A regular writing gig

After much peer pressure from Chris and plenty of deliberation on my end, I've decided to start writing again for a more "professional" publication, this time local online culture zine Smile Politely. "Several of my friends are doing it, mom, so why can't I?"

Anyway, I'll be doing a thrice-weekly music column under the old Jukebox Upchuck name, as well as a weekly sports column. I believe the site is officially launching within a few days, so check the link and enjoy more of me, as well as others' blogs about food, music, art, news, etc.


Why no Sharon Jones?

An astute listener picked out the Sharon Jones track in my soul/funk set at Mike 'n' Molly's and wondered why I hadn't included Ms. Jones and her Dap Kings on HORNS! Well, I had to hold something back for Vol. 2. (Like, maybe 70+ songs.) If you haven't checked out her new album, 100 Days 100 Nights, and you call yourself a fan of good soul music, then you have no excuse for living. Get ye to a record store, pronto.

The Budos Band, also on the Daptone label and featuring some overlap with the Dap Kings, is fucking tight, too. Check this shit out (scroll down a bit for the video).


10 random thoughts as Fall settles in (for good?)

1) I, for one, have been pleased with the colder temperatures of late. With the chill comes a higher heating bill, but also blankets, portable heaters, and possibly the use of our tiny wood-burning stove -- all of which I enjoy.

2) I'm done working 70+ hours a week. DONE I TELL YOU!

3) I DJ'ed at Mike 'n' Molly's on Saturday. Thanks to those that came out. It was my first time DJing in a bar in, well, I'm not sure. Maybe three years? Has it really been that long? Seems like it, or maybe longer. I split time with DJ Hellcat and had a good time. Spinning for 2 hours was just about right. My soul set was especially spectacular, I thought.

4) The Bulls at 0-4 are doing nothing to help their "keep the young nucleus together" cause. Not with Kobe lingering nearby. Sure, the Bulls get off to a slow start every year. That's a given, just like Kirk Hinrich picking up his third foul before the half and Andres Nocioni overreacting to every whistle against him. But I for one had bought the hype that this year's team was going to make some noise -- immediately. They have more depth than you can shake a stick at, but all I've noticed over these first four games is the team's many flaws, ballhandling and transition D chief among them. Last night against the Clippers, Skiles stuck with an offensively-challenged bunch for too long in the second half. They were shutting down Los Angeles on defense, but couldn't score on offense. I'm of the opinion Chicago should trade away a couple of its younger core for a talented 4/5 who can score in a multitude of ways. But screw Kobe ... he can rot in L.A.

5) Don't tell anyone, but M and I are doing a college fantasy basketball league using Big 10 players. My idea, but she's game. The draft is tonight!

6) I didn't make it to 10 on my last list, so I'm feeling the pressure this time around to really push it. Hmmm... Hey D-Finn, thanks for the suggestion of Kashi TLC. It has added some welcome variety to snack time at work.

7) I haven't heard much feedback on HORNS! Like, dislike? Should I get busy on ORGANS!?

8) Am I the only baseball fan that has zero interest in the A-Rod sweepstakes? With the Red Sox winning another World Series, I'm now well past my quota of big-market, Eastern seaboard baseball coverage. The Yankees got a new manager. Torre's in L.A. Curt Schilling re-upped. SO WHAT! The Cardinals have made enough moves over the past few weeks -- picking a new GM (blah) and bringing back La Russa (blech) -- to keep me somewhat interested in the hot stove league. But I can do without the constant updates on Scott Boras' richest client, thankyouverymuch.

9) I have four words for the Big Ten Network and Comcast: STOP SCREWING THE FANS! I'm glad that one of you will eventually "win" this stupid "argument" about who has the best interest of the fans in mind (and both of you will go on to make money hand over fist). But in the meantime, can I pretty please just watch some thrilling exhibition basketball without having to drop $25 at a bar?

10) I'm taking all next week off from work. If you're around town and would like to get a drink, holla.