Sunday, December 25, 2005
So we went out today for a late lunch/early dinner at one of the few restaurants open on Christmas day - Vermilion.
It was a breeze going down Lakeshore Drive and we got parking right outside.
A four-course meal features Indian cuisine with a Latin twist. On the menu: roasted cumin pumpkin empanada; butternut coconut squash sopa; tamarind-mango-glazed ham served on a Bahain yucca coconut puree; parval sautéed with cranberry and kari leaves; and an almond and dried fruit cake with liquor, dry ginger and drizzled with an eggnog anglaise.
The most recent show we went to was Q101's Twisted 12, featuring Hot Hot Heat, Death Cab for Cutie and The Psychedelic Furs.
Once again we had to brave Chicago's arctic tundra but at least it was a weekend night. I hadn't realized that it was an all-ages show and my wife and I found ourselves waiting in line for the doors to open amid awkward teens and tweens. I heard an exchange behind me go something like: Boy - "How are we getting home?" Girl - "My dad's picking us up."
Jesus, how old am I? Alas, I took my bitter old bones up to the balcony section of the Aragon, plopped myself down in some choice seats with an unobstructive view and started downing my six-dollar Miller Lite. The Aragon is a really interesting venue. It is designed to look like a Spanish villa, I think. Anyhow, watching the teens and tweens on the main floor from the balcony was fascinating voyeurism - seeing them travel in packs, give awkward exchanges, and sport even more awkward attire. For the tech-savvy kids, they even projected their text messages onto a screen overhead for all to see. Weird.
As for the music, Hot Hot Heat's set was tight and demonstrated again that our neighbors to the North are producing some good music. Death Cab for Cutie, though, was the show-stopper. There was something palpable in the air and the place was absolutely packed when they got onstage. They did a few songs from Plans and a number of hits from Transatlanticism, including the set's finale "Sound of Settling."
It was clear that they were the most talented band of the three, which leads to the peculiar selection of 80's group The Psychedelic Furs as the headliner. It was depressing. At least half the place cleared out - never a good thing for the main act. Even more departed as their set continued. They didn't help their cause by not playing any of their identifiable songs ("Love My Way", "Pretty in Pink") until the latter portion of the show. It was uninspired and sounded dated.
We should have left after Death Cab....
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Catching up on blog entries here....a few weeks ago my wife won a pair of free tickets to see Depeche Mode and a meet-and-greet prior to the show.
It was a typical cold, dark, and blustery Chicago evening so we were definitely on the fence about going to this one. It's funny being in your late 20's - it's no longer a no-brainer that you will go out on a weeknight, but nor is it clear that staying in and getting a sensible eight hours of sleep is the preferred option.
Anyhow, we did end up going and making the trek to the burbs. It was an interesting cross-section of scoiety to say the least - goths, yuppies, the elderly, the handicapped, townies, white trash, gays, lesbians, etc. - Depeche Mode brought out all of them!
As for the meet-and-greet, it was pretty lame - very military-like in nature. We were ushered in three groups of varying numbers and were instructed to shake each of the band members' hands and to move on. There was no time for words and barely any time for eye contact. We then took the obligatory "group photo" with the band and then it was all over.
I will say that I had no expectations of the show but I'll give credit where credit is due. These guys put on an entertaining and inspired performance. I hadn't heard much of the new album before but the tunes were good. They did a number of hits from Violator - "Policy of Truth" and "Personal Jesus" and a couple from Songs of Faith and Devotion - "I Feel You" and "Walking in My Shoes" and ended the set with everyone in the arena singing along to "Enjoy the Silence."
In the end it was a good show and I am glad we dragged our old twentysomething bones to the free concert.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Once again, the posts have been few and far between due to the demands of work, school, the holidays and an imminent move to NYC.
Alas, some much needed time off between Christmas and New Year's should provided an ample period of rest, relaxation and introspection.
And hey, what a segue! Speaking of ole JC, check out this site that sells Christain inspired sports jerseys. Fascinating, amusing, disturbing! Thessalonians in da house!
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Nothing says quality like an American made Bill O' Reilly "No Spin Grandpa" baseball cap.
What a piece of crap!
I was listening to Howard Stern the other day and he was rippin' O' Reilly for the shameless plugs he makes on his program, hawking this crap merchandise. O'Reilly is a shill, peddling his ultra-conservative ways while taking people's money with his lousy products. How pathetic. Does Fox News not pay him enough that he's got to resort to the "O'Reilly" jigsaw puzzle?
I've got a recommendation - how about some O'Reilly toilet paper?