Thursday, September 28, 2006


If you're feeling spunky Monday night come out to the Bad Dog Tavern for churchbus and Hotel Brotherhood (minus one brother). It's a free show and you can laugh at us shaking the dust out of our throats and off our guitars. This is churchbus' first show since June 3rd!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bring on The Rage! One for Justin

Mr. Crane recently helped BMW get the word out that investing in one of their cars is as sound an opportunity as adding to your 401(k) or your IRA. I am grateful. In fact when I shelled out almost a grand for repairs on my own German-made vehicle just earlier this week, Mr. Crane's post allowed me to do it with confidence.

In return I give you this gem recently erected at the southeastern gateway to Chicago's West Side, an impoverished Black neighborhood notorious for drug and domestic violence. Why just a year or so back, the Chicago Police Department installed Robocop-like video cameras on the very same street in an effort to reduce drug crimes and to stop the neighborhood kids from hosting impromptu gin & juice parties in the public parks, parties that often turned into bang bang shoot 'em up mayhem. That makes this Roosevelt Avenue signage double-plus-good.

Rage! It's what this vulnerable young lady offers you. Bring it on. Rage!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

las guitarras rapidamas

In recent years your live music buck gets you more bang in one Chicago summer than anywhere else in North America. You've got the numerous block parties including several that bring in national acts (Taste of Randolph, the Hideout Block Party); there's the stuff going down at Grant Park - Taste of Chicago, the Blues Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Gospel Music Festival, Lollapalooza; then you've got the fantastic new Pritzker Pavilion and the many free concerts it brings in; plus this year the hipsters get three huge festivals with the Pitchfork Media split from Intonation creating two youthful events and the one old-timer hipster event provided by Touch and Go; add on the garage rock extravaganza Chicago BlackOut sponsored by Horizontal Action magazine and the Stars of the Lyric Opera House event then you're really leaving nobody out. The only trouble is everybody knows it, which means for all of these events you battle the crowd and the summer heat. That's why my current favorite music festival of the season is the Chicago World Music Festival winding down right now.

Instead of crowding a bazillion great bands into one tiny weekend at one venue like the circus trick some of these other festivals have become, the WMF spreads its events across the city and over more than a week plus many of the events are absolutely free. Now I know you might be thinking, "yeah but it's still World Music." Don't worry the good folks at the Chicago Cultural Affairs department are savvy enough to recognize the difference between "World Music" the Peter Gabriel-esque genre and "World Music" the idea of bring musicians from around the world together. They do this cleverly, not by focusing on traditional folky music of bygone eras but by finding active musicians playing for whatever contemporary reason they might have. They also do a great job of mixing things up so that Brazilian ex-pat fans of Otto get an education in Cambodian pop music LA style from Dengue Fever whether they want it or not.

One group appearing numerous times at the WMF this year (and that certainly isn't a folk music museum piece) is the Mexican duo of Rodrigo and Gabriela. These two met as teens in Mexico City where they formed a thrash metal band, Terra Acida. When that band proved incapabable of providing them a living income, they split for Europe and developed a percussive acoustic style all their own which reflects equally their Mexican and Metallica influences. They're on tour and if they come to your town I highly recommend you check them out. If they're not coming to your town you can still watch the video on the front page of their website cleverly viewed through the eye of the serpent. Foc!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Last LATEST Show - an inside review

It was a fine send off for ol' Bob Taylor Sunday night. The bands played great. The crowd was full of friends. The bartenders were kept busy. Thanks all for coming out. [[sniff]]

Pictures below by Tricia

Headache City's Dave Head

Ha ha Cameron and Carol like Pabst

Headache City's Lisa Roe (she like Pabst too so duz that big scary guy behind her)

Submarine Races!


Our Beautiful Peepul

Bob attempts to stare down an unaware Philip Montoro

El Goodo Audio in the House (them likes Pabst)

Pabst Liking THE LATEST

Lead Guitarists Rock! Don't We Now???

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sunday - the last of THE LATEST Chicago Edition

THE LATEST leaves you in style Sunday night at Cal's sharing the bill with two Chicago class acts Sh*t Sandwich Records artists Headache City and In the Red Records artists Submarine Races. This isn't necessarily the last of THE LATEST as Bob Taylor may keep the name (fittingly) for his pursuits in Austin. So let's just say this is the last of the Chicago edition and wish Bob well in his southern adventures.

The show starts at 9pm and you ought to be there then or be very square. It's gonna be fun, lemme tell you.

A big thanks goes out to Nadine for putting this show together. Nadine is the best friend a band could have. Give her a big hug Sunday night.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Optiganally Yours

I unwittingly had a late night dinner with somebody I've long wanted to meet. You see, when I first moved to Chicago five years ago the Lozenge crew turned me on to a hilarious video by a San Diego outfit called Optiganally Yours which featured Rob Crow now of Pinback. We laughed so hard at this video we almost collectively pissed ourselves. Anyway, after the festival last night we went out with our weekend house guests, fellow former-Houstonians Ann Panopio and her friend Aaron. We hooked up with Rob Crow, a guy performing with the Blackheart Procession and some other friends. I sat next to Rob and watched him order an incredible amount of food which he generously shared with everyone. It was one of the most refreshingly funny conversations I have had in a long time. Not just with Rob either, the whole table was hilarious. I didn't even know at the time who I was eating with. It's a good thing I didn't say anything derogatory about today's TnG events either since both Pinback and the Blackheart Procession played.

Anyway, without further ado here's Optiganally Yours homemade video Mr. Wilson (probably done in the mid-90's but I'm not sure). I remember we watched this on video. I'm glad somebody took the time to transfer this to the net.

Touch and Go - the Saturday Review

For a club that's site usually matches its name, the Hideout location amply provided for this ambitious and successful event - it was said that over 6600 people were in attendance.

For a day that's weather constantly threatened to worsen but never did, its heavy grey sky perfectly complimented the music - not to mention the audience's hair which I saw a lot more of than I've ever seen before at a punk event (intruder hair coming out of noses, ears and the backs of shirts).

For musicians who never considered themselves professional and for the most part were attempting to summon much younger versions of themselves, the bands were dedicated and energized - and they delivered.

For a leader who always put the bands first and has eschewed the limelight throughout Touch and Go's existence, Corey Rusk stayed in form - always up front, anonymous in the audience, enjoying the bands.

Scratch Acid could not have been blessed with a more solid rhythm section - when they started in '82 how could they have known Rey Washam would remain, his forlorn humility aside, one of the most solid rock drummers of the 20th century (and into the next)? Of course, they also have one of the great punk frontmen. David Yow appeared to be fatigued; his voice was hoarse and he gave the crowd at least one what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here glazed over look but he still delivered. The old crowd sedate and polite, could obviously relate. Finally towards the end of the set, a tired punker was hoisted up above the crowd and tossed a few feet over. People clapped appreciating the effort.

A short way into Big Black's set, Steve Albini said "I know what you're thinking. 'That's it? What's the big deal?' Well, this was cool in the 80's." The event in general was kind of like that.

The stuff Touch and Go has put out by and large was never meant to please a large assembly, not a large American assembly anyway. The locale with its faded black and grey tones against the back drop of Chicago's Fleet Management Center on a paved industrial parking lot looked like an Eastern Block rock concert more than anything else. Ex drummer Katrin Bornfeld's heartfelt rendition of a Hungarian folk song and her collaboration with Chicago's most famous living socialist immigrant, Jon Langford, certainly justifies that comparison. At one point I told Tricia that I wanted to ask one of the old punkers if they could ever recall an event like this. She didn't understand what I meant and as I explained I realized I didn't really understand what I meant. I said that I couldn't recall this many people gathered for underground music. She said "do you mean like the Pitchfork Festival?" I said that's not the same. She said "do you mean like the 25th Anniversary Touch and Go Festival?" Yeah that's right, there's never been anything like the 25th Anniversary Touch and Go Festival and there never will again.

*the Hideout 10th Anniversary Block Party/TouchandGo Festival schedule art hosted by the Hideout. The artist is Kathleen Judge interviewed here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thorsday's show - a review

In the words of Thor - "We live to Rock."

In the words of Zolar X - "Don't Ever Quit. Don't Give up the Ship."

In the words of Butthead - "That was the coolest thing I've ever seen."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This Week's Big Event - hmmm what could that be?

I first heard of Touch and Go Records when I went up to Sound Exchange, er, Record Exchange on Westheimer in the early 90's with a handful of de Schmog singles. I asked Dorothy what I could do about getting the disks out. de Schmog wasn't exactly looking for a label - for one thing we couldn't tour and for another we were gung ho about the whole DIY thing, but some distribution would be nice. Dorothy immediatly brought up Touch and Go. Then she wrote down Corey's contact info. I think I sent some disks (we quickly ran out anyway) but the conversation got me to look closer at what they were doing in Chicago (I know I was slow to come around). Wowee they were putting out some good stuff. I actually already owned a few Touch and Go releases, including "The Greatest Gift" a Scratch Acid anthology. Anyway the point is that for such a small scale homey operation, Corey's reach was far and wide and he earned a good deal of respect from countless numbers of scenester types from small label operators to musicians to fans. I hope this weekend's festival makes him proud. I'll be there for killer Saturday: holy shit Scratch Acid, Killdozer, Big Black and my favorite Welsh ex-pats Jon Langford and Sally Timms (not that you can go a weekend in this town without seeing one of those two somewhere).

In other going's on...

I'll be at JuniorTown's opening this Friday playing a little acoustic music with churchbus trumpeteer Chris Erin. Here's the info (should be good!)

1255 W.18th





Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Thors Day

On the rabid advice of Ramon Medina (and in part thanks to his excellent photography). I shall be heading to the Note tomorrow to catch Zolar X and Thor. As if I needed any more convincing than Ramon's post-show-post, the most Skynrd-y Velcro Lewis and His 100 Proof band open.

I saw Velcro and Co. at Cal's Fest a few weeks back and was very happy to see them in top form, particularly since their original drummer Bill Roe quit playing with them just as he joined THE LATEST. As good as Bill is, Velcro replacement drummer Hawk Colman is a perfect fit.

Unfortunately I probably won't get to see Velcro play as I have rehearsal and it being a four band line-up I highly doubt I'll get there in time.

Also on the bill, from San Fransico's Tenderloin district, Triclops!.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed in what would normally be a freakish accident. Considering the personality involved, "death by stingray" isn't so surprising as sad as it is. He was only 44 years old. What makes it freakish to me is the popularity it has brought to this blog.

This Site has had 3,766 visits so far today and it is 9:40 AM. The site got twenty new visitors just between 9:37:21 am and 9:39:07 am. The surge in readership is due to a Google Image Search glitch. I link to a Steve Irwin image in a distant post. The image itself doesn't even appear on the blog and I was referring to a character at a bar who looked like Steve Irwin so the post isn't even about him. However a Google Image Search for Steve Irwin links directly to this site for image number 5, a rather appealing shot of the deceased.

This glitch has been going on for a while however not so many people have been looking for a Steve Irwin image up until now. It didn't take long to figure that he was up to some sort of mischief. So I went to the New York Times site and sure enough...

It's only September 4th and this month's bandwidth for is almost maxed out. That's because my blogger profile image is stored on and that image appears on every page of this site. Also another image appears on the page Google accidentally takes image searchers to (oddly enough that image is a show poster for an Australian Rockabilly band, the Red Hot Poker Dots*). I removed these images so as to reduce costs.

Maybe I can recoup the loss in Adsense revenue, hmmmm.

*It's occurred to me that some logic in the google search engine combines the text referring to the Australian band with the show poster image and the Steve Irwin reference causing this problem.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

New Track du Jour

Track: the Whistler
Location: El Goodo Audio (Chicago,IL)
Date: 09-17-2006
Comment: Allow me some self-indulgence. Hell what am I saying, you're gonna have to allow me a lot of self-indulgence if you're looking at this site. Anyway here's one more from THE LATEST's new self-titled release on Bob Taylor's Recent Records. This track features Mike Fitzpatrick on vox. Mike's having his own musical glory dance these days as a main contributer to two hot garage bands here in Chicago, Headache City and Cococoma. But for a little while anyway THE LATEST got him too. Unfortunately we are seeing the last of THE LATEST in this form anyway. Frontman Bob Taylor is leaving for the past and future pastures of Austin Texas this Fall.

THE LATEST plays its last show at Cal's on Sunday September 17th with the most excellent Submarine Races. Come out, it'll be a blast.

Email me if you want a CD - it's really good and I can hook you up.
click below to listen (requires FLASH)...
track du jour