Saturday, December 24, 2005

a sadly beautiful day in New Orleans...

Back in September I promised to savor a cup of jo at Cafe du Monde this December as a form of "pffffft" to all the doomsday talk I'd heard about New Orleans.
We (Tricia and I) did have that cup of jo just yesterday and it was chicory good. It was a beautiful day and the French Quarter was bustling. We wanted to give as much as we could to one of our favorite American cities for she is reciprocal. So we also had a pint of Abita, a catfish poboy and a white chocolate caramel turtle. All was good, especially that poboy. I do not know why other American cities cannot do bread the way New Orleans can. Maybe it's the same mysterious reason New York pizza is exceptional. Anyway they're still pumping out the good stuff in the Quarter, but we found that this doesn't mean the Big Easy is back.

The Quarter is missing a HUGE chunk of its labor as well as many proprietors. Most establishments had to lessen their hours of operation to stay in business. Many are still closed. All have "Help Wanted" signs. If you ever wanted to work in the Quarter now is the time to get down there, jobs a plenty though you might be doing dishes. It's the working class that's gone missing after all. This sudden vaporizing of labor has spawned some odd stories. We asked our bartender where to get a good po-boy. She hesitated. She wanted to tell us to go a couple of doors down but that was no good because the new unskilled cook they hired burned the kitchen down with his first roux. This upset our bartender greatly (apparently they made a great gumbo). She pulled out a weekly pamphlet that some enterprising local carts around Quarter. It's called "What's Open." She calls this her phone book. "What's Open" started out as a one page flyer but by the time we had one it was a four page pamphlet. It's growth is a good sign but what we saw outside the quarter was anything but.

Coming into New Orleans through the commercial suburbs along Clearview Avenue and then Airline Ave, N.O. doesn't look like a city in crisis. You see a few rooftops with blue tarping, enough so you realize they might've had a good wind storm recently. But the roads are full, just packed in fact. Then you hit Tulane Ave and there's no getting around the disaster. Every store is closed, many gutted. The sidewalks are full of junk, so are the medians. The stop lights are replaced by makeshift stop signs. Even the businesses that don't appear to have been damaged are closed, including the fast food chains. That's when you know you're in a dead city, when Burger King has shut its doors. Then you hit downtown and it's bustling and then you hit the French Quarter and on a beautiful day like Tricia and I found, it's pretty easy to forget the misery you just past.

What's not so easy to forget is an afternoon drive through the Lower Ninth Ward. I've read the papers and I thought I knew what to expect but nothing prepared me for the devastation we witnessed or the sadness I felt passing through an entire neighborhood caked in flood residue, gutted; cars left where the water dropped them maybe a little off the driveway where they were parked, maybe leaning against a parking sign, maybe on the lawn. The lawns gray with flood filth, littered with odd scraps and piled high with destroyed furniture. The houses graffiti-ed by FEMA, SPCA, former residence: "Cat rescued," "None Dead," "Moved to Tuscon (phone number included)." The saddest graffiti reads "We'll be back." After driving through the neighborhood, that sign doesn't read like a brave act of defiance but an act of helplessness. Who would want to live in one of these treeless, lifeless neighborhoods where every single house must be rebuilt from the ground up; with the levy so close almost every house has a view. Who would want that reminder, having lived through it? Not many it is obvious to see. But we did witness people cleaning up their past, living in FEMA provided trailers in their gray front lawns in front of the ugly reminder of their former lives on the smelly lifeless block that used to be their neighborhood. If it was me, I think I'd be off to Tuscon with the rest of the gang.

But it's important to remember that this imagery is of specific neighborhoods and certainly not the city as a whole. The city is bustling along. What a beautiful day we had in the Quarter, can't wait to go back.


Yahoo! for Good - Make a difference this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Friends in Texas (and Chicago too)

Friends in Texas I hope to see you Dec. 29th in Austin, New Year's Eve in Houston and if you're hungry fer lunch we're taking the churchbus to Driftwood on the 30th.

Tricia and I will be stopping off for a Beignet and a ninth ward tour some time on the 23rd so if you happen to be in the Big Muddy look for us on the patio.

Friends in Chicago, you might consider the Metro for your New Year's Eve celebration. New Pornographers headline backed by SubPop's newest uberpop sensation Rogue Wave. I played in a short-lived ill-timed misunderstood band with Gram Lebron who now plays guitar and keys for Rogue Wave. Gram shown a wickedly flickering energized lamp on Houston for a few years with his Club Safe Parking and his somber group schrasj. Now he gets to take that energy around the world. He also gets to meet and play with my friends the M's who open the show at Metro New Year's Eve. The M's themselves are on the move having just signed a contract with Polyvinyl Records (of Montreal, AM/FM). Their album comes out in February.

To all the bands on the road this winter - rock on!

To all my friends in Texas - CAN'T WAIT!


P.S. Check out the M's and Roque Wave (and hell even the New Pornographers) on MySpace. RW's rendition of Buddy Holly's "Every Day" is particularly catchy. And while you're on MySpace, check out churchbus' bastardization of a Doug Sahm song, Sexy Ranger Man.

Monday, December 12, 2005

New Track du Jour

Artist: Bill Weita
Track: Live at Moe's Bar & Grill (Cleveland, OH)
Location: Moe's Bar & Grill (Cleveland, OH)
Date: 11-03-2005
Comment: Bill played with THE LATEST at the first gig of their November 2005 Tour. This piece makes up the entirety of his set. It was recorded live to stereo on a handheld mp3 player (Neuro HD30).

click below to listen (requires FLASH)...
track du jour

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kathleen Judge Part II

Click here for Part I. What follows is an "email interview" and two examples of Kathleen's charcoal drawings...

When did you start doing show posters?

Since 2000. Came back from a job in NYC & ended up bartending at the lovely Hideout & started doing posters for a number of bands playing there or residency type shows (Honky Tonk Living Room, Deanna Varagona's Gospel Jubilee). I had been experimenting with using scratchboard in the mid-90's & then really fell into the medium when i started making posters. The boldness of the B&W seemed to work well with posters (& hold up well when xeroxed). Then I did some Hideout Block Party posters --following in the footsteps of the awesome Robert Valdez. Since then I just take 'em as they come. Originally I didn't silk-screen the posters. I'd do the image & the excellent Steve Walters, of Screwball Press, would print them for me (note--many of my early multi color posters Steve printed for me--I'm not so fancy when I print them myself--they tend towards 2 or 3 colors AT THE MOST). Steve ended up getting pretty busy w/ jobs so I figured I better learn how to print. So I taught myself from books (poorly, as I'm not too good at following written directions) Steve took pity on me and started letting me print out of his shop on Western Ave.(a few years back). I've enjoyed the camaraderie of a shared space. So many different artists w/ different techniques, images, ideas. Keith Herzik prints out of Screwball also Jason Fredricks and a load of other fine folk. I have recently been getting into woodcut prints (artprints not posters) & that has really captivated me.

Is there a show you are most proud of promoting?

HMMM? I'm not making loads of money making posters so I try to take jobs I'd be proud to promote, and have fun making the poster. I've worked jobs doing artwork that I hated & thought would go away, & then was haunted by it being printed up & showing up everywhere--that's a lesson and a nightmare. I try to like who I make a posters for and like the posters I make. Let's see...I'm pretty excited to make a poster for an amazing musician especially those who are still going strong in old age, for example: Ralph Stanley @ Schuba's, B.B King & Bobby Blue Bland @ The Sabre Room, Oscar Brown Jr @ the Hideout, Jimmy Martins Documentary by George Groehl. I have loved doing one of a kind tickets for shows--which thanks to the Hideout, I've had a few opportunities to make tactile tickets to shows such as Neko Case/Kelly Hogan tix (one time on sandpaper the other each ticket was a polaroid), Alejandro Escovedo(one set in wood & metal, another set of tix in leather), The Handsome Family,(that ones too hard to sum up), Oscar Brown Jr (seed packets) & Bobby Bear Jr. (fake fur) I love making tickets. As the world moves foward in technology I move two steps back. Who REALLY wants to print their tickets out on their home computer when they can have a ticket made of wood & metal (made in a HIGHLY inefficient manner)? Who?

Is there an art piece you are most proud of?

Last year I had an opportunity to do illustrations for a book of Slave Narratives. It was a great honor. I love history. These stories are really amazing (go read the book 'Growing up in Slavery'). Here I am this white woman 100-200 years later getting an opportunity to translate visually some aspects of these people's life stories. These people's stories are truly inspiring. I was overwhelmed and honored. It's funny--all my life, unconsciously, I've wanted to be able to show my parents something like this that I did art for--my Dad was deceased before I received this assignment but my Mom was still alive and she read the book & was inspired by the stories. I'm currently working on illustrating a children's book w/ Jeff Bulington --& though we've been developing it a looooong time, I'm pretty proud of it so far & hope I feel the same when it wraps up & hopefully gets published.

Inspiration? Heroes? Mentors? Idols?

So many. Most recently I've been inspired by Paul Farmer (Read 'Mountains Beyond Mountains').

Boy, heroes? Other than people I know, and family, there are probably too many to type & my memory has gone scattershot on me. A few years ago I saw this puppet theater group from South africa (I believe they are called Handspring) they integrated this fantastic animation into the performance. It was drawing under a camera technique with charcoal. Found out it was animated by William Kentridge. Strange, I've had some people tell me about him before I'd ever seen his work & that I draw in a similar style. Now that I've seen his work, & become a fan, I can understand why some folks have said that--I think it's the way he draws w/ charcoal. I watched a video about how he animates & I was highly distracted that he managed to draw in nice dress slacks! In all my days of working in charcoal I can't figure out how he does that.

I know you traveled with Neko. How many tours have you been on and what is your role?

I've toured with her since 2000. My role has been taking care of merchandise. Share in the driving & whatever else may need doing--within reason. They're some of my best friends there (Neko, Jon, Tom & many others, depending on tour). The tours have ranged from a week or two to a few months. Works out well w/ my freelance lifestyle & my severe love of the road & rest-stops. A year or so ago, I went on the road w/ Neko and also researched the poster scene in various cities and how the clubs work with poster artists. I was surprised at the lack of venues seeking out silkscreened poster art for shows. In fact I spoke w/ one promoter and basically the deal he has w/ the artists is they get some booze. Made me realize how great Chicago is right now. Bands & venues are hiring artists to make posters for them. Pretty much every block in certain populated areas have layers of posters hanging. That's exciting. when I was in L.A., San Fran, Seatle and other cities, I was surprised that most the posters are xeroxes. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of artists all over making posters I just don't see their wk on their streets like I see it in Chicago. Made me feel proud of this town & the bands and artists in it. Yeah chicago!

Age (you don't have to answer, hell you don't have to answer any of these)?

Late 30's. Hope that doesn't affect my budding hollywood career.

Where are you from originally?


Why Chicago?

I like industrial cities. Cities with metal. I'm still surprised that I've been here this long.

Favorite food, domestic animal, car part?

I like all kinds, lately I'd say Indian. I'm also a big fan of Okra, fried or pickled. I'm a fan of dogs. ENGINE.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Not now but after I send this to you I'm sure I'll have many other things to say. Feel free to write back if you want me to give more info or answer any new questions.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Kathleen Judge Part I

Kathleen Judge is a lover of grit. She makes Chicago her home and doesn't just deal with the city's intrinsic grime; she seeks it out. Judge welds and performs other dirt-producing acts of freelance labor. She moonlights at a smokey bar tucked into an industrial neighborhood on Chicago's north side. On her own time, she has been known to paint with rust (see example below) and produce large charcoal studies of junk yards. Recently Ms. Judge held a rare solo art show at her mechanic's garage. Kathleen makes grit a part of Culture not at all something to be ashamed of or masked.

Maybe you have seen her work already. Kathleen is a Concert Poster artist with a slew of show prints including many for her musical comrades. In her poster line up are shows for Kelly Hogan, Neko Case, Oscar Brown Jr., and many others who have graced Chicago's stages. Her poster art is silk screened and based on clay etchings (note the gritty nature of this medium - okay maybe I'm reaching a bit). The originals were recently on display at 3 Bros. Auto along with the 2006 Auto Shop Calendar that she created for the proprietor (a clever way to ensure good service). Recently I caught up with Ms. Judge via email, she agreed to answer a few questions though she warned me that typing is not her forte. Stay tuned for that interview here. In the meantime enjoy some of her art work.

continue to Part II

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hey Austin! December 29th Room 710 BE thERE.

Greg Beets debuts his newest sensation, the Ron Titter Band, which from the sound of it takes Greg's songwriting from the adolescent venting of his past project, the Peenbeets, directly to the misguided torments of a "single for the third time" grown man. This is fitting. SeƱor Beets' lyrical gig bag is an excellent resource for the frustrated male, barren of romantic balladry. Although his work with Summer Breeze proves that he is fully capable in this arena (oh and once in his teens he took an early pathetic break-up song written by Yours Truly and turned it into something presentable, not quite as good as his own Big Boy's Christian Army but I handicapped him). Anyway, not one to croon a lover's tune, Greg (also of Noodle, Cheezus and formerly with the ingopods) smartly skips over the happy loving couple years (i.e. boring) right to what he does best. This time around, Greg is accompanied by Stinky Del Negro mastermind, Stinky Del Negro (aka David Wyatt, also of Solid Gold 40). I am titterlated.

I'm bussing some musicians down from Chicago for a meet and greet. Can I get an amen! The boys in the van are revved up to hang with bona fide Texans. I hope some will present themselves at the show.

For a grand finale you can't beat Attic Ted, San Marcos' only septuagenarian bohemian circus musicians. They will be fresh off tour so stinky and hot. Just how I like it.


Hey Houston! Keep that Date Open: NYE 2005.

A little early warning never hurt anyone (although it doesn't always help e.g. H-Katrina), particularly when it's regarding a great show friendship community and all that piffle. New Year's Eve at Rudz will be all about that my friends so reserve the date and come out early.

Natural disasters aside, the biggest event of 2005 for Houston and Chicago's southside was the World Series. I'm bound for H-town with a bunch of toddlin' southsiders this December to ask War's eternal question, "why can't we be friends?" I promise you we can.

Then Texas Guinness Lovers reunites and remind you it's better to be a drunk lover than a bar fighting man. We'll have some extra horns courtesy of churchbus and Infernal Bridegroom Productions. I can't wait. TGL hasn't played in five years! We'll have a couple of few practices under our belts and smell fresh as daisies, I promise you that my chums. Let's shine a little gospel light on our rendition of Rank Stranger this year with the addition of Erin Edmister on the churchbus organ.

All of this will be followed by the very best in Houston Rock: J.W. Americana. Holy Crap. I'd be at Rudyard's for JWA alone come NYE 2005.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Two Schubas Plugs in a row

I wouldn't blame you for thinking I'm on the Schubas payroll but sadly no. I can hardly get a gig there. Anyway another great show tonight at Schubas, Chicago's legendary Bobby Conn.

Part punk part activist all glam, Bobby Conn does something few others dare to (or could possibly have thought to). It's all good. Tonight he'll play a solo set at 8 PM then later a set with his full band. ZZZZ and Bang! Bang! open. That's a lot for a Tuesday night but it's only 8 bucks cheap so you won't be flat broke when you lose your job in the morning.

If you need to kill a few minutes at work go to the news section Bobby's site and watch the "Never Get Ahead" Video.

*Photo from Magnet Magazine - check out their Bobby Conn Interview in the archives.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

the M's begin a Monday Night Residency at Schubas

The M's have gone from being the nicest guys in Chicago music to the nicest pop stars in Chicago seemingly overnight. Their success looks deceivingly easy. Anyone who has been around them for the past four years will tell you, they have worked for it; practicing and recording tirelessly for a good chunk of that time in a musty Ukranian Village basement. Hard work pays off and the M's prove it. Tomorrow, they embark on a three week Monday Night residency at Schubas Tavern.

A Monday night gig might not seem like much, but in this case it is an honor. It is one of many great residencies at this Lake View tavern in a series they call "Practice Space."The residency idea is a good one and it should be picked up in other cities. The artists get a chance to stretch their creativity as well as a chance to select their own opening acts, lending other musicians a little hand-me-down limelight. For the M's this is familiar territory since they've been practicing over at Schubas anyway.

This week the M's share the stage with Baby Teeth who really don't need any hand-me-downs but it's a rare chance to see two great acts for cheap (only 6 bucks). Next week catch the M's with Stag Party featuring THE LATEST drummer Bill "Cococoma" Roe. Bill plays bass with SP.

Monday, November 21, 2005

An Evening with Thax Douglas

You don't have to be in town long to discover Chicago's rock & roll Poet Laureate. Thax Douglas makes the rounds from venue to venue on a daily basis, spontaneously writing poems and reciting them as introductory prose for local bands. The poems usually have titles like insert band name #1 (the number depending on how many introductions Thax has previously made for that band). They don't necessarily have anything to do with the respective band either...that is unless Chicago rockers are hiding their metaphysical natures from me. Ask Thax for a copy of your poem and he'll give you a hand-written facsimile. Pick up a local band's 7", particularly a live recording, and you are likely to have acquired a Thax Douglas oration free of charge. Sttep in to a local bookstore or record shop, you'll find Thax Douglas publications in text and audio formats.

If you're picturing Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Richard Hell or Henry Rollins you are off mark. Thax doesn't look, behave or write like a rock poet. Unless you pictured Allen Ginsberg, you probably have a mental image that is anti-Thax. That's a good thing because the world doesn't need another leather bound ryhmer.

Thax began his rock poetry career in 1997 at the very un-rocknroll age of 40 and according to his MySpace bio, he'll "probably keep doing this for some time." Recently he resurrected his showcase series at the Beatkitchen. This Sunday, November 27th, churchbus will receive their first Thax Douglas poetic blessing along with (fittingly) a Christian rock band the Skull, Genital Hercules and Swimmer Missing.

Since I will be recording the show, that will be four new Thax Douglas poems recorded for posterity and likely appearing on a 7"/website/MySpace page near you.

While he doesn't get the front page attention of his contemporary (attention he most certainly doesn't want), Thax has already left his mark in the fine lineage of Chicago poetry. Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks look out.

Check out some Thax Douglas poems, posted on Guided By Voices website.

*image from Stranger Than Films

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Club Footin' it

Rumor has it...okay I got it from Norah's weekly email...that Norah (Headache City,SS Records) and Bill Roe (THE LATEST, Cococoma, Stag Party) will be dj'ing tonight up at Club Foot.

Having spent 14 hours in the band van last week with Bill Roe's iPod in random mode, I am something of an authority on his musical tastes. If you like American Garage Rock, early R&B with a dash of Soul, you're in for a treat. I drove through two tanks of gas; Bill's mix (plus a cup of coffee and a couple of Krispy Kremes) kept me going.

See Bill's vivacious husband/wife act, plus Mikey, this Saturday afternoon at the Bottle.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Riding the New York Night Train

If you were a thirty-something mensch in a lengthy romance with American rock, a world-traveling musician with a talk show host's knack for conversation, the son of a Russian Studies teacher, and a pop-culture Zelig of sorts what might you find yourself doing in the early part of the Twenty-First Century?

Hosting a music webzine with in-depth features re: the Legends of American Music is one option. But then mensch that you would be, the world would be your oyster. So it is with great appreciation that I inform you that one good guy, Mr. Jonathan Toubin, has put all his coals in a single engine to brings us New York Night Train.

Toubin's articles, reviews and "oral histories" require the sort of focus you might not be used to hobo-ing about on the internets. If the first issue is any indication of what's to come (and I hope it is engine enough to haul a long and bountiful load) you won't get off this train easily. How does a six part two hour monologue by the legendary Kid Congo Powers (the Cramps, the Gun Club) grab you? Thought you knew everything about the early L.A. punk scene, Nick Cave, Reaganomics - think again.

Despite Toubin's expansive by-line (found only on the Mission page), NYNT is a self-effacing effort. This is very much in keeping with Jonathan's style. JT has found himself the sideman for a number of projects (Grand Mal, the Hammiks, de Schmog, and currently Cause for Applause) but he rarely makes it to the promo photos. Back in the day JT could get just about anybody to join his quirky bands (Tony Nozero/Drums and Tuba, Lymon Hardy/Pong-Ed Hall). If JT had a passion for somebody, it was relentless. When he was in a long distance relationship with Diane Koistinin (de Schmog/New Town Drunks), he had her face printed on a pillow sheet. For a guy dedicated to American Rock 'n Roll in all it's vulgar brashness, JT remains a sweet caring person.

That's why I think NYNT is going to be a smooth ride. JT is the right conductor for the job.

I first met JT when he was sixteen years old. I had just joined my first band, the ingopods, with our mutual friend Noah Sternthal, and later Greg Beets. JT had decided to be our manager. Back then JT sported oh-so-pinch-able baby cheeks, black suits and a bollo. His voice was "when it's time to change, you have to rearrange" era Peter Brady. The rest of us, being so much more mature, thought he was a riot. But we also respected him and considered him a brave soul. Hell, he got us some gigs. Like most first bands, the ingopod tunes should probably remain in somebody's school locker. What fortunately lives on is a shared passion for music and American culture and, for me, pride in seeing these folks venture from our shared Houston suburban roots, climb on those night trains, and fearlessly ride into the dawn. Long live New York Night Train.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

THE LATEST Tour Report

THE LATEST is back in the Windy City safe and sound after a six day tour to the East Coast. Here are some highs and lows...

1. Just outside of NYC, we learned of the death of Mana "China" Nishiura. She was killed in a van wreck between Baltimore and Brooklyn while her band DMBQ was on tour. This affected us in many ways; primarily for the terrible loss of a creative spirit, also because we ourselves were simultaneously spinning through the area in a band van, and because her band was staying with our friends Shellshag with whom we had a gig scheduled for Sunday night and with whom we planned to visit during our stay in NYC. Needless to say the Shellshag crew were preoccupied and could not play the show on Sunday. We didn't get to see those guys but they all were in our minds the rest of the journey. China we miss you.

It's tough to write on after that awful news but we must, mustn't we?

2. Moe's Bar in beautiful downtown Cleveland, OH was a good place to be. Frankly we weren't expecting much out of Cleveland. We didn't know anybody there and we had a tough time booking a gig. It was also a Wednesday night. Yet the good folks at Moe's, the ex-Houstonian bartender (cute!) and "Moe Jr." the current proprietor (more handsome than the Moe's proprietor of TV fame), went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The crowd was a good handful more than we expected. Moe's is a very small bar, recently re-opened with a new ambition to be a hip destination for live music. It doesn't have much of a PA and even less of a stage but what it lacks in amenities it makes up for in spirit. The folks at My Minds Eye Record Shop were also very accommodating: Thanks Charles! Thanks Steve!

3. Our Boston hosts, Ross and Emir, had homemade macaroni and cheese ready for us our second night on the road. That's good stuff. If you ever have the opportunity, take it. THE LATEST gives a BIG shout out to Ross, Emir, Roy and Athena for their gracious Boston hospitality, good food and tunes. DJ Athena spun tunes between bands at the Midway Cafe. Her mixes were recorded and made for great listening for the ride home. We played with the local band Keys to the Streets of Fear who played bluesy avant garde punk rock set up in front of the stage below the lights, pretty good stuff.

4. Blackies is the place to go for dogs and burgers in the Cheshire, CT area. This is Mikey and Ross' old haunting grounds. I highly recommend a visit to Blackies. They make their own pepper relish - that and spicey mustard are the only hot dog condiments readily available and that's all you'll need at Blackies. Mike's mom and dad showed up. Momma Fitzpatrick brought her homemade pepper relish which held up very well to Blackies. I had two dogs one with Blackies relish and one with Momma Fitzpatrick's. Heaven.

5. Saturday night we were uptown at the Ding Dong Lounge. I was a little concerned that we were a bit too far uptown at 105 street but the Ding Dong is just around the corner from Columbia so the students were out. It's a cool little bar to boot. Turned out to be the best turn out of the t-t-t-tour. I was proudly surprised to see a Houston flyer in the bathroom - an old punk rock Xeroxed thing for the Butthole Surfers at Numbers. That took me back. Got to see some family and good friends. Turpentine Brothers followed with a solid garage punk set. Nice guys and a gal - I hope they make it to Chicago soon.

6. THE LATEST spent the day in New York City baby and a considerable amount of time at the Legendary WFMU Record Fair. We could have spent the entire day there and all of our money (the latter being the reason we did not do the former). This is a great event and well worth the price of admission. I picked up a Fred Frith gem, a W.C. Fields album and some Chicago blues.

7. We got a pick on Mr. J Toubin's new New York Night Train Webzine. This is gonna be a great zine and you should get in on the ground floor while you can still say you knew it when. But more on that in the next post.

8. In Boundbrook, NJ at our last show of the tour, I finally got a decent live recording of THE LATEST and that was the best thing to come out of that show. We played at a sports bar on a Sunday night to the members of the other bands. At least they didn't suck: No Pasar from Jersey City and Northern Liberties (lead singer had some DaDa moments) out of Philadelphia.

Thanks to everyone who put us up and came out to see THE LATEST. BIG BIG Thanks to L Robertson who didn't know what she was getting into but her southern graciousness shown threw nonetheless!

Monday, October 31, 2005

THE LATEST on tour November 2nd through November 6th

catch 'em...
Sun. November 6th The Rail (New Brunswick, NJ) Northern Liberties and shellshag
Sat. November 5th Ding Dong Lounge (New York, NY) the Turpentine Brothers
Fri. November 4th Midway Cafe (Jamaica Plain, MA) The Keys To The Streets of Fear
Wed. November 2nd Moe's Bar & Grill (Cleveland, OH) Teddd Flynnn, Bill Weita and Beckett and Friends


Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


For his halloween costume at the Select Media Festival Secret Halloween Party, the ageless Edmar (ne Marszewski) slicked his hair back, flashed his hairless Korean-Polish chest through black apparel, summoned a rock band complete with passionate yet sensitive fans, and dove straight in to "Meat is Murder" with great abandon. To put it in a word, glorious.
It's beyond me how Mr. Marszewski is able to scrap together a Smiths Tribute band from a bunch of boys who were born at least a good year after the Smiths first release and looked more likely to play Flying Burrito Brothers tunes (or surgeons in a Civil War movie).
Another delight last night was the demonic Alien act Aspic Tines who reminded us "Hurricanes! Earth Quakes, Tsunami! WATCH OUT!."
churchbus looked pure and wholesome next to this galactic romantic mess that was.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

There's something in the basement...

Last night just under the all night bustle of the Fulton Meat Market District, Lozenge played an exuberant set violently steered by accordionist/moog-ist Kyle Bruckman while Kurt Johnson hammered in the foundation like a house being built top down.
Lozenge is at the tail end of a three week tour that from the sound of their band chatter had more snags and pitfalls than triumphs; nevertheless leaving them completely pumped to finish what their tour motto started "undoing America." Band commentary aside, Lozenge put on an excellent show absolutely tight and sporadic. The addition of Viennese Free Jazz artist, saxophonist, and longtime Lozenge associate, Boris Hauf was a pleasant surprise. I don't know if Boris was there for the entire tour but they played so well together that it's just not surprising they've been on the road for three weeks straight.
I told Kyle after the show how much Lozenge has been missed since the band (for all practical purposes) broke up on his move to the Bay Area. He said (and I could tell he meant it) that he missed it too. So I'd expect more shows from this noise rock monster outfit. But don't take any chances see them tonight at Enemy their last show...ever?
Check out their tunes (drill down from their discography page to the individual releases and find mp3 links).

Note: The photo on top was taken by Sandra Lima at the Prodigal Son in 2002 (although it looks surprisingly similar to the scene last night).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tip of the Week

Tricia Moreau Sweeney. Her work got a nice write-up (Tip of the Week!) in New City. Other good news, it will be hanging well past the Nov. 18th close date probably through to December.
Tricia Moreau Sweeney shows at Schopf Gallery on Lake, 942 West Lake, (312)432-1630.
Up next THE LATEST on teenie tour east November 2-6.
This weekend, celebrate Halloween with some real freaks the Lumpen crew and churchbus too.

Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Here you go Chicago...

A view from the other side, an Astros Buddy reminisces (with apologies and thanks to Erin Kline). This is copied from an email not originally intended for public display so excuse the e-nglish:

I am sitting at home with a sinus infection - and a tennis match looming for tomorrow at noon. I am trying to decide if I should go and practice right now - or eat, rest up a bit, and then practice. Either way the sinus infection is there - decisions - decisions - and I cannot really reschedule the match, which sucks.
The White Socks, The Cubs, The Astros - they are all jacked up on steroids that's what makes Baseball fun. Personally I am an Astros Fan - because I was an Astros Buddy as a kid. Every year my dad would sign us up to be Astros buddies. I even collected baseball cards, Nolan Ryan, Jose Cruz, Alan Ashby, and Phil Garner. I used to scream: JOSE CRUZ. I played T-ball, dad's pitch, baseball, and later softball, which I disliked. I even played on the softball team in high school - until I starting get sick during games. All things considered - my entry into the world of baseball wasn't graceful. I, too, was no fan of the dome - (in fact it pissed me off to be so close to Astroworld but so far away). I was bribed by my parents to attend my first Astros game - having stepped in cow shit at the rodeo, I quite hesitatant about the sports complex. My first game was probably in 1980. I would have been five or six. I remember walking into the mens room by mistake. As I recall the mens restroom I entered was brightly painted with metal urinals - I didn't know they were urinals at the time. I was trying to figure out what they were when my mother reached in and pulled me out. My Astros' buddy shirt was orange and white.
We were not allowed to drink soda's or eat junk food at home. So from 2-17 of course I wanted nothing more than a carbonated beverage and a bag of Fritos. My parents - on their more benevolent days - would in public and would allow us to drink a soda and eat junk food. So attending an Astros game pretty much guaranteed a soda, a hot dog, and sometimes a hot pretzel, OR better yet greasy ass Nachos. So I grew to love the games - because I loved the junk food. I liked watching the animated score board - I loved yelling: JOSE CRUZ.
But later things changed, I remember when my new Astros buddy shirt came in the mail and it was dark blue with rainbow sleeves. It was itchy. I missed the orange. I liked my orange hat better too. I remember whining when I had to wear the itchy shirt to the Astros game. I remember getting sick during that same visit and throwing up my foot long hot dog on the foot of the couple beside us. I remember my dad getting to a shouting match with the guy who I barfed on - and that was the last dome game I ever went too.
Later, Phil B took me to Enron Field on a date. I brought my glove(just as in the Astros buddies days). Except unlike during the Astros buddies days - this time I caught a ball. It was in my glove and I glanced back at Phil - seeking approval. I couldn't read him - there were all these little boys surrounding me. I was nervous - I didn't want my date to think that I would punk all those kids out of a a ball. SO I dropped the ball (surely that was more lady-like) - and the kids rushed in a grabbed it. My date was not impressed by my show of generosity, he was if anything disappointed. Apart from the ball screw -up it was a fun time. The beer was sold in plastic bottle - and it was $4.25 per bottle. Phil was wasted by the time we left. I remember thinking that he had spent way too much money on beer. At the time, I was making like $10.00 bucks an hour for $ 4.25 seemed like such an outrageous sum.
I am pulling for the Astros, because once an Astros buddy - always an Astros buddy. Say hi to Tricia

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lumpen gives good art.

Edmar and crew continue to amaze with their unflagging desire to demonstrate the abundance importance and pleasure of a-r-t; particularly that of the underground, the outsiders, the bottom liners and above all else the New Chicagoans.  Yesterday's Opening at Iron Studios was a spectacular display of art, artists, music and noise. A show claiming to be the best Chicago group show of the year practically dares you to present yourself.  Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that in pure aesthetic value this show is a couple of ribbons short of "best of year" but in overall worthiness, Yes, yes I say yes this is the best of the year.
The New Chicagoans featured thirty local artist in a fairly large space - a loft-ized industrial warehouse in Bridgeport. Most artists are represented by one piece although often that piece is quite grand in scale.  Not much tiny here, in fact anything smaller in scale is reproduced in large numbers to make a bigger whole.  I don't know if that is intentional but it works.  I do know that some artists were told (and told how) to scale back their art to make room for others. I saw one example of this with Duk Ju Kim's piece.  She expected to have two pieces showing and some who saw the two insist that they must be seen together.  I haven't seen the other piece but I immediatly found Kim's work magnetic.  It is centered on the far wall as you walk in and stands roughly 8' high.  A striking facial abstraction that dominates the pieces around it and left viewers staring for several minutes and congregating in its presence.  The appearance of Duk Ju Kim, a mid-career artist, is a smart move on the curator's part.  Her piece along with Al Pocius and John Salhus (all of whom produced oil paintings in a sea of drawings, models, installations, dvd's and 3-D slide shows) give a sense of maturity to the overall show that is otherwise lacking.  It is the balance of this mature work to the youthful energy of the art and the surroundings that makes the show a success.
I got a kick in the pants from last night's musical act, Wizzards.  Wizzards is a new duo featuring Lightning Bolt bassist Brian Gibson.  The ideas and sounds conjured by Lightning Bolt and the noise cult it leads can be found in Wizzards.  They were surrounded by christmas lights in plastic tubing and wore long shiney masks and other costuming so that they resembled a cross between Attic Ted and Ace Frehely.
Tonight Bobby Conn and others rock your balls off, also at Iron Studios - a feature of Lumpen's Select Media Festival and a Benefit for Hurricane Katrina victim and drum buddy inventor Quintron.
Next week, the Secret Halloween Party with churchbus.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

a note from Edmar

No turning back now.. Next up THE NEW CHICAGOANS

edmar <> wrote:
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 04:37:52 -0500
Subject: No turning back now.. Next up THE NEW CHICAGOANS
From: edmar <>
To: Lumpen // buddY list <>

Select Media Festival opened up in the community of the Future, Bridgeport,
at the Hey Cadets!/Texas Ballroom complex on Archer Avenue last nite.
The performances by Soft Serve, It's a Trap, Warhammer48K, Jerusalem and the
Starbaskets, and Carpet of Sexy set the standards high for what we think
will be quite a nice frolic into a new experimental cultural diaspora.

Situated east of the White Sox, north of the haunted hogbutchering grounds,
south of I55 and west of McKinley Park, Bridgeport, the community of the
Future is yours to create.

We are staging Select Media Festival from the 2nd floor of a huge warehouse
called Iron Studios in the country's oldest industrial park. And tonite we
are unveiling the best group art exhibition this city has had all year.
We are not kidding. If you think we are wrong then we'll give you cab fair
back. Maybe.


The New Chicagoans
Friday October 21

Iron Studios
3636 Iron St 2nd floor
Reception 6pm
Performance program 8pm
$8 and $5 for students


The New Chicagoans
The New Chicagoans refers to a multiplicity of approaches by the vanguard of
the Chicago art communities. This group exhibition reveals the wide range of
approaches in contemporary art making in the city by emerging and
established practitioners.

Featuring: Brian Ulrich, Christine Tarkowski, Juan Chavez, Cody Hudson,
Chris Uphues, Rob Doran, Michael Merck, Joe Compean, Jackie Kilmer, John
Parot, Melina Ausikaitis, Duk Ju Kim, John Salhus, Victor Van Bramer,
Barbara Kasten, Nat Ward, Sighn, Ryan Davies, Nick Black, Jason Lazarus,
Greg Stimac, You Are Beautiful, Elisa Harkins, Carl Virgo, Al Burian, Al
Pocius, Andrew Wilson, Stephen Eichorn, Melinda Fries, Erin Foley, Michael
Genovese, Stephen Mathewson, Paul Nudd, and Dolan Geiman.

Show runs October 21 - November 13, 2005 Gallery Hours: 1pm-5pm Sat and Sun

6 pm: Opening
9pm Performances
Auk Theater Irene Moon (Lexington), Mudboy (Providence), Wizzards, Far Rad
Midnight: Fossil Fools Energy Dance Party
And the Electric Love DJ.

Performances at Iron Studios
Auk Theatre (Lexington, KY) is the recent project of Entomologist/noise
musician Irene Moon. Last time she was in Chicago Irene gave a strict,
verbose and addictive PowerPoint presentation about insects at buddY. Now,
in collaboration with comic illustrator and one time member of the band Hair
Police, Matt Minter, they will present noisy, short and simple Absurdist
theatre with only the best topics in consideration; shoes, cardboard, bats,
wine, shapes and murder.

Mudboy (from Providence RI) is the alter ego of Rafael Lyon, proprietor of
the cd-r label Free Matter for the Blind. Some famous dude had this to say
about his performance: "With a modified electric church organ and some field
recordings, Mudboy creates shimmering waves somewhere between Steve
Reich/Brian Eno and the Bulb Records universe."

Wizzards is a new band from Providence with Rich Porter (Bug-sized Mind) and
Brian Gibson (Lightning Bolt). Spell casting loudness... Wicked drumming-
lots of electronic freakout. Yes wizzards are wizzards...

Fossil Fools Energy Dance Party: Tom Hansell and Kristen Baumlier

Electric Love is the feeling of music.

From october 20 to november 13 we are making it happen.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This Weekend Visit Bridgeport, the Community of the Future.

Southsiders have their cake and eat it too this month with the Sox in the World Series and the 4th of a series Select Media Festivals going on this weekend through November 13th.

Being a fellow southsider myself I'm glad to see this festival come South from its former too-hip-for-it's-self digs up in "Bucktown."

This Friday, October 21st catch the New Chicagoans Exhibition at Iron Studios featuring over thirty outsider artists based in Chicago (Bridgeport, community of the future, well represented).

churchbus drummer (and Cardboard Art Show Curator) Al Pocius has a few pieces in the show as does John Salhus (whose "losing boxer" paintings were fantastic) and Duk Ju Kim (I own one of hers and not a week goes by that I don't learn something new from it).

Next week head back to Iron Studios and catch churchbus with the Doors and the Smiths (it sounds too good to be true, I know!).

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Constructing Gender Deconstructing Rock

Dr. Michael A. Weinstein is 63. He's a professor of Political Science at Purdue University. He has published many books and essays. Dr. Weinstein (or Fellow Traveler as the rock world knows him) is also in a punk rock band - a punk band for whom one direct link to the establishment is not adequate (Vortis also features Chicago Sun Times Rock Critic/Sound Opinions Co-host Jim Derogatis). That's an impressive resume and to top it off Mr. Traveler is a sometimes Art Critic for New City which is the main reason I was thrilled that he spent the entire three hours of the "Chicago Artist's Month" Openings yapping it up at Schopf Gallery. He's reviewing Tricia's work in an upcoming New City so keep your eye out for that. Damn!

I'd say that alone made the Opening a success. It was well attended and it turned into a beautiful cool sunny weekend which was great for the Art Walk in general. We went back the next day and caught the Circle in Square contemporary dance troupe performing in front of Tricia's work. Two of the routines addressed the blurring of aggression and affection and worked well against Tricia's narrative photographs of couples fighting or hugging (deliberately impossible to know which it is).

Later Friday night we took the crew over to the Art Gallery Cabaret where Hotel Brotherhood played sweet and slightly-more-rocking-than-usual with Sam relinquishing the slide and lead guitar for bass ( I love the bottom end but miss Sam's subtle work on the other two). After that Al Pocius and company tore rock and roll a new asshole. It was lovely and sad at the same time, perhaps a perfect liaison to the Opening and ending of the night.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New Track du Jour at disclexington

Artist: churchbus
Track: flight of the buffalo
Location: Sunken Monastery Studio Chicago, IL
Date: 10-10-2005
Comment: Buffalo once roamed the lands once known as prairies once situated between the eastern and western mountain ranges of this continent, North America.

See churchbus this Friday, Oct. 14th with Hotel Brotherhood right after the Opening at Schopf Gallery.

track du jour

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pics and Licks

Next Friday, October 14th, is the Opening Reception for Tricia Moreau Sweeney's first solo photography show in Chicago. Tricia has managed to incorporate many Chicago rockers into her art while staying clear of the rock photographer moniker. Instead of the usual rant and pose images "rock photography" brings to mind, Tricia uses these models in a series of narrative photographs that blur the line between affection and aggression - and often gender (on that Tricia Moreau Sweeney and "rock photography" do share some common ground). The reception is from 6 - 9 PM at Schopf Gallery. Immediately after the reception please join us at the Art Gallery Cabaret with churchbus for a chance to "meet the models."
Tricia has shown work in group shows throughout Chicago for the past three years. She had several solo shows in Houston and Austin before moving to Chicago from Texas in 2000 to join the MFA program at UIC.

Schopf Gallery
942 W. Lake Street Chicago, IL 60607
T: 312.432.1630
Gallery Hours:
11am- 5pm Tuesday- Saturday or by appointment
Located in the West Loop Gate Gallery District, four blocks west of Halsted Street between Sangamon and Morgan. The nearest CTA stops are the Clinton Green Line, Grand Blue Line and Halsted Bus at Lake.
contact us:

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Swearing at THE LATEST

Tuesday night at Schuba's was a hit.  THE LATEST started things off with a short tight set to much approval from the generous crowd - a nice size gathering especially for a Tuesday night which didn't let up from the first power chords of THE LATEST's "Plush Boys" to the last note ringing out of Dave Doughman's telecaster.  In between Love Story in Blood Red bounced back and forth between lonely break up songs and happy break up songs with the greatest of ease.  Jason Frederick of LSiBR has a great voice that can jump up to a pretty high C and drop down real low in seconds flat.  It was great to see the M's hanging out, kings of Schuba's that they are (look for their next release out on Polyvinyl soon!).  Thanks to all for coming!

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Trailer's Up

The Wormwood "Pitch and Tone" Movie Trailer is up on Jacob Smith of churchbus is in it. He's the guy who asks Judge if he listens to Billy Joel. Jake's a visual artist, a bassist, an unwitting TinTin impersonator and now an actor. What a well rounded guy.

Don't forget - Schuba's Tuesday night 9 PM.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Next Tuesday You Better Be There

THE LATEST opens for Swearing at Motorists and Love Story in Blood Red at Schuba's Tavern, Tuesday September 27th.  It'll be a day of sweet confluence for us and you better be there.  For one thing, this is the Latest's Schubas debut (sort of Holy Grail type of experience going on here).  Secondly it's a chance to share the stage with Kris Poulin's outfit Love Story in Blood Red.  Kris recorded the Latest's first album and this Saturday he's heading over to the Sunken Monastery to teach churchbus how to use their 8-Track machine.  Anyway I digress, LSIBR has a clean pop sound. They've been compared to the Kinks and the Modern Lovers and I can hear that, but listen for yourself why don't you? Finally we share the stage with Swearing at Motorists a duo turned trio turned nomads originally out of Dayton, Ohio (with the I-was-there-badge and Guided By Voices connections to prove it). Here's a nice little interview with Dave Doughman of Swearing at Motorists reminiscing about the old Dayton Scene, sort of disc-lexington-ian in spirit.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

last week next week

Last week's Wormwood benefit at the Hideout was splendid. I was expecting a good time of course.

It was a chance to see the Spoken Four with their new guitarist/vocalist, Susie Gomez. I've seen Susie do her own thing at the California Clipper a couple of years ago so I knew she was good. Losing a key player* just as things are taking off can really hurt a band. I'm glad Susie's filling Kimberly's shoes so well. She did some of Kimberly's riffs note for note adding her own flair. The band was generous enough to throw in a couple of Susie's original tunes which were quite nice. She and Sarah have a great harmony together. Sarah's a more natural singer than Kimberly but that's the last comparison I'm gonna make because the Spoken Four sure weren't hurting with Kimberly in the line up. Good job!

The LATEST put on a great show several decibels lower than Bill Roe's debut on drums at Cal's last month. It made for a much better show because it's just terrible when the vocals are lost with a band like that.

Hotel Brotherhood put on a great show too and left me highly anticipating the show at the Gallery on Oct 14th with Churchbus.

The Wormwood folks showed a trailer for the film they are working on. It did exactly what a good trailer should - makes you want to see the movie. The trailer had a couple of funny moments and a couple of moments so strange that I can't wait to see what the heck was going on. Look for "Pitch and Tone" some time in the future hopefully before the actors are too old to enjoy their success.

Next Week the LATEST finally make their Schuba's debut opening for Ohio's Swearing at Motorists. More on that show later but put it on your calendar. The LATEST deserve the attention from this venue, one of Chicago's finest. They need your support!

*Kimberly's husband's job took them to St. Louis.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fwd: Re: Movie Benefit

ross cashiola wrote:
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2005 16:59:25 -0700 (PDT)
From: ross cashiola
Subject: Re: Movie Benefit
To: Kilian Sweeney
this is the premise. Judge is looking for a free
piano, but there are so many strings attatched. The
search lands Judge in some ackward,funny, and moving
situations. Maybe Judge isn't looking for a piano,
but something else entirely. if you want to give a
brief synopsis this could be it. Thanks killer. ross

--- Kilian Sweeney wrote:

> Hey Guys - what would you like said about the
> benefit/movie if perchance one were promoting it?
> Looking forward to next week at the Hideout.
> Oh, you guys interested in playing Fri Oct 14th at
> Gallery Caberet?

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the Spoken Four

Also playing this Monday (Sept 12th | 8 PM) at the HideOut is the Spoken Four who not so long ago recorded their first demo at Disclexington's Sunken Monastery Studio.  We put one of those tracks up as a tdj (You can download the mp3 from the Audio History link). 
They've since replaced the Sunken Monastery tracks on their MySpace site with some stuff recorded on an analog voice recorder.  What does this say about the Monastery? You be the judge. Compare! Contrast!
They remind me of Throwing Muses and then, sometimes Black Sabbath.
Come, bask in the Spoken Four's ambitiously exuberant rock and roll.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wormwood Movie Benefit

THE LATEST plays this Monday, September 12th (9 PM) at the Hideout to benefit Wormwood Industries.  Wormwood Industries is in the midst of movie making and this requires your dough. 
The movie is about a man who answers "Free Piano" ads in the newspapers and that leads him on many adventures.
Go.  If you wish to see what becomes of this man.
Also playing, Hotel Brotherhood who haven't heard a bad Palace Brothers song.  They take over where Townes Van Zandt left off as best as any two brothers from Baltimore (and one lonesome steel player) can.  The Cashiola Brothers song-smithin', singin' and pluckin' just gets better and better the longer they plow their trade.
Come out.  Support the arts.  New Orleans ain't getting any dryer, you know.  Oh, and do your part.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

The City of New Orleans

There's much speculation as to the future of the once great city of New Orleans.
Let's pay that no heed shall we? 
I'll be driving through on my way from Chicago to Houston in late December and plan to stop at Cafe du Monde no matter when we pull into town.  Mmmmm I can taste the chicory now.
One good morning, and it couldn't be too soon let me tell you, the city of New Orleans will most certainly rise again.
I'm almost willing to bet a Lucky Dog that HeadAche City will make its October 30th gig at the 2nd Annual "The Rockening."  Even if those that govern rockenings already plan to move it to Memphis.
Signs of Hope from the AP (09/04/2005):
"Amid the tragedy, about two dozen people gathered in the French Quarter for the Decadence Parade, an annual Labor Day gay celebration. Matt Menold, 23, a street musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung over his back, said: "It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate.'"

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

churchbus recording

Churchbus is midway through recording its sophomore effort,Beauty. We hope to have a song on the site in a week or two, maybe a track du jour.

A notable feature of this release will be the debut of recording artist, Paloma Mekong Smith. Paloma lay down some tracks this past Tuesday and gave a command performance. She seems quite happy in front of the mike. We see rapid artistic maturation in the very near future.

When Paloma learns how to speak, we shall interview her here.

In the meantime, have you rummaged through the churchbus audio/video files? Go to the "New Demo" Yahoo! Briefcase. Four songs are multi-track sessions recorded for varying purposes. "Manny" was recorded as accompaniment to a video piece (the video is also download-able). "In this World" is an old de Schmog song re-worked in honor of Einstein's Miracle Year. Albert had some interesting things to say about the state of human affairs, let alone his contributions to the world of physics. "Red" and "Elm Street" are works of churchbus' Ohio-Farm Boy/Carpenter/Organist, Erin Edmister. They are songs of his upbringing in the Ohio Valley. The rest of the stuff in the "New Demo" Briefcase are games. Songs written arranged and recorded in fifteen minute periods with designated instruments, genres and themes being drawn from a hat.

My personal favorites: "Blue Hot Summer," "Plum Walking," "Eia au ke kali nei," "Al Ate Four Fish."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Holy Crud Booking THE LATEST is Hard

I've got email out to like five different parties including a band from Akron, Ohio and I haven't heard back from anyone and it's been like five days.  I haven't even heard from the Akronites.  What are they up to?
Hello?  Anybody out there? 
I guess I'll send cd's and press kits into the void anyway.  Maybe it would help if THE LATEST had a video.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Poppa Neutrino gives us a shout

A week back I put up a new track du jour and let the Floating Neutrinos know the song was in the Poppa's honor. Yesterday we got word from the Neutrino Patriarch (as well as Capt'n Betsy, his wife).

From Poppa Neutrino:

what an honor. thank you so much. I am unable at this time to
access the song as i am living in a twelve foot dory in provincetown, mass
waiting untill the heat goes down in baja california and i can return to my
raft, the Island Rooster. and continue my journey across the pacific. It will
probably be the middle of october when i return. once agian, thank you so much,
Poppa Neutrino

We wished him good luck and offered to send him the song on disk but we haven't heard back as to which 12' dory he is on. I think I might simply address it to Poppa Neutrino 12' Dory Provincetown, MA.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Who saw the Minutemen?

I thought they were showing the Minutemen documentary twice during the Chicago Underground Film Festival but it looks like Saturday night was it.  Shoot I missed it now I'll have to wait for it to show up on Netflix.
The "Whole World's Watching" shows tonight. WWW contains a lot of footage and interviews from the Repulican National Convention in New York.  It's the work of a couple of Northwestern students who may or may not be influenced by one former member of the Weathermen/Political Party Convention Protestor, now a Northwestern faculty member.
Um, not related but I just noticed that no version of communism or socialism is in the thesaurus, although Roget made room for democratic and capitalist.
Oh and speaking the other day of shenanigans sure to make you famous.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Bow Your Head for a Big Boy

Randy "Biscuit" Turner, ground breaking early Texas Punk Rocker turned Artist, passed suddenly yesterday on the eve of an Art Opening in his honor which will now serve as a Wake.
Biscuit is (too hard to say "was") a great DIY influence and encourager and he will be missed.  READ-> Greg Beet's obit.
Now, as Biscuit and the Big Boys would tell you, go start your own band.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

New Track du Jour

Check out the new track du jour on Disclexington.  It's the debut piece from Brillo, although he has previously recorded an interpretation of THE LATEST's self-titled debut.
It's inspired by a rafting story that ran in the New Yorker several weeks back -recommended reading and if the movie ever comes out, recommended viewing.
track du jour is streaming mp3 audio in a Flash player accompanied by a little Flash video.  The current tdj and past tdj's are linked from Disclexington in downloadable mp3 format.  Right now we're using Yahoo! Briefcase to store the audio history but we're looking for a more reliable home.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005


How many nights this week can a member of THE LATEST perform? Sunday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night...Keith? You playing this week?

Cococoma is Bill and Lisa Roe but you can stop the comparisons to the White Stripes right there pal. They're more like the Flat Duo Jets (I think). And they rock. And they make T-shirts. And, as a couple they are infatuated with keeping the beat for Mike Fitzpatrick. Tonight at Cal's - they're second...or maybe third.

Also tonight - the release of Galactic Zoo Dossier #6 at the Empty Bottle. Here's an excerpt from "the Of Mirror Eye" Review...

The magazine combines the twin loves of Platic Crimewave, Psychedelic music and Psychedelic music. The magazine is beautiful, with about 90% of the magazine both hand illustrated and hand written. This is certainly a labor intensive effort, but also most certainly results in one of the most distinctive looking magazines out there.

Sounds pretty good and the zine comes with 2 CD's. You can check out some of the tunes here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tonight check out Norah's Rock Show - Bottom Lounge

Norah Utley's having a good year by my reckoning: Got some great records out on her label; got herself hitched to one of Chicago's most eligible bachelors; profiled in the Reader back in April; she's in one of the best bands on SSR, and her show tonight got a pick in the Reader and UR Chicago.

If you've only seen Mike play bass with THE LATEST (well he does play a couple of tunes on guitar), then you gotta see him on the six string and singing like D. Boone reincarnated with Headache City tonight.

From Norah (tonight's schedule at Bottom Lounge):

The BUSY SIGNALS (Oh baby!)

HEADACHE CITY (first show in Chicago in FOUR MONTHS!)

The MARKED MEN (From Texas, best band ever! This is their Shit Sandwich 7" release show, don't expect to get a 7" at it though, as they are still at the stinkin' pressing plant!)

MOTO (Whaddaya know!)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Well that was fun...

We had a surprise opener last night, Lil Isaac and the Dirty Stank, which made it a very well rounded show indeed.  How's this for a line up: Chicago Blues played by a "House of Blues" bartender and a punk rock/bike messenger bar owner; Austin skah-prog-klezmer-zappa-rock played by Texans in orange jumpsuits; Twangiabilly rock-n-roll played by Aussie hillbillies; and finally the loudest THE LATEST show ever to ensure that everybody's ears would be ringing into September.
This show was well attended and a lot of fun.  Thanks to everybody who made it out on a Sunday night, a life-sized statue is being made in your honor.  Um, except the boat-dwelling Irish dude in the Steve Irwin outfit.  You could have stayed on your boat.  And Cameron was a bad dog too, but that's okay - as he lamented on Gator's big shoulders around 3 AM "what is a boy to do!?!"
Alright, three hips for Cococoma Bill on drums for THE LATEST.  His first show was a big success.  A bass drum the size of an above-ground swimming pool is just what the latest needed to support their guitar troika madness.

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Holy Smokes! Red Hot Poker Dots rocks...

True to Roberto Cofresi's promise, RHPD put on an excellent show last night at Martyr's.  Roberto said they're better than ever and it's true, the show was even better than last year and the new Flying V Guitar/Dobro player s-m-o-k-e-s.  You must come out and see them at Cal's this Sunday 9 PM with the Invincible Czars from Austin, TX and of course...THE LATEST with Cococoma Bill on drums.
Be sure to tune in to 88.5 tonight at 9 PM, THE LATEST live woohoo.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tonight - > Red Hot Poker Dots. THE LATEST booking hits a snag.

Come out tonight to Martyr's and get there early for the Red Hot Poker Dots - 6 bucks chEAp. You won't regret it. Read why this something-billy band is the hardest working band in Australia.

Okay so THE LATEST's November "Go East Young Man->" Tour hit its first snag. We want to play Hank's Saloon. We've heard it's a great place to play and some of the regulars and workers there have hung out with us in Chicago. So we got in touch (and on their behalf I have to say they were very responsive and friendly) but they said they have an "All-Americana Format" now and while they liked our music it didn't fit their new thing.

I'm sorry but I don't get "All-Americana Format" or at least how THE LATEST doesn't qualify as such. A lot of what I hear as "americana" sounds like drippy old Irish folk ballads or something. What gives? Btw, is Stevie Wonder americana?

Anyone have suggestions for places to play/contacts going East, particularly Brooklyn? Hank's suggested a place called Magnetic Fields.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Red Hot Poker Dots at Martyrs' Thursday. THE LATEST, RHPD and the Invincible Czars Sunday at Cal's.

A year ago, our good friends in Chapel Hill, NC Roberto Cofresi and Diane Koistenin turned us on to Red Hot Poker Dots of Melbourne, Australia. Roberto was helping RHPD book a US tour so we got them a gig at Cal's. These guys and a gal had been touring the Southern States for almost two months already. They started out with an old American car they bought for a few hundred bucks. They strapped the upright bass on top. But that broke down so they rented a van. When they left Chicago, they still had another month of touring ahead of them. It was a great show and we had a splendid time hanging out with the Aussies that night and at the next day's BBQ at Kilian and Tricia's place. The show was recorded and one of the songs became Disclexigton's first track du jour.

Well RHPD is back. And we're doing them one better this time around. RHPD is opening (so get there early 9 PM) for the Helicopters and Kristin Shout at Martyr's, this Thursday, August 11th. Only $6 bucks. Nice write up in the Reader. Go! This will be a great show.

Then definitely come out Sunday, August 14th to Cal's and catch RHPD again with the Invincible Czars from Austin, TX opening and our own THE LATEST headlining. This will also be an early show - 9 PM.

Oh and catch THE LATEST live on the radio this Friday at 9 PM on WHPK's Pure Hype!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

the Carnys this Saturday August 6th at the Empty Bottle

Our Bob Taylor brings his home-away-from-home band of Carnys up from San Marcos, TX this Saturday, August 6th, to the Empty Bottle. HEAR Bob's one of a kind voice-on-a-spit in its most natural setting: fronting the hurdy gurdy sounds of Grady Roper on carnival organ and Wade Driver (of Hickoids fame) on drums. Grady and Wade also make up Attic Ted a masked lonesome bastard son of the Carnys. Attic Ted is touring to promote their newest release.

You don't get many chances in this life to hear the Carnys so come on down.

In the meantime relax and enjoy some comedy.

Oh and you can check out a song THE LATEST recorded with Grady Roper at his home with Grady playing clarinet and Mike on the circus organ.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A New Beginning

This site is being re-directed to its true purpose as a sounding board for me - the loyal grunt behind the scenes at Disclexington Productions. I hope to share with you the pleasures and struggles of an independent label devotee as I help these great bands make their way in an ever-changing, unromantic, increasingly cynical world. You wouldn't think this brave new world we live in would have a place for renegade musicians whose dreams consist of "just one great show," or "travelling the country, meeting new people, and sharing stories along the way." But guess what? It still does. I believe that. I believe it so much, I spent all my college summers working my ass off for nothing at an Indie Label. And now I'm a college graduate with a Business Degree (who isn't?) and what am I doing? I'm devoting my life to promoting the music and musicians I love. So join me as I circumnavigate the music world on behalf of the wonderful people of Disclexington Productions. Let's Roll!

Oh but first...I promised my boss that I'd "host" a celebration of his 7 month "Morning Commute" project. Frankly I think it's all a bunch of dribble and a desperate attempt to make lemonade out of a bunch of rotten apples but whatever, we'll go over the highlights. So here it is, my top ten favorite "Morning Commute" posts in no particular order:

10. Entry Number Three. I don't know, I totally dig the Indian imagery and the drawing is funny. You can skip the first two paragraphs, auto-erotic and b-o-r-i-n-g.

9. Enter Eleven and a half - the "original entry." It's actually way too long and full of useless information but it gives you all the background and I like the link to the exquisite corpse.

8. Entry Six. Needs no explanation. Do you get the idea that I like drawings yet?

7. Entry Eighteen. The beginnings of something great. I guess entry Twenty-Nine should be included here.

6. Entry Thirteen. Fan favorite.

5. This thought goes through my head all the time.

4. Entry Thirty-One. Nice short poem (emphasis on short)

3. Entry Thirty-Nine. I am totally jealous that OMK* got to go to the NAACP Conference. Can you imagine being the only dorky white guy in a sea of God-fearing NAACP conference goers? I can only imagine the scene from the Blues Brothers when Elwood and Jake see the light. OMK said it was exactly like that.

2. Entry Two. I like the Chinese characters, very observant.

1. Entry Nineteen. Another drawing.

*Ol' Man Kilian