Archive for May, 2013


The potential to be a star…

A song in someone’s homage is flattery at its finest. As with most of my heresy on this blog, I can only present to you circumstantial evidence about this dedication. Prince, during the Purple Rain era, churned out “Baby I’m a Star”; the epitome of an 80s banger care of flash and bounce. One with lyrics like…

Hey, look me over, do you like what you see? Hey, I ain’t got no money, but, honey, I’m rich on personality…

sElf, an act co-spawned from Prince’s output, created “Potential”, a boast about some snooty, difficult-ass gals, and how they’re all about monetary flash; girls wrapped up in everything but a man’s reach, his potential to become a star. Modeled perhaps after Prince’s hard hitter, “Baby I’m a Star”.

Place these two songs in a Venn diagram showcasing where they stand lyrically and the similarities abound. Girls can’t always see it. Or they’re rockin’ their blinders and only looking for one or two things. Neither being potential. It’s there in most, not all possess as much as others. These maestros knew they had it. So they did what they knew how to do best:

sElf :: Potential


So much more than an album…

Quick: what has music done for you? Beyond the pick me up, the shuffling and breaking in the kitchen, and background noise as you knock out life, it creates memories, experiences you shall never forget.

With anything in life, you can’t sleep. You want it, get after it. You hesitate, become lazy, that shit just got up and bounced. This happened a decade ago —almost exactly — when The Postal Service rolled into Chicago and tickets were snatched up before I could secure them. If your collection was like mine, Give Up was a monumental release. In the least, it hit right. Bleeps, blips, and beats under Ben Gibbard’s warm, soothing voice.

Since sleeping twice is unacceptable, their visit to Red Rocks becomes an essential experience. No doubt they’ll rouse up the crowd and cause me to regret their Abbey Pub gig. But, it’s the domino effect that this act really initiates: the kickoff event to a weekend where 2/3 of the original MiS crew is in tow. Set it off…


The Features present the features…

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There was a time I used The Features’ merch booth as a dressing room. You may not know this — nor should you, really — but a band is more than willing for you to try on their t-shirts to find the right size. Maybe it’s my age or my rather particular taste, rarely do I rock band t-shirts anymore. I know my favorite act is better than yours, so why strut?

Since the Features warrant it. If there was anyone doing it right, with more energy and sincerity than most all, it’s the quartet outta Sparta/Nashville, TN. On their 4th record, themes of aging and what comes with it permeate throughout, the foot stomping inevitably should continue care of swirling keys, perfect melodies, and rhythmic hits creating another well fitting record from the best band that might not be in your rotation.


His Royal Badness…

My music collection and arsenal of artists could be substantially greater. For artists I dig, ones I really follow, have their whole catalog, know more about them than my siblings, I should back track and look into their influences. What was artist A spinning before they concocted their masterpiece. Ignorance, perhaps? Apathy? Regardless of my reasons, it hasn’t happened except with one artist: sElf. Matt proudly wears Prince on his sleeve. As recently as April, MM stated how he still yearns to work with the Purple One. Thanks to sElf’s output and Matt’s adoration for the little funkster, I followed suit.

Thankfully, I backtracked, listened, hit repeat, danced, of course in my kitchen, and like Matt, wanted to share the same room with the legend. Tonight, thanks to his West Coast club tour, I will.

sElf :: Let’s Pretend We’re Married


Mahaffey, a stage, and a TED talk…

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Matt Mahaffey, the suped up beat dropper, meets sweet pop mastermind, gave a talk. It wasn’t one I totally predicted, nor was it one where he made a proclamation of a completed sElf record. But shit, the man got me live in my swivel chair. He engaged me more than most of these talks — spare me your intellectual bullshit; this is Mahaffey.

His weapons of choice as he engaged the audience: drum set, omnichord, grand piano, and an electric guitar. And this quote:

I always wanted to work with Prince; because Prince can play guitar like Jimi Hendrix, can play piano like Thelonius Monk, and can squel like James Brown. But still in a Prince song; all musicians are thieves but the good ones make it untraceable.

This talk’s setlist:


Better Than Aliens

This Is Love


Self’s Microchip Girl…

Yea, in this day and age, I might step online to find a gal. Matt Mahaffey was forward thinking back in 1997 with his ill tipped “Microchip Girl”. A light-hearted, lyrically witty track, laced over an easy honky tonk melody  intertwined with feathery strumming; Matt’s girl is in the background barking about something via bleeps, blips, and ZEROES and ONES.  According to Matt, his tasty sports 32-bit curls; maybe if I play my cards right, I can stick my modem into her…


Robots in the Garden…


This blog was nonexistent in 2004. What was on my radar was Future Perfect, a riff heavy, distorted noise-pop masterpiece. So infused with noisy melody and digestible cacophony that nine years later, it’s still played regularly. Autolux, a formidable trio creating walls and walls of decimating eardrum sound while simultaneously melting your face. “Robots In the Garden”, a 125 second whirlwind of chugging bass, slow and deliberately faint vocals, rhythmic precision, and a rusty reverberated grind, one that warrants only one thing: dialed to an ear-deafening volume. I never said I was a good neighbor…

Upcoming Shows:


May 2013