Inhuman Swill : Music : Page 4

Listen to my station on!

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A trumpet demon

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RIP Freddie Hubbard, 1938-2008. He was probably the best trumpeter from the hard-bop era next to Miles Davis, though some poor choices starting in the '70s derailed a career that could have made him as much of a household name today.

But whatever. I'm going to put on Open Sesame and then Red Clay to work to this morning—not to mention that track "Zanzibar" from Billy Joel's 52nd Street where Hubbard lays down an amazing solo on the outro—and wish there were a heaven (or hell) where I could look forward to hearing him play like in his prime.

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"Given the dog a bone"

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I had another misadventure on moving day, though I didn't know it for more than a week. AC/DC tickets were going on sale that same day, so I kept the cable modem and laptop set up while the movers were carting our stuff away. I had purchased a membership to the AC/DC fan club earlier so I could have access to the good reserved floor seats at Allstate Arena. My brother-in-law Tom and I had planned this all out.

Everything went fine at the time. I logged into Ticketmaster at ten in the morning, bought great seats, and went on my merry way. It wasn't until more than a week later that I looked at my bank statement online and saw that the $208.70 I'd been charged had been refunded to my card.

To make a long story short, I called Ticketmaster and discovered that I had forgotten to update my street address in their system. I had already updated the street address for my debit card, and when they ran a check later that day the two addresses didn't match. They sent me email (so they said) giving me 48 hours to call and resolve the problem.

I didn't receive the email. I didn't call. I lost the tickets.

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We are trying to break your heart


Moving ... again
The movers are here. The contents of the apartment are draining into the truck with disconcerting rapidity. There's not much about this neighborhood that we will miss, but one of our great regrets just walked past us up the sidewalk. Our neighbor John Stirratt, bassist for Wilco and before that for Uncle Tupelo, just ambled past pushing a stroller on his morning walk. He glanced at the open front door of our apartment, and at the hustling movers, as he passed by me and my armful of odds and ends, and it was probably just my imagination that he looked a little disappointed. We've said hello to him but never felt comfortable "bothering" him to try to strike up a conversation. We've struck up conversations with plenty of other people in the neighborhood, though none of those conversations ever led to making actual friends. But even given that dismal batting average, why did we shy away from even talking to the most obviously interesting* person on our side of the street? I feel very sad about this failure, and like a giant asshole. Maybe he and his family are lonely here too.

* I don't mean to imply that no one else on the street could possibly be interesting to talk to, just that Stirratt represents a subject I know already that I'm interested in.
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The end of summer

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Obsessing about politics is not all I've been up to lately. First and foremost, if you hadn't divined it from cryptic postings or from status messages on Facebook and Twitter, Laura and I are moving again this month. Not a huge move, just up to the northern end of Chicago, but we're hoping it will make all the difference for our Chicago-living experience. Humboldt Park turns out to be not the neighborhood we had hoped for, or thrive much in. (Even the fact that Wilco's John Stirratt lives a block down from us can't save it for us.) We're betting that the Andersonville/Ravenswood sorta area will be much better for us. We'll make the move just as the season changes.

We've also seen an uncommonly good deal of John and Shai Klima over the past week. On Saturday we drove to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and met up with them at the home of John's awesome parents. From there the four of us continued to Spring Green, where we saw a delightful outdoor afternoon American Players Theatre production of "The Belle's Strategem" by Hannah Cowley. We had dinner at a tapas joint called The Icon in Madison. Good times.

Then last night John and Shai braved oil-tanker accidents on I-88 to make the drive to Chicago. The four of us had an abundant Indian feast, after which we repaired to the House of Blues to see The Fratellis. Other than the slight hiccup of being barred from entering the House of Blues with a shoulder bag (what? no bag check inside?), we had a marvelous evening. I'm assuming that the Klimas made it back to Iowa in one piece after the show. (Didja?)

Meanwhile, I've been so wrapped up in packing the apartment that it didn't even register that two fellow Chicagoans are moving (in one case back) to New York! Congratulations (and no small amount of envy) to Deborah and [info]scottjanssens! We hate you. (But only a little.)

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Our celebrity sightings have definitely tailed off since we moved to Chicago, but Laura and one of her colleagues had a good one the other day. At the same hot dog joint where they were grabbing lunch, they spotted Dennis DeYoung of Styx.

(I'd suggest that he had too much time on his hands, but Tommy Shaw took the lead vocal on that track.)

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Circus money

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Circus Money | Walter Becker
There's no way on earth that I'm the world's biggest Steely Dan fan, but I like to think I'm up there in the top thousand. This may explain why I'm so stoked that, after 2006's Morph the Cat from Donald Fagen, we're about to get Circus Money from Walter Becker!

Check out the first single, "Somebody's Saturday Night", streamed from Rolling Stone:

We'll be seeing Becker and Fagen together this July at the Chicago Theater....

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ShunnCast #53

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Epidode #53 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill combs through the dusty vaults of his cassette collection to unearth a musical gem from his missionary days that might more profitably have remained buried—"The Wenatchee Rap" by No Parking Zone.

See also shunncast.

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April's CD mix of the month

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March's CD mix of the month

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I keep forgetting to post that my virtual contribution to March's CD Mix of the Month club was Life Is Good, an affirmation tinged with darkness.

(The story so far.)

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn