Monthly Archives: April 2011

April 25, 2011 – Song 172

“I should bring him the fucking helicopter and then we’ll see how paranoid I am.”

If you missed Stephen Sowley tear this one up the the other night then, well, my friend, you missed out.

Song 172.

Harry Nilsson – Jump into the Fire

A very wise pain in my ass recently told me that I should remember that there is nothing to be afraid of when falling down a rabbit hole. Especially when I dug it myself.So here goes. I am stuck in a coincidence loop that involves the words The Ambassadors, the general idea of “aliens”, the unimaginable concept of Peace and most recently, my own birthday.It all sort of stems from a science fiction idea I had about people on earth becoming “switched on” to a different way of thinking and being able to share that ability with other people. It is their goal to create Ambassadors among us who can help to welcome interactions with beings from other planets, without it turning into Multi World War I.

It is also about the people who are trying to stop them.

Here’s a hint: It won’t be “the others” that fire the first shot.

Mankind can really be a complete misnomer sometimes.

A very long time ago, I heard something in the song Pride by U2 that caught my ear. It was the sentence “Early morning April 4th a shot rang out in the Memphis sky.” I noticed it, because that was the day I was born. It turns out, it was also the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, ten years before I was here.

On this year long calendar of song I only get one birthday. And that day means something to me. It took me awhile to decide what song to play, but ultimately I decided to follow my own heart, because, well, some other stuff had already gone down. But later on, I couldn’t resist posting a version of Pride I found on YouTube set to footage of Dr. King. Because I think about him every year, on my special day. Personally, I thought it would be nice to remind people about him. And then I noticed what the person who posted it had to say.

It would seem, there are already Ambassadors among us.

You can forget it sometimes, but every single thing you see on the internet was put there by a human.Everything here is just a drawing on the wall of a very fancy cave.And honestly, it’s not really that weird to imagine that if you start looking into something many roads will lead you back to a root place. It will seem random at first, but it’s not. For example, if a bunch of people all wrote books about something they researched together, but you found them one by one, it might take you a while to follow them all back to the place where they began. It might seem strange, that there was a source to it, or an original seed, but really it makes perfect sense.

But you can decide for yourself what you think about whatever you want. I am not trying to point out anything but the connections I can’t help but see. It keeps leading me to the same places, and even sometimes to people who are named places.

The Magic of Synchronicity

And on very special days, it’s my special day, all over again.

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April 24, 2011 – Song 171

Tonight I sang this song with my friends The Blasted Diplomats.

The fact she sings this mouth full of marbles and plays the guitar at the same time blows my whole mindhole. But the fact that she wrote a song about watching a lonely little kid that also kicks your dick in? Well that, right there, is why Chrissie Hynde isn’t just a Ladydude.

She’s a fucking Doctor Ladydude. Song 171.

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April 23, 2011 – Song 170

“Just try going slow. And try and go steady.”

“Huh. Wins the race right?”

A small smile, for the benefit of no one but herself, crossed the woman’s face.

“Yeah. Wins the race. Like the turtle.”

“I think it was a tortoise.”

“What’s the difference?”

“I have no idea.” Song 170.

It was easier in the pitch black. It shouldn’t be. But it was. You couldn’t see the edge of the trail when it was dark. Not the end of the trail, but the edge. The one that rides beside you. Sometimes on your left and after a switchback, again there, but on your right. Over and over again. When it was dark if you stopped trying to stop you couldn’t tell after a while which side it was on. Unless you put your hand out to feel for the rock. It’s funny to think that you could lose track of a mountain. Even if it was upside down and inside out.

Picturing it that way actually helped for a moment. Instead of a canyon it was the crystal insides of a mountain. And it was easy to follow the trail because it only lead one place, to one point. A single snow covered peak. Like the way a kid would draw it. It even felt cool.

“I’d blindfold you but that mule train will catch up in like half an hour. Goddamnit. Last time one went by one of those things shit right next to my shoe. I almost stepped–”

The woman lowered her binoculars and turned around just in time to realize the girl had been walking. Ahead. But she was stopped now. The woman watched as the girl reached out her left hand and touched the stone. First with her fingertips and then with her whole palm.

“Fuck. I’m sorry. It’s just so hard for me to tell when you’ve got it.”

“It’s ok.” said the girl.

The woman let go of the binoculars and they swung on the leather strap hitting her right at her hip bone. It almost made a sound.

“We could wait again, until it’s dark. Fuck their stupid time line. It’s just that they want you to be able to do it so badly that they push you know? But what’s the point? It’s no good to freak you out. You could end up quitting and then what waste, you know? I’d rather take an extra day than start this crap all over again…”

“No.” the girls voice was thick and quiet. She spit and then took out a kleenex and blew her nose. She looked down, it was dark grey.

“it’s the dust. I know, it’s gross, but it’s better now than when it rains. It gets so muddy that you can’t tell the difference and then you’ll definitely step in a donkey shit.”

The girl surprised herself and the woman with a laugh. She immediately blew her nose again. The woman tilted her head and smiled. Then she pulled out her cigarettes.

“i’m gonna have to learn how to do it in the light one way or the other. Right?” said the girl.

This made the woman smile again. “I don’t know what I get so upset about. I do it every time.”

She lit a cigarette and walked to where the girl stood.

“They wouldn’t have chose me to lead you for no reason. What ever I do or say is the right thing. I am your perfect teacher. I forget that sometimes.”

The girl blinked and rubbed her eyes. The light really was blinding. And the cool mountain had long slipped away. It had to be like at least a hundred degrees, there, in the sun.

“I don’t mind you talking actually. Just don’t say anything about where we are. That’s what snaps me out.”

The woman took a drag from her cigarette and looked at the girl. She tilted her head to one shoulder and then all the way over to the other. The bones in her neck almost made a sound.

“Ok then Turtle.” The woman made a circle gesture with her hand. “Turn around and let’s try it again. If there is one thing I can most certainly do, it’s talk someone’s goddamned ear off.”

The girl turned back, to what in theory, was the way, down the trail, to the end.

“Have you ever heard the story about the Ant that stepped on the Man?” the woman asked.

The girl closed her eyes and smiled. “Not in a very long time.”

As the girl’s knees began to rise and fall the woman behind her started telling the old children’s story as though it had happened yesterday and she had seen it all with her own two eyes. The girl could tell the woman was purposely embellishing every single detail, to stretch it out. It made her smile. It really was obvious this woman was her perfect teacher. For starters, the woman was very funny.

And also, in the woman’s version of the story, there were literally a metric shit ton of swears.

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April 22, 2011 – Song 169

There is something weird that happens to you if every night before you go to bed you spend time thinking about all the conversations you’ve had in one single day. People have crossed your path, and you have crossed other people’s. Some of those crossings were expected.

And well, some just weren’t. Song 169.

The funny thing is if you think about your day since you first opened your eyes you’ll realize that as it went by a certain mood was set. The paths you crossed and the ideas that came about seeped into the rest of your outlook and put their mark on the things you yourself later thought or even said out loud.

If you hadn’t talked to Person A today then maybe the way you dealt with Person F would be completely different. And if Person B hadn’t got on your last goddamned nerve, then maybe you would have had more patience by the time Person J showed up. But maybe, if Person J hadn’t so thoroughly annoyed you, by the time Person M said Hi and so obviously needed a friend, you wouldn’t have been so refreshed to hear an honest account of their difficult day. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as easy for you to see that Person M tries really hard to be cool even when their deck is fucking stacked. And so on.

Who can say, really? It’s all just random…right?

Now add to that, the thought that any one of the people in your personal Alphabet could have been hit by a bus before they even had the chance to get a word out edgewise, then well, you just might end up here. Googling the shit out of Billy Joel.

And to think, you could have never gotten the chance to see this amazing nonsense.

But who can say?


Shitty weather makes me grumpy.

I’m still grumpy!

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April 21, 2011 – Song 168

Straight to the Point Late Night General Explanation of Astrology.

Song 168.

According to the general idea of Astrology, everyone has Twelve Houses. And they all mean something different. Just like the planets have their meanings. Mars anyone?

On the day you were born all of the nine planets in our Solar System were sitting in one of your Houses.

But the planets move through the sky just like you move through life. And today, right now, they are just up there, hanging out somewhere, yet again.

In a whole other line em up.

Someone who knows better than you (unless you are so inclined) can tell you where they are exactly and what that might mean, for you.

If you are so interested.

Your First House is your House of Self.

And apparently, I’ve got five outta nine all jammed up in there at the moment.

According to some, that means something huge.

But only time will tell.

As they say.

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April 20, 2011 – Song 167

If you don’t feel it, then you don’t know what it feels like.

Song 167.

There was a time, when I would lay on the floor of my living room, in the dark, filling the ashtray with cigarettes. I would only get up to lift the needle on this record to play this song, Song One, Side One, over and over again.

For hours.

It felt so good to think that someone in the world felt as bad as me, if not worse.

I mean, I didn’t write a fucking song about it or anything.

But then, one day, that time passed. And this song lost it’s power for me.

I still love it, and I still find it beautiful. But I don’t know what that feeling is anymore.

I am glad I spent that time alone. Even though I didn’t really realize how important that was at the time. I know now, that I needed to. Otherwise, I would have tried to hand that feeling to someone else. Because who wants to hold on to that?

No one.

But that’s not fair. And also, it doesn’t work like that.

If you try it that way, you’ll only plant yourself a complicated garden of shit.

Worse than the first.

Trust me on this one.

Until your sad songs lose the feeling and the words lose their meaning.


Until you are ok again. ♥

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April 19, 2011 – Song 166

Holy bananas. Why is this band so great?

I feel like it’s unfair to other bands. Song 166.

Now, let’s learn something shall we?

For example, did you know that Illinois is a French name given to Native people who did not call themselves that? Although it is derived from an Old Ottawa term that means ‘he who speaks the ordinary way’.


The Prodigal Son – The Black Angels

Around 8000 BC, the climate in the North Americas had stabilized to something similar to the one we enjoy presently. (I am using the word “enjoy” loosely here, BTW.) It was after this time that migration became widespread, resulting in hundreds of nations and tribes.

One of the earliest and largest cultures is commonly called the “Clovis Culture”. It was a big game hunting culture that got it’s name from artifacts, such as man made fluted spear heads, which were found near Clovis, New Mexico.

Another early culture, known as the “Folsom Tradition” was spread across the Great Plains and Great Lakes region of the Americas and has been identified by their leaf like projectile tips and the remnants of their bison slaughtering sites.

The “Na-Dené” people entered the Americas from the Pacific side migrating along the coast and eventually into the interior. They were the earliest ancestors of the Athabascan- speaking peoples, including the present-day and historical Navajo and Apache. They are characterized by their large family sized dwellings and their seasonal moves, staying in many areas only during the Spring and Summer, to hunt and fish.

Now, those are only a few of the many. And it’s late.

So I will leave you with one of my favorite passages. Although, considering my home turf, I might be a touch biased.

“The “Mississippian Culture” created the largest earthworks in North America north of Mexico, most notably at Cahokia, based on a tributary of the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois.

Its 10-story Monks Mound has a larger circumference than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan or the Great Pyramid of Egypt. The six-square mile city complex was based on the people’s cosmology and had more than 100 mounds, oriented to their sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. It included a Woodhenge, whose sacred cedar poles were placed to mark the summer and winter solstices and fall and spring equinoxes.

Its peak population in 1250 AD of 30,000–40,000 people was not equalled by any city in the present-day United States until after 1800.”

Like I wasn’t gonna choose the version set to BSG clips.

I mean come on. ♥

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April 18, 2011 – Song 165

It was such a nice surprise to spend my day hanging out with the awesome Jeanie Finlay director of the kick ass SOUND IT OUT a documentary about the last record shop in Teesside, England.

Hopefully, Chicago will see her again! ♥ Song 165.

BTW. Her next film will knock your socks off.



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April 17, 2011 – Song 164


322 minutes.

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April 16, 2011 – Song 163

Happy Record Store Day!

Song 163.

Berlitz – Seam

This might be legend but, rumor has it, that a certain dude who set up a ton of all ages shows when I was growing up on the outskirts of Chicago had religious parents that had a dream he would one day be a youth minister. Which he rebelled against. Or totally fulfilled? I don’t know really. But I do know I was a bored ass teenager who would have gotten into way more trouble if I hadn’t always been coming up with a scheme, let alone gas money, to make the trek to Off The Alley or The Third Floor or The Pit or The Fireside or The Berkley Hillside Presbyterian Church.

Recently, it has donned on me that having shows at Reckless really does rule. The economy is in the crapper, and our instores are always free.

And, maybe most importantly, they are always, All Ages.

Because, we do remember what it was like.

In fact, I still remember driving all the way downtown, to the big city, just to see Seam play.

Instore, at the Wicker Park Reckless. ♥

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