Monthly Archives: November 2008


the man himself

the man himself

OK, let’s catch up, you and me. Take a seat. Bourbon and ginger sound all right? It’s my new staple, see if you like it. Some ice here somewhere. Always worried I’ll break these nice glasses (cheers Julie).

Long time since I posted, I know. Let’s see.

Back in the grunge days you’d hear wild tales of Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza. Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins. An impossibly far-off event. These days it’s hosted in Chicago, a short flight away and hence a no-brainer. Got together with Olivia to form Team Strawberry Blonde and did the Grant Park experience. Definitely and unexpectedly the most civilised festival I’ve ever been to – clean wandering among topiary and fountains and uncrowded open spaces under blazing sun. The only criticism was the amount of stuff crammed together – some British electro band on Stage Obscure drowning out the agreeable pansyschrek noise coming from MGMT.

Chicago itself is much cooler than I expected. It dawned on me that New York is retro, 50s, gargoyled skyscrapers from the end of Ghostbusters. Chicago is neo-futuroid, shiny, full of public art and wall-to-wall contemporary architecture. You can get the idea here.

The end consequence of a sound recommendation from Milnotron several ages ago, I went to a really remarkable Parts & Labor gig in Brooklyn. The ‘venue’ was a trashed up, board-windowed attic space with raw electrics hanging from the walls and evidently no proper licenses. The organiser urged the smokers among us to walk away from the unmarked front door before lighting up outside, in case we drew the cops’ attention to the place. A frantic soak in a bath of noise and whisky.

We saw Rushmore projected in an abandoned outdoor swimming pool. We saw The Shining projected on a big screen under the Brooklyn Bridge with all the lights of the city behind.

I flew home and saw my Gramps for the last time.