The Joup Friday Album: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Into the Great Wide Open”

Tom PettyOur family was middle class, blue collar, Polish and suburban. If you look at the average income of all the Chicago suburbs, Palos Hills falls literally right in the middle. Whatever “middle class” is these days, but in 1991 there was still a middle class and my brother and I grew up in it. As such we generally took one family trip a year, that is if my parents could afford it and get off of work. In the summer of 1991 we traveled west for not one but two weeks! I think my father’s rationalizing was we hadn’t taken a trip the previous year, and odds on after I graduated high school would not take another one as the four of us. This was “the last big family adventure!”
In late July we pilled into our tan Chevrolet four-door Suburban (the SUV before SUVs) and headed west on I-80. I will hand it to my parents, it was an epic trip and more then likely spawned my travel bug for years to come. We made stops at Pike’s Peak, the Grand Canyon, four corners, Las Vegas, The Great Salt Lake, Yellowstone National Park and The Devil’s tower. I’m sure there were a few kitch stops as well knowing my mother.
Appropriately enough, I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy during that two weeks. I had a black Sony Walkman and I loved that machine. I played so much music through that contraption in the four years between sophomore year in high school and freshman year at the university. On this trip it was REM’s Out of Time, Sting’s The Soul Cages and of course Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Into the Great Wide Open…today’s Friday album.

Quick Thought: Battle of the Continents

 

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Joup Friday Album: Washed Out “Life of Leisure”

Washed Out - Life of Leisure The first time I heard “Feel it All Around” was watching Portlandia last summer. If you’ve seen or know the show, the tune acts as the opening theme song. And upon hearing it I had to know who, what, where and how. What I came up with initially was a group (which I would later find out was just Ernest Greene) called Washed Out. I put it on the back burner for some reason until recently and then it just hit me like a wonderful hazy memory…and that Portlandia show is terrific as well. Fred Armisen cracks me up, but that is another topic for another day.

5 Things that Made 2016 a Little Less Shitty

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Bettman/CORBIS

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: 2016 really fucking sucked.  A bunch of really cool people died.  A surly, orange clown somehow managed to con his way into the most powerful position on Earth.  Rampant nationalism seems to be sweeping the globe.  And we may be looking down the barrel of so many loaded guns (climate change, Supreme Court nominations, the gutting of health care, diplomatic relations with China, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, etc.), that it’s enough to induce an all encompassing panic attack…the kind that last’s a lifetime.

People are scared.  I’m scared.  And we should be.

It’s Come to This: An Op-Ed Political Essay

getty images

getty images

I’m just one more voice screaming into the abyss.

Some days, I’ll be scanning through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, and as the constant and seemingly endless stream of status updates and selfies and shared articles and political rhetoric, the likes and dislikes and misinformation and click bait stack up like garbage piles infinitum on my eyes and brain, I’ll come to the gradual realization that I hate everybody I know. Or, more to the point, I abhor their online presence. I tire of all the “Look at me!” posts and the “Can you believe?” links, the mundane and asinine as glorified by characters and pixels. But I particularly loathe all of the political screeds and the trash spam articles masquerading as news. And I hate all of the condescension and contempt that harbors within me towards these people I normally have love and respect for in the non-digital world…the real world? And goddamnit, it always gets so much worse during an election year.

The Joup Friday Album: Ween ‘Quebec’

61OwGj1G-SLIt’s gonna be a long Friday night. Well, not so long as eventful and..what’s the word? ‘divergent” will suffice, I think. Ween are a difficult band to preach to the unbeliever, they’re that guy you’ve known since High School who is not only no-holds-barred hilarious, but his filterless and inappropriate comedic instincts (while seemingly oblivious to societal norms and the due diligence and restraint the rest of us instinctively employ) are derived from a place of rich cultural, intellectual and emotional intelligence. While he’s an anomalous, aberrant champion in this ridiculous existence 99% of the time, this is regularly lost on the general populace. There’ll inevitably be an occasion when you invite him to a house party and he’s already dispensed with the sixpack he threaded through his belt on the walk there, and he hot-knifes all the resin of one of the guests who couldn’t skin it up on his own, before being suddenly inspired to display his acumen for Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, but No Can Do; he attempts to execute the 7 foot, lightbulb-obliterating scissor-kick but misses spectacularly, the momentum of his upswung leg sending him collapsing onto the sofa behind him full of previously giggling girls , whereupon he’s instinctively repelled into a nearby Yucca plant before receiving a bony toed barefoot kick to the cheekbone by the middle class guy who looks – with his blond surfer curtains – like an understudy for that LBJ Ex President out of ‘Point Break’ (’91). You’re permitted to stay, but he of course has to go, so you naturally pledge inebriated allegiance to the exile and wander off together urinating into the cooling evening breeze onto the nocturnal golf course to climb trees and scream at the stars and divulge your innermost torments.

The Joup Friday Album: The Fall ‘Imperial Wax Solvent’

The Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent

The Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent

Apologies for being late, I spent three hours attempting to write a review last night but got no further than this:

Its getting very late on a Friday night in Blighty and I’ve been sat cross legged up in my attic randomising a digital list of music for 90 minutes or so, trying to think of a fitting description of that brown firework that goes off in your nose when you collapse on your coccyx and hoping desperately for inspiration to visit until an inflated bladder necessitates a descent. My autistic daughter is politely asking to go swimming in her sleep as some repetitive House-music-piano oscillates interminably through the wall from next door, forced into an arranged marriage with the vague leakage of some clarinet and crooning from the front room downstairs.

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