Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I promise the Woundup Year-in-Review will not be another "best of" series, but I found one entry from last year that tickled my humor bone so much I had to repost it. It's particularly apt given today's Sun-Times cover story...


August 8, 2005

We Couldn't Think of Anything Better
This has never happened to me. I was lying in bed for a few minutes and felt an undeniable urge to write again. If I could bottle that kind of gumption...

Something that scares me is the thought that our society may mold itself in the image of a fictional reality for lack of better ideas. I feel sorry for the writers/filmmakers who invented worlds so vivid they've come to be seen as inevitabilities. Chicago's love affair with the surveillance camera draws comparisons to "1984," and, to many of us, it seems natural things would go that way. Is that because of Orwell's book? What if he'd written about a fun-loving society of vegetarians? Well, you'd be looking hard for his book in the basement of the downtown library. We love horrifying visions of the future.

Now we have a benchmark for what could go wrong, and perhaps it's unconsciously influencing our progress. I'm a big believer _ as a lazy person _ in mankind's laziness. We gravitate toward the easier/pre-existing idea/model.

But, I'm also not a paranoid person. If you want my opinion, I don't think a "1984" scenario is possible. Can you imagine the city of Chicago running a sophisticated program of mind control?

Harold: Agnes, there's something I want to tell you. I... well...
(meanwhile, back at the Richard M. Daley Citizen Compliance Center)
Bill: Hey, where's that reproductive acts authorizing form?
Richie: I dunno, Bill. I'm on lunch right now. I can't talk.
Bill: Christ... (into a microphone. his voice comes through a print of a Rembrandt in bill and agnes' living room) Hey pal. The authorization hasn't made it to our system, yet. You're gonna hafta wait.
Harold: But I'd like to make love to my wife.
Bill: Sorry, buddy. You can try back on Monday.
Richie: (to Bill) Monday's a holiday.
Bill: I thought you were on break.
Richie: I am.
Bill: (to Harold) Monday's a holiday. Try back Tuesday.
Harold: All right... (to Agnes) Monopoly sound good?

Friday, January 27, 2006

More Nostalgia

Despite what old '81 hardcore guys would have you believe, there still exists some element of regionalism in indie rock. Having lived in Chicago four years, I can listen to a band and generally tell if they're from Chicago.

8 years later, I feel I could still pick out a Cincinnati band. I went to more shows and saw more local bands there then at any other time in my life. Cincy bands have an element to them that cuts across their chosen genres: from snot punk to country revival. It's kind of a feeling, kind of a sound. I'm not being a good writer here, but I just can't describe it. I only know it when I hear it.

You can hear it in the work of The Ed Davis Band _ Cincinnati's first punk group. Former bass player, Bob Cotter, was a boss to Ted and I in the Xavier U. AV dept. Great guy. "Fuck Each Other" is a punk classic _ Cincinnati or otherwise

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A View from the Couch

Ladies and gentlemen, the highlight of my NFL season is NOT the Superbowl.

It is Dr. Z's annual report card of the TV networks' football broadcast teams. BEHOLD.

Turn It Up

JR's post today has inspired me...

The loudest show I ever saw/heard was Brainiac spring 1997 on their final tour before Tim Taylor died. They played Sudsy Malone's on Vine St. in Cincinnati, and I, as was my custom at the time, got as close to the stage as I could. I stood about 7-8 feet from Juan Monosterio's bass stack, and when he hit a note, I felt it like a punch to my chest. They had more gear onstage than I'd ever seen, and they played tape loops of crowd noise at full volume between songs. I wasn't wearing ear plugs.

Sudsy's was packed and extremely smoky. After three or four songs I started feeling woozy and pushed my way to the washing machines in back _ Sudsy's was/is half a laundromat. I caught my breath and enjoyed the rest of the show _ still plenty loud _ from there.

The two Brainiac shows I witnessed prior to this were among the best I've seen in my life. I still miss 'em.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lexicon Deviled Eggs (as suggested by WebTech 3.0)

We, too, had a lovely time last night with the RZA, the GZA and the Ghostface Killah. Feeling a little foggy today at the ol' cracker factory... and that's good.

There've been some rumors that Woundup Corp. will be changing locations soon. These rumors are unfounded, BUT if I continue to circulate them, perhaps they'll develop into the truth. "Develop" is up there, by the way, in the pantheon of cover letter terminology.

I was lying in bed the other night, thinking how the cover letter is the single most awful thing humankind has developed _ well, just a notch below the atomic bomb and (insert gag here... This post was actually written in WeBGaG WebTech 3.0, a blog template. All posts on this site are written in this program. WebTech suggests I use "designated hitter" to offset the awfulness of the A-bomb. I think I need to upgrade.)

Monday, January 23, 2006

This is the Way, Step Inside

C'mon! Both the Tribune and Sun-Times have the same top sports headline referencing yesterday's NFL action _ "Routs to Detroit."

I've always suspected both papers employ moles _ insiders who tip the editors off about the other paper's sports headlines and front-page stories.

Would I become a mole if approached? Well, the benefits package would have to be exemplary, and I'd like a little more vacation time, too.


In other news, Erika and I saw "24-Hour Party People" Saturday, several years after the fact. I was expecting a massive, irritating letdown, but NO _ I thought the film engaging and playful despite the moments of strife and tragedy. Yes, they couldn't resist an Ian Curtis seizure scene.

Coincidentally, I find Joy Divsion the perfect soundtrack for my newspaper mole lifestyle. If you can picture me sneaking into the loo with my cell phone while "Atrocity Exhibition" plays, you have yourself a better understanding of what I go thru around 4:18 p.m. each day.

"Chief... It's 'Routs to Detroit'... 'ROUTS TO DETROIT--'"
(The stall door opens)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Upcoming Event Announcement Calendar Schedule

Ted ripped me off, so now I'm ripping him off ripping me off...


(please continue reading fine Woundup.com content below)

Line on Dominicans is 1-1

I love that Fidel Castro has taken a personal interest in the World Baseball Classic.

Has anything in sports _ outside of the BCS _ been more maligned than the WBC? Front office types worry the timing of the international tournament (March 3-20) will interfere with traditional spring training and, more importantly, put extra wear on arms in their rotations and bullpens. Remember the White Sox? They won with consistent, healthy pitching.

And the public, well, the public has yawned resoundingly at the WBC. Frankly, I like the idea. It's a fantasy baseballer's dream come true. I don't know how much stress 2-plus weeks of competitive ball puts on a guy's arm _ I suppose that depends on the player. Gone are the days of Ironman Joe McGinnity, replaced by $25 million-a-year Hummels like Alex Rodriguez. To risk injury to such an expensive showpiece in an exhibition tournament would be career suicide for an MLB general manager.

Still, I'd like to see the scrappy Cuban team _ weaned on government rice, trained on stone-strewn sand lots _ whup up on the overpaid millionaires from the States. Castro would be there, too _ cigar in hand _ laughing all the way.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Enjoy When You Can. Endure When You Must. Goethe Never Had a Monday Off.

Well, first you're leaving the house with a lot of expectations, then you run into a friend at the Middle Eastern place, then you're drinking white wine at 1:30 p.m., and then you're laying on the couch listening to Doug Buffone and Gary Fencik. What happened? At least I downloaded my resume... Didn't I? Hold on. All right. There we go. It's my day off, right? Would you cut me a little slack?

Thinking about writing is NOT WRITING. It doesn't count. And drinking white wine is NOT NOT DRINKING. It's real booze. Take it from me. But a few hours with a friendly face... Sometimes you must take that where you can get it. I'm glad I did.

Day Off. Probably Won't Brush Teeth.

I'm just in the office a minute. I've got my hot tea from the corner store and am making some frozen waffles in the break room toaster. This place gets a little lonely on the weekend _ and again, it looks like someone had a party here. I'll never understand why people drink Heineken. Yuck. I just found a cribbage board coated with something sticky. I hope that's bourbon. What were they doing in here?

In the domestic realm, we're still cleaning up from Saturday's wonderful writers' group _ or rather, I am cleaning up. Erika's already done two loads of dishes. I still have to earn my keep.

To all writer pals in the area... Erika and I hold a writers' group once every 2-3 weeks early Saturday evening. It's a supportive, low-pressure environment to present things and get feedback _ and includes a vegan dinner. As it stands now, we have 1 fiction writer, 3 poets and a playwright. We accommodate any style _ fiction or non-fiction. Leave a note here if you're interested or email.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More Musical Mirth

Have you ever played the rock 'n roll switcheroo game? Just imagine an integral part of one of your favorite groups swapped with another key figure in another band. Then fantasize about how the band would sound.

For example...
Neil Peart of Rush
switches with
Roland, the Big Black drum machine

Big Black w/Neil Peart
Rush w/Roland the drum machine

Fun, eh? Try it yourself. If you get any good ones, post 'em in the comments section below.

Ulrich Breaks Peart's 18-Year Stranglehold on Rip Magazine's Best Drummer Award

Last night's writing exhibitionism (trip to Atomix) netted an interesting bit of information. Well, it's something I've known since I was 19 years old, but it's taken me 10 years to accept. The Atomix staff were pumping "Tago Mago" _ as is their custom _ and I realized that Jaki Liebezeit of Can is my favorite drummer. There you go. No more hemming and hawing over Keith Moon or John Bonham or Bill Ward. I vote Liebezeit.

As a recovering music journalist, my therapist has reminded me that it's all right to have a "bad day." A "bad day" in my case involves making arbitrary, meaningless rankings and lists. My old friend Adrian in Atlanta had his Top 10 guitar influences written on a dry erase board in his room _ an earnest, honest proclamation. But for Young Adrian it made sense _ he is a guitar player (and one of the best I've ever heard). Me, on the other hand...

My runner-up drummer would be the guy who played on Chrome's "Half Machine Lip Moves" _ which also makes him the #1 uncredited drummer in the history of recorded music. Ah, but you say there are countless uncredited drummers on old blues and world music records. Well, make the Chrome guy #1 uncredited drummer on a rock record. That's a new RIAA award, by the way

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Report from the Dream State

I woke up a few minutes ago and looked at the clock radio beside the bed. The numbers moved upward quickly 7:05, :06, :07, :08, :09, :10... had time been broken? Was I still in a dream? I looked at the red digits ascending :24, :25, :26, :27 before it struck me _ Erika had spilled water on the clock when she got home from work. It was broken. I hit one of the buttons. The time reset to 12:00 and stopped moving.

Just a few moments before, I had a vivid dream about Midnight Records. I was back in New York for some reason and had agreed to work temporarily at Midnight. Robin and BJ were there, along with a guy who did my old job _ boxing up mail orders. JD had turned the store's second room into a listening area with couches _ very Williamsburg. I was excited to get my hands on a mail order package. I think even now I could wrap one in under 20 seconds. I had done so many _ the USPS priority mail package with the tape gun _ that it burned permanently into some deep part of my brain. I bet I'll be able to do 'em at age 70.

But it was only a dream. We all know Midnight (as a store) is gone. Erika said she has the ability to wake up, return to sleep and continue the same dream. I've never been able to do that _ but who knows _ if I fall asleep now, I might get to go buy JD some Perrier in the Chelsea Hotel bodega.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Lift My Spirits

TRUSCOTT: You’re fucking nicked, my old beauty. You’ve found to your cost that the standards of the British police force are as high as ever.
MCLEAVY: What am I charged with?
TRUSCOTT: That needn’t concern you for the moment. We’ll fill in the details later.
MCLEAVY: You can’t do this. I’ve always been a law-abiding citizen. The police are for the protection of ordinary people.
TRUSCOTT: I don’t know where you pick up these slogans, sir. You must read them on hoardings.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

O'Donnell to the Edge of Infinity

It's official. Sun Times Notre Dame writer Jim O'Donnell MUST write my obituary. The puckish wordsmith dropped another gem-encrusted treasure upon the reading public this morning _ his story on the Irish's loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl yesterday. It wouldn't be an O'Donnell piece without some color in the lead...

"TEMPE, Ariz. _
See Troy run.
See Troy pass.
See Ted catch.
See Ted score.
See Notre Dame touchdown called back.
See Ohio State happy.
See the Fighting Irish sad."

And just when you think you have O'Donnell scouted, he adds another pitch to his repertoire _ a blizzard of numerals...

"No one stepped up more than (Ted) Ginn. With his Olympic speed (10.5 for 100 meters), the diminutive triple threat ended with 167 yards from eight receptions, 73 yards in two rushing tries and 20 more from two punt returns. Hello-Columbus total: 260, including the two touchdowns."

More and more everyday, I feel O'Donnell is the only writer who could treat my life with the reverence it deserves. I'm just going to lie down on this stretcher and wait for him to start typing.