Where I steal my favorite things from the internets and reprint them in hopes that someone else might find the same amusement in them that I do. On the rare occasion that I do come up with an original post, I often complain about most things that annoy me and occasionally talk about pop culture, pinball and drinking.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

One of the biggest dilemmas for music geeks is compiling a "year-in-review" list every December. Somehow, you've gotta whittle down a list of about 47 different albums, a handful of EPs and the odd single here and there to some sort of a top ten.

Luckily, the Like Young were kind enough to make things a little easier for everyone and release the best record of 2006 in May, saving us one decision to make at the end of the year. "Lost Secrets", the new album from the ex-Wolfie couple of Joe & Amanda Ziemba, is a super-fun pop gem that you really need to listen to right now.

They'll be in DeKalb (with supporting acts the Rikters, This Story and Kid, You'll Move Mountains) on the 8th of July at the House - for tickets or more info, go to http://www.thehousecafe.net/events.html.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

So I often check Pollstar.com to see which bad hair bands are stopping by Rockford on yet another comeback/revival tour to make the child support payments and notice that the Waterfront bands are starting to get booked. The first thing I see is that Cherry Poppin' Daddies is playing. That's fantastic!


The immediate vision that comes to mind is the Waterfront committee sitting around and someone (no names, thank you) saying, "hey, I just saw Swingers on TNT the other night, and the kids just LOVE this swing thing!" I don't mind Royal Crown Revue playing years ago. I don't mind Brian Setzer playing a couple less years ago. But it's 2006.

Rockford has to find the happy medium between finding bands that are just breaking on the radio and never get any further than crappy off-peak festivals (please see Wingding) and bands that got their big break 48 years ago (please see On the Waterfront).

So I read this and I start to work up the necessarily venom and bile (and a couple of drinks) to blog about it.

And then I read the Ravinia schedule for Summer 2006.

This is supposed to be the date scene for soccer moms and dads, the yuppie Haight/Ashbury. The place to take some prosciutto and melon and enjoy Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma or Elvis Costello and Diana Krall or what-have-you.

But, no.

First of all, you have Blondie and the "new Cars". It's bad enough that they're taking the Cars and replacing Ric Ocasek with Todd Rundgren, but this is a Ravinia show? Why isn't this at the Metro? So a bunch of the members of Oprah's book club can get out their ill-fitting Rolling Stones jersey-style tees and "rock out"? So 7,800 accountants can retell the story of the first time they saw Blondie? So Debbie Harry isn't the most ridiculous woman there?

But I do love the Cars. So I can let that go a little bit.

I will skip the Bodeans show, since my mother may read this and I want to keep this clean. Los Lonely Boys? Too easy a target.

Then I see it. It's right there for the smearing.


This is Ravinia. Not Elixur. Not LT's. Not some marketing VP's 25th high school reunion. It's supposedly the elysian fields of live music for the Chicago area. The place where you are hypnotized by a stirring night of transcendent live music.

Abba tribute band.

I quit. No more live music.

Why, in 2006, are people STILL holding the WWW up as this mother lode of information? If anything, the web is making us dumber, not smarter.

I log onto Yahoo tonight and skim over their list of news stories. What do I see?

"Survey shows gas prices rising"

I almost fell off my seat. Gas prices are rising nationally? REALLY? I figured it was just a Rockford thing. Jesus, the gas price stories have even managed to take away news time from Natalee Holloway's aunt. This is the information that the web is giving us.

It's like a lot of these blogs and webzines and whatnot. Suddenly just because you can type, you can WRITE. Movie freak websites full of posts like "OMG I HAVE SPOILERZ FOR X-MEN 3!!! READ HERE FIRST!!!" and baseball blogs full of stories about unnamed (oh, but it's TRUE) philandering players drinking shots of Cointreau out of the navels of coked-up co-eds.

I can peddle misinformation and noninformation as well as anyone. We all can. Does that make us "experts" who deserve the ears and eyes of the digital world? The Encyclopaedia Britannica editions of the 1920's featured entries by people like Houdini, Einstein, Freud and Curie. Those are EXPERTS.

Who do we look to as "experts" now? That fat idiot from "Ain't It Cool" and numerous failed sportswriters who "have connections".