Monday, October 20, 2014

Take Five (Vol. 6): A Short Time to Say More Than a Lot

Here’s my CHIRP Radio show set list from Sunday, October 12th. Here’s what I played [Artist, “Song” from Album (Label)]…

Trioscapes, “Digital Dream Sequence” from Digital Dream Sequence (Metal Blade)

[Chicago band] Royal Pines, “What the Hell Happened Here Last Night?” from Three Sheets (Grey Chord)

[Chicago band] Pink Guys, “The Bird Inn of Thyme” from 2343 (Be Happy)

Electric Wizard, “Time to Die” from Time to Die (Spinefarm)

[Chicago band] Delight, “Every Minute, Every Hour, Every Moment” from The Quill Records Story (Collectables)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Explosion, Black and Yellow

One of the benefits of visual art is that it gives the ability to observe violence from a distance. This picture by New York artist Joy Garnett is an excellent example of the beauty of a violent act (could be natural, could be man-made), using subtle color shading to contrast with the black background to stunning effect.

"Explosion, Black and Yellow" by Joy Garnett

Monday, October 13, 2014

What Is Punk?

What Punk IS:

  • Speaking truth to power
  • Rejecting society’s bullshit
  • Instigating cultural and political change
  • Doing it yourself

What Punk IS NOT:

  • A fashion statement
  • Random violence
  • Being an asshole
  • Rebel tourism
  • Navel gazing

Friday, October 10, 2014

How Soon Before Drones Start Bombing U.S. Citizens in the United States?

The John Oliver report last week was terrifying. Innocent people are being slaughtered by bombs dropped from flying robots out of the clear blue sky. They tried to make the report funny, but there’s no denying how horrific these sanctioned war crimes are:

How soon before a foreign government develops the same technology and starts sending drones over U.S. skies to preemptively take out Americans they deem a threat to their security, collateral damage be damned?

Or before the U.S. government, acting in the name of protecting us from terror, starts picking out targets on American soil and letting bombs fly?

President Obama’s normalizing of drone strikes in war is biggest step in killing technology since the invention of the atomic bomb. It won’t be long before Americans will be looking up at the clear blue sky wondering if it means their deaths.

The Prediction: By Jan 1, 2024, a U.S. citizen will be killed by a drone in the United States

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Definitive List of Answers to Questions No One Asked

Updated continuously and as necessary. Last update: October 8, 2014

Iggy Azalia
Jim Belushi
Chrisley Knows Best
Whitney Cummings
Lindsey Graham
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless
Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin’s Family

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Take Five (Vol. 5): Don’t Forget to Pray, and Shake a Hand Every Day

Here’s my CHIRP Radio show set list from Sunday, October 5th. Here’s what I played [Artist, “Song” from Album (Label)]…

Aphex Twin, "We Are the Music Makers" from Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (Apollo)

Ryan Adams, "Trouble" from Ryan Adams (Columbia)

Merchandise, "Enemy" from After the End (4AD)

The Exterminators, "Voo-Doo" from The Quill Records Story (Collectables)
This is a cool anthology of singles from the long-defunct Chicago label Quill Records. They had a bunch of garage bands record in better studio conditions than they're used to, but they kept the raw energy usually associated with lo-fi garage bands.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We Don't Need Another Hero

Television, movies, sports, business, the Internet, and all other forms of mass communication (except, interestingly enough, music) disagree with this sentiment.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why Do So Many Blogs Fail?

There are millions of blogs out there that started, then stopped due to lack of interest from readers, which led to lack of desire from writers to put the time in to producer new content.

Why do blog writers quit? Mainly because they don’t have an audience. Why don’t they have an audience? Some of them quit before their blog has had a chance to be found. Others are afraid that they do not have enough expertise on a subject to have an opinion on it, when they do. Still others have ugly layouts or are stuffed with so many ads that pages take forever to load.

But more often, too many blogs are too personal. Posts are written about the minutiae of life that may seem interesting to you or your close circle of friends, and it is...TO YOU. Don’t take this the wrong way, but in the great expanse of the Internet, nobody cares about your kids, what you had for breakfast, or that you’re sad today.

Try this thought experiment: If you have a blog topic, picture yourself standing on a street corner, or in a crowded bar. If you were to talk to random people about your topic, what would their reaction be? Would they respond with interest, maybe even want to start a conversation? Or would you be met with a “why are you telling me this?” look?

The same applies to blogging. It’s a public space, so talk about things someone you've never met before might be interested in. Stick to this general principle, and your blog posts may start to get the attention you want.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Take Five (Vol. 4): Retracing Steps As a Way of Moving Forward

Here’s my CHIRP Radio show set list from Sunday, September 28th. The DJ who is normally on before me couldn’t make it in this week, so I came in early and did a four-hour show (!). It was a lot of fun. From start of finish, here’s what I played [Artist, Song + Album (Label)]…

Blondie, “Dreaming” from Eat to the Beat (Capitol)

The B-52’s, “Private Idaho” from Cool Planet (Warner Bros.)

…kicked it off with a couple of my favorite ‘80s songs…

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa, “She He See Feel” from Savage Imagination (Thrill Jockey)

Sólstafir, “Miodegi” from Ótta (Season of Mist)

Pink Guys, “Taking Lives” from 2343 (Be Happy)

Animal Collective, “Father Time” from Centipede Hz (Domino)
This is not my favorite Animal Collective album but it’s definitely been growing on me over the years.

Merchandise, “Enemy” from After the End (4AD)

Chicago Underground Duo, “Locus” from Locus (Northern Spy)
There’s not enough of this band in my collection. Every time I hear them I’m impressed, but for some reason I have yet to get their music. I even managed to miss their set at the Chicago Jazz Festival. I’ve got to get with it…

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pretty Vacant

A tremendous picture of two of the members of one of the most important bands in the history of Rock music. Although with Sid Viscous there it means the band was already on its way downhill when this picture was taken. "Did you ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" Attribution of this pic would be appreciated if you know who took it.