Thursday, March 29, 2007

"I’m not clean, I’m not washed up. This dream I don't ever give up."

It's one thing when you go see a performance for the first time by an artist you've really admired and listened to for a while and walk out feeling fulfilled and high from the experience. It's a great feeling, but also you realise, of course it was good. It had to be good. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, but I'm so glad they delivered. Yeah!!

It's a whole different story and even more rewarding when you go in blindly to a performance and walk out with your eyes wide open and seeing bright vivid colors for the first time and saying, "I had no idea!" That pretty much describes my experience last night.

Patty Griffin performed at The Vic Theatre. The Vic is one of my favorite venues for concerts. This show had assigned seating, which is not usually the case there, and we did not have tickets, but thanks to a very special favor from a good friend we found ourselves in the 6th row.

Now I say I went in blindly and that is the truth. W has put on cd's of her's while we were doing stuff around the house, or talking, or whatever, but it's been more like background music. So while I was familiar of who I was going to see and had an idea of what kind of show I was going to, I really knew nothing.

10 minutes after we take our seats the band walks out followed by a very tiny girl with red hair who immediately commanded attention from the very first notes sung. I was mesmerized. About 4 or 5 songs into the set she sits at the piano and tells a story of how she had been talking to a songwriter friend who said, "Ya know, between the 2 of us we don't have one happy song and that's just pathetic." Patty talks about how she decided to take a crack at it and "it's real easy if you just write about shoes and mom and stuff." She starts in on piano and then the band kicks into this beautiful powerful heavy song. 3/4's into it, almost teary eyed, I look at W and say, "This is supposed to be a happy song?" She too is almost speechless and in awe. This song is followed by 3 more very emotional songs sung just over an acoustic guitar and I'm thinking to myself, if the band doesn't come back out soon I'm going to lose my shit. I look around and there doesn't seem to be a dry eye around me. The band does come back out and it gets pretty rockin and before we know it the show is over and we're definitely left wanting more.

What a songwriter. What a voice. What a show! And the best part is I had no expectations. No idea I would leave so completely moved and inspired. I ran into someone I know in the line for the bathroom on the way out and told him the brief version of my experience and he said, "Yeah, she could sing the phone book and it would be amazing."

Friday, March 23, 2007


Today is Friday, people, and this is a Friday blog. This was meant to be done hours ago, but I've been busy and shit.

The pedal has been to the floor all week with some minor breaks for fuel and rest, but not much. I tell ya, I woke this morning from a real deep sleep and just stared at the clock trying to figure out what the hell it meant and what day it was and why I was suddenly awake. Is it the.....No, it's Friday. Wait, is it Friday? Yeah. What am I doing? Oh shit, I have to go to work!

So yeah, a few highlights. Had a St Patricks type day on Sunday instead. Much more pleasant I believe than Saturday night prolly was. Had the special treat of seeing Sebadoh twice. Shank Hall, as in Spinal Tap, (Yes, it's a real place. I had no idea.) in Milwaukee on Tuesday and Metro in Chicago Wednesday. Eric Gaffney, Lou Barlow, and a very skinny Jason Lowenstein. The original line up and in top form. 2 shows I should have seen 15 years ago and am forever greatful that I had a chance to this week. 2 mostly different sets. Very exciting, very inspiring. Here's what Lou has to say about the tour so far.

Tonight I'm going to hit some parties. Tomorrow the band and I will go to the CAN TV studio and play some tunes, and do some sketches, and I really don't know what the hell else. Sunday we'll be playing a benefit for the The Trap Door Theatre and here's more on that:

Sunday, Mar 25 - 6pm - $10
Dorian Taj
Penthouse Sweets
The Tennis Courts
Milk at Midnight
PLUS: DJ Tankboy

The Fourth Annual Trapdoor Benefit-The Trap Door Theatre has been invited to Romania with Matei Visniec's Old Clown Wanted in May 2007! The International Theatre Festivals of Arad, Sibiu and Bucharest have invited our production of Old Clown Wanted to perform this spring.

All proceeds will benefit The Trap Door Theatre's tour to Romania. If you are unable to attend but would like to still support us, please make your checks payable to Trap Door Productions, and send to: Trap Door Theatre 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago, IL. 60622. All donations are tax deductible and every donation helps!

DORIAN TAJ has been around the Chicago scene for ten years and no matter what the venue they always put on a fantastic show. And when I say a fantastic show, I mean they not only play well, but also play to the crowd, use witty commentary. Lyrically, Dorian Taj’s work is intelligent and clever while not pretentiously cerebral and musically they rock. And when I say they rock, I’m not speaking of just plain old rock ‘n’ roll music, they manage to be both deceptively simple and complex at the same time. Their sound is unique and for lack of a better term almost scruffy. All of the musicians in the band are obviously very talented, but clean and pure is not the sound they are looking for, rather Dorian Taj has a slightly gritty feel. - Conci -

PENTHOUSE SWEETS:"Its a shame this local quartet is reduced to begging for a label on its myspace page ("please someone put our goddamn record out") - its second self released ep, see you in bed, is loads better than most of the label-approved indie schlock that swamps my desk. their songs have a touch of small faces, a dash of guided by voices, and more than a pinch of the replacements - nothing you havent heard before, but they sound rightfully proud of their glamourless glam rock, and there are startling guitar and organ bits to turn your head. somebody out there knows how to sell this stuff..." -- Monica Kendrick - Chicago Reader

MILK AT MIDNIGHT is Danny Doom on vocals and guitars, Nick Ritz on bass guitar, vocals, guitar and drums, and Eric Ander$in on drums and bass. The band occasionally includes a drum machine and a tiny clock radio that makes static voices, and sometimes invites guests on banjo and keyboards. But, essentially, they are a rock and roll trio that have corrupted the normal patterns of sound.

MILK AT MIDNIGHT have just released a new 6-song EP, “Letter Bombs and Holidays,” recorded in the last months of 2004.Milk at Midnight recorded a full-length album entitled "A Fit To End All Time," released independently in late 2003. “‘A Fit To End All Time’ has everything I love: melody, power, adventure, heart and the true feeling of three guys working towards the common goal of creating something unique.”

DJ TANKBOY resides in the body of some tall blonde guy and lives in Chicago with his girlfriend Photogal and her pets Lucy the Dog and Chloe the Cat. He himself owns a beagle named Betty who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed. He also swears that it wasn't him who did that and has learned that "deny everything" is a basic tenet of existence.

This show is at Martyr's and we play first. We've been working on a lot of new material and quite a bit will be in the set on Sunday. Exciting!

I guess that's all I have to talk about right now.

Good bye.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The weekend is upon us

Have fun people, but not this much fun!
Damn, I was going to type a blog but looked at the time. Where did today go? Sheesh. Happy hour. See ya!