Los Angeles to Austin: The Preview Edition

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

It’s doubtful there will ever be another travel memoir that will have as much effect on pop culture as Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Countless writers have tried — most have failed — to recreate that uniquely American take on driving through the open desert, the twin engines of speed and freedom propelling them forward. It’s Thompson who springs to mind as soon as I find out that I’m going to be driving 1,300 miles to Austin, Texas, through the California desert, Arizona and New Mexico, especially since the entire route is essentially one road — Interstate 10.

Joup Confession…(part 4)

So our main contributors have bared a small piece of their music skeletons. And I was tagged to enter the booth. I really had a tough time with because, you know ALL the music I listen is great and I have impeccable taste.

*Cue the eye rolls and bullshit cough in the background.

The Monday Song Poem: Dick Kent ‘Christopher Columbus & The Compass’

 

The End of Era: Saying Goodbye to Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko at his best. (Photo: Louis DeLuca)

Paul Konerko at his best. (Photo: Louis DeLuca)


Chicago, IL – So he is retiring after this weekend. He is retiring as an all-star, as a playoff MVP and most important as a champion. He’s been around for sixteen seasons in the American League of Major League Baseball. No he is NOT a Yankee and he is not Derek Jeter. But he none other than our southside first baseman Paul Konerko.


I’m no Chicago White Sox aficionado. Yeah I know my baseball history, still play fantasy baseball (which I took 3rd this out of 10 teams to be in the money) and go to White Sox games but the sport has such a dense history that it truly is impossible to know all there is to know. I grew up more of a Cubs fan. I never disliked the Sox at all. In fact I went to quite a few games games at the original Comiskey Park. That of the old exploding scoreboard, roofed upper decks, left field patio areas and golden box seats. South siders know. I know they know.

The Joup Friday Album: Mercury Rev ‘See You On The Other Side’

Othersidemercuryrev ‘Empire State (Son House in Excelsis)’ transports me to a gold and frozen 70s New York Morning. Like the intro to some film that doesn’t exist, the staccato piano stabs and underlying atmospherics serve as a sun-dappled Hudson, before the drums, bulbous bass and fluttering flutes summon-up some 16mm Manhattan panorama, speeding up, slowing down, growing in stature as though to pencil-in the enormity of it all. Horns come blasting-in after the 4:15 mark in a staggering pantomime of car horns, dizzying buildings, swelling and spinning until everything accelerates into chaos like the throng of vehicular and human traffic on the streets below. ‘Young Man’s Stride’ bids a final farewell to the galloping jams that made up much of 93’s exhilarating ‘Boces’, while also reminding you of just how much of a dry run that album was for this one, but while ‘Boces’ sounds like an extraordinary rock record, ‘See You On The Other Side’ evolves into something transcendent – it’s texture more deftly crafted but with organic and otherworldly results; muted and drunken trumpets, lilting wind instruments, wailing soul singers, an idealised, pharmaceutically-enhanced vision of the world’s capital city.

Joup Friday Album: Doves – Lost Souls

Doves - Lost Souls (UK - Heavenly : US - Astralwerks)

Doves – Lost Souls (UK – Heavenly : US – Astralwerks)

Joup Movie Review: ‘Boyhood’ Richard Linklater, 2014

boyhood

I feel a Hipsterish cringe as Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ sounds out over the opening shot of a cloud strewn blue sky, before I remember that I secretly think this is a beautiful song. For a long time, I didn’t even hate Coldplay, I was above all that, they were just an Indie ‘In’ for those younger than me. Of course in recent years I’ve found their self important, remedial plinkety-plonking bombast grossly offensive, but that’s just an irrelevant by-product of experience and the slow creeping cynicism that heralds the beginning of the inevitable rendezvous with decrepitude. As Coldplay serenade the theater, you’ll have to forego a certain amount of cynicism. We’re looking down on 5 year old Mason, unfettered by such trivialities, lying on his back on serene grass musing on the incongruous blue above as it becomes clear that this musical cue is a signifier for this place in time, 2002.

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