Monday, May 29, 2006 us with your house

If pictures really do say a thousands words then Diane and Roberto are having the time of their lives over in Chapel Hill, NC. It looks like they are fitting in nicely amongst the East Coast hillbillies too. Maybe they have found a happy home.

Their home for the next four nights is not in Chapel Hill though, it's our pad. That's because the crazy Puerto Rican and his Detroit mistress are bringing their show, New Town Drunks, to Chicago to record at Sunken Monastery Studios (aka my basement) and play a show with churchbus. Apparently they are bringing their North Carolina weather with them. Roberto never could stand the cold (so why they moved to Queens from Houston is still a mystery).

It's hotter than a two peckered billie goat in heat over here in Chicago. That's taken us by surprise - we don't stick in the window units until mid-July. Anyway NTD should feel right at home. They should be showin' up 'round supper time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bob Taylor this Friday with Hotel Brotherhood and Relaxation Records

Bob Taylor of THE LATEST writes some damn fine songs and he's itching to let you hear them so come out Friday night Chicago and check it out. Take a break from the Black Out Festival if you are battling the crowds. This show is just down the street and it's free. Hotel Brotherhood (coming off a Texas recording trip) and Relaxation Record (a solo project from harmoniumist Jim Dorling of the Thrill Jockey recording artists Town and Country) give ol' Bob a boost.

This Friday May 26th at Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley Chicago, IL.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Garage Rock Chicago

Chicago Garage Rock is in something of an Enlightenment period. This is not to say that the Pride of the Rustbelt has ever lacked for gritty whiteboy blues, it's just more prominent than I recall when I first moved up here in '01. I'm sure sister city Detroit's garage boom (the Detroit Cobras, the Dirt Bombs, the White Stripes) has had a lot to do with the crowd swelling but Chicago's been cultivating it's own brand with an ear closer to Memphis than Detroit these days. Nothing makes that clearer than this years BlackOut Festival hosted by Horizontal Action Magazine (HA claims to be taking a break meanwhile they are pulling some of the coolest rabbits out of their hat). Last year HA miraculously (and financially disastrously) reunited the Pagans (Cleveland, OH) this year the Oblivians pay a visit teamed up oddly enough with Quintron. Therein lies the Memphis connection with the disbursement of the Oblivians to garage projects that permeate the Chicago scene.

Greg Oblivian went on to form the Reigning Sound which headlined last year's Black Out Festival and performed at the wedding party for Cococoma keyboardist Michael Fitzpatrick. Eric Oblivian is releasing a Cococoma 7" on his garage rock flaghsip label Goner Records.. Lucky Cococoma recently released another 7" on Chicago's Shit Sandwich Records which is run by Norah Utley of Headache City which features Cococoma's guitarist, Lisa Roe, and the aforementioned Mikey Fitzpatrick.

The intertwining of this scene gets way more knotted so I'll refrain from full disclosure although I should say I am connected to this garage world by a few tenticles. I play with Cococoma's Bill Roe and Michael Fitzpatrick (also of Headache City) in THE LATEST (more Beefheart than Iggy) and I play in churchbus (more Them than Sonics) with Al Scum drummer of the C*nts. The C*nts put out what may be the first Chicago garage single in 1978 and has recorded a dozen or so garage albums since. Er, not that the C*nts are playing the festival or anything but how can I not mention an affiliation with one of the longest running gargage bands in the city, and btw/fyi/lol, they will soon be recording for disclexington productions.

The Blackout officially starts Wednesday but you'll get a good feel for it tomorrow night at Cal's with maybe (but I doubt it) a little less crowd congestion. Cococoma on at 10 PM.

Friday, May 19, 2006

a Message to you Pretty: Opening Tonight

Rodrigo Avila's studio has been down on 18th Street for several months now but he has just recently turned it into a gallery. It's a one room event with the Pilsen public culture as a pleasant distraction. Surprisingly with such limited space Rodrigo has chosen to have group shows which meant for the last one that each artist showed only one piece. It didn't take long to see the whole show and the work was varied and good . Across the street was a larger one-man opening and down the street is the Jumping Bean which displays art prominantly and serves a good cup of jo. All of this means if you can make it down to Pilsen tonight you can hang with some good folks and see some good art. I've seen Olivia Ortega and Julie Smith's work and they are both well worth a peek. If you've got the money, I think you'd do well to pick something up.

Check out Rodrigo's blog for more images and details.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Track du Jour

Artist: de Schmog
Track: Speeding Motorcycle
Location: Houston - Rudyard's Pub
Date: 05-18-2006
Comment: In honor of Houston's Infernal Bridegroom Productions upcoming musical Speeding Motorcycle, I reluctantly give you this live track from a de Schmog show in 2003. Reluctantly I say because this show goes down as THE drunkest I've ever been on stage and I said a lot of stupid stuff. At one point I said "alfohol." Classic. Anyway, as many Texans do, Diane came back from Chapel Hill, NC with a new respect for hometown heroes. She wanted to play a Daniel Johnston song and as luck would have it, we played the song now memorialized in a musical. Enjoy. And P.S. this goes down in our non-linear Lexington Street review since de Schmog spent several years on Lexington rehearsing, living and being stupid.

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

movie and pic from the Proletariat - courtesy of Ramon

Mr. Ramon Medina was kind enough to make this little movie and post these pics.

Thank you Ramon.

Pics from the Art Car mini-tour

Soggy Cigarette, happy heart.

Drum Donations, happy feet.

Packing up, cracks me up. Thoses Sillies!
Oh what fun let's cross the country in your van.

It was a short trip but as road trips often prove, you can pack a lot into four days.
Good-bye Tricia. We will try to find the solutions and bring them back intact.

We saw good omens, like this eighteen wheeler driving through the pounding rain with the cross emblazened across her grill. Thank you Jesus, Over?

We made an exquisite corpse to thank the god-truckers.

Thank you, Al.

Thank you, Erin.

Thank you, Me.

Thank you, Chris.

Thank you, Snake.

Thank you, churchbus.

On day two it looked like we'd be spending the tour in Oklahoma praying to the van.

We putt putt putted on over to Anadarko, OK where our friend John Salhus was restoring WPA era art of a Native American nature; which makes sense since Anadarko is 75% Native American.

Erin found a mechanic. The rest of us tooled around with John.

Al was working on a bird.

Suddenly we made it to Houston!

Where we had breakfast with my mom.

You know, a lot happened between Anadarko and Houston. For one thing we made it to Austin for our show with Golden Arm Trio and Loudest Boom Bah Yea, just in the nick of time too yea. I mean we had to unpack and play right away but not to many people and we missed LBBYea. But Golden Arm Trio was great yea. So was Clay Embry. Chris helped me stay awake for the run to Houston which we did right after the show. He sang sitcom themes songs to me and I tried to guess the sitcom. This was harder than I would have thought mainly because he is ten years younger than me and I've never heard of Mr. Belvedere or Family Matters but then he's never heard of One Day at a Time yea.

We went to the Everyone's Art Car Parade.

Saw some friends.

Saw some art cars.

We were pretty tired.

So Jake cut us some pie.

Actually some stuff happened between then and then like we went to the MFA and took a band shot in the Turrell Tunnel, drank loads of iced tea, and said hi to Lisa at the gift shop. We went to Rockin' Robin where we bought a guitar slide and a bass limiter and grew puzzled by all the surf boards.
But those pies and dinner were delicious. Thanks mom.

She's pretty great.

So then we played a show with Hotel Brotherhood and Bright Men of Learning at the Proletariat. Got to see lots of old friends, some Cashiola family including a cousin who as it turns out went to high school with me. I was especially glad to see the Seximals there. It was fun to play bass for the Brotherhood. I haven't played bass live since I was nineteen. Then I played old rock covers for Shriners out in Pasa-get-down-dina.

Bright Men of Learning kicked ass. We rocked out to their new cd on the way back to Chicago. Playing with churchbus was great as was rocking with my brother and Johnathan again. Poor Chrish - I hope somebody took video. We went back to his house afterwards and dragged him into his inflatable pool with our clothes on. Felt good.

We had to hit the road the next day after a Mother's Day dinner at Van Loc and a quick hello with my pop and Jane.

We missed a peek at the IBP Speedy Motorcyle rehearsal. We couldn't go to Bobbin Doctrin's production either. We didn't even stop at Rudz. This is all very bad.

There was nothing left to do except take pictures on the ride home.