Wednesday, 25 January 2012


You know, as the curator and chief correspondent of one of Chicago's most underwhelming-slash-barely-tolerated blogs in the entire blogosphere (or is it pronounced "blog-ESP-hire"?), I truly see it as my responsibility to share different and exciting new forms of media, and to write about a menagerie of entertainment. It would be self-indulgent to just write mindless (and parenthetically prominent) movie reviews, and simply insisting you watch the things on Netflix Instant I tell you to is just sheer flatulence (sp?). So with that note, and your best interest for original material in mind...I'm going to write another blog promoting a rock and roll show I am playing in!!! Go creative expressionism!
But in all seriousness (BECAUSE I'M VERY SERIOUS), tomorrow, THURSDAY THE 26TH, there is going to be an all-night audible assault on the senses of rock music, heavy vibes, screeching feedback, and a healthy dose of chords and mash. KILLER MOON, THE MULTICOLOURED MIRRORS, and THE CLAMS @ 9:00 pm, THE BURLINGTON 3425 W. FULLERTON. It's only 5 bucks (or maybe 7? The invite is certainly not clear), so if you don't have anything else going on, you owe it to yourself, your friends, and your ears to get the fuck down The Burlington, buy a few beers, and shake your head till your neck hurts with some no good burnt out psych-nics. Let's get our hands dirty shall we?

The Clams, a groovin' Chicago local rock band I have had the pleasure of playing with before, are starting off the night with healthy doses of DRONE, DRUMS, AND DIG. Their songs span decades with countless influences and infusions of sounds, but never stays too comfortably in one genre. But don't misread me when I say these fuckers rock, because they do. But within their tripped out jams drenched with plenty of screeching goodness, they can still surprise you with droney audio panoramas and thrashing, unforgiving drums that put their own interpretationon psychedelia and garage rock. I like to just close my eyes and let the rush of their rock and roll vibrate through the walls and the floors and me all at the same time.

The Multicoloured Mirrors (THAT'S THE BAND I PLAY IN) is a sonic train wreck of sounds. Local Chicago DJ (Name Deleted Upon Request of DJ…although I promise she DEFINITELY isn't sleeping with one of the band members) said, "Seeing the Multicoloured Mirrors is like waking up from sleep paralysis. You've tried so hard with other bands, but you can finally move it and shake it to some rock and roll that isn't afraid to push the limits of the sound barrier. This shit is loud and fresh." (Ohh, isn't that nice? Thanks Alli.)

The Mirrors in 2009. Oh. We're hammered by the way. Also, don't be alarmed by the whole "GSMD" thing. 2009 was a much more free and loving time.

The Mirrors have grown out of my altar-ego, The Sea Green, over the past few years. Personally, I love playing with those sons of bitches. Gets my dick wetter than a fire hydrant. But things like stressful work schedules, lack of funds, bombardments of previous commitments, lead singers leaving the country for a year and a half, and one member's (who shall remain private) sex-change operation, have kept The Mirrors from being a consistent act in the Chicago (or at least Logan Square) psychedelic rock scene. But with more shows like this one we plan on changing that. Then we plan on having sex with your face and ears and body via our loud-ass music.

Killer Moon (or The Killer Moon to their friends) headline the night with what is sure to be another explosion of the darkest, heaviest psychedelic sounds to ever smash your head into an oblivion. I love Killer Moon, I party with Killer Moon, I live with Killer Moon, I have already written about Killer Moon on this blog. Read about it here. Everything I said is still true.
So come get weird with us at The Burlington. There is a pretty good chance you won't regret it that much at all.

Monday, 23 January 2012

What's On Netflix Instant 2

Okay, I know this one has been a long time comin', but hey don't get too worked up with me about it. I'M JUST ONE MAN. No, no, I'm sorry, this is MY fault, not yours. I'm sorry baby, I haven't been as good to you as I know I should be. Can you forgive me? Please? Awww that's right, you know I love you. You know I only want you to get Netflix Instant recommendations from me, not from any of those OTHER blogs...they don't care about you like I care about you. What's that, sugar pop? Of course I like what you're wearing, you look fantastic. No, I always like what you're wearing. Well I didn't say anything because I didn't know it was new! I didn't know it was new beacause you have a whole closet full of fucking clothes! Look, if this is how you're going to be then you SHOULDN'T be surprised when I drink a six pack on the train ride home from work EVERY NIGHT. Oh GOD don't cry!

Here are some recommendations.

The Vicious Kind (2009) - Lee Toland Krieger

The Vicious Kind tells the story of a family of asshole during a Thanksgiving Break. Peter (Alex Frost) is taking his new college girlfriend (Brittany Snow) home with him for Thanksgiving. They get a ride from his older brother Caleb (played by Adam Scott, who was the reason I watched this movie, and also why the movie is awesome, and holy fucking shit I LOVE ADAM SCOTT). Caleb is a complete asshole. He thinks he's better than everyone else, and feels cheated by life that that the world has not acknowledged his obvious superiority, and is instead a construction worker who talks about architecture and states simply, "I build homes." He won't speak with their father (the wonderful J.K. Simmons, who is also a complete asshole, but in a different way), chain smokes, drinks too much, and has insomnia.

Caleb wants to protect his younger brother Peter (who is the least asshole-y of the family, and therefore the most unrealized character) from possible heartbreak from his new girlfriend, but ends up becoming infatuated with her himself. It's a pretty fearless movie. It says things and has characters act in ways that are sometimes shocking and extremely mean-spirited. But it's funny. And it's well written and smart enough for it to never seem too mean beyond redemption. I really dug this movie. Eeeeeehhh, quick sidenote the end actually kinda flounders a bit and is lame. It's the one part of the movie where the writer/director stops being fearless in exchange for a more conventional ending. It is a shame to see him end it like that, but it's still a really good flick and worth your time and ADAM SCOTT!!!!

The League (2009 - ) - Jeff Shaffer, Jackie Marcus Shaffer

The League is a comedic television series about a group of friends who play Fantasy Football. BARF. I hate football--well, all sports really, but football is definitely one of them. And the only thing I hate more that football is FANTASY football. So months ago when Netflix isntant told me I would like The League I told it, not even in a joking tone, to fuck itself. Then about 8 months later I was suuuuuuper hung over and didn't know what to watch. I was reminded that Mark Duplass is one of the stars of the League, and I really like Mark Duplass. I decided to watch it. Holy shit. I love The League. It's really just a comedy about friends hanging out and dealing with every day life of work, relationships, kids (original I know). Let me preface and say that I could not find many great Youtube links for the show. Just trust me and watch a few episodes.

Oh and it's Chicago based. Not too shabby.

Southland Tales (2006) - Richard Kelly

I can't possibly put it off any longer; it was only a matter of time before I mention this movie in my blog. I have to strongly recommend Southland Tales to EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD. If you know me (and for that I am truly sorry) there is a good chance you've heard me talk about Richard Kelly's bizarre amalgamation of a film. It is a religious allegory, a political satire, an action film, totally sci-fi, a slapstick comedy (it has several MadTV and SNL actors in it because why not), and even has some musical numbers. After his success with Donnie Darko, I must imagine some studio execs were like, "alright Richard, ya did good with that Rabbit movie, so we're gonna give you 17 million dollars (actual budget) to do whatever you want." And I imagine little Richard Kelly shot his load right there in his pants. He had all these ideas for a movie, his true opus, and must have decided "fuck it! I'm gonna MAKE ALL OF THEM!"

And he did.

It stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Sean William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Justin Timberlake, Mandi Moore, Holmes Osbourne, Amy Poehler, Cheri Oteri, John Lovits, Shawn Wallace, Kevin Smith, and Will Sasso. That might not seem like a great cast to you. You might be wrong (except Kevin Smith cuz fuck that guy).

(I also realized through making this blog that both Southland Tales and The Vicious Kind are available in full on Youtube. So if you don't have Instant you can still watch both these gems!)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Just kidding.

I would be absolutely remiss if I didn't include a blog for my top movies of 2011. Movies are preeeeeetty much all I care about, except boobs (movies with boobs), and they're preeeeeeeetty much all I write about (blogposts with boobs), so this is where we find ourselves. More talkin' about movies. And boobs. 2011 was the first year in a long time (probably 2006) that I've actually seen enough films to make an informed top of the year list, and not just making a list of the ten movies I saw at the cine in the last 365 days. I have to say that seeing stupid amounts of movies was one of my favorite parts of 2011, it's been a long time since I've just geeked out and seen everything I could afford to. And with that fervent tenacity, here is my list for the best films of 2011.

MOVIES I DID NOT SEE THAT I REALLY WANTED TO, THEREFORE CANNOT BE ON MY LIST. Here are some flicks that, if I had seen prior to making my list, definitely could have made it on there. But I didn't see them. Wah.
Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
Beginners (Mike Mills)
The Future (Miranda July)
Another Earth (Mike Cahill)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Thomas Alfredson)

HONORABLE MENTIONS. Movies that I loved a lot, but didn't quite make it on the top ten.
Super 8 (J.J. Abrams)
My Week With Marylin (Simon Curtis)
Super (James Gunn)
Whinnie the Pooh (Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall)
The Muppets (James Bobin)
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)

And now the real deal:

10. Attack The Block (Joe Cornish)
Fast, funny, well made, and totally true to the genre. I dig movies that take a premise we are all far too familiar with (alien invasion) and giving it that smallest tweak that doesn't try to "reinvent" it (i.e. douche it up). In this case, the heroes are teenaged Cockney thugs. It's simple enough, and doesn't change the movie formula, but gives it a fresh perspective . Oi luv dem Cokenay boastards!

9. Shame (Steve McQueen)
Michael Fassbender's huge dong.

"It's big. It's real big."

8. The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
I really like Payne's movies, but when the trailer for this hit I wanted to hate it. It just seemed so...cheesy, maybe? But it's not. It's great. It's well written (BY DEAN PELTON MAY I ADD), well acted, and made me feel emotions. Real life human emotion. Cool.
No joke. This guy was one of the screenwriters. Hell yeah.

7. Midnight In Paris (Woody Allen)
Yes I have a soft spot for Woody Allen, and yes I was an English major, so this movie was pretty much made for me. And I loved it.

6. Young Adult (Jason Rietman)
This movie is funny, sad, and very challenging. I think the it's an incredibly ballsy picture. There aren't many romantic comedies that start off by making you dislike the main character, and then, by the end of the film, makes you like her even less. Charlize Theron is forever cool with me. Patton Oswalt already was.
"Guys like me were born loving girls like you."

5. Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
It's not really much of a "movie," and can totally be seen as bloated and pretentious (which it kind of is), but I responded to it emotionally on levels that not many movies can reach. It's just a really beautiful film. See it once.

4. Melancholia (Lars Von Triers)
Another beautiful, complex film. I found it a bit more watchable than Tree of Life. Kirsten Dunst can actually act. And gets naked. Yessum. But really, it's a great movie. It takes a simple idea, the end of the world, and redresses it, telling it through the lens of two sisters, both dealing with it their own, completely different ways.

3. Hugo
A movie celebrating the life of movies. It's a wonderful love letter from Scorsese to the humble beginnings of film, cleverly disguised as a children's movie. It works on every level, is fantastic, and made me smile the entire movie.

2. Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin)
This movie surprised the absolute shit out of me. Except for John Hawkes being awesome, that didn't surprise me. The movie is haunting (a totally douchey word, yes, but it really is), and overall is so successful because of the performances by the non-Olsen twin Olsen, and Teardrop himself, John Hawkes. The main reason this movie ended up so high on my list is the ending. It is WOAH.

1. Drive (Nicholas Winding Refn)
Movies like this are reasons I go to the movies. I can't fully describe why I respond so strongly to the movie Drive. It is just a near-perfect viewing experience for me. It's all about the feelings and the vibes created by the fantastic direction and score/soundtrack. Barely any words are spoken throughout the movie and there don't need to be. It's the most atmospheric and unique action movie made possibly ever. And it has a scene where Baby Goose stomps a dude's skull in. Ohmygodawesome.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


I have decided that until it gets too icy to capably ride my bike (and no, I am not sure how icy that means), I will continue to use it as my primary mode of transportation this winter; to work, to friends' places, bars, wherever. No public transit for me. I'm not going to be the CTA's bitch, waiting at frozen bus stops, shelling out hundreds of dollars a month in passes, delayed in overcrowded subway cars with way too many assholes reading E-books (that is short for electronic book. A book that needs electricity. Oh my god). But while I admire my aplomb (ask anyone, I am full of aplomb), there are plenty of reasons why riding my bike to work could very well end in a menagerie of horrible scenarios. So, like any level headed adult (or any teenager that watches too many sitcoms), I am going back to the age old way of settling a debate (no, I'm not going whip it out), I'm going to make a pros and cons list.


Sure, I am kind of sick of riding up and down Diversey every day, but nothing is as horrible as the daily exercise in sadism that is riding the train during morning rush hour. It's just impossible to not hate everybody. I know, I know, we are all doing the same thing, getting to work, but being jammed up, shoulder to shoulder with dozens of unhappy, equally hostile strangers, it's just bad for anyone's morale. Oh great, now this asshole has a backpack. Fucking fantastic.

This is slightly off topic but who gives a shit (I don't, it's my blog), bu

t riding the CTA makes me realize just how many people are obsessively and horrifically attached to their smartphones, E-books, 3G whatever the fuck technology. People cannot even go a train ride anymore without checking their email, reading the news (they have newspapers for that), and whatever the fuck. I know I sound like every other asshole when I complain about this, but it is really disconcerting to me as a social creature. Maybe I wouldn't despise you so much at 8:30 in the morning on a train if you weren't on a train at 8:30 in the morning looking up your horoscope. You can't go the 30 minute commute without it? Ride a bike or something, look at some trees.



I am not a waker upper. It is not easy for me. When people tell me they have to coffee before they leave for work it baffles me. How do you have time to make coffee in the seven minutes from when you get out of bed and when you leave the door? That's about all I allow myself in the morning (it's all I can get after I've hit the snooze alarm seventy fucking times). I get up, piss/brush my teeth (multi-task bitch), change, and I am out the door. If I am lucky I will drink a big glass of water before I'm out. So the fact that riding my bike takes half the time it does riding the bus or the train is a big deal to me. I need every extra second of sleep I can get in those early morning hours. I cannot stress this enough, I am horrible at things in the morning.


It's true. It's not that I'm not careful, it's just that I don't think I'm a great city bicyclist (also I'm not that careful). I always do my best to stick as close to the right as I can, and I try to maintain a look-both-ways-keep-my-head-up-whatever-sorta attitude, but that ain't gonna cut it forever. I zone out, I try to make lights I shouldn't only to have to break too hard, I am bad at making left turns, I go way too far out of my way to avoid puddles (because wet, gross) and I've already been involved in at least four biking accidents in the last six months. None were very serious (I literally just knocked on wood), and not all of them were even my fault, but that kind of dumb luck can only last so long. Think about how many times I almost got into accidents and didn't? It's a the-house-always-wins-sorta deal (and this has been a I-like-to-use-hyphens-sorta paragraph).

Partial results of being doored (part two). Also, just an excuse to show off my butt. Eh?


A seven-day pass costs, I believe, 23 dollars American. That is 92 dollars a month. A bicycle, once already purchased 6 months ago, is free. There.


If you are taking the train or the bus, you are still going to be cold. You have to walk there, and you have to wait outside. If you ride your bike, sure, you are going to be colder, but it's never that big of an issue if you are properly bundled because you will heat up fast once riding. But. But, but, but. Nothing fucks a biker in the face like the constant onslaught of cold, biting wind. Wind will make it literally impossible to get anywhere. Where it makes walking wholly unpleasant, it makes biking torture. Just even thinking about it makes me feel sad and angry. Riding against the wind is like being picked on by a bunch of older kids at school, except these older kids can control the weather. And they hate you.



What? I care about how I look. Sue me.


Even though on a day to day basis the CTA is a far more engrossing fiscal endeavor, you don't have to pay for the bus if it breaks down. If you fuck something up on your bike (which I do. Often) you have to pay for it. If you're lucky it is just a ten dollar trip to The Bike Lane for a flat fixer-upper, but if you fuck up your bicycle real good, it could possibly be an entire months worth of CTA passes to fix that bad boy. Personally, I've never been good with upkeep on any of my personal belongings. I owned a car for over three years and got the oil changed twice. Maybe three times? I hate it when I get a flat on my bike, or god forbid, something worse happens to the entire wheel or the frame. I feel so helpless. And, if you haven't noticed, I'm cheap (or kind of poor? Both?). I hate having to shell out the bucks everything goes wrong on my bike.


So, let's analyze, shall we (If analysis sounds boring to you, take your pants off, it will be more exciting)? Overall, based on numbers, the Pros win. There are more reasons to bike than to train it. Of course, the very serious point of my safety always being in peril SHOULD account for much, much more. But it doesn't. I don't ride my bike because I am looking for some thrill or excitement or way to rebel. I do it because it is faster, it is nicer, and it is cheaper. If those aren't three reasons to do something I don't know what are. I will, I promise, do my best (as I've always done) to be safe and not get killed or any more seriously injured while I ride my bike, but, well, I'm just not gonna stop doing it.

There will, of course, be a time very soon (within the next week or two I imagine, actually) when I physically will be no longer able to ride my bike the 4 miles down Diversey I am so used to. it will be too icy. So either way, in the end, the Cons win. Everything I said about prefering riding a bike better will mean nothjing when I can't physically do it, but still need to be able to get to work at a certain time.