Friday, March 25, 2005

First Week of Spring

Busy! Busy! I'm working with some outstanding reps, brokers and distributors that keep the orders rolling. Alot of the bigger stores require some type of data interchange set up, most of the manuals read like stereo instructions. Luckily, I'm pretty good with that kind of stuff.

That's not all. My attempts at being a publicist have paid off for the Benevento Russo Duo in Madison, including critics choices and previews in papers like The Onion, The Isthmus, & Cap Times, WSJ, Rhythm Section!
There are moments where I believe I have the most solid press list for Madison ever created, but its nothing with out the releationship that goes with it.
I enjoy being remembered.

Work has kept me busy as my friends have been out of town, sick, working or any combination there of and the weather has been a mix of rain and snow in the Windy City.

The Duo plays this Saturday at the Orpheum Stage Door in Madison.
I'll see them tonight at the Abbey Pub.
I'm looking forward to an exciting weekend filled with friends, great music and leaving the work behind!

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Time in Madison

I am spending alot of time in Madison due to four factors.
I am planning the launch of the hip hop band Dumate.
Moona just got back from Amsterdam and I had to visit.
I'm helping Chris Axtel "CirKus Productions" with his business plans.
I am publicizing the upcoming shows for The Benevento-Russo Duo in Madison where they are playing at the Orpheum Stage Door Theatre on the 26th.
Today, I'm driving up with my friend Mike to Madison to see the band The New Deal. They were one of the highlights of the 2003 Bonnaroo Music Festival for me.
During that time I hope to hang out with all the aforementioned characters and maybe talk to congratulate Jameson on his new position as the responsible agent in charge of Luther's Blues. Jameson has worked in Madison for close to a decade at the bars and has done one hellova job with The Regent St. Retreat's Annex.
The candy business is going very well. Its not on autopilot or anything. Its all about constant vigilance, right?
On to more fun matters... Do you want to go to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival the last weekend of April/First Weekend of May? Blackalicious are playing with Soulive at TwIrOpA on Friday Night, and the Duo are playing with Mike Gordon at the same joint on Sat Night. Plus the Jazz Fest line up looks outstanding. Take a look and let me know what you think.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

St Patty's Day 2005!


The city of Chicago celebrated St. Patty's day on Saturday and Sunday, even though its on the 17th. This brings up a very interesting predicament for those who are interested in taking part of the festivities. On Saturday you've got the dying of the Chicago River and the downtown parade. After you recover there's the South Side Parade on Sunday.
Through out the week, there are lil celebrations across the city. Pubs will feature Irish cuisine, Irish whiskey, & beer. Though mainly its Guinness, sometimes pubs will take Miller Lite or some crap tap beer and throw some dye in the mix and serve the green beer. Dyed Green beer is wrong on a number of different levels. Please don't embibe green beer, and keep your friends from making that mistake. And don't get the Shamrock shake from McDonalds. You will get nothing Irish at McDonalds except the vestigal Mc infront of their name.
I digress...
Good Irishmen and women are caught up in this celebration of St Patrick's Day which lasts the entire week. This means some of these folks will go out and drink every night until the 17th. After its all over they will eventually wake up from their alcohol induced comas to find they've emptied their wallets, used up all of their sick days, and found green is not their color. This last point is generally realized while looking in the mirror on the morning after.
As I'm 25% git, I feel obligated to participate in some of the festivities. No I did not make it to see the river, or watch either of the parades. It was feindishly cold in Chicago, and I'd rather do my taxes than go outside, but I will certainly raise my glass and say Slanche at some point over the course of the week.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Famous Stewarts

I recently heard people were tracing family roots. I wanted a little bit of the action so I decided to do a bit of my own research.
The Stewart name carries alot of weight. Stewarts have played an important part of the shaping of the world stretching back to the far points of the past to present day. I have my work cut out for me. As we look at people (possibly family) that carry the Stewart name!
Here is a sampling:
King of England, James Stewart

Actor, Patrick Stewart

Comedian, Jon Stewart

Because I like him so much we're showing another picture of him... and he does hang out at clubs infront of the ladies washroom, regardless of whatever you hear from other sources.

Jimmy Stewart, The guy who saved the Bailey Building & Loan

NAAU Jr. Trampoline Champion, Charles Stewart

Singer & Songwriter, Slyvester Stewart (you know him better as Sly Stone)

Robert Stewart, College Police Chief - Florissant Valley Campus...
I have a cousin & an Uncle Robert...

Former Steelers & Bears Quarterback Cordell Stewart

Then on the darker half we have:
Rod Stewart

NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart

CEO & XCON, Martha Stewart

So as we clearly see, its being a Stewart that makes you either Famous, or Infamous.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Keller Williams @ Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL 2005-03-05

I've written so much about Keller Williams its hard not to be repetative, but there are only so many words that you can use to describe the caliber of his work. Here is a performer that plays more instruments than most bands do. On guitar, his primary instrument, he is highly stylized like a Leo Kottke or Michael Hedges, but different. He plays to the crowd includes fun covers, dances on stage... he's having fun and the crowd picks up on that.
Last night, Keller had fun. I don't have to go into everything about the show, but the opener, Tweaker By the Speaker > Word Up (Cameo) > Tweaker, was hot! He kicked off the show with a ton of energy and he kept that energy level up the entire show!

Every day its a different city for Keller, Lou, Andy and the crew. I've often described the mindset of people who travel together every day. I once wrote a paper called "Van Madness" which describes a band of friends who break up the band after touring together in confined quarters. You have to accept each other like family.
I can go back to 1998 when I first met Keller. At the time he was a long haired and bearded fella who could have just jumped off any number of tours. I suppose I was lucky enough to see the dream come alive.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Attack of the Girl Scouts


I was at my parents house in the suburb of Oak Park, relaxing infront of their TV, and drinking a beer. The doorbell rang. I got up to answer it and there was this cute little girl scout at the door with her order form. "Its Girl Scout Cookie Season." she informed me. I signed myself up for a several boxes and let her on her way.
I like girl scout cookies (mmmm... girl scout cookies). I get back to the very important job of sitting infront of the tube when the doorbell rings again. I get up to answer. There is another, equally adorable little girl scout with her mom at the door and again, I buy a few boxes and make my way back to the tube.
Not two minutes later, the doorbell rings again. Is this what voters in the swing states felt like? I answer the door and there's another scout standing there with her form held up for me. She's got this annoying little voice. "Hi, There Mister! Wanna Buy Some Cookies!" she shouted. I was litterally about 2 feet away from her, she didn't need to shout. "Perhaps she's one of those unfortunate children with out the ability to control their volume" I thought when I realized what was going on. I'd been marked!
There was a pack of Girl Scouts workin in unison. Its possible that today's Girl Scouts have an information system that rivals the CIA. I wonder what kind of battle planning they did before hitting the streets.
I picture a war room with maps and dossies of easy targets. I imagine tougher older scouts teaching brownies how to act "extra special cute" to close the sale. When they showed up at my door, they had walkie talkies and were checking in with each other to see who was on what streets so they could hit up houses with big spenders.
I ask "So, uh... how many of there are you?" She didn't need to answer, because the swarm was upon me. Faster than a cheetah can pounce, there were 6 brownies and 3 girl scouts with their forms on the front steps, waving them in my face. It was too much... I stepped back. They stepped forward.
The hard part about girl scouts is you can't slam the door on them like you would a latter day saint or a vacuum salesman. And here they are shouting at you "Me Next! Me Next!" and you have to do it. You have no choice in the matter really. Then like locusts who've eaten the field, they move on to your neighbors' house. For a moment, you relax and smile, because its funny when its somebody else. Then you hear that annoying little voice and you snap out of it and get back inside before the second wave strikes.

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