Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Warriors and an OK Invasion

So, I just moved into my new place, and I've still got boxes and clothes everywhere. I have a giant painting to hang, surround speakers to mount, and still need to construct a shelving unit, a lamp, and a foosball table. I am also still rocking an air mattress, have no bedroom furniture to speak of, and my dining area is severely lacking... well... a dining table. You'd think the weekend would be a perfect time to take care of most of this stuff.

Not this weekend. Enter the twin bill madness of the Warrior Dash and the Pitchfork Music Festival.

Most of the three of you who will read this know I'm a music geek. And most of the three of you who will read this are also music geeks, so P4K Music Fest is a known event which requires no introduction. This year's festival was so fucking great, which was actually a surprise to me. I think it was particularly great because though there were fewer amazing bands, it allowed for a more casual viewing experience, and I didn't have to stress about which awesome band I was missing to watch some other awesome band. I had exactly one regret about the three day deal, and that was being a bit late to the will call line Friday evening. I heard Yo La Tengo start to tear it up on the A stage, and, before I had my tickets in hand? The sweet opening chords to my freaking fave YLT track, "Autumn Sweater."

Shit happens.

Saturday morning I found myself in Joliet partaking in the Warrior Dash, a 3.75 mile race featuring obstacles such as Junkyard Jam, Leg Breaker Leaps, Muddy Mayhem, and the Warrior Roast. I sustained few injuries, but did end up completely covered in mud and shoeless in a suburban Wendy's for breakfast circa 10:30 AM.

The Warrior Roast

The victorious few. We honor the dead with our medals... and bananas.

The rest of the weekend belonged to Pitchfork. I saw Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill, Fucked Up, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, DOOM, Lindstrom, Matt & Kim, The National, The Mae Shi, Blitzen Trapper, The Thermals, M83, and The Flaming Fucking Lips from Oklafuckinghoma. The two best performances probably belonged to The National and the FLips, with my vote for most fun/energetic show going to Matt & Kim.

Also, side props to Fucked Up's guitarists for stage diving whilst continuing to rock the power chords, Lindstrom and M83 for clubbing up their atmospheric electro for the festival crowds, The Thermals for covering Sonic Youth's "100%" and Green Day's "Basket Case," and Goose Island for making a fantastic IPA.

Fucked Up

The National

Wayne Coyne, frontman for the Flaming Lips rolling around the crowd in a giant ball

The Flaming Lips closing with "Do You Realize?"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why Am I Still Awake?

I'M an asshole?! Fuck YOU!!

So that's my latest idea for a mixtape. All time, great breakup songs of the jilted love, screwed over, threatened repurcussions variety. Believe it or not, this has not in any way been influenced by a specific event in my past, but by a mind adrift during hour 7 of my Tulsa to Chicago drive today. I was just yelping along with the 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me" and a wave came over me.

Like I said, it's not personal... yet. But I do feel it's always good to plan for the future. You never know when some chick is really gonna give you the business. Other candidates for probable inclusion thus far are "Kiss Off" by the Violent Femmes and Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice (It's Alright)" or maybe "Just Like a Woman." I'm too tired to mine iTunes or my frizzled memory right now, so I'll leave it there til tomorrow. Or forever.

Oh, and all great suggestions are welcome. I think the probability of my mixtapes coming to fruition are directly proportional to the feedback I receive. Mostly in person, but bloggy comments couldn't hurt.

Sooooo, Tulsa was good and crazy. Again. I swear, that town has turned into my sanity's worst enemy. Something about the combination of old friends, a brother who's a giant, partying, tank of a man, having to stay at my mom's house, and a lack of public transportation make T-Town bar crawling an almost terrifying experience. In a good way. If that's possible.

Oh, and here's some unbelievably adorable pics of my niece, courtesy of my iPhone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Some Fourth of July Madness

My 4th wasn't too exciting, really. I spent the vast majority of it moving into a new apartment near the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC). It's about a mile southwest of the loop, but it's quieter, trains don't wage war on my fragile eardrums every five minutes, and, most importantly, I have a parking spot to call my own. There's really no way to accurately express how much that means to me.

Anyway, I did manage to have a bit of fun in the 'burbs with some workies. I'm talking Naperville Ribfest 2009, y'all. Surprisingly, it kicked the living crap out of the Taste of Chicago, which was simulcasting in the Chi's Grant Park. Highlights included beer, ribs, and some country artist covering Dolly Parton's "Jolene," which was good enough for me to say "That's not bad," but not good enough to keep me from saying "Man, I want to hear the White Stripes version" or to keep me from bailing halfway through to pwn a portalav.

I should note for potential copyright purposes that the vast majority of these photos were taken by a collegue of mine, whose credentials are available upon request.
Behold the tent of the festival's top purveyor of pork meat.

I had issues spilling my vital fluids, so I had to take matters into my own hands.
Hey ladies!
I thwarted this cadre of 12 year olds looking for donations. Chief was not so lucky.
I think this is going to be my pose. Like Zoolander's Blue Steel, but much less versatile.
Sucking it in after dominance of all things greasy and delicious.
I vaguely remember doing this, but have no recollection why...
Yeah, so... found these on the ground...
Having fun at the after party!
I don't remember if that's beer or water in the cup. But I do know that's a Great Dane on my lap. The End.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And It Came from the Sewer...

Okay, I apologize for posting something so gross, but it had to be done. You can read the full story here.

The short version: last week, a public utilities group in Raleigh, North Carolina discovered something mysterious and disgusting in a sewer pipe via some type of robotic camera. Postulations as to what the "creature(s)" found actually is/are ranged from mold, to worms, to tubificids. You make the call...

This putrid, pulsating, pile of potential protazoa has triggered my gag reflex multiple times this morning. I hope it does something similar for you. And I had planned on eating oatmeal for breakfast in a bit.