Where’s Brian?

July 28, 2009

I’m a busy boy, but three things I wanted to tell y’all about:

  1. I’m writing for a tri-city music blog, BemBang repping Chicago.  We mainly make fun of stuff.
  2. My pet project — the Football-via-Teen Drama blog Gridiron Girl (co-written by Kenny, Matt and Rob) — will be getting a weekly column spot at Third Coast Digest as we start revving up for 09/10 football season.
  3. Oh, Rob also writes a hilarious Milwaukee Brewers column for 3CD called Dear Ken Macha.  I highly recommend you check it out.

Oh Yeah.   FYI.  Brett Favre is OUT as a Viking.   Hellllloooo Mike Vick?!?!?!  That would be hilarious.

Favre is a Viking

June 24, 2009

Image Courtesy of Gridiron Girl

According to WISN in Milwaukee, B-Fav has agreed to terms with the Vikings. Best part:

An ESPN reporter asked Packers General Manager Ted Thompson if he was taking it personally that Favre plans to play for Minnesota.

Thomspon’s reply was, “No, no, no, no.”

Translation: Yes.

And for the fun of it, here’s some stats from last year:

  • Brett Favre Rating: 81.0, Int: 22, Sacks: 30, Pct 65.7
  • Gus Ferotte Rating: 73.7, Int: 15, Sacks: 29, Pct 59.1
  • Tavaris Jackson Rating: 95.4, Int: 2, Sacks: 14, Pct 59.1

Best Albums of the last 12 months or so… Bon Iver

May 13, 2009

Still May.  Since the year is nearly half over, I’ll just post 12 or so albums I liked over the last 12 or some months…

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

(#4 of 12 in no particular order)

Not much more you can say about Justin Vernon… just ask Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold.

Hell, Great albums tend to have great backstories, and I was admittedly skeptical of how great this album could be based on the fact that those recommending it would talk more about HOW/WHY it was made rather than what it sounded like.  I can now accept that sometimes an album so patient, subtle, unassuming and redemptive will need that extra tangential push to make it up into the popular conscience and get the audience that it really deserves.

Brett Favre to Re-Unretire

May 4, 2009

Just when you think he’s teared up at a press conference for the last time, yet ANOTHER rumor pops up that Brett “Journeyman” Favre now wants to play for the Vikings.  Hmmm.  Is it because he’s got “something left in the tank”, maybe, or maybe the economy is such that it’s too soon to open a car dealership.

Had to post this. Original is Law Blog RLHB.

Either way, he wants in, and Mike & Mike on EPSN seemed to hint that it’s purely to get revenge on his old team — the Green Bay Packers.  That should work out for everyone, as we all know through centuries of theater, books and movies — aging gladiators called into battle for revenge’s sake and fueled by blind ambition usually succeed without much difficulty, agnorisis, etc.

What’s sad is that Wisconsin has gone mute on the subject (not that is has a say anyway).  Scanning the most recent headlines on google The Frozen Tundra is frozen still.  There’s a national frenzy but Milwaukee is mum… there is NO mention of Favre on the Journal-Sentinel front page and BARELY even a mention of this anywhere on the sports page. Hmmm. This from the paper that would run a picture of Favre above the fold instead of  Afghan war coverage.

Maybe it’s a McCarthy-era strategy — don’t publish stories about him and maybe he’ll just go away.  Meanwhile, Chicago Sun Times and Tribune both had stuff to say about it.

A few other thoughts:

  • Brett should look for a new shoe endorsement.
  • Green Bay is not quarantined with swine flu — they just don’t have the will to get out of bed this week.
  • Internet-friend Ryan thought: “If [this] … happens the NFC North will be land of the QBs with Cutler here, Stafford at Detroit, Farve at Minnesota and Rodgers in Green Bay, could be interesting.”  It’s true.  Would the NFC North not be the butt of jokes for once?  Maybe they could shake that guaranteed noon start time pattern.
  • Internet-friend Kenny thought: “….if Brett Favre goes to Minnesota, his legacy will be somewhat tarnished. This is the guy that replaced Bart Starr as the face of the franchise historically, and he is going to go wear purple and play in a dome? Just stick to playing football with a posse of country folk at a field in the middle of nowhere while wearing Wranglers.

Five Stars Kenny.  Real. Comfortable. Blog.

Best Albums of the last 12 months or so… Neon Neon

April 26, 2009

Hey.  It’s almost April May.  Can I slack any more?  I figure, since the year is nearly half over, I’ll just post 12 or so albums I liked over the last 12 or some months…

The Eternal Question

In talking to my friends, the year 2008 was felt to be an underwhelming year for individual artist accomplishment. When I sit down and think of the albums I was obsessed with these last 12 or so  months, it was very hard to pick 10 out of the bunch, and then decide who gets a #1 over a #10. While there were not any monumental KILLER albums, 2008 saw the emergence of a few very interesting trends that continue to mature as we close out this first decade of the 200o’s.

The trend I find most exciting is the burgeoning globalism of pop music. Perhaps it’s the Internet, perhaps it’s the slow death of mainstream radio and, or pre-fab rock stars, perhaps it’s even American awareness of global conflict that has inspired them to search outside the typical boundaries of inspiration. Whatever caused it, it’s making pop music a LOT more interesting. There was an explosion of Aussie electro, Scandinavian pop, Icelandic atmospherics, backwoods midwest soul-searching, 80’s obsessed French synths, and, of course, the much-ballyhooed return of Afro-pop….

Here’s one I liked:

Neon Neon – Stainless Steel

(#1 of 12 in no particular order)

Gruff Rhys, aside from his full-time gig as part of  Super Furry Animals, is half the double-whammy of  Neon Neon — teamed with hip-hop producer Boom Bip and a slew of hiphop collabos.  The resulting product is an amalgam of glossy late-80s rock and synthy hip hop that tells the story of coke-and-tit fueled carmaker John Delorean (d. March 2005).

Stainless Style finally dropped mid 2008, amid little hype and a mess of other 80’s-informed electro crossovers.  What’s remarkable is that the project was nearly complete 3 years ago.  Heaven knows how much of a splash it would have made if it released around the time they played SXSW in 2006.

Theoretically, this LP could have been hot on the heels of The Rapture, Radio 4, Hot Chip, Junior Boys and LCD Soundsystem’s nostalgic disco revamps.  Viewing it in the time frame that, quite frankly, they just plain missed, Stainless Style could have been an  genre-defining/defying album.  The fact that it still sounds relevant years later among other like-minded 80s rock/Electro-rap clones is a testament to this clairvoyant one-off.

Mp3: Neon Neon – “Trick For Treat” (c/o The Daily Growl)

Video For “I Told Her on Alderaan / Trick for Treat”:

Passion Pit Drives Schubas Crazy

January 28, 2009

Just reviewed Passion Pit for UR Chicago here.

Will re-post the article below, and extend it with some more rambling commentary…


In a giddy fit of keyboards, falsettos, and saccharine dance beats, Boston newcomers Passion Pit are charming their way west during their first national tour.  P.P. bounced their way through a congenial but criminally short set last night at Schubas, as Michael Angelakos engaged the audience with the same disarming manner and sky-high vocals that seep through every track of his debut EP, Chunk of Change.


The set started out playful and keyboard-heavy with Angelakos’ ear for pop melody pushing to the forefront.  Flanked a guitar, drums, two Rolands, a Moog, and sitting behind a Yamaha synth himself, Angelakos’ dare-you-to-sing-higher-than-me octaves pierced through riffs, piano lines, and programmed back-beats. Espousing sentiments that in lower vocal ranges might be cringe inducing diary entries, the proper set ended with the dance-happy electropop of “Sleepyhead” and “Better Things” to which the sellout crowd lost their collective brains to, bloggers and ALTBros alike.

Angelakos apologized repeatedly for the abridged set, but, the audience couldn’t blame them for succinctness – Passion Pit just haven’t been around long enough to have a full set.

In a backstory that’s impossible not to repeat; Passion Pit’s origins couldn’t be more endearing: Originally a late Valentine’s Day present for Angelakos’ g/f, the “Chunk of Change” CDR made the rounds at Emerson University, made waves in Boston, and made headlines after some stellar sets at this year’s CMJ music fest in New York. A few months later, after some east coast practice gigs, they’re on tour backed by new label Frenchkiss, playing the six songs that everyone knows and road-testing a few new ones.

Passion Pit’s sincerity and DIY style fits with just a few other bands who somehow dodge be criticized for being goddamned “sincere” all the time — people have seemed to get really sick of that recently. (The fact that, as 20-something culture consumers, we already have issues with earnestness is fodder for a different blog).

I see Angelakos along side other singer/songwriters like Khaela Maricich (The Blow), Ben Gibbard (a-la The Postal Service), and Robert Wratten (Field Mice) as artists that manage to be shmultsy but nevertheless loveable.

Let it be a lesson to those aspiring coffeehouse guitar wankers… if you’re inspired to put your love / breakup letters to music and share it with the world, do two things:

  1. Sing higher and/or softer than you’re comfortable
  2. Put some good fucking beats behind it

You’ll be a blogosphere hero in no time.

BPRB: January 23rd Update

January 23, 2009

LOTS of new Chicago concerts listed, including the first May concert date.  ALREADY!  MMMMmmm, I can feel the non-subzero  temperatures already.  Check dates times and ticket costs on the “Bored People Are Boring” Calendar of Events:

Lasers and Fast and Shit
Friendly Foes

Lazer Crystal
Kid Color
Leo 123
The Chamber Strings
Kevin Tihista
Lonesome Cougar
The 1900’s
Cotton Jones
The Pomegranates

Matthew Dear
Guido Schneider
Frankie Vega
Gianna Hardt
Bonnie “Prince” Billy
Fruit Bats
Bishop Allen
White Lies
Friendly Fires
Golden Filter
Simian Mobile Disco
Great Lake Swimmers
Kate Maki
Neko Case

The Books