"Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2"
was brainy, beautifully animated and heavier on noir vibes rather than stylized violence. Where's a fan nerd site that unpacks it all for the manga novice? I ran into Iceman at the Rainbo who gave me the report on the Ramones doc. It sounds fascinating, tragic and rentable.

If you live a non-veg lifestyle and pass through Chicago, I highly advise you to make a date for Avec. Actually, vegans could just do few salads and the foccacia and be quite satisfied. Owned by the same people behind Blackbird, they serve exquisite small plates and a few entrees. The room is done in cedar and oak, resembling a long sauna with five eight-person communal tables. The food is right on the money. The perfection of the focaccia can't be explained and the stuffed figs are unforgettable. The giant wine list is intimidating but the servers are really into pointing you in the right direction. We ended up with a kind of fruity Portugese red that played nice with everything we ate. I bumped into Kiki Mercury for about the fourth time this week before she jets off to LA. I would have suspecting her of stalking me except that she was out with her mom, which doesn't seem very stalkerlike. Hopefully, she will be back as she's been a huge asset to the Chicago writer and partier scenes. Besides, she hasn't let me read her novel yet.

I'm dying to post MP3s and have tons of webspace with Comcast, but there's something that won't let me upload MP3s. I'm talking about my own music, not some pirated action. Once I can figure a work-around, I'll be uploading recordings of Palisades a recording project I did with Eric and David, some rehearsal tapes of a band called The Tax I've been trying out with, some solo demos and some Perfect Panther demos.

I've been listening to The Bees after hearing more about them from Dan in the New Constitution. It's a pastiche they're doing, but a good one.

Man, I'm nervous about the debate tonight.


My actual birthday involved almost no reckless, stylish indulgence but lots of wandering Western Avenue which is reportedly the world's longest road. It seemed proper to hit the local taco joints, thrift stores and Brazilian Legal Aid/Brazilian themed boutique while my exhaust system was being replaced. The total damage to my already critically injured checking account was $200, and considering I went there expecting to get out with a $40 muffler, it was a huge birthday bummer. Last night was chill, I even skipped a going-away party I was invited to. Today, I'm making up for it all.

I struck gold at Dusty Groove, nabbing a couple original Billy Paul LPs for 5 bucks, the Rotary Connection original LP for much more, but passing on the Trojan Rock Steady box set because honestly I have tons of Studio One and reggae comps that I have yet to really dig into. On Billy Paul, I've been digging the "360 Degrees of" best of for a while (LP is easy to find) and he's also been included on a lot of pricier Philly Soul comps coming out this year. In 2003, he was awarded $500,000 for his "Me and Mrs. Jones" recording, which you've probably heard on oldies radio many times. His case was a landmark in the fight of small production companies to get royalties from big distributors. Right now I am enjoying "War of the Gods" a bit more than "First Class" though it is the latter that DJs are all up in right now.

Birthday plans include seeing a movie ("Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2" perhaps) and getting all Euro with dinner at Avec.


I made it down to see Ghost at the Empty Bottle. It was well worth sticking it out through Xiu Xiu who were just painful. The club was crowded, stinky and beers didn't really make me any more comfortable. The sound mix for Ghost was pretty horrible, the soundman had tons of reverb on Batoh's vocals which were also mixed too low. The band responded by rocking a bit harder, they were miles away from a sleepy ethereal space jam, much more like Can meets King Crimson. The set consisted mostly of material from "Hypnotic Underworld" with a few tunes from earlier albums thrown in. Batoh wore a purple velveteen suit with freaky drawings on it.

I also paid a visit to South Bend for a trouncing of the Huskies on the gridiron by the Fighting Irish, the weather was incredible and it was great to see my parents so active and upbeat. My brave fiance came along. I've always been a bit schizo about football and the sport doesn't even rate in my top ten. American football fandom resembles a kind of a cultural fascism that obliterates everything in its path. I did, however, do my fair share of fist-pumping and high-fiving on Saturday. I enjoy a lively passing game and most definitely got it.

The big bed swap took place over the last week. I came out a winner with a Queen size boat of Italian origin as did Human Torch who took my Full and almost new sheets over to his boho rocker pad above the Empty Bottle.

Direction last night sounded really amazing with Kevin from Hi-Fi Records and the Mannequin Men as guest DJ, but the turn-out was extremely light. Personal set highlights included The Bar-Kays, Billy Nichols, Miaow, Humble Pie, Ebony Rhythm Band a lot of what Kevin was spinning... By the way, the Wire has a great piece on psychedelic soul in this month's issue.

And yes, comments work again, my links are back up and I'm digging this new template. Note the pretty pictures too. MP3s coming soon.

It's my birthday and I have to go get a new muffler.


Comments don't seem to be working, I'll tidy up the code later today.

In the meantime, just read that pot actually has fairly mild affects on brain chemistry. Legalization now?

These are mine now.


Okay come clean. Who did it? Someone gave my home phone number to the inmates at Cook Country Jail. I received several collect calls today from dudes in the lock-up. If it's just random and they've got the wrong number, that's just plain weird. If you are on your way to jail, please don't call me.

How is Russell Simmons going to explain DefJam Fight for New York, the videogame of street-fighting thugs? How does that jive with Def Poetry? Which one is more painful to watch for 15 minutes? Respond now.

I'm writing for the Chicago Tribune now, check out my piece on Ghost in Friday's paper.


My birthday is coming up, who wants to get me the speakers or MP3 player from Front design? You know you want to.

Listening Station
The new Nick Cave double CD thing (ANTI)
VHS or Beta, Night on Fire (Astralwerks)


Sagebrush War anyone? I've been in guidebook heaven (hell?) the last couple weeks and I know more about Oregon history and national parks than I ever thought I would. I'm also discovering some interesting (and mostly moronic) libertarian literature that invokes the Sagebrush War for inspiration. For those that are not bored senseless already, the Sagebrush War involved the breakaway Republic of Nataqua which for 8 years existed outside the bounds of the US, California or Nevada territories. Susanville, CA was the capital... back to work...


This weekend, via email, I asked a few ex-coworkers with really boss blogs to link to me and thus far I have had a grand total of ZERO responses. Thanks guys. In the meantime, today's workday has been mostly concerned with editing pieces on singer/songwriters so I've been formulating a snide definition that covers most singer-songwriters, something along the lines of... "Someone with the ego to want to tell you all about themselves, but without the balls or brains to know who they are and what that is." Get it? Okay, it's a work in progress. Welcome to my process.


Supposedly, this is a great archive web site where you can snag web pages from the past. I have not really got into much, but I am told you can read just about everything I've written for places like Citysearch.com and CityPages over the years. Useful but truly scary in a way.


One of those Porsches (alright, the garish bright yellow automatic) went for a paltry $1,275 and the winner of the auction was... someone called "iliveforthelordjesuschrist" which suggests to me that I need to get one of these sometime in early '05 just so that someone with such a brazenly pious nom-de-guerre does not take home another German roadster. Sidenote: I read somewhere that the 924 was originally designed for Volkswagen who shelved it.


Listening Station
The Futureheads s/t (Warner)

Check out this review of Thee Snuff Project "Dyin Ain't Much of a Livin" CD on Splendidzine. It's quite complimentary if not bizarre in some respects as in those "Jawbox bass" references. No offense to Kim Coletta, but I don't remember Jawbox being known for really memorable basslines, fine band in their own way of course. I just find that DC music kids often have a way of seeing the whole music world through the lens of DC punk bands which of course is absurd since it was, at one point, one of the most isolated if fruitful music scenes in the nation. How can you not mention the Stooges of Spacemen 3 when reviewing Thee Snuff record? The Fall, yes, Fugazi, well maybe...

erm, and while I'm at it. This is absurdly inaccurate in almost every respect possible.


Listening Station
Reed/Cale/Nico, Le Bataclan '72

Borrowed this live CD from a friend. Is it a bootleg in lush packaging? It seems so. It's pretty great with Reed quipping one liners before each tune, acoustics aren't band at all despite what I had read online. They play VU, Reed, Cale and Nico songs, naturally.


I'm just getting up to speed on the Jessica Cutler AKA Washingtonienne sex scandal back in DC. Washington's first big web-related sex scandal. She's done an exclusive Playboy.com (not the magazine) pictorial and as an occassional contributor to Playboy.com I got something in my inbox about her interview and photos this morning. Basically, Jessica, this low level staffer on the Hill had a bunch of sugar daddies, at least one a Bush appointee and wrote about her experiences with them explicitly in her blog. I don't find this all that shocking. A friend of a friend in NYC has some kind of international businessman sugar daddy and I think it is a relationship that while widely considered a few clicks short of prostitution is extremely common in metropolitan areas. I'm sure if sugar mommies were more common, I could have used one in about 1994. Maybe it's my coffee talking, but I'm not so much appalled as curious. Also, having worked on Capitol Hill very briefly and spent a lot of time in the DC area, I know that while it is not exactly the most stylish of cities, it is probably one of the most sex/power mad places I've ever lived. People are working it. For more information on the scandal, check out Playboy.com or perhaps the ever popular Wonkette. Forget the election, people will be talking about this in DC for years to come.

Also check out this piece on dating chicks in bands by Meghan McEwen. It's silly, but actually incredibly accurate. Nice work Meghan.