Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Funny Things to Do

This past weekend I had possibly the oddest night I've had in quite some time. We were invited by our friend to go see his band, 4 Star Alarm, play at the Lincoln Park Fireman's Cookoff. Saturday was a gorgeous day and I thought that being outside at a cookoff with a band sounded like a brilliant idea.

When we got there, attendance was pretty sparse. Apparently this was the first year that these particular firemen had attempted this kind of fundraiser and they had not done a very good job publicizing it. At first I just thought they really liked us when we were greeted with showers of thank you's and a free calendar (which if you know me, you know is sooooooooooooo not my thing). Some girls like beefcake, I go for the triple "T" threat...tall, thin, tortured. Anyhow, once we were in, we realized that pretty much everyone else there was a fireman or belonged with a fireman (Lulu, eat your heart out). The food was good. The beer was bad, and worse, served by "beer dancers" as my friend calls them. Think Coyote Ugly.

So, our friend's band is a little emo and a little punk. They showed up in full regalia, standing out like sore thumbs in the crowd. It was funny to notice that as time passed, the lead singer lost some of his "flair." Off went the big chunky belt. Off went the '70's rock star shades. On went the headband bandanna. I think he was trying to camouflage himself. As they started to play, my friend pointed out that the crowd was stepping further and further away from the stage. Sadly, they actually did one of the best shows I've heard from them yet, but I think it went unappreciated.

The band finished at about 10, so Mr. Ten S and I decided to take a walk in the neighborhood. Our first bad plan and ultimately funny moment was when we decided to go into one of the local bars to use the restroom. Woooooooo! I forgot all about the Trixie and Chad culture in Lincoln Park and had to take a huge step back when I realized that :

A. They all looked exactly alike and were clones of the people I had spent my entire youth avoiding.
B. They all looked far too young to be so inebriated.
C. These are the people who spawn and move to Glenview.
Frightened, we made a beeline for the door and continued our walk. The highlight of the walk was spending some time in a real record store and scoring some vinyl. The next amusing moment was when we decided that rather than head into a Trixie bar, we'd go to Neo for a drink. Now mind you, we're in Saturday evening outside cookout gear. Woooooo! I forgot all about:

A. Everyone dressed in black.
B. Sprockets Redux atmosphere
C. How much more time these people put into their "outfits."
Uh yeah, we didn't really fit in there either, but they had better beer on tap and at least were playing some pretty cool tunes.

After our little adventures, we decided to call it a night. Other than the way North Shore boy on the train who was trying his best to be both cool and friendly, we made it home without further incident. The whole night left me realizing that I really like my crowd at places like The Beat Kitchen and Bottom Lounge. There's a little bit of attitude, but on the whole, they tend to be a whole lot more accepting of just about anybody. Well, unless you're too much of a Trixie. Then they'll just mock you behind your back and go back to what they were doing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just When You Least Expect It...The Friday Random 10

After a long hiatus from the Friday Random 10, the Tenacious One returns. Summer is winding down and schedules are once again taking over my life. Sometimes it's a good thing.

Fall promises to be busy but rockin'. Shows on my radar are Wire, Live, RiotFest and Crystal Castles. That ought to get me through October. Sweetness starts high school in a couple of weeks and Bink is about to start his year as Top Dog 5th Grader at his grade school. As for me, it's back to the saltmines of grad school after a long break due to an unwieldy life. Things seem to be both settling down and winding up.

Here's the soundtrack to the dog days of summer:
1. Chalkhills and Children-XTC
2. Glass-Joy Division
3. (Everyday Is) Halloween-Ministry
4. Pour le Monde-Crowded House

5. Headache-Liz Phair
6. Kiss Off-Violent Femmes
7. Bored on Television-The Methadones (Great show a couple of weeks ago at the newly reopened Bottom Lounge. Also saw Pegboy there last weekend. Sweet!)
8. Hours-TV on the Radio
9. God on my Side-World Party
10. Empty Bottles-Voodoo Glow Skulls