Sunday, March 29, 2009

Six ideas that might make me money

6. "Stone Walls do not a Prison Make...Mostly" A one-act play depicting the Duke of Norfolk's visit to Katherine of Aragon while imprisoned during Henry VIII's efforts to secure a divorce. She hated him. He hated her. But she's in a prison, and we all know what happens to lonely women imprisoned...

5. "E-date" A middle-aged married couple register independently on an online dating service to see if they'll get paired up. They experiment. Drift apart. And, because Hollywood wouldn't have it any other way, they reconcile in a happy ending after realizing the depths of their true feelings for each other. Blech. Watch for the Director's Cut: He takes to erotic body art, and she goes to Vassar.

4. The Dichotomy of Evil. An essay focused on Richard III's wooing of Lady Anne--"Take up the sword or take up me." Lonely geeks can use it as a template to score chicks who hate their guts.

3. In the spirit of The Tao of Pooh and the Teh of Piglet...Dumb Christian Values of Family Guy

2. "I will wax your snatch...for natch." Advertisement. Probably self-explanatory.

1. Blackmail Schemes for the Idiotic. Clever computer skills a must here. Victim must be semi-literate.

The D.C. Guys are in Spain. Well, it's a start.

As far as the beginning of a vacation, this is not-not-not bad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The F-book post I've been dying for for nineteen years!
"Hi there! I still remember that day long ago when you called for a date and I acted like an idiot. Maybe I can make it up to you now? Be my friend? :)
Yes! Yesss! My moment has come!
"Hi. How you been?"
Ha! Revenge is sweet!

Wait...that's not cutting and cathartic at all...


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bullets in Madison come to Abbey Pub

by db, classical music critic

Watching Bullets in Madison soar through a half dozen or so of their hits on the crowded stage of the Abbey pub is a lot like watching a band that practices a lot get together on a Saturday night to entertain performers at a faux Irish bar.

Stop and absorb that analogy for a moment. Got it? Good.

The band, which fires no guns and, as near as I can tell, doesn't even know where Wisconsin is on a map, took stage at nine p.m. At that point, I'd consumed four or five beers, so admittedly, I was a bit hazy. Still, I'm sure they played some kind of music, which is what they were supposed to do. So, at least they deliver, right?

Me, I was testy because I'd recently dropped my cell phone in the toilet and wasn't prepared to purchase a new one any time soon. So all the texts I would have sent the band during the show couldn't go out. Not that they'd appreciate them. Every time I send a message to one of them, they're all like, "Hey man, I'm trying to play a song up here! Do you mind?" Fame. It corrupts many an aspiring artist, I tell you.

Also, I'd gotten a parking ticket. My car had gone three minutes over the meter, which wound up costing me fifty bucks. Fifty! Literally highway robbery. Except I was on a city street, so I guess it' street robbery. Clever.

So the ticket, plus a new cell phone, plus the five or six beers and the ten dollars to get in the door, had me expecting perhaps more than was fair of the six musicians with the eclectic vibe and esoteric mixture of melodies and musings on the potentialities of feeling in an increasingly mechanized world.

And yet, they still delivered. BiM soared through their set without one screwup, blown amplifier, mistimed stage dive, rodent-head-biting stunt or smoke machine malfunction. They sang. They played instruments. I'm relatively sure I heard a drum rhythm in the background, and at one point, the lead singer even looked towards the audience. If that isn't showmanship, then I ask, what is?

I got to speak with the band after the show. "Well, we really thought people enjoyed it," one of them said. "We're releasing a new album in the next few months or so, and we're excited that people want to hear from it."

"I just couldn't believe it was fifty bucks," I said, pretending to take notes on his drivel. "Who the hell does Mayor Daley think he is? More like...Mayor Pay-me. Ha! Hey, that's good!"

"Anyway, we're always looking for a new way to do our kind of music," he continued. "It's important to us to keep it fresh. Without that, the juice stops flowing."

"That sounds great," I said, clapping him on the shoulder and causing him to spill his beer. "Hey, you think you can introduce me to Chris Martin?"

"I don't know him."

"You don't? Wasn't that him on the keyboards?"

Since I couldn't get another interview after that, that concludes this review. I sincerely hope my editor delivers the moolah on time, as I've got this damn parking ticket to pay.

I just got off the phone with my editor, and she says no way on the money unless I come up with a killer ending to this review. So here goes:

"Bullets in Madison remains a band that continually hones its act. Through their words, through their melodies, through John Morton's gravitas and the band's overall appeal to our finer sensibilities, they ensure our constant attention, and remain a promising star in the cluttered cosmos that we call local Chicago rock. Sooner or later, this star will go supernova. Until then, this is your friendly classical music critic saying, I'm going to enjoy watching their star rise."

Next week's column: Robert Fucking Plant. And maybe the rest of Pink Floyd, if I'm lucky.

Before showtime, Bullets in Madison meets to figure out where the hell they put their instruments.