Blooming: A CMJ Roundup

The New York CMJ Music Marathon is run by, you guess it, CMJ: a heavy-hitting online and print publication that prides itself on having its finger on the pulse of modern music. The “Marathon” is more of a mile-long race where you have to chug a PBR every 400 meters. The group does a darn good job all things considered, amassing an intimidatingly long list of indie artists on the bubble of buzz. Thus, the festival is a wet dream for the contemporary fan and a porn shoot for the industry. Record labels, PR companies, and prominent blogs host showcases featuring their respectively supported up-and-coming artists. The orgy starts around noon everyday and goes on for a full week. I had it described to me the first day I got to New York as “South by Southwest, but more of a shit-show.” Cheers, Brooklyn.

Letters from Chicago, Volume II: Bursts of Inquiry

I was hovered over a trash can outside Walgreen’s fiddling with a book of stamps I bought for nine dollars because they only sold books; right after I told Dan I wouldn’t give him five bucks to buy Bailey’s so we could put it in our coffees at the shop. I only had fifteen to my name, man. A girl with all-white balloons asked me if I wanted to take a survey. I asked how many questions. She said one. Raspberries or Toilet Paper? Raspberries. She asked if she could ask another. Of course. Mushrooms or Blue? Reluctantly, blue. She said my new name was Bricklayer of Men and slapped a Hello, My Name Is … on my chest, slipping around the corner before I could compose myself to ask her any questions.

Letters from Chicago – Volume I: Fit to Burst

It’s Superfest 2012 and the Congress Theater down the block hosts heavy beats and youthful entropy. I spent the night drinking a 30-rack of PBR, which I was excited to find for 12.99 at Vas Food & Liquor on Milwaukee and California. I drank it uncomfortably in the company of people I found overbearing politically and limited in their comfort zones. We drank, watching people in waves from my third floor apartment, dark, healthy teen-aged flesh parading past. My friend’s annoying friend Danielle (who was certainly the most active observer – thoroughly enjoying every “Fuck you!” she tossed at the cop cars and the rotten apple she busted on their windshield) stole my idea of plugging an iPod into my Fender Rumble 150 bass amp so that she could blast Lil’ Wayne, much to my dismay. …CONTINUE…

Blooms & Busts: Lollapalooza 2012

The sort of manic energy present at a music festival compressed into ten square blocks of downtown Chicago is hard to put into words. Grant Park, the city’s cornerstone public green-space that flaunts the Art Institute and the infamous Millennium mirror bean, closed its roads from August 3rd to 5th to host a max capacity of 160,000 gormandizers and their chosen musical explorations—a diverse line-up that could strike at least …continue…