Off to MI for the weekend. Maybe the sun will shine again?
Well, Thax is definitely alive, I can say that for sure. Had a talk with him at Double Door Tuesday night. He said, “I know what it’s like to be dead, I know what it is to be sad, and you’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.” Well, no, he didn’t say that, Lennon and McCartney did, but you get the point. Anyway, good to see him out and about and at our show.
I’ve been reading Roger Ebert’s Journal the past few days and I had forgotten how much I enjoy his writing. I don’t read the Sun-Times much anymore, certainly not physically and only sometimes online; the Trib has a much better website. But Roger is really great to read, and I’m not even talking about his movie reviews. Today he wrote about his 30 years of sobriety, which is pretty amazing, and at last look had over 600 comments on it.
I’m going on…what time is it? 11? Three hours or so since I had a Tecate with dinner. But that’s all I had, just one. I can do that, which apparently alcoholics cannot. Well, whatever works, that’s what I say.
Double Door had a tap that was dirty or something because a few of us had to send back beers after taking a sip. It tasted like they hadn’t cleaned that thing in years, or as Rick said, “a butterscotch beer.” Gross. I had 4 beers over the course of the night–less than a beer an hour–and I woke up with a hangover that was highly unjustified. I should only drink from bottles from now on. Tell that to AA!
Which reminds me, one final thing: not to make light of sobriety and people who need it and do it, but I’ve only just recently started watching “Rescue Me” and I love it. I have no sense of the timeline or what happened in previous seasons, I just landed on it one night and got into it, and seem to find it on every now and then to keep up with it.
Denis Leary’s character is a fireman and a drunk, and at one point he attends an AA meeting and proceeds to get up and tell everyone how he’s going to go home and pour a big glass of vodka, or maybe whiskey, and drink, drink, drink it up. He basically blasts a hole in their world and leaves everyone stunned and/or craving a drink themselves, and I guess my point is that I found it kind of hilarious, even if it’s supposed to be a little sad too. They also attempt an intervention and Leary ends up getting everyone that shows up to drink with him instead. Well they had the intervention in a bar, for crissakes.
A little unrealistic and overly dramatic? Sure. Anyway, off to bed, sober.
Tonight! Tuesday August 25
1572 N Milwaukee Ave
w/Blah Blah Blah, Camera and Dead Dream
MaM plays 2nd, approx. 9:45pm
Did I mention that it’s FREE?!?
Last night was probably one of the few times that I have not gone to see Pearl Jam when they’ve come to town, and by the looks of the setlist and this review, it was pretty solid. Two “Quadrophenia” covers? “Needle and the Damage Done”? Sweet. Surprisingly few new songs, which I would not have minded had I been there. No need to hear “Evenflow” or “Yellow Ledbetter” again. But whatever, as an unapologetic longtime fan, I have not forsaken them but merely found myself unable to pay up this time around for seats. They’ll be back. But I’m kinda bummed I missed what looks to be another good show by the PJ.
Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
A great column by Joe Klein in Time about The Party of Nihilists:
The most liberal members of the Democratic caucus…are honorable public servants who make their arguments based on facts. They don’t retail outright lies. Hyperbole and distortion certainly exist on the left, but they are a minor chord in the Democratic Party.
It is a very different story among Republicans…they have been overwhelmed by nihilists and hypocrites more interested in destroying the opposition and gaining power than in the public weal. The philosophically supple party that existed as recently as George H.W. Bush’s presidency has been obliterated. The party’s putative intellectuals — people like the Weekly Standard‘s William Kristol — are prosaic tacticians who make precious few substantive arguments but oppose health-care reform mostly because passage would help Barack Obama’s political prospects…There is no Republican health-care alternative in 2009. The same people who rail against a government takeover of health care tried to enforce a government takeover of Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life decisions. And when Palin floated the “death panel” canard, the number of prominent Republicans who rose up to call her out could be counted on one hand.
I have been hesitant to even write anything here about the loons in the GOP and their hypocrisy, because I simply am having a hard time believing that they are relevant to this debate. Well, they aren’t. The bipartisan hope–which I believed was a slim possibility in the election of Obama–is a myth. It is clear that the only principle on the right is to bring Obama down, much as it was with Clinton.
There is no solution, no compromise, no debate at all with these people. Obama deserves credit for trying but as everyone seems to be saying now, it is time to fuck ‘em. Go your own way, like Fleetwood Mac. There’s problem enough with the conservative Democrats, who needs the Party of No?
I still think that these crazies are a very small minority of people, the 20%ers, and hardly worth the time or the coverage that they receive, but realize that cable tv news is nothing without this kind of garbage. I just hate to waste my time or this verrrrrry valuable space in The Booze Cabinet on such wackjobs. Not when we could be posting beer pictures and fictional tales of existential misery.
Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.
Apparently my guest co-hosting stint on vocolo.org will be re-broadcast today from 4-7pm. It starts slow–and I showed up slightly late–but after a bit it gets going. Music, politics, the breaking news of John Hughes death, you’ll hear it all!
I say up there that in The Booze Cabinet you will find beer, ideas, fiction or ice, but rarely do I come through with the fiction. There’s lots of beer and ideas and ice…but no fiction. So here’s an excerpt of a longer piece, completely out of context and only explicable if you read the whole thing. Which is not finished of course, but godammit, I’m working on it. Enjoy, or scratch your head:
Such sadness, to be cognizant of all of life’s missteps and undiscovered treasures before the end, enough to put it down on paper. Poor woman. It was unfair. I don’t know that we all deserved better but she certainly did. And so where had I not been and what had I not done? The list was endless. The rain slowed to a drizzle with occasional flashes of lightning across the night sky and my head swam with dark thoughts, the gloom of unfinished business. I talked to Ben about Sandy and how I was pushing her away and then there was Dora, and I tried to explain about the magnet she had placed squarely in her crotch. “You’re hopeless,” he said, of course.
He was right about me—it was sick how easily I fell back into it—but I was all caught up in the drama and I had no intention of figuring out why or trying to change. It made things more interesting, to pathetically hop from one failure to the next, getting burned or burning it all down, the romantic arsonist. She was right, that sweet innocent at the Courson House, it was a world on fire, and no wonder I loved that falling star. Ben didn’t understand at all and to his credit he simply ignored me and got to the point.
His mother’s note requested a desire to be littered across the “dry death heat and cactus landscape” of the desert, never having visited such a climate, not once in her life, never even crossing the Mississippi to the west, it was like some fantasy foreign land she had only seen on television or in pictures. I sat there thinking about it and grew more and more depressed. There was no way anyone could properly fill up a life. There would always be something left, always somewhere else to go, and in the end we would all have to accept that the world held places we would never see, pyramids, jungles, exotic locales; mountains, skyscrapers or a burning hole in the ground where a satellite fell. Somewhere was a girl I would never meet, standing at the foot of the Great Wall or walking the beach on a remote island in the Pacific, or maybe just around the corner on a street I sometimes walked. She would close her door just as I went past and go inside to an empty house and I would see a shadow behind a curtain and then a light switch off. It was a world too big, a life too small, and I could hardly move, paralyzed with despair.
Ben shook me out of the haze and demanded that I accompany him. “I can’t do this alone,” he said, “I need a witness. It would mean a lot to me if you came.” I wondered if his mother had simply given up waiting for the course of her life to change, given up on anything but the routine and invested it all in her son. The Burden of Benedict. And were we living the life she was never able to? I had a hard time believing that, not this life.
“A son has to fulfill a mother’s wishes,” I finally said.
We were living within limitations. Why? Why follow the guide? Why allow the cock to rule the mind? I was angry at God for not existing and for allowing me to exist. It was going to have to end somehow—and alone and without warning—and who would I leave behind? I thought of Walter and his false sense of comfort. What part of the equation had he left out in order to find peace? Eternal happiness and proper salvation and superstition and empty slogans. Another conversation, never started, never finished. I wished to have never lived and to never have to die and I could feel the fury building and the terror and the misery and all the while Ben stared at me slack-jawed and maybe even slightly amused.
“Is that a ‘yes’?”
New Radiohead song available, free of charge. I’m listening to Jonny Greenwood’s “There Will Be Blood” soundtrack right now. If only the storms would come back, it would be perfect.
The Big-Ass Beer. 24 friggin oz. Pretty cool, man. Kinda fills out the skyline.
I’m not saying I’m going to ever update it, but I wanted to save the name, so The Booze Cabinet is officially a twit! I mean, a tweet. Uh, whatevs, https://twitter.com/boozecabinet is the address, and while we’re at it, Milk at Midnight has one too: https://twitter.com/milkmidnight and that’s more likely to be updated with things. So there. I still think Twitter is rather silly and unnecessary, what with all the other sites and stuff, but dannydoom and milkatmidnight were both taken, so I figured I’d better save these while I can (it’s milkmidnight, without the “at“).
No long stories to tell here, just a quick rundown. Ah, who am I kidding? Bring on the long version. Let’s just throw it out there: Lollapalooza has Pitchfork beat in so many ways. The sound is superior, the lines are shorter, the choices are greater and the lakefront setting is the best there is. And no 312 beer! Anyone who tells you the heat was unbearable is a wimp. The only bummer was the rain on Friday, but we didn’t show up til around 5 or so.
The Decemberists performed their rock opera, “The Hazards of Love,” in its entirety and it was the first and best part of that day. Well, I really only saw 2 other bands that day: Of Montreal and Depeche Mode. DM played “Never Let Me Down Again” and that made it for me. Love that song.
That’s a screen shot, of course, of Colin of The Decemberists. I wish I had a picture of Shara Worden, the guest vocalist who kicked ass. Wow, what a voice.
There’s Perry with some female party guests. That was…interesting. Saturday I saw the Arctic Monkeys and I was kind of like, eh, ok. Missed Santigold while stuck in a huge bottleneck that threatened to swallow us whole (also mentioned here), it was the one low point of the whole thing. TV On the Radio was great and Animal Collective was…also interesting.
We hung in the south end for Tool and that was pretty awesome. Prog-metal, man. I don’t do hair metal, or rap metal or really any kind of metal, but prog-metal I can handle. At least for a little bit. Then we went back to the Congress Hotel for our usual post-show hijinx, as we did on Friday.
Sunday was easily the best day and we got there kind of early for Cage the Elephant. I posted a video of theirs from Letterman recently and it’s a cool song. The show was good, rockin’ and full of energy. Singer dude was floating on the crowd for a while.
Heard the very end of Kaiser Chiefs then went all the way back for Dan Deacon, which was cool, and relaxed for a while as Vampire Weekend played across the field. Man, they suck. Seriously. Cold War Kids were ok, but I just couldn’t get into it. Left early to catch Lou Reed, who was fashionably late–15 minutes late.
Still, the show was great, Lou didn’t disappoint. So glad I chose to see that show over Snoop and Deerhunter, the toughest choice of the weekend. Next was Band of Horses and they had to wait for Lou, who went over his time and then some. It was kind of funny, the old guy showing up late and then refusing to follow the rules.
Band of Horses were good but we left early to hit the right side for Jane’s Addiction. Apparently The Killers grabbed the bigger crowd, which makes sense since masses of people tend to gravitate toward the shittiest music. Have I mentioned how much I think The Killers suck? How I knew I had a great weekend: I didn’t see or hear The Killers at all.
Jane’s started and Band of Horses was still playing but we were on the right side and so it didn’t really affect our sound. Jane’s was awesome. It was a great set, great to hear “Three Days” and “Then She Did” from the long side 2 of Ritual De Lo Habitual. I always liked that side better. Almost prog-metalish! And of course, anything from Nothing’s Shocking was great to hear. Loved it, loved the show. ADDED UPDATE: I forgot to mention, Perry Farrell’s between-song banter was weird, funny and never too long. Wayne Coyne could learn a lot from this, and actually play a full set of songs. I’m just sayin’.
Yeah, I missed having any huge headliner that I really loved like Radiohead or Pearl Jam, but it was nice to have a little more room to move. The shows I saw were a lot less packed than the last few years. The sound was great and I think I only had one bathroom line that was kind of long. Those giant beers were something else, but they disappeared after the first night. Probably a good thing. Drink three of them and suddenly you have a six-pack in you.
Anyway, another great year. Hard to believe it’s over already.
You’ve got your 12 oz. can of Tecate and your 61.9 oz box of Frosted Flakes. A delicious combination! Breakfast in America. Breakfast of Champions.
Wow, I went to bed early last night. I don’t think I’ve been asleep before 11pm in quite a while. Had a great time co-hosting with Adam and The Listener on Vocolo yesterday, three hours of stimulating conversation from music to politics to how much my baby’s gonna cost me (answer: a lot). Also sprinkled in some Milk at Midnight tunes. And we broke the news about John Hughes’ death, sadly. Check out this pretty moving tribute to the man who made the movies we grew up on. I think there will be an archived podcast type of thing up but it doesn’t appear to be there just yet. I think it’ll be at this link.