Friday, January 28, 2005

fucking cave

fucking chicago is a fucking cave this time of the year. every year it's the same. today it's around 25 degrees (which is actually kind of warm for the end of January)... earlier this week it skirted 40. I saw people walking around in sweatshirt hoodies.

what makes it suck worse than the constant draft of freezing cold is that the sun is never out. it's always clouded by heavy thick gray shit in the atmosphere.

this affects the general mood of the populous. everyone has this beaten down I'm Bored Don't Fuck With Me attitude. which is ok with me, but there's fucking nothing to do. you can only play so many video games... watch so many DVDs... kill so many prostitutes... before the shit gets old, you know.


I laid several seeds early in the winter with people who have some sort of access to anti-depressant uppers.

I said "let's check some of this shit out... you get on one and I'll get on the other. we'll keep track of our general moods and see what works for us. the fuck we got to lose? everything sucks."

everyone agreed that this was a good idea, but nobody came through with any uppers. that's added to my list of things bumming me out in this cold dark bullshit motherfucker.


I did buy some art though. this, and this.


My dad recommended the movie Sideways when I saw him last weekend. That means that it's good. My dad has this sick, dead on taste for movies considering that he seemingly has no interest in them and hates to sit through them in the theater. If it keeps his attention, it's a good show.

I'll put it this way: he's a man with no name/dirty harry Clint Eastwood fan, and huge on Charles Bronson. I saw every spaghetti western and Death Wish film the year we got a VCR in 1983. He watched Kill Bill II twice after watching Kill Bill three times last summer. He watched Silence of the Lambs and rewound it to watch it again.


Speaking of Silence of the Lambs, I've met more than a couple of people who are obsessed with that shit. This guy Jack stopped dead in his tracks once when the show was mentioned. Like he's on 24 hour alert for someone to bring it up. He told me that he has seen it well over 60 times.

Jack has a friend named Sarah and he told me that occasionally they would act out entire scenes between Starling and Lector. They had all the lines down and they weren't fucking around, they were serious in their re-enactment.


People lose their shit when they go days and weeks in the cold with no sunshine anywhere.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

the passion of wilco

This week has been a period of wilco re-discovery. I'm looking into getting a copy of last year's A Ghost is Born... but all the buzz (and the reviews that I recall from the time of release) was that there was a lot of Jim O'Rourke influenced wanker distortion noise... like, where Yankee Hotel Foxtrot skirted experimental noise -- yet kept it together -- this album spirals out of control.

So, I found this bizarre entry online connecting A Ghost is Born with the movie The Passion of the Christ. As follows:

It wasn't until I read an article that said this CD matches up perfectly with Mel Gibson's The Passion that I was drawn back to it. I wasn't really a fan of the movie but with the CD it was something else. Not everything is perfect but a lot of the lyrics match up. For all of you wondering why Jeff Tweedy included fifteen minutes of drone in Less than You think its because it matches up perfectly with the scene where Christ is beaten up. Without the movie I usually skip that song but it works with the images.

I have a lot of respect for artists that are able to create soundtracks like these that can pass as rock albums without anyone knowing they match up to a movie. Jeff Tweedy must have worked on every minute detail to make this work. Whether you like the album or not you have to marvel at the sheer technical genius of it.

OK, so I think that's a load of shit. I don't think that Jeff Tweedy meticulously deconstructed The Passion of the Christ scene by scene to create an alternate soundtrack. Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work to me.

This whole urban legend thing of matching albums to random movies is a bit of a stretch. I watched The Wizard of Oz to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon in college, and admittedly there were some interesting scenes where the movie and the music seemed to fit,.. but I was also very, very high. I read that David Gilmore said that the album was not the movie's alternate soundtrack, and made some crack about being high during the recording, and that the fans connecting the film with the album were convincing themselves of something that was coincidence... and that they were very, very high.

There's even an entry on a message board detailing how to cue A Ghost is Born to The Passion of the Christ (no way!). Read here.

Sync up Wilco CD with movie at 00:01 on the CD and the movie at chapter one, with the screen showing the Icon Productions symbol.

Here's what should happen (according to GQ's David Walters)

5 minutes 53 seconds - The song "Hell Is Chrome" begins on A Ghost Is Born. The song's first lines are When the Devil came / He was not red / He was chrome... At this precise moment in The Passion, Satan appears for the first time (and he's not red).

10:35 - Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss in The Passion. Moments later, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy sings the lyric Why can't they wish their kisses good?

18:40 - When a sympathetic Roman guard asks about Jesus' arrest, Tweedy sings There's no blood on my hands / I just do as I'm told.

52:44 - The extended beating scene in The Passion and Wilco's fifteen minute "Less Than You Think" coincide perfectly.

1:13:58 - After Palm Sunday flashback in which Jesus is greeted warmly, Tweedy sings I was welcomed / With open arms / I received so much help in every way / I felt no fear (at this point in the film, the CD is repeating).

1:49:51 - Tweedy's lyric I will always die / So you can remember me (on the song Company In My Back) occurs exactly when Mary asks Jesus to let her die with him.

1:53:08 - The earthquake that begins when Jesus finally dies in The Passion starts right when Tweedy screams on the song "I'm A Wheel".

1:56:01 - When Jesus is taken down from the cross and cradled by his supporters, Wilco plays "Theologians" and Tweedy sings ominously, No one's ever gonna take my life from me / I lay it down / A ghost is born.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

I watched Wilco: I Am Trying to Break Your Heart last night. It was excellent. I'm a moderate fan of the band wilco's discography, but a big enough fan of the album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to have burned and given away 5 or 6 copies to friends. This movie is a documentary on the making of that album.

The project (filmed and recorded by photographer Sam Jones) started out as a fly on the wall documentary of the making of wilco's follow up to the successful Summerteeth, and quickly became something else. Handed $80,000 to record the album by their label Reprise (a subsididary of Warner Bros.), wilco decided to expand their music by including many more expirmental sounds and instruments than before, while taping in seclusion at their Chicago loft. When they finally released the tapes to Reprise, they didn't receive any word for two weeks. Reprise eventually decided that the album was shit and needed to be either re-mixed or re-recorded. wilco balked, and was given back the record and dropped from the label.

unsure of what to do next, wilco embarked on a 30 date sold out tour and let the record label offers filter in. copies of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot leaked, and so the band decided to stream it on their website. around this time Jay Bennett left/was let go of wilco, and the band continued on as a 4-piece.

Like most successful documentaries, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart is best when the subjects forget that the cameras are rolling and are comfortable enough to be themselves. In this regard, Jeff Tweedy comes off as a pretty cool guy, a bit sensitive, but highly creative. Jay Bennett seems like a bit of a prick to deal with sometimes. This is best highlighted during the scene where Bennett is trying to explain, and then re-explain his reasoning for an edit at the beginning of the mix of "heavy metal drummer". It's like Bennett is trying to create and prolong an argument that Tweedy understood and agreed to five minutes ago... the next immediate scene is of Tweedy throwing up in the men's room -- obviously from uncomfortable stress -- and blaming it on migraines he's stricken with.

Also, an interesting debate brews within the doc that isn't fully explored (but easily could be) regarding the nature of the relationship between the artist and the corporation... the business of selling art. Reprise records did not see an easily marketable record, had not made much profit off of earlier wilco releases, and decided that the album turned in was too challenging to make a dime, so the band was released from its contract.

In end, wilco signs with nonsuch records, (ironically, a subsidary of Warner Bros.) for three times the amount they were paid by Reprise... essentially, Warner Bros. paid for the album twice. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is released to big sales (interesting, considering that it was available for free online for several months prior to release), the band continues to sell out medium sized venues, and the album is hailed as one of the best recording of the year by several major media sources and music critics.


A pal at work lives in the same neighborhood and is familiar with The Wild Goose. The Wild Goose is a bar that employs beautiful eastern bloc off the boat European women. They're the best: they wear tight club clothes all the time, speak broken english and are extrememly flirtatious. The guy that owns the bar is a fat Italian scumbag, and I was tipped off that the bar has a website featuring all of the Wild Goose Girls.

It's interesting to see these pics now, because I haven't drank at that place much in the few years since I lived around the corner. In 2001, Kellee was super fucking hot. Like off the hook beautiful. But, give it a few years of nightly shots, secondhand smoke and late nighters five nights a week, and a woman's face ages a bit. Now she's hot in more of a "late 20's/early 30's" sort of way.

Amy looks like a little wildcat with her beer tap pose.

And Diana's got that insatiable From Russia with Love pout that drives American men to empty their wallet.

The rest of the crew features women with attitude and killer smiles. Beware of these sorts, they are more than you can handle. Do yourself a favor and date a girl who isn't hit on everytime she steps outside, or boosts her income by smiling at men.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Read points #1 to 76 of this manifesto. interesting introduction, considering that it was written by a lunatic.

I had another weekend that consisted of crazed drunken and chemical abusing 29 year olds... stretching out their twenties as far as fucking possible,.. contrasted by the baptism of my pal Bob's 4th child. The drink and chemical is an old and increasingly annoying story, and the married parents of families horizon remains distant.

I received a phone call this past week that confirmed my greatest fear for someone who was once close to me. From a very shallow and unrealistic perspective, this decision can be hailed as a victory. However, knowing the family history, and this person's greatest insecurities, this is another step towards the dark side.

It's also something that can very easily fuel my cynicsm, but I'm going to really try to not let it. When it comes down to it, I don't feel like I know that person anymore, and from what I can tell, I don't want to know that person anymore.

And so, as it goes, I remain.... lame.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

wank fest of misery

this morning fortune was mine when I located the new Beck leaked on the internet (click Beck... the tracks may still be online).

I like Beck. He's got great beats and writes funny party records. However my favorite record was 2002's Sea Change. It's a mostly accoustic, somber "my baby left me" wank fest of misery. It's a beautiful record.

I saw him only once at the Chicago Theater with my pal Eric. The Chicago Theater is a "class joint." For first rate entertainment. Like "Clay Aiken." (would he get his hands on those if he'd never been on TV? doesn't she know he's gay?)

The Flaming Lips opened the show and then served as Beck's back up band. Eric and I got to the show about 10 minutes after it had begun and walked into a full-on hypnotic visual display. I had to tap the usher's shoulder to grab his attention... he didn't even see us approach. He walked us to our seats and all I could do was stare.

Onstage they had the entire rainbow of colors, plus shiny objects, plus purposely miss-timed strobe lights, confetti, and human sized animal costumes dancing to this psychedelic rock with flash lights in their hands. It look exactly like what the sober mind imagines/recreates acid to look like. It was positive and sinister at the same time. Kind of like "the Wizard of Oz".

The Flaming Lips finished their set and then Beck came out maybe 15 minutes later with an accoustic guitar. I think he opened with "cold brains"... Strummed a couple more tracks and then the Lips accompanied him for the rest of the show.

I thought that it was a great show, and that I saw and heard what I wanted to. But if I remember correctly, both Beck and the Lips caught some heat from the hipsters and the professional critics for having a few off notes. Who knows (go back to writing in your black diaries with your black turtlenecks and your cold, black hearts, hipsters!!), my pal and I had a good time.

I hope those tracks are still active... I'd say that I'm most partial to track #'s 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13... but the whole shit is pretty good.

Monday, January 17, 2005

mounted dead animal heads

fucking cold!

Chicago is like 16 degrees today. 16 degrees is too cold to ride a bike. everything becomes too brittle in 16 degree weather. one time in Wisconsin when I was about 17 years on a 4 degree day, I went out to start up my parent's car to warm it up. I flipped the wiper lever and the fucker broke with zero effort. the plastic was too brittle for my 17 year old arm strength. I can't wait until it's 35 degrees again... I can ride my bike in 35 degree weather.


I drive a 1994 Saturn two door with a sunroof. It is a tiny car made of fiberglass that can squeeze into any parking spot. I've owned it since 2000 and never drive it. I drove it 8,000 miles in 2003. Right now it registers 112k. It has never given me any trouble until recently when the clutch burned out. A buddy got me in contact with a mechanic who's shop is in my neighborhood. Last thursday I took the day off to take care of some shit and called the mechanic. He told me that he'd tow it to his shop for free. That sounded very reasonable so I let him. After the estimate I learned that the car was otherwise in tip-top shape, but needed a new clutch. He told me that the clutch was going to run about $285 (sigh of relief), but was going to take some effort to get at and replace... at $65 an hour = $546... totaling around $830 (shit).

$830 is just an asshole amount... not hard to come up with, but a bitch to part with. especially considering that it's for a car that my friends laugh at and that I drive once every ten days. for real, yo. I'm 6'3". this car is tiny and built for people measuring about 5'8". It's comedy to see me get out of this car.

I decided during this latest fiasco that it's time to part ways with this car. It costs me around $85 a month to keep it insured and parked on the street. And this is with a totally clean driving record... my last speeding ticket was in 1998, the only other prior was in 1993. A city sticker is like $90 a year and registration is somewhere around there also. Also I never drive. I'm on my bike 4 seasons of the year... and I'm getting another bike in the early spring. The only time I use the car is when I'm leaving the city... so that's like once every other month to Wisconsin, and maybe two, three (tops) road trips a year. So, I'm going to sell the fucker.


my friend Rick and his girl Heather came over on saturday afternoon for the evening. they're back in Chicago. I'm real happy about that. Heather admired some of the new art I've collected, and Rick was stoked to see my new chess board. After a small dinner of Aldi's frozen pizza and an $18 bottle of chiraz, Rick pretty effectively kicked my ass at a game of chess. Next, we moved to the foosball table where I took an early five point lead. Rick quickly closed the deficit for the win. We then decided to find a neighborhood bar with a pool table. Rick beat my ass after a pitiful break to Ennio Morricone's theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly to complete his trifecta of domination. It's good to once again have a worthy opponent.

Heather and I commented on the mounted deer heads on the wall of this particular bar. We both agree that it's weird, but that it's not unusual. I'm from Wisconsin, she's from Michigan... two cultures cut from the same cloth... divided by a Great Lake. mounted dead animal heads just make sense. I have a thought on that matter however... I believe that the only reason that you should hang a mounted dead animal head is if you kill the beast yourself. None of this "I bought it at a garage sale" shit. You have to have killed it yourself.


selling the Saturn will partially fund a tattoo, a new track bike and a trip this summer.

Friday, January 14, 2005

get your stalk on redux

Today it's fucking cold. Wednesday night I left my window open and slept in 55 degree heat wave insanity. Today it's 12 degrees. This is more like Chicago than that 55 degree cock tease bullshit mother nature was fuckin with us with two short days ago. It's so cold that five minutes outside makes you say "it's cold" out loud to strangers or yourself.


Today I saw the target of my spring 04 stalk campaign. I still kind of wonder what that girl's story is. she still has that dissatisfied don't talk to me bitch look on her face all the time. But to be honest, dating back to grade school, I've always liked shy and anti-social people. They're usually full of personality and interesting and original opinions. rarely are they boring. I assume that they're quiet because of the environment they were raised (their parents are quiet people), or because they're just shy.

when I think about it, rarely do I find outwardly "funny" people all that funny. usually I just want them to be quiet. like fucking robin williams. robin williams is not funny.

anyways, I saw this girl down in the cafeteria today. sitting alone eating lunch alone again. then I saw that she was finished and was walking back to the elevator. I stopped at the coke machine to give her some time to catch up. then an elevator opened and we each got on with about seven other people. I followed her and got a good look at her ass. It's a little bit bigger than it was last spring when I noticed her, but it still looks nice. she was wearing some lime green pumas with a hot pink stripe. those shoes sound ugly for fashion's sake when described, but looked good on her for some reason. I think the girl's got good style.

she got off on the 9th floor, and I checked the directory when I got to my desk. I still don't know her name. when we were on the elevator, I purposely looked at her ring finger and saw that she wasn't wearing a diamond anymore... she just had some cool looking silver band.

I'm going to meet her and at least learn her name. This passive curiosity has gone on for a long time (even if I haven't thought of, seen, or even considered my may 04 stalk target for several months). what's my deal? I'm usually not so slow moving and quiet about this sort of game. I don't usually have trouble meeting women, but I'm not trying and I'm not gaining any new friends.

This weekend I feel like buying a bottle of Absolut and drinking vodka cranberry and maybe some smoke, and if I get the cabin fever, get out to that cold.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

january sucks

nothing new to report.

the january sucks attitude has returned in full swing. I was out with a group of kids on saturday night, and by 10:30 p.m. we were all just sitting around a table at this bar bummed out. there was zero enthusiasm. everyone agreed that no one was having any fun at all. out of boredom I decided to get up off of my bar stool and stand. I should have suggested group sex.


I got the new nirvana box set in the mail today. it's three cds. the first cd is scratchy, low quality home recordings. the second cd is scratchy, sometimes better low quality home and cheap studio-time recordings. the third cd is demos and alternate takes. I like the third cd best. there's a dvd included that I'm going to watch tonight. I already have it up for sale on e-bay. I hope somebody buys it for $45.


my buddy rick moved back from flint. that makes me smile. I was bummed when he moved away last summer. I'm happy that I have a worthy foosball opponent again.


last night I went to rossi's with my sister for a couple of drinks. we were talking about netflix. I ripped on her because I'd noticed that she gives everything five stars... like "every movie I rate is the greatest movie ever made... ever!" five stars should be reserved for movies that scare the shit out of you or make you piss yourself with laughter. there should be a physical reaction/waste product release tied to five star ratings.


anyways, I mentioned that I felt as if I was "missing something" in relation to pop culture because I don't have cable. All of the girls at work were freaking out because Brad Pitt killed his wife or something. I didn't know this until somebody told me. I like cable when I see it, but only a couple of channels. I like the "adult swim" block on cartoon network, comedy central, the game show network and HBO. I could do without the rest of it, with the exception of some discovery channel programing... like the documentaries about family businesses who go around the world blowing up condemned skyscrapers. so now I catch up with TV and movies I hadn't seen on netflix.

my apartment has an enormous third floor eastern-facing picture window overlooking an intersection, with a view of high rises (three miles away) along lake shore drive on lake michigan. when I moved in I decided that that room was above having a TV in it, so I've got a stereo and turntable there instead. I put a foosball table in the dining room, so that's covered. so, the TV and DVD player is in my bedroom. most people spend about a half hour in my apartment before they notice that there's no TV in any of the common areas. that's when I show them my 1985-era TV and $40 DVD player at the foot of my bed. It's a convenient spot for when I've got a girlfriend and we're watching hardcore porn.

my sister said "so, you lay on the bed by yourself and watch movies? that's so sad." yeah, ok, when you put it that way, I guess so. I recovered by telling her that I usually put a DVD on when I'm starting to lay down around 10 p.m., and I either watch the whole thing, or I fall asleep if it sucks. then I busted on her for thinking every movie she ever rented was the greatest fucking movie ever made, ever.

besides, I never have friends over to watch a movie anyways. that's super lame. TV is reserved for watching until you pass out, or for watching hardcore porn with a girl on the 5th date.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

hip-hop versus be-bop

Happy fucking new year motherfucker(s).

2005... holy shit. The millenium and the somehow avoided Y2K worldwide catastrophe was five years ago already.

My new years weekend was OK. New Years Eve started with promise -- it was 50 degrees and me and a pair of motherfuckers I used to work with were going to jump on the organized ride crazy train,.. but that shit totally derailed when one got too fucked up from getting too fucked up the night before (which I buy), and the other who bailed in the 11th hour because he needed to take a nap at four in the afternoon (which I think is totally pussy), and then didn't call later because he knew he was pussing out. "Take your nap," I say!

Oh well, I forgive 'em. Grudges should be reserved for pieces of shit, not friends. Like, some motherfucker that is always hitting on your girlfriend. I think that's enough for a lifetime grudge to stick in your backpocket. Maybe someday in the distant future, when you're not even dating the girl anymore, you can purposely spill a drink on the fucker's faggot shirt when you see him at a bar... or you can tell him straight up that you don't like him and that you would enjoy kicking him down to an inch of his life. And then do it. Push him through a plate glass window. Why not? The girl is eventually going to leave you anyways,.. get your digs in, and then move on. This is about personal satisfaction.

This advice works especially well if your father is an attorney or wealthy.

Anyways, I went to a new years eve party at a dive bar I'm real familiar with called Lawry's. My friend Ricky C is friends with the owner's daughter. I'm high on Ricky C's cool list these days because I have been on impromptu trim detail for his new band. A couple weeks ago I produced this crazy girl Beth, and Ricky C has been out of his mind for her since. He's having fun with it and I'm happy for him. There were like 40 people at the bar -- perfect for moving around and getting drinks at leisure. Plus a spread of food,.. all for $35.

The night ended at some motherfucker's trashed condo. The joint was full of short Indian men with black leather jackets, skanks in club clothes dancing with each other to get attention and fags. I got into all sorts of stupid, drunken chats that I did my best to end quickly with fucked up people on heavy drugs. Like the fat fuck who wanted to talk about the biased media while I was looking for more red wine... or the faggot who was waiting in line for the bathroom... or the skank looking for (more) blow. After 45 minutes I was able to convince our little tribe that it was time to go home.

New year's day was lazy and late. I watched "Before Sunset" at a friend's place that night (go out and get it), and slept on an air mattress when I lost my set of keys.

The next day we went to Soldier Field to catch the Bears/Packers game. There's an interesting breed of white trash that attends all outdoor sporting events. The Packers kicked the shit out of the Bears early on, and when we walked back to the car all the tailgators were fucked up and still drinking.

The idiots parked ahead of us were smoking one hitters, drinking Coors Light and blasting Jay-Z. The 55 year old alcoholics next to us were doing shots, drinking from flasks and cranking be-bop. It was hip-hop versus be-bop. Be-bop eventually won because the 55 year old alcoholics next to us were more than ready to throw fists,.. and were vocal about it.