feel it only proves that I can indeed find anything to eat on any menu and leave satisfied.

What I haven't been doing -- which may be even more surprising -- is drinking lots and lots of booze. Maybe some business trips are clouded in a Bacchanalian haze but for the most part the routine seems to be early to bed and even earlier to rise for everyone involved. I did make it to the Night Market tonight though so I could pick up all kinds of cool little knick-knacks for Photogal and mi familia. Originally I wanted to get everyone something really nice but I hadn't realized Hong Kong was so goldanged expensive! So I opted to go the local open market route and tried to pick out things you probably wouldn't exactly be tripping over in the states.

I did also finally make it to the HMV but surprisingly found nothing for myself. They had some discs that aren't out in the U.S. yet but soon will be and I wasn't willing to pay more for a CD I can -- or will be able to shortly -- get in the U.S.

Now I'm just feeling a tad worn out, missing my beagle and Photogal, and actually looking forward to heading home on Friday. Like I said, I can't wait to go to the Mainland Thursday, and I have the feeling we may get a little wild since most of us will (finally) be acclimated to Hong Kong time and will be willing to whoop it up a bit by the time this trip draws to a close but that doesn't change the fact that no place is that cool or that much fun if the people you love aren't nearby.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Wakey wakey!

5:20am HK time and I just can't sleep anymore, so I figured I'd share a few other cool perks I'm enjoying due to the courtesy of the hotel along with a few random observations. Then I'm showering and going in search of a disposable camera and some Tylenol Sinus. The humidity is about 104% outside but my room is dry as three-year-old Thanksgiving turkey wishbone.

- There is a motherfrickin' television set embedded in the wall above my bathtub.
- I get a fresh bowl of fruit I've never seen before and highly suspect is rarely seen outside an Amazonian rain forest.
- The people who actually work in the Hong Kong office -- who are tremendously nice folks -- told me I look like "an artist or something" and didn't look at all like they thought I would. I guess I come across as pretty professional via e-mail!
- When at a dinner table with lots of folks in Marketing who ask you what you did previous to this job, the least expected answer is, "I booked a rock and roll club." Most common reply? "Well this is a change of pace, innit?"
- Yes, at 6' 2" I feel like a giant when I walk around on the street. Way too tall and gangly.
- Cell phones here make the ones available in The States look like those big green U.S. Army ones connected to back packs that were utilized back in WW II.
- I'm glad I brought a little booklet of CDs as the room does come equipped with a stereo, but does not have any inputs for my iPod. Nothing like waking up to Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" a.k.a. "That really cool song played in the Kill Bill previews/When Lucy Liu and her posse enter the soon-to-be-demolished restaurant in the Kill Bill movie.
- Speaking of Kill Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed it since I got a chance to see it before I left but did get a bit dizzy tracking all the pop culture and movie references...especially when Tarantino included his own past films as available material that to include in this loving homage of an action/gangster/revenge dramady.

Okay, need shower, a coffee and aspirin.

If anyone has anything they'd like investigated whilst I'm here pop in a comment or toss me an e-mail. Toodles!
Post Script

Tow things:

One - Seen Lost In Translation? I feel like Bill Murray right now. Too tired to sleep.

Two - The super posh -- and I'm not exagerrating when I say super posh -- hotel I'm staying at is kind enough to provide slippers right next to the bed for their guests. Too bad my feet are about twice the size of the slippers!
Don't believe the time stamp!

Why, because as I type this it is 12:16 Tuesday morning here in Hong Kong.

Not much to talk about right now other than my desperate need to crash and try to reacclimate to the time here.

Watched Bruce Almighty one too many times on the flight but other than that it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

Intital impression at the airport? It looked just like Texas with all the palm trees and warm weather....until you looked at the unusually colored sky and realized how much pollution is in the air. Creepy. The city itself is like a more congested version of NYC, very vibrant, very bright and filled with activities I know I just won't get a chance to do on this trip!

Douple plus good, though, is the presence of an HMV just one block from my hotel. Yipee!

I also had my first experience of ordering a drink with a co-worker in the hotel bar and signing it to my room. I actually have yet to convert any cash into Hong Kong dollars but I'll be sure to do that tomorrow so I can start picking up knick-knacks.

So far it's not that otherworldly though since I've mainly been in the hotel and really nice restaurant a block and a half away and both locations are filled with tourists and business travellers. One might say I haven't really gotten a tast of the local flavor yet.

It is weird to be in a city with mountains all over the outskirts though.

Finally, apologies for any incorrect spelling or tense...I'm typing quickly and without a spell-check becasue I'm just that darn exhausted. more tomorrow after I get back from my first day of business meetings.

Did you ever think you'd run into someone actually excited to go to a business meeting? Well now you have.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Yes, posts have been sparse…

…but what do you expect from a guy who had to prepare a business trip to China in less than a week? I've been busy damnit! Having said that, I think it would be an understatement to say I’m excited by this journey. I can’t wait. I hate flying. I hate a fifteen hour plane ride. But I love the idea of going to Hong Kong so much I’m willing to suffer a little.

That and my doctor was nice enough to prescribe me some Xanax for the flight, so I should be A-OK.

The plus side for you folks is that in the next week I’ll be in the air more than thirty hours with a laptop computer so expect many varied and lengthy posts to pop up here over the next week and a half at least!

Until then, here’s a zen image for you to reflect on until next I write…from sunny shiny Hong Kong!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Sad but true.

Once upon a time I thought this woman was soooooo hot. My little heart went a pitter-pat while I leafed through Sport Illustrated's swimsuit issues or bought calendars devoted to Kathy Ireland.

While I may never have been a normal kid I think that fact alone at least proves that I wasn't a total freak. Right?

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


As usual, Me and Rudy, Ten56, lotsa rock and/or roll...and as a bonus this week we're celebrating the birthday of our friend -- and minor local celebrity-type -- Daisy Glaze!

Monday, October 06, 2003

This made me laugh soooo hard...

Read this series of prank phone calls about sharing music on the Web. The iTunes call in particular is pretty fucking funny. Go from one to the next via links at the bottom of each page.

Thanks to Rocktober for finding this one.

Wotta weekend.

The Done Waiting Show Friday was great.

The Polyphonic Spree show Sunday was great.

Rachael Yamagata’s debut ep is great.

I’m going to China is six days and that’s pretty great.

I am so exhausted. Too tired to write. Sorry, but all details will be filled in later.

Meanwhile go here to read my review of Ms Yamagata’s new disc.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Running uphill.

How was last night? Super, thanks for asking! Despite a flurry of technical problems last night the show went really well, everyone was in fine form and the club’s staff couldn’t have been nicer. A more detailed write-up will appear over at Done Waiting in the next few days. However…


It’s the official Chicago stop of the Done Waiting Field Studies Tour and the line-up couldn’t be more solid -- even if Tom Waits dragged in those lanky limbs of his and jumped onstage to do a duet with David Bowie. Okay, maybe that would be pretty cool. I’m still pretty excited about tonight’s line-up anyway. Who’s playing you ask? Two bands from Chi-town and two bands from the far-off land that calls itself Columbus, Ohio and they are named:

Light FM
The Miranda Sound
The Stepford 5

It’s all going down at The Note starting at nine o’clock so be there or be square Daddy-O.

Oh yeah, Go Cubs…beat the crap out of Atlanta quickly so the game is done before my show starts!

Thursday, October 02, 2003


I just found out my job is sending me to Hong Kong in a little over a week for five days. How exciting! Be sure to tune in for updates between Oct 13 and 17 for my adventures outside of the country.

Okay, so it’s a business trip so there probably won’t be all that much adventure goin’ on but it’s still pretty cool…


Go to The Subterranean if you are in Chicago. Enjoy the lovely music of

The Assembly

The show starts at 9pm, the cover is $5 and you are more than welcome to buy me a drink. As an added bonus, Mr. R. Duffy – a.k.a. the overlord of the Done Waiting site – will be in attendance so grab this chance to see the man outside of his natural habitat!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


Just got an e-mail yesterday from a promo person I’ve dealt with for many many years that happens to work at a really kick-ass promotion company.

They asked me if I’d like a CD of this great new up-and-coming singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata. I said I’d love a disc.

Then today I’m at Best Buy and there she is singing a song on the Charmed soundtrack!

I can tell it’s going to be weird watching one of my friends get all famous and stuff.

Monday, September 29, 2003

What’s wrong with this picture?

I am not a sporty guy. I’ve tried to get into sports, and I’ve touched on this subject here in the past, but we are just a match that is not meant to be. For instance, when I went through a baseball phase in the mid-to-late ‘80s, which in retrospect I consider to be a pretty golden era in baseball, I realized that my obsessive nature was more inclined to collect baseball cards than to watch a baseball game. I don’t know, maybe my obsessive love of music, reading, writing and a dozen other things just fulfills my quota of interests and sports didn’t make the cut.

I do actually enjoy attending a number of sporting events. Soccer can be fun to crowd watch, hockey doesn’t bug me either and baseball is the one game I view more as a social experience than as sporting event. Especially Cubs games at Wrigley Field.

Especially last minute double-headers at Wrigley Field during which the Cubs clinch a divisional title.

And I’m sitting in the fourth row just to the left of home plate. Pretty sweet huh?

Anyone who actually cares about the subject probably knows this particular game inside and out by now so I won’t really extensively comment on anything that happened on the field. What I did find interesting is just how miserable most Cubs fans looked about fifteen minutes after the end of the second game as their relief that the Cubs actually made it to the playoffs turned to dread as they realized…oh crap, the Cubs actually made it to the playoffs!

A Cubs fan is a unique fan. Sometimes I think the fans are more important than the actual team. And I think at this point it’s impossible for a Cubs fan to truly savor any kind of victory with out fearing the ultimate stumbling and defeat they’re grown used to seeing. I think the agony is even intensified post-season as the true fan hopes for victory and strains to remain sane when every logical cell in their body is arranging itself to deal with the uncompromising letdown of certain defeat.

Me? I hope the Cubs do well and the fans get to celebrate a while longer. Ultimately I hope they don’t make it to or win the World Series because I think if the Cubs were ever truly victorious, that little something that makes them so loved by the city of Chicago might be lost forever. And that would be truly tragic.


I finally got to listen to the new Strokes disc Room On Fire and I can say with confidence these New Yorkers have side-stepped the dreaded sophomore curse by sticking to familiar production values and dependable songs. I think part of the band’s charm actually derives from their records sounding like they’re being pushed through amps with cones just barely held together with duct tape and vocals that sound transmitted from 1933. Thank god they didn’t use Nigel Godrich or the whole thing probably would have sucked.

Of course these charming qualities would be worthless without killer tunes and Room On Fire is full of them. “What Ever Happened” opens the disc with a punch and a growl while further on “The End Has No End” crams synth-pop ideas into snarling guitars. Dig it.

Some help?

Finally, I’m looking for a little advice. I’m going to purchase a ’94 two-door Honda Civic but the thing has no stereo. Can anyone out there recommend some reasonably priced speakers and a CD player that also has auxiliary inputs so I can play my 30 GB iPod? Any e-mails to tankboy at aol dot com or suggestions in the comments section below are fully welcomed.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Greetings from Corporate America...Having a great time, wish you were here....

So I survived my first Sales/Marketing meeting within the big ol’ corporate structure over the past two days. In the weeks leading up to this, my office has been a buzzin’ with activity as everyone scrambled to get his or her presentations up to par. Basically this meeting is a make or break for product managers as they let the sales force see what’s coming down the pipeline. The reactions they get to each product is the deciding factor as to whether that particular product will ever see the fluorescent light of day on some store’s shelf space.

This is pretty heavy stuff as far as corporate business goes but I was surprised how chill I actually felt going into the whole thing. Personally I only had to do one small presentation about a product I actually dig so I had that going for me. Plus, I don’t really get nervous in front of large groups of people – hell, I used to hop around on stage in a dress and hockey mask when I fronted a band – so the whole thing was a breeze for me. At the meeting itself it was also kind of cool to see just how far reaching my company is and how many wild and cool products we develop as other product managing teams did their own presentations. Interesting Fun Fact #2045: I also learned about this factory in China we use that is two and a half miles long.

Two and a half miles!


Anyway, the most interesting thing was the general vibe of people at the meeting. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really been processed through the corporate culture since I’ve sort of avoided the more regimented work force for the last decade or so but I noticed a weird thing about the way people act around their superiors. They seem to be afraid of them.

Since this was a big deal of a meeting all the head honchos of my company were there and I was pretty impressed. I tend to respect my superiors more than fear them. In this instance our CEO and the handful of other bigwigs that spoke genuinely impressed me with their intelligence, their insight and their general wit. It’s nice to run into upper management that actually seems to belong in upper management!

So I guess that’s why I couldn’t understand why people seemed wary or afraid of these folks. Sure they are our bosses and sure they have the power to hire and fire us but I think it’s more important to center on the fact that they actually seem to have knowledge that folks further down the corporate food chain could actually learn from and utilize to do our own jobs better.

Now I do realize I am pretty lucky. My job is actually pretty cool for a nine to five type thing. What’s more I realize that it’s pretty rare to run into CEOs and VPs and other corner-office-with-a-view types that actually seem to not only know what they’re talking about but are able to back up those words and theories with strong actions.

I mean, that’s pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, I just wanted to give an update on how I am surviving in the sea that is Corporate America and that the whole experience has not been nearly as dire as I feared it would be. In fact I am rather enjoying it.

Whoa again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Easy does it

Due to a massive sales and marketing meeting today I have no energy to post. Due to the continuing massive sales and marketing meeting I probably won't tomorrow either. Maybe but don't count on it. Must get to bed now!

Totally grooving to the new Oukast during the commute this week though.

Side note: Who the fuck would have ever thought there would be heavy traffic delays coming home from work at nine fucking thirty at night?

Monday, September 22, 2003


Only one man could get me to pay over $140 for two tickets to his show, but considering he’s playing Chicago in the relatively tiny Rosemont Theater I consider it money well spent.

Plus, he’s touring behind (let’s everyone together repeat this much abused critical maxim) “his strongest album since Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).” I really liked Heathen but I must admit I like Reality even more. Now if he’d just re-team with Reeves Gabrels or Adrian Belew I’d be in heaven.

Extra special thanks to my little brother for ordering the tix for me since I was in the middle of running errands around Chicago when they went on sale.


As I get older I seem to get more and more allergic to bee stings. I don’t need a shot to keep breathing but a sting does really take me down for a day or two. Photogal was having work done to her house this weekend so we spent quite a bit of time there and on Sunday we decided to bring Betty the Beagle as well.

What I didn’t know is that there are lots of bees around the property right now. Between donuts left for the workmen, a plum tree and me tossing a bag of kitty litter into a garbage can that was apparently hosting a bee convention it can be said I spent a lot of time running away from bees.

At one point, as Betty and I sped down the alley aiming for our car and the hope of some cover from the aerial attack squads, Photogal thought it was so sweet I would take the Beagle out for a jog. At least she thought so until I started waving my arms around my head and babbling like a lunatic.

Maybe I overreacted a tad, but I just really hate getting stung.


I finally saw Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind and loved it. Who cares what’s true and what isn’t? I didn’t even realize until the credits that it was a Charlie Kaufman script. While director George Clooney doesn’t seem to be as clued in to Kaufman’s sensibilities as Spike Jonze is, I believe he still did a pretty bang-up job.

I recommend checking out the little Is It True? Segment if you have the DVD. It’s great for a few yucks.

Blam Blam, Total

Saturday was Glam Night at a bar I used to work at named Club Foot. I hadn’t been back to the joint in more than a year but I’m glad a bunch of us stopped in this weekend since the music was terrific and the vibe was friendlier than I remembered.

Also worth it: The look on Photogal’s face when she saw early twenty-somethings all glammed out. She had no clue kids even knew what the hell Glam was. Ya-hooey!