Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dean Martin or the Furnace? Choices, Choices...

  • I'm really debating going/not going to see the Fiery Furnaces at Shank Hall tonight. I've got a lot going on, and there's an opening band (which means it's going to run late), and I have to work tomorrow. I really love the Fiery Furnaces, ever since this guy in the Circle A suggested I pick up "Gallowsbird's Bark" and then I jumped on the entire train (right now my favorite is "Bitter Tea."). But a friend made a bootleg copy of a bunch of their live shows, and yes, I know it’s a bootleg but I was severely underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, I really like them. I know that a lot of their experimentation turns out to be a dud, but that's going to happen with experiments. Some experiments just don't work. But when they do hit it, it blows me away and more than makes up for the duds. I'll take sincere experimentation that sometimes flops over the same old rehash every day. The reviews I'm reading from the tour say it's pretty good -- but they all seem to be written by hardcore fans who are like me as regards Robyn Hitchcock: they'd be happy if Eleanor Friedberger walked on stage and read the yellow pages: "How artistic! Groundbreaking! I've never heard the phone number for Ace Hardware rendered so compellingly!"

  • I have tickets for Ian Hunter at Potowatomi this Friday. This was going to be this grand old reunion between myself and the Sandwich Life's Cynthia, who I know better now than when in college. (In school, we were both huge Vertebrats -- and general excellent Champaign Music scene -- fans who ran into each other often at Mabel's.) But if you follow Cynthia's blog (and it’s a great, personal blog that's actually interesting as opposed to those "Went to the store Bought groceries Came home Put them away" literal logs) you know that she's got bigger personal fish to fry and so a road trip from Champing is out of the question for her. (Whatever your spirituality calls "prayer" really needs to be sent her family's way these days.) Since Brian didn't really plan to go out, we don't have a sitter, so he'll sit the kids, and I'll be taking my bass player Dan "Miles" Mullen out for his birthday with Cynthia's ticket. We'll be in need of a reasonably priced nightcap after that, and what better place to do that than Marlavous Marla's Karaoke at the Bavarian Inn just off Port Washington road? We'll toast the 48th year of one of the more under appreciated guitarists in town (and he rocks the bass, too, for sure) while milking the karaoke machine for all the irony we can can get. The best part about Marlavous' karaoke is that Sidekick Dave somehow finds these tracks you'd never expect at Karaoke: most of the obscure Alice Cooper catalouge, classic punk and new wave, and you haven't heard John Lennon's "Give Me Some Truth" until you've heard it angrily barked out by Mark Shurilla over a crappy PA mixed into a Karaoke machine. Do I reprise "Communications Breakdown" in front of Miles?

  • Saturday night Dr Chow's Love Medicine has a set at the House of Hamburg, but we just found out about it so I'm gonna have to sit it out as I don't have a sitter booked. Also, I'm already bummed that I'll miss the Cocksmiths' new CD release party at the BBC, but I'll pick up that new CD eventually, because I'm a fan. Also also, over at Frank's Power Plant, there's a 4-band bill that includes this blog's favorites Floor Model, as well as an all girl punk band called Pillowfight that, in addition to their badass name alone, has the highest recommendation from Dr Chow's Paul "The Fly" Lawson. However, I'll catch them next week at Trash Fest. So even if I did have a sitter, I'd be really torn as to where to park my car.

  • I missed the Riverwest ArtWalk last weekend, and from my recent blog entry, you can probably guess why. Still, I'm bummed about that: I love the original ArtWalk, and it gives me yet another chance to connect with the old neighborhood.

  • Fall is finally here, which means I really have to harvest the basil to make pesto. How many years have I tended to my basil garden oh so lovingly, only to forget the first frost that kills the basil and renders it useless? I have a huge patch of basil, enough to make plenty of pesto as well as terrific tomato sauce for the winter. I really have to find some time to do this. Whenever I do it, just bringing in piles of basil makes the whole house (and its inhabitants) smell so licoricy-basily good, and no matter how hard I try, whenever I process garlic the scent lingers on me for days, so between that and the basil, I have to run and put on Dean Martin CDs to compliment my aroma. So, once again, I have to choose: Fiery Furnaces and coming to work tomorrow in a zombie-like state from only 5 hours of sleep, or basil harvest and pesto making, coming to work tomorrow smelling like an Italian restaurant? That's Amore!

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