Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Like My Music Loud

Festival season is upon us! Never mind the fact that the actual festivals are still months away. Every year, about this time, I sit and look at the lineups for the English/Scottish music festivals and wish I had an extra $2000 lying around. Last year, with my very first Lollapalooza and Pitchfork experiences on the horizon, I didn't think about it at all. This year, I've already bought tickets to Lollapalooza and Pitchfork, but I can't help looking at what I'm missing out on half a world away. For example, Blur and Oasis may both be playing at Glastonbury this year. Can you imagine? This would have blown my mind in 1996. I think they should play at the same time on opposite ends of the park and see who draws the biggest crowd. Seriously, guys, let's settle this feud once and for all, ok? ;)

I think next year might have to be the year I go back, with Jon in tow. He's never been to the UK and he loves music (generally the same kind of music that I do) just as much as I do. I know he would have a great time...and it would be such a cool thing to do together. I don't know if I'll ever actually brave the camping aspect of it, but if I did, I'd feel better having him there too. This may be wishful thinking if we do end up moving next summer, but we shall see.

Right, so enough daydreaming about what I'm not doing. In terms of music, I can't really complain. I saw Primal Scream last Sunday at the Metro. I would offer an opinion on the show, but my views are pretty similar to these and these. Let's just say my ears were still ringing well into the next day. I think it finally stopped around 3pm. Pretty intense, eh? It might be time to give in and buy earplugs. I go to enough concerts that it will genuinely affect my hearing later in life (which is closer and closer to being now, instead of "later") if I don't start taking real precautions. It may have affected my hearing already, honestly. I haven't noticed, but I didn't notice my vision getting worse over the last two years either...which apparently, it has.

(More pictures on my Flickr page)

I guess the Scream were hanging out at SmartBar (an after-hours type of venue attached to and owned by the Metro) post-gig, so I officially missed my chance to meet them by *thismuch*. To be fair, it was a Sunday night and late and I need more sleep than I used to. We got home pretty late as is, and meeting bands is always a toss-up. Back in the day, I would have waited hours and hours for a slim chance to shake a hand, but I suppose I'm getting lame in my late 20s. Jon was with me too, though. It's one thing to keep yourself up, but another thing entirely to make someone else wait up with you.

So, in keeping with the music theme for this post, I have been listening to The Charlatans all week. I sometimes get on a kick where I will avoid them for a while and then when I put them on again a few months later, *BOOM* everything seems fresh again. If you've never listened to The Charlatans: 1) I'm not too surprised...especially if you live in America. They never did make it very big here 2) You have no idea what you're missing. I'm not going to say they're perfect, but if you like the kind of music that I like, they're pretty damn close. 3) They were compared to The Stone Roses a lot when they first started in '89, but have since grown into their own sound quite nicely. 4) Talk about range. No album is quite like the last. They're not afraid to try something new, which terrifies me, but almost always pays off. 5) I can't pick a favorite song, but this is a really good one from their latest album:

In other news, I've changed the name of my blog and I may change it again. I'm still trying to find some kind of groove with my posting, so I'll just keep changing it up until it feels right. As with everything even remotely creative that I attempt, I'm never satisfied, so we'll see. I'm just happy that I've stuck to it. It feels good to write about things other than manufacturing companies and all the other stuff I fill my workday with.

In my last post, I mentioned going to the eye doctor to get contacts. That was...interesting, to say the least. It was far from the simple task I thought it would be and it took visits on two separate days (five hours in total) to convince them that I should be allowed to take the contacts home and practice. I still haven't gotten both of them in at once. At this point, I don't know if I ever will, but I'm trying. On the plus side, I was told that I have excellent reflexes and "superhuman" eyelids, which is good for life, but bad for contacts, I suppose.

Last night, Jon and I went to a Gapers Block meet-up. They have one every month, but I haven't gone since November, maybe October, due to holidays/being out of town and then due to the bitter cold and not wanting to go outside in it. Anyway, last night was a blast. I am really happy and proud to be involved with GB in any capacity. Since I left my position at V89 and moved to Chicago, I missed being involved in something that wasn't necessarily a job, but required self-motivated work. I like being part of a unique organization and I like the people that I've been able to meet, both through V89 and GB.

The meet-up last night was at an Irish pub called Emmit's. There was a beer sponsor (featured above), which meant free drinks in addition to the great company. It was pretty crowded when we got there, but gradually thinned out. I saw a few people I already knew and got the chance to meet a few more that I only knew of through GB or Twitter.

Today has been fairly low-key. It's been raining all day and is supposed to snow tomorrow (here's hoping it's the last time?). I will do just about anything I have to in order to stay indoors, including cleaning. And blogging...

Monday, March 16, 2009


Well, hello there, Bloggerville! Long time no post, and boy do I have things to say. First off, I promised you a review of I Love You, Man. Here goes (no spoilers, I promise!):

I Love You, Man is funny. No surprise there. Paul Rudd plays a great straight man to Jason Segel's more colorful and outlandish character. He is charmingly awkward, and most of the early laughs come from some seriously cringe-worthy moments. As the film progresses, though, and he lets down his guard, Rudd and Segel are the perfect duo. They play off of each other nicely and you can tell they genuinely love each

(More pics HERE)

As is standard with these types of films, (dubbed "dick flicks" by Segel at the post-screening Q&A), the women are simply there to move the story along. They are insignificant and slightly in-the-way. Rashida Jones does her best, though, and comes off as sweet, funny, and endearing. Jamie Pressley is completely ridiculous and I could have done without her being in it at all. Ever since she began playing Joy on My Name is Earl, I think she forgot how do dial it down. She is a bit too far over the top, as is the other "needy" female friend who is after every man within reach and oh so desperate to be loved. Guys, not all girls are as gossipy and pathetic as these chicks, I promise you.

Bottom line time--I laughed for an hour and a half straight. While Role Models was entertaining in a more surprising way, this was just straight-up hilarity. A great investment of a Sunday afternoon and $10, in my opinion. There were at least 10 holy-shit moments, but it's not just shock value that makes it funny. I think the film nicely captures the difficulty in making real friends as an adult, especially when you're in a relationship. I've experienced this first-hand since moving to Chicago. You get complacent. Especially when you really enjoy spending time with your significant other. You don't feel that burning desire to seek out the company of others. Ok, so maybe it hit a little close to home! Anyway, I'm pretty sure ILYM comes out this Friday, so let me know what you think of it when you see it!

We also saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D last week. I'm not going to get into it too much, but it was also very enjoyable. It looked absolutely stunning. If you can catch it in 3D, definitely do it. It's the best I've seen so far. Don't see it in 2D in the theater. Catch it on video instead. While it has a nice story, it's pretty predictable. The standout performance in this one is, of course, Seth Rogan as the blue blobby-type monster (too lazy to look up the name). I don't believe anyone could pull off the simple-minded naivety quite as convincingly as good ol' Seth.

On Saturday, we decided to go to the St. Patrick's Day Parade since it is literally right down the street from our apartment. I think I would've felt guilty, or at least lazy, if I didn't make it. Later that night we saw the always dapper Paul F. Tompkins perform at the Lakeshore Theater, where he recorded his upcoming comedy CD. PFT is one of the funniest men on the planet, in my humble opinion. Check him out on almost any comedy podcast, because he's a total a good way! This is one of my absolute favorites. Definitely worth a listen.

Oh, right, and we saw Bill Maher and Ann, debate? I don't really know what to say about it that can't already be read online. It was interesting. She is even thinner in person than I could have imagined. She reminded me a bit of the gangly characters from The Nightmare before Christmas. She was actually a lot more likable with him there to riff off of than she is alone. Since I listen to Real Time with Bill Maher regularly via podcast and have seen a few of his recent appearances on Larry King Live and, of course, his movie, Religulous, most of what he had to say vaguely resembled things I've heard before. I'm still glad I went, though. It was my first setting foot inside the Chicago Theatre and overall it was entertaining and we were home at a decent hour, so win-win-win.

One of the last big things that's happened in the past few weeks (other than the heavenly weather we've been having)--we got Lollapalooza tickets! For just $60 (last year I paid $175, I think)! They haven't announced the lineup yet (though Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, and Jane's Addiction are the fairly-official headliners), but at such a great price for three days of solid entertainment, how could we not go for it? Hell, I'd pay $60 to see Depeche Mode alone. I also bought Pitchfork tickets, but so far the bands playing are completely uninspiring. We'll see. I can always sell them if there's no one I care to go for. I just can't imagine not buying tickets to either festival and giving it a try at least. It's one of the biggest perks of living in Chicago.

Finally, I'm taking the day off on Friday! Aaaaand...I'm going to the eye doctor to get contacts! I've seriously been putting this off forever. I'm 100% freaked out by the idea of sticking something in my eye, but it's something I'll just have to get over if I want the option of wearing sunglasses or no glasses at all.

That's it. I'm sleepy. I don't have the energy to re-read this mess, so I hope it makes some kind of sense. G'night! Happy St. Patrick's Day, lushes and Irish peeps!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Short & Effing Sweeeeeet!

Just wanted to post this quick-like and then it's off to bed for me. We saw 'I Love You, Man' on Tuesday, thanks to Gapers Block and it was fantastic! The best part, though? Maybe this:

If you saw 'Sarah Marshall' then you know exactly what that is. I promise I'll post a real review of the movie and Q&A tomorrow or over the weekend, but it's a must-see, I'd say. We've got 'Watchmen' tomorrow! Scared of the violence already!