August 31, 2016

Summertime Vibes

And it is now nearly the end of August.

I cannot believe the swiftness of summer, how 3 months feels like 3 weeks. And so it goes.

The other day I found myself sitting at a table behind Osmium, taking in a few sips of one of my favorite coffee concoctions. While it was 85 degrees, I was taking my Agave Latte hot. As I sat there jotting down a few lines in my journal, I realized just how fast it was slipping away [warm weather, that is, not the latte]. There were only a handful of days left to feel summer's heat on our skin, to be overwhelmed with sunshine, warmth, and the sporadic thunderstorm. I love summertime. We look forward to it during every other season. There's such a magnificent ease to it all, an energy.

However, for all the glorious things I filled the past 3 months with; the concerts, the company, the delicious meals, the plethora of beer; I am ready for fall. Hell, I may even be ready for winter. Yes, I will absolutely hate myself for typing this later [you can find me denying it in 4 months]. It's not the freakishly cold days I'm longing for, it's the desire to stay INSIDE. Summer sets me free, leaves me with no excuses, a bit obligated, and also leaves me a bit broke and scattered. I have one focus in the warmer months and that is to have no focus. A lengthy autumn would be most desirable.

Try 'Em Out:

1) Bitter Pops  .  2) Fahlstrom's  .  3) The Northman  .  4) DMK Burger Bar  5) Mortar and Pestle
[worth the mention and your business]

The Line-Up:

Oh, the concerts! I have been to a slew of shows; Le Butcherettes and At The Drive In [Riviera]Of Monsters and  Men and Florence + The Machine [sponsor, sponsor, other sponsor in Tinley Park]Phish [Wrigley Field]Sweet Spirit [The Hideout], Lollapalooza (Flume, Bloc Party, LCD Soundsystem), and Ray LaMontagne [Northerly Island]. Each holds their own impact, Le Butcherettes inspired me beyond belief, Florence is the queen of everything, Sabrina was such a gem when I saw them at The Hideout, and then there is Ray LaMontagne, whom I've been wanting to see for a solid 10 years. He moved me to bits with his cathartic voice and made the wait absolutely worth it. While a lot was seen, it seemed like there were so many I missed. Luckily, I have a small pocketful of shows coming up in the next few months that I'm rather excited for: [Glass Animals, Gold Panda, and Nightmares On Wax].

The Playlist:

1) 'Insomniac Olympicsby Blockhead
{but honestly, I've been listening to all of Blockhead's albums in heavy
rotation this summer if you're not familiar with his work, I suggest you delve in}
2) 'Hey, No Pressureby Ray LaMontangne
3) 'Soundcheck' by Catfish and The Bottlemen
4) 'Right Here' by Tricky
5) 'Wish I Knew You' by The Revivalists
6) 'Be, I Do' by Nightmares On Wax
{like Blockhead, Nightmares On Wax have been another group that I've
put endless hours of listening time into over the past 4 months. I cannot get enough}
7) 'The Perfect Parts' by Shakey Graves
8) 'Take Me To A Party' by Sweet Spirit
9) 'Forest Crunk' by Aesop Rock
10) 'Cha Cha' by D.R.A.M.

The Summer Visual:

         1) sippin' a Bloody at Dry Hop    
2) Pre-Florence platform excitement!

3) With my Sister-in-Law, pre-phish  
4) Meeting Jeff Garlin at my work

5) F.R.I.E.N.D.S: The Musical The One Where They Sing  
6) Sweet Spirit at The Hideout

7) Sabrina signed my shirt after telling me I should take it.
Seriously, I love Sweet Spirit, such rad people.

8) beverage line-up at Mortar and Pestle

Enjoy what's left of the summertime! -  TG

August 11, 2016

Lollapa-OH YEAH! {2016}

Ah, yes, yes yes. One of my favorite posts of the year, one of my only posts of the year these days, is about Lollapalooza. While late to give it the sum-up, it couldn't be neglected.

The fest got another day added on this year in honor of the 25th anniversary (which we have now found out will be an on-going occurrence) and while I was amped on a good majority of the headliners and various other artists, money was a factor this year. One day was going to have to do it, and since I had seen Radiohead and could settle for not seeing RHCP (I know, I KNOW). It was all about LCD Soundsystem. I had been wanting to see them for so long, and after their retirement, I never thought the chance would come around. LOW AND BEHOLD!! 

Sunday was the obvious choice, because not only had I really wanted to see LCD Soundsystem, but I also was pretty amped on the idea of seeing Flume. His album, and recently, albums, have been in heavy rotation over the past year. Another sneaker-peaker was Bloc Party and Third Eye Blind, which means aspects of my younger self were very, very satisfied. There's not too much to say, I had a great time, the skies were blue and the breeze was light. Delightful company, great music, and solid surroundings. Who wouldn't have great things to say? So let's break this down;

Third Eye Blind: Well, this hardly counts, but we (by "we" I mean Dan and I) were DEFINITELY there for all of 'Semi-Charmed Life', which is what we all wanted to be there for. Honestly? That was the only full song that we saw by this group that helped epitomize my youth. We got there later than anticipated, but isn't that always how it goes? 

My obligatory festival pose. Give me all the music.

Flume: He played a great set, majority of what I wanted him to play, which was fantastic. It was so satisfying to see him live after listening to him SO much recently. I really just had a great time throwing down constant grooves out in that field, along with the rest of the crowd gettin' down. This was a perfect way to get settled in. Listen to: 'Take A Chance'.

Bloc Party: My high school self was more than satisfied hearing these guys play live. I never really thought that chance would come around. I thrived on Silent Alarm (and it's dandy remixed version) in my teen years and haven't stopped listening to them, just not as much. Since I had really only clung to certain songs off certain albums since then, their setlist didn't strike me as much as I had hoped, but then I had to remember I wasn't seeing them in 2006...Listen to: 'Pioneers'

Dan and I waiting for LCD Soundsystem.

LCD Soundsystem: OH, THE GLORY! The groovin' began immediately. It's hard not to channel David Byrne (Stop Making Sense) when you're dancing along to those beautiful beats. The song selection was perfect, as was the execution of each song. James Murphy's voice floated on summer air better than I could have imagined and the rest of the band filled in the gaps with electric magic. The satisfaction of seeing artists you'd never thought you'd see, is immense. There wasn't too much time to think, as my mind was being flooded with musical greatness, a tinge of herb (contact, of course), and the bottle of wine dispersed into 5 different cups. T'was a phenomenal evening, and I am so happy that I chose the final day of Lollapalooza, as my day. Listen to: 'Dance Yrself Clean'

This year the mood was so different. Normally I have to "come down" from the Lolla experience, but perhaps it was the whole one-day thing. Needless to say, much has been neglected in terms of writing. I have been to a plethora of shows, all worthy of saying something about, in the past three months. Summer always comes as an onslaught. Nice weather is here so briefly, that I'm trying to utilize it the best I can. Frankly, this has been the best summer I've had in years. Perhaps ever. It's been chocked full, and the people I've seen and met! I feel lucky. I am lucky. I am grateful that I got to attend this festival at all.

Here's to next year, although I can hardly believe this year's has already come and gone. TG