Monday, September 27, 2004

Obama, Wonder, & Vegas

Stew calling Austin... Come in Austin! Stew calling Austin... Come in Austin!
One of my favorite candidates ever, BURACK OBAMA (D), the future Senator from Illinois, former president of the Harvard Law Review, the man who is putting Illinois in the Blue come this November and the man who is putting Alan Keys in his place (the loser's column) is having a political party of his own... This FRIDAY AT THE PARK WEST IN CHICAGO!!!

The crowd will be warmed up by the comic stylings of the first man I ever heard utter the word Shazbot... the person I saw bust out of an eggshell... Mrs. Doubtfire, 'Rainbow' Randolph Smiley, Patch Adams, Popeye,& yes Mork!... ahem... Chicago Native Robin Williams!
Anyway, Robin will grease the wheels for this very jazzy funky affair. If there was any TV character from my childhood that I learned tolerance and friendship from it'd be Mork more so even than the Muppets or Mr. Rogers.
Nanoo! Nanoo!

This will be followed by STEVIE WONDER!
I mean... can you have a better representative? Stevie has been political during his career, but he's VERY choosy when it comes to who he's going to play for. I mean, this is the guy that wrote Living for the City and You Haven't Done Nothing! If you want to know why You Haven't Done Nothing is my FAVORITE Stevie song read the lyrics HERE!
There will also be the jazz stylings of Ramsey Lewis... a great pianist who is in every jazz history book I have. He was a Chess Records artist (more props for Chicago). Many of his 1960s hits came from the rock genre. He bridged the gap that opened the door for a wealth of funkier musicians along the way. That tradition is alive and well with keyboardists like Medeski, Robert Walters, & Neil Evans working the new circuit today. Among Lewis' recordings was "The In Crowd" and those who get to go to this show will know what I mean!

This show is NOT announced. It is not well publicized... and the venue is the Park West!!! If you have friends or family around town and they want to go to this show... call (312) 427-2648 and do it NOW! The only draw back is the price of a ticket... the balcony starts at $350! Maybe I can get a ticket on lay-away!? And its the night after Soulive at the Double Door! I'm going to call to see if Soulive knows that Stevie will be in town. I think they should get together and hang.

So I have some other news...
I'm headin' to Vegas between October 15th - October 21st.
This is mainly for business, but while I'm hard at work pimpin' candy to NACS members I'm also going to play a bit too.
Entertainment I'd like to slide on the docket:
Kayne West is playing at the Palms on Sunday the 17th. Kayne is a Chicago Hip Hop success story. He's worked with all of the big names in the field as a producer and now he's made the switch to musician. It seems like a perfect opportunity to check out Kayne live.
Umphrey's McGee is playing at the House of Blues on the 20th. I give their last album Anchor Drop a big thumbs up.
I'm going to gamble a lil bit, of course.
Ok, so... if I go to this Obama rally... the next question I have is... where do I find a cheap hotel in Vegas?


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Short Stories or Digests?

Does anyone read a long blog? I like a solid short story filled with description and details. I wonder how long these notes and preferences will last in cyberspace. Will anyone come back to these messages hundreds of years from now... a new fandangled cyber-archeologist of sorts?
So... if I wrote short stories, would anyone read them?


Monday, September 06, 2004


So this morning my Dad asked if he thought it was going to rain. We rarely speak about the weather and I knew this was his way of starting a conversation about catching a ballgame at Wrigley! So I told him frankly "Yes, its supposed to rain, but they'll be able to fit in the game for sure!" and that was it... end of conversation. We got on the road a short while after.
On the way we talked about Hurricane postponing the Marlin - Cubs series and the reprocussions of that on the Cubs. I personally think it'll hurt the Cubs chances of winning the Wild Card slot. We also talked about the implications of the storms on my parents new home in Naples, FL (they just closed on a house). The parking gods smiled down on us and gave us a spot on N. Seminary St... just 2 blocks from the field! Then we found cheap bleacher tickets... and with a little patience we wound up finding a couple of seats in the front row of the bleachers right between center and left field where we drank beer and ate peanuts and enjoyed the weather, which turned out to be very nice!
The cubs had an amazing first inning even with Sammy on the DL. I think someone may have tried a curse on right field, because the replacement fielder ran into the ivy and he had to be helped off the field. Ramirez knocked back a couple of dingers. Grudzielanek, Lee, and Barrett clubbed in some homers too! Zambrano pitched an amazing game! I love my Cubbies. I love a day at the ballfield with my Poppa!


Sunday, September 05, 2004

Dirty Dozen Brass Band... Dirty as Ever.

The Dirty Dozen played at the Abbey Pub on Sunday night, a Silver Wrapper Production. It was lots of fun. Dirty Dozen always are. I'm a little spoiled by knowing Youngblood Brass Band, because they're so damned good. I believe they actually beat the Dozen in a Louisiana competition for the title of "The Baddest Brass Band in the Land" a while back... maybe it was Rebirth Brass Band. Never-the-less, Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a top notch project that gained notariaty in New Orleans and later as augmentation for bands like Widespread Panic. Mike Berg (of and Silver Wrapper) had Punsapaya play in support.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Won Over by STS9 - Why 2nd Chances Important

It had been a long time since I checked out Sound Tribe Sector Nine. They were one of the blossoming bands from the West with a San Francisco/Boulder connection just when I was leaving the music business. I gave them a listen, and decided they were a second rate drums and bass band. The truth is that my negative opinion had something to do with some doe-eyed girl from the past. Is that reason enough to not like a band?
In the years since, I've seen them a few other times... I attended the first time they played at the Barrymore Theatre and most recently this Friday September, 3rd at the Vic Theatre in Chicago.
The Sound Tribe kids party pretty hard. Its a young scene and kids don't know what they're doing. When STS9 played at Mishawaka in Ft. Collins some kids died... and that's another story, but those stories are mounting in number. I don't want to cast dispersions on the band, but their following... parties pretty frickin' hard. That's not the only trouble STS9 has faced this year. Their show in Madison had a turn out that was less than spectacular and the promoter (a guy from the band Know Boundaries) lost his shirt in the deal. I'm not sure if he paid the bands he booked. I hate hearing these stories. Somehow, I made it through my promotion experiences relatively unscathed... the most I ever lost was a couple of hundred bucks on a show. I was fortunate to have great consult in my decision making and enough research to find out what costs actually were.
I learned from my mistakes, but I took the time to learn how to book and promote a show the right way before I ever put any money on the line. Always book for a worst case scenario, that way you limit your liability. For example, you don't need a full security detail for 300 people at the Alliant Energy Center, so you look at your options and strategize the best way to play off the failure (ie. move the show to a "More Intimate Venue! Buy your Tickets Fast!").
Okay, enough shop talk! STS9 played a great show in Chi-town and I decided to eat my previous utterances. I think the fact that I saw many friends at the show (Matt, Kerri, Missy, Chris, Tammer, Dave, Phil, Mike, etc...) made it even more fun for me.