Monthly Archives: April 2011

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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April 15, 2011 – Song 162

I am so full of shit!

Song 162.

It’s funny. The longer you try and figure out who you are given your current circumstances and the more time you spend trying to wrap your mind around how you got to be where you are, the more you start to realize some things always stay th…e same.Your ass simply has not changed at all.

At least mine hasn’t.

I’m not saying I was or am living now exactly the way I want to, but the WAY I want to is still pretty much the same. In theory. But that’s all it ever was anyway. A theory. A hypothesis about a guess in reference to a feeling about what kinds of things I would need to line on up so I could finally say,

“This, here, right now, is exactly how I wanted to do it.”

Lately, I had been toying with the idea that I had really changed. And I think I have. I think a person has to. Because circumstances change. And you have change with them, because what else can you do? But at the very same time, one of the most peaceful things you can do is still remain exactly the same. No other plan seems to make any sense to me at all. Even if it’s really hard to still believe what you always believed, before the world came in, before anything or anyone seemingly did their best to prove you wrong.

Sometimes your first idea is still the best one you ever had.

So why fight it?

The world might have changed around me, but my ass ain’t changed at all.

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April 14, 2011 – Song 161

Personally, my star sign is never wrong.

Trust me on this, I’ve talked to the experts.

Song 161.

Technology blows my whole mindhole. The Industrial Revolution is just over 100 years old. A baby blip in Human history. And within it we have gone from Model T’s to Space Shuttles, neither of which we can afford to fuel, in more ways than o…ne.

Human beings now have the ability to make Human beings. And not in the old fashioned way if you know what I mean. But we still don’t know how to feed all the ones we’ve already got. We have also figured out how to make something capable of blowing us all to kingdom come. Progress, indeed.

In the span of a lifetime the whole universe has changed. Because we changed it. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. And yet, people are so sure of how it will go.

You can not possibly know. Nobody can.

In this world of constant connection you can use the tools around you for so many things. For work, for fun, for art, for war, for peace, for music, for Science, or just to play video games. You can talk to your loved ones and you can talk to strangers.

You can even use it to jog your own memory.

You can take a picture of your parking space at the mall so you aren’t left wandering like a fool and you can leave yourself notes in the most unlikely of places.

On the wall of the cave if you will.

Even if it takes you ten years to see it again.

You were here.

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April 13, 2011 – Song 160

Ain’t nothing to it but to do it I guess.

A went on a tour of a Spice Farm in Jamaica and a man there changed the course of my life.

I guess that’s the simplest way I can say it.

Part Two of Two. Song 160.

Many years ago, I was a guest on the farm of a man whose name I didn’t know until this year. Until my birthday in fact. And it’s not for lack of trying. I had wondered about him ever since we met. But I could never find any trace of him on the internet. It would seem, that I just couldn’t see the first chapter, even though it was right there, where it always had been.

This amazing man was one of the kindest and funniest people I have ever had the pleasure to know. He took us all over his insane farm full of plants and herbs, some which seemed to be other worldly on account of their beauty and in some cases just their sheer scale. He explained that although he had been born in Jamaica he had traveled all over the world studying and working and meeting people. At some point realized that the land he was from was one of the best places on the planet earth to grow things. And so he came home.

He began a farm where he grew and experimented with plants, often receiving things to grow from all the colleagues he had met. He showed us so many things. Like a plant that when you rubbed the leaves it became hot in your hands. He gave us each a giant leaf of Basil to put in our wallets because “It’s good luck. If you keep Basil in your wallet it will never be empty.” Get it? At one point he even asked us for a list of ailments but the only one we could think of was “lady times”. So he showed us Rose-hips and told us about a tea you could make for cramps. He showed us so many things that I can’t even begin to list or even remember all of them.

Except for the Aloe.

While standing next to a large array of Aloe plants, this man broke off an arm from one and showed us the gel that is inside. He commented that many people knew it was good for cuts, but that most people didn’t know it was good for other things as well. Like your eyes. He then squeezed the Aloe directly into his. Right there in front of us, he stood, laughing in the sunshine, blinking through the green goo. It was amazing and it was bizarre. And we were already so charmed by him that if I remember correctly, we were all in hysterics when he said,

“You will never believe what it looks like.”

And I guess he was right, because I never have. But not in the way he meant. I have never forgotten the sight of him that day. And something inside me knew even then, I would someday get to see him again.

After the tour, we bought some spices and herbs, said farewell, then returned to our hotel and the next day to the States. For years, I often thought about that moment, so much so, that during a particularly crappy time in my life, I even found myself standing in front of a display of Aloe plants in the Home Depot deeply considering trying it myself. It seemed weird, yet not weird at all, and maybe just weird enough. I had been crying a lot, and not sleeping much. And well, my eyes hurt.

Although I still have never gotten the courage to actually try it, I did make the idea of doing so, and a journey to find him, a central part of a Science Fiction story I wrote called “The Ambassadors.” The general idea was that there are people on this earth who are “turned on” and have the ability to “turn on” other people. The thing they share is based on knowledge and an ability to think differently, and ultimately, love. And there is a reason. The Others are coming, and they don’t want it to be a War. But they know what we’re like. What Humans are like. And so they decide to create Ambassadors among us so that there can be peace.

I told you it was Science Fiction.

In my story, this girl does actually try it, and well, nothing happens. Sort of. She has a dream that night about realizing she has somehow never seen the very first chapter of her favorite book. One that she had read a million times. So the next day, after trying to find the farm on the internet she remembers that she bought a bag of spices. And then, at least she has a name. Many adventures ensue, but one of the most important things is that she finally makes it back to the farm only to find it burned to the ground. It’s then that she realizes the War has already begun.

I guess the funny thing is, it’s based on real life. I have a bag of spices. And I have a name. But it has never lead me anywhere. Until my birthday this year. I pulled it out again because I still think about him. And that’s when I saw it. The tiny print. The name, address and even the fucking phone number down the side.

Somehow, I had missed the first chapter.

And well, as it turns out, the War has already begun.

Buckston Alexander Harrison • August 24,1958 – March 22, 2010

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April 12, 2011 – Song 159

I had to take myself an olde fashioned brain break.

And on that note, what dillhole lined Tax Day up with Record Store Day?

Thanks buddy!

Spice Farm, Part Deux, OTW. Song 159.

But for tonight, let’s all just fall asleep to this jam instead.

Trust me, you’ll like it. That is, if you appreciate Comedy Gold.

I mean, who doesn’t want to watch Sting hoppin around a Gerhard Richter painting in his PJs? Has the whole world gone insane?


‘It’s very good jam,’ said the Queen.

‘Well, I don’t want any TO-DAY, at any rate.’

‘You couldn’t have it if you DID want it,’ the Queen said. ‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday–but never jam to-day.’

‘It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,”‘ Alice objected.

‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.’

‘I don’t understand you,’ said Alice. ‘It’s dreadfully confusing!’

‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ the Queen said kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first–‘

‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonishment. ‘I never heard of such a thing!’

‘–but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s memory works both ways.’

‘I’m sure MINE only works one way,’ Alice remarked. ‘I can’t remember things before they happen.’

‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ the Queen remarked.


FTTASI (For Those That Are So Inclined)

Synchronicity I

Go to the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.
This is there. And you can look at it in person. Screw the Internet.

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