Sunday, December 21, 2014
Sunday, November 2, 2014
October 31, 2014. Live music on Halloween is often a set of covers, where bands become other bands. Liar's Club held a mash-up event, where each of four bands performed the music of two bands. My band, Squared Off became Stiff Cocks, playing the songs of Stiff Little Fingers and Cock Sparrer. Balls Aldrin became NOFun, covering NOFx and The Stooges. Chicago Thrash Ensemble were Hate Breeders, playing Hatebreed and Misfits songs. The headliners were KISSfits, costumed equally as members of KISS and the Misfits, and performing a set of both bands' songs, complete with blood spewing and fire-breathing. It was loud, chaotic, and fun, except for women continually trying to fight. I didn't see any punching, pushing, or shoving from men, but women were bonkers. In all fairness, though, half of those (or more) involved Dolly Parton, imagining affronts and assaults from bystanders and going on the attack. I think Dolly had too much to drink before the night was half over.
October 29, 2014. Heading into one of the many tight squeezes heading up Milwaukee Avenue, where many cars apparently don't want to be near the center line in the street, preferring to choose an undefined safe distance from the cars parked on the right. You know, that three-foot wide area marked for bikes.
Monday, October 27, 2014
October 24, 2014. The Chicago Fire's final game of the season - a miserable season - took place against the Houston Dynamo. Longtime player and former captain, Logan Pause, played his last game, and it was a heck of a sendoff. It was a warm, clear night, attendance was good, and he got plenty of recognition from both clubs and the fans in the stands. Best of all, shortly after the 90th minute, the Fire broke the tie to obtain an all-too-rare win, their sixth of the season. They did set a new league record for draws in a season (didn't they just do that a couple of years ago?) with eighteen. I ran into several friends that I've never seen at a game, as well as the ones I expected, and that made for a great night for me. Now I'm looking forward to next season, even if they still suck.
October 23, 2014. It turned into pumpkin night with two of my coworkers and a couple of others. We had surprisingly delicious pumpkin chips with salsa, carved pumpkins, and had pumpkin pie. We also had pizza, watched Planet Terror, and played Cards Against Humanity. Good Times, y'all!
October 22, 2014. Pulling up to the intersection at Dearborn and Lake Street, I had a bike in front of me, pedestrians in the crosswalk, and a train overhead. Oh, and cars on the street. With all that transit going on, I thought I might get something with the camera, and I feel pretty good about it.
October 21, 2014. I left the night open in case I got the chance to celebrate my ex-wife's birthday with her, but sooner or later, exes have better things to do than celebrate with their former spouses. I eventually realized I had no photo, so I opened up my living room window, raised the screen and snapped.
October 18, 2014. This one is just technically the 18th, since it was really late from Friday the 17th. My planned event was something I just couldn't prepare myself to deal with, so I ended up staying home at night after spending the day with Martin and Deena in front of the TV. Fortunately, I ride with a helmet on, since I got a rock to the head riding down 18th Street. I didn't see where it came from, and it might have been unwise to make a confrontation of it anyway. That probably contributed to me not wanting to go into an emotionally difficult situation. But from early into the 18th of October, here's Miguel from Eske playing a basement show in Pilsen.
October 16, 2014. My friend Martin celebrated his birthday (and his mom's) with a small gathering of family and friends that was supposed to begin at one restaurant, which turned out to be full, and ended up at another place which was much better. Here, Martin enjoys one of his delicious drinks and prepares to dig in to his molé.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
October 15, 2014. My bike had been in the shop, requiring me to take trains and buses, and was ready for me to pick up. Tara took the train with me to the bike shop since she needed some adjustments and we could go grab some dinner afterwards. My eighteen-year-old bike now rides like new, and Tara was surprised to find out how well Rapid Transit takes care of the bikes they sell.
October 13, 2014. I work downtown, so I was near Chicago's Columbus Day parade. I was surprised when customers came in mentioning the parade on State Street - I didn't expect there to be one. On my lunch break, I went out as usual, and there were still participants and spectators (and traffic control) wandering the streets, and I found a group of teenagers in Venetian Carnival costumes.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
October 12, 2014. Punk rock photographer Patrick Houdek had a show of his work open up at Township, where many of his shows are shot. His prints were (are?) on the walls, looking fantastic, and bands played on the stage. Here's Patrick while Rad Payoff plays.
October 11, 2014. Most of my Saturday was spent reading and watching Boardwalk Empire. I read two volumes of Terry Moore's "Rachel Rising," and am yearning for the rest. I also started the second collection of Love and Rockets stories, "The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S." I read the Love and Rockets comics way back when, and am really enjoying them in their collected format.
October 10, 2014. Leaving work, I saw these two in a nearby doorway. I suspect they are about to part - he to work on his cherry '55 Chevy, and she to undertake an alpine frolic. I almost said expedition, but I think that would require heavier gear.
October 9, 2014. After my band practice, we went to LiveWire Lounge so my bandmate Hoser could drop off some stuff. The band InAeona from Boston was about to take the stage. I don't really know what they played, though the sound was certainly full, thanks to a massive array of effects for vocals, guitar, and bass.
October 7, 2014. Here's an intersection, where I'm waiting for a green light. Sometimes I take photos that I find interesting enough at such places, but this was a case of discovering that I didn't take any other photos throughout the day and night, so this will do.
October 6, 2014. Celebrating my friend Marissa's birthday began at the Logan Emporium. Actually, it began at work, with singing and cupcakes, but anyway - Logan Emporium. I think everyone ended up playing air hockey. I started out dominant, beating the birthday girl in 2 out of 3 matches, and then most of the rest of our party before Marissa came back up to the table. Then she slaughtered me and everybody else. There were a few other games before we decamped to Slippery Slope's Disco Night a few doors down. Then there was disco!
Sunday, October 5, 2014
October 5, 2014. This was a blast. My band, Squared Off, played the Rock Against Racism event at Toyota Park for the Chicago Fire Supporters Clubs. Then we spent the rest of the day cheering on the Fire in Section 8 as they took on Montreal. Fire mascot, Sparky, came out before we started and tried to get my job on the drums. He was quickly distracted with a tennis ball, and I managed to keep my seat.
October 4, 2014. Squared Off played again, in another town I'd never been to. We played with Modern Advances and Brickfight, both also from Chicago, and The Usuals from Elgin, where we played the Dutch Inn West. It turned out to be a really good time with good music all around. Back in the city, we had some late night breakfast at the Belmont Snack Shop, and now it's time to get some rest before our afternoon show at Toyota Park preceding the Chicago Fire game.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
September 29, 2014. This drummer is on Michigan Avenue outside the Art Institute of Chicago. Check out the people on the sidewalk. Two very matched pairs - interesting, isn't it? This summer I noticed that the number of street musicians that were drummers seemed to increase significantly. There were always a few, but they seem to be the most prevalent performers out there lately. I'm not talking about bucket drummers, either. Over the last month or two, several of these street musicians have begun forming street corner bands. Sometimes it's a drummer and a horn or two, and sometimes there's a bass player or a guitarist in the mix as well. Two that seem to consistently be out are at the corner of Adams and Wabash, and on State Street between Adams and Monroe.
September 24, 2014. A few years ago, I saw quite a few of these robots on the street, and they seemed to disappear. Lately, they've been showing up more frequently than when I first saw them, mostly downtown, but occasionally out in the neighborhoods, too.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
September 23, 2014. Opening night for the exhibition, David Bowie Is, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago arrived, and a guerrilla dance performance was planned for the event. A group of costumed David Bowies and one Freddie Mercury choreographed a routine to a Bowie medley mixed by DJ LA Jesus and sauntered onto the MCA plaza to perform it. A cart holding wireless speakers hiding in custom cardboard boxes was rolled out to provide the tunes, and magic happened. This photo was taken in the gathering spot beforehand, of fearless leader Jennie Boeder in her Serious Moonlight wardrobe, going over last minute details with the participants. MCA posted an edited video of the event on their blog (click here).
September 22, 2014. My stick bag sits open on the floor of my bedroom because, aside from regular stick exercises, I have to learn a full set of songs to play on Halloween while masquerading as two other bands, Cock Sparrer and Stiff Little Fingers. I also need to get one of Squared Off's back catalogue songs down to insert into our set. This also means I'll be writing out drum parts and arrangements and using a music stand for my notes at a few rehearsals. Punk rock, eh?
Sunday, September 21, 2014
September 20, 2014. Squared Off had a show booked in South Bend, Indiana, but the venue apparently lost its license, canceling our show. That left me free to do things at home in Chicago, and I ended up going to the Goose Island 312 Urban Block Party. I had tickets that I had given away, but there was still one available for me, and I got to see the Breeders, who put on an excellent show. The performance was far superior to my previous experience with them over a decade ago. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down had a great set as well, and the food from the Tamale Spaceship food truck and companionship of friends were excellent.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
September 19, 2014. My brother in Texas let me know that Fishbone had two shows in Chicago this weekend. They've been one of my favorite bands since their first album came out a long, long time ago, and I made sure to get to the Friday night show, since I had a show lined up out of town for Saturday. I've seen them play somewhere around fifteen or twenty times, and it's always awesome.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
September 16, 2014. I had not been to Fireside Bowl since New Year's, when my band Squared Off ushered in 2014. I made it out tonight to see Blind Staggers perform the songs from an unreleased album at the last show of the drummer who played on that album. Also on the bill was plenty of other fabulous music from the punkish Fitness, the cerebral Mesico, and the rather intense Corporal, whose singer Michael Shannon is pictured here. As an actor, he's best known for his role in Boardwalk Empire and his role as General Zod in the recent Superman reboot. As they were getting ready to play, he played the theme to "Entertainment Tonight" on his guitar with no trace of a grin or even a raised eyebrow to see if anyone in the audience or onstage noticed. Not that there's anything funny about that, John Tesh.
September 14, 2014. I totally lucked into a Riot Fest ticket for the last day of the festival and had a great time (thank you, Piotr!) I saw all manner of wardrobe, some usual and some unusual. These two were rocking their onesie pajama ensembles when I saw them right after Patti Smith's fantastic set. I saw Social Distortion's set while waiting for The Cure, who turned out a two and a quarter hour set that spanned decades and included many of the hits, several album cuts, and songs both upbeat and dark.