Sunday, August 29, 2004

New Jersey?

I had no intention of seeing the movie Garden State, but my sister kept asking me via email if I had seen it yet because she loved it. Typically, her taste in movies is as good as anyone's, so when a couple of friends invited me to see it with them, I did (even though Kat told me how stupid it was a few weeks back). And this is one of the rare occasions I disagree with my sister regarding movies.

First of all, why the fuck is it called Garden State? What the movie has to do with New Jersey I don't could've taken place in Springfield, Missouri or Springfield, Illinois or any Springfield in the country and it would've made no difference in the story.

There are some good parts to the movie; however, I could probably find some good parts to any movie. In the end, this has nothing to do with finding oneself due to's a plain love story that tries to be deeper than it actually is, which isn't that deep. I have absolutely no problem with romance and love; in fact, when done right, I can be an absolute sucker for it (e.g., Lost in Translation or even When Harry Met Sally). I think Zach Braff had a good idea to start with, but the script and characters needed a major overhaul.

I'm not going to sit here and really review Garden State mostly because I'm not very good at reviewing movies and also because I'm lazy. But I will say that I completely agree with Todd.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Number 1 song when you were born

The number one song on the US charts when I was born on January 15, 1977, was "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" by Leo Sayer.

What about you?

If it's not Scottish, it's crap!

Through a friend of a friend, I went to Hotel Sofitel Chicago Water Tower last night for this free Chivas Regal Premium Scotch Whiskey-tasting event. There we had access to an open bar for the first hour where they served various Chivas scotch drinks and had tons of free (and fancy) appetizers for everyone.

After the first hour, this Scottish dude wearing a kilt started playing his bagpipe, which was our cue to follow him to another conference room. There, everyone had a seat with various scotches laid out in front of each one of us. The Scottish dude, who was hilarious, explained to us everything you wanted to know about whiskey, especially scotch. After the presentation and tasting, we were all given complimentary bottles of 12-year Chivas scotch whiskey. We were also told that we could go downstairs to another room, where we could drink unlimited amounts of free Chivas scotch drinks the rest of the evening.

Because of the late notice I got about this thing, only Luke and I got to go. Luke got trashed. All I know is, I love scotch, and because I know the guy who sets these things up in Chicago, I will be at all of these kinds of events. It's only 11:30 AM right now, but it's night in Scotland right now. So maybe I should crack this Chivas bottle open right now.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Dave Matthews = Frat Boy G. G. Allin?

This is one of the funniest news ever...however, I do feel sorry for people on the Chicago's Little Lady architecture tour.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

McCain taking major role for Bush

John McCain may be the only Republican I like and respect. Honestly, I like him better than Kerry. So it's really disappointing for me to read that he's taking a major role in getting Bush re-elected. I knew McCain was loyal to the Republican party, but I didn't think he was this foolish. I don't know about you, but I have a bad feeling about what's going to happen this November.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Hip Hop and Basketball

Dr. Todd Boyd, author of Young Black Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the hip-hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture and Professor of Critical Studies in the USC School of Cinema-Television, has written an article on basketball and hip hop. If you like either, then you'll probably find it interesting like I did.

Check it out.


I start my job tomorrow, and I've been dreading this day the entire summer. For various reasons, I just have a very bad feeling about this job...even though I enjoyed the same position I had in North Carolina. But this one...I'm just very apprehensive about it.

I originally thought that this job was going to prevent me from going out and trying to enjoy my life on weeknights, but fuck that. Tomorrow night is the Black Dice and Animal Collective show at the Empty Bottle. Next Monday night Sean and I are DJ-ing at the Fireside. And next Thursday a few of us were talking about maybe going to a karaoke bar, where I can attempt to do my best Mick Jagger impression.

But I am starting to run a little low on cash, and I really could use the money. However, I don't think I get paid until the end of September. I guess it's time to play the lottery.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

What a weekend

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Fred flew up to Chicago to visit this past weekend, and he couldn't have come up at a better time. The weather was near perfect, and the Million Tongues Festival at the Empty Bottle was happening. I think the city left a very good impression on him, and hopefully within the next year Chicago will claim another citizen.

Going up the John Hancock Center was probably the highlight of Friday. Although the Sears Tower is the (3rd?) tallest building in the world, everyone had told me that the view from the Handcock is better. Instead of paying $9.50 to go up to the Observatory on the 94th floor, we went up to the Signature Room on the 96th floor for free, where we could buy alcohol from the bar while enjoying the view. It would've been a great place to take a date, but Fred was a good alternative.
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Later, we met up with Kat at her place of work and then went to this bar to have a couple of drinks before she headed off to O'Hare for a wedding in Asheville. We had a good time, although I wish she would've been able to hang out more this weekend.
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Saturday, Fred, Luke, and I spent the day at the new Millennium Park, and we were all thoroughly impressed. Later that night, a bunch of us (including my roommate Jeff and my new ladyfriend) headed off to the South Side to hit the original and best Soul Vegetarian, where even the most stringent meat-atarians are left craving for more.

Saturday's Million Tongues Festival featured Michael Yonkers, Charalambides, Matt Valentine & Erika Elder, and PG Six. We caught the last ten minutes of PG was good but not amazing. Matt Valentine and Erika Elder came out and weirded many out with their performance art...but within ten minuntes of their set they started to settle down and played some awesome avant-psych-folk music which reminded me a bit of Avarus and other Finnish psych-folk music. Charalambides came out next and completely wowed me. (I'd never seen them before, although I saw Christina Carter give a very nice, albeit short set a couple of weeks ago.) Even Maria was impressed, and she bought one of their CDs. Michael Yonkers was a huge disappointment. I really liked his album that Sub Pop released last year, but his performance was monotonous and boring. We all left early.

To make a long story short, Fred missed his flight on Sunday, and Delta can lick everyone's ass. Fuck Delta. But it did give us an opportunity to see more of the city and also attend the last night of the Million Tongues Festival. Besides the Pacific Coast Highway in California (which I've never been on), I don't know if there's a better street to drive through anywhere than Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. We drove and parked in the area where Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Soldier Field are located. If you want the best view of the skyline, go there. Here's a pic:
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Due to a late dinner, we got to the the Empty Bottle late, thus missing Fursaxa and only catching the last couple of songs from Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano. We did catch Six Organs of Admittance, who again wowed me. Simon Finn, in his first US performance, completely charmed everyone in the audience.

I woke up at 4:45 AM the next morning to take Fred to Midway. It was a great weekend, and I'm hoping that Chicago will claim another Chapel Hill resident in the near future.

I typically try to avoid "diary-type" entries, but one of the reasons for this entry is to send a message to all my friends/bitches/fans out there, which is COME VISIT, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!

Fred has tons of pics up. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

So funny!

The funniest Onion article ever: CIA Asks Bush to Discontinue Blog. Be sure to click to see the fuller image of "George's Blog."

Monday, August 02, 2004

Secret Wars

I went to the Empty Bottle Saturday for the Oneida show. Besides Oneida, there were three other bands playing first, none of whose music I had listened to before, I don't think. The first band was Chicago's Plastic Crimewave Sound. I was especially interested in seeing them since they have some releases off Eclipse Records. Their brand of psych-punk didn't floor me, although I did enjoy their set. One thing I didn't like was that the singer's voice reminded me of Billy Corgan, at least that's how it sounded to me live. But the vocals were mostly drowned out by the instruments, thank god. Also, their Asian female guitarist has the coolest stage presence ever. She just stood there wearing shades, a hoodie, and a dress just strumming her guitar but looking very cool while doing so. During Plastic Crimewave Sound's set, there was this dude dancing like a retarded jackass, combining his dance moves with muscle stretches. He was showing off, but he looked like an idiot. Others agreed with me.

The second band was this dance-punk trio from New York called Breaker! Breaker!. They sucked. I left the room to play Tetris on my cellphone.

The third band was a band I heard only one of my friends likes while everybody else hates them. They were obnoxious on stage, and their music was pretentiously sucky. They reminded me of retarded people trying to play Captain Beefheart. And the jackass I mentioned earlier that dance-stretched to Plastic Crimewave Sound was in the band. Oh yeah, their name is No Doctors. They sucked.

Oneida came on last and played a set that pleased most, if not all, the Oneida fans in the audience. They came out and stated, "We're Oneida, and tonight we're from Chicago!" which obviously pleased the audience. One thing I didn't like about the set (and it's a huge pet peeve of mine for some rock shows) was that the vocals were too low. For 90% of the set, you could barely hear any vocals. Although I enjoyed Oneida's set, I doubt the performance would've won over many new fans who had never listened to them before, mostly because you couldn't hear any vocals. Their encore was the best part of the evening since they played my favorite song from them, "Sheets of Easter."

This week...the Million Tongues Festival. I love Chicago.