As we in Chicago continue to build our Ark and sweep the rising tide of frogs out the front door, we bid you WELCOME to the Friday digest. Lots of fun things to look at and read about, so QUIT WORKING for a second.
- Ha Ha Tonka had a high-quality live shoot at the fabulous Off Broadway in St Louis on May 6th as part of the Born Small Town Tour kick-off party. Take a peep.
- Here's a fantastic piece on Scott H. Biram from the Austin Decider, it's got an interview and embedded links to videos and live performances. Read about his whiskey benders and all the metal in his legs.
- Tired of rooting around the Interweb for all those CLASSIC Robbie Fulks songs? Our buddies (and fans) over at Glorious Noise put together a sampler to make life easier and boost your productivity. So, here's a BRAINLESS way to get a whole mess of Fulks tunes in one spot. Then you'll want more, and you'll want to legally support one of the best songwriters and performers to ever call Chicago home.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: The movie Up! Look, I hate popular culture more than any of you, so when something makes billions of dollars at the box office, i can usually safely assume it's pureed mush for the masses, but this is art. If you are not weepy and amazed at the depth of feeling and the economy of story telling in the first 10 minute segment, you have a heart of tar. AND i haven't gut laughed that often at a movie in months. AND it's in 3D. See it. Check your hipper-than-thou baggage at the door and soak in a great movie.
Ok, back to filling sandbags.
Each week, we'll (well, Miss Jenny will) recap the latest episode of the Southern vampire serial, True Blood, and follow it up with some True Bloodshot -- a playlist of Bloodshot (and some non-Bloodshot) songs that we think would nicely complement this TV series with a bite. Warning: Spoilers ahead!Read full piece
Your weekly or semi-weekly peek into the swirling vortex of weirdness that is life in the Bloodshot Lane. So, stop tweeting about the King of Pop for a few minutes, relax (the boss ain't watching) and catch up. All items guaranteed to be Sequined Glove Free.
- Wayne Hancock on Sirius/XM. The Train is performing and being interviewd on the fancy satellite radio. Show will on Tues June 30th @ 9pm eastern and Thursday July 2nd at 11pm eastern time. Outlaw Country on Sirius 63 and XM channel 12.
- Justin Townes Earle's new, arty and beautiful video of "Midnight at the Movies" is up on Vimeo and YouTube. Have a gander. It's keen, as the kids say (or said).
- What music do musicians listen to? This age-old question was posited to Ha Ha Tonka's Luke Long at SXSW this year and our friends at Rhapsody. Check out the answer here. Personally, I do not think his answer could be more wrong. It's a BAD album. I'll take it up with him later.
- While the blogosphere has its up sides, one glaring downside is the crappy writing. "Reviews" of records that are more half-cocked diary entries like "oh dude, i was up all night doing Jager bombs and watching The Wire on Hulu and was, like, no way was I up for listening to this band" that have precious little to do with the music. Thus, we are pleased when lengthy, well-crafted critiques come across our desks, like this one from Cheeky Chicago regarding Ha Ha Tonka's new one. Read it, but beware, you may gain some actual insight on the music.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Nhu Lan Bakery. Everyone's got that place (or, pity if you don't) in their 'hood that is just so good, so cheap, so GO TO, that you kinda take it for granted and, POOF, one day you are reminded, scolded almost, to NOT take if for granted. Today, I atone for this and sing its praises. Proving that not all colonialism was bad (ok, settle down, it's a joke), this Vietnamese sammich shop on Lawrence Ave in Chicago combines the fish sauce of the east with the crusty baguettes of ol' France. They are cheap, very tasty, very filling. The owners are super nice, the coffee nerve-endingly strong. The flat screen TV over the drink cooler (lemon grass soda, anyone?) alternates between CNN and Asian Lingerie shows. Some swear by the pate and head cheese sammiches, but they're a little rich for me. I go for the BBQ pork. Lots of cilantro, daikon radish and hot peppers. Check it out, but don't neglect your own GO TO spot in your hood in the process. Never forget those.
Next week, we'll be coming at you from the first of our 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Q's in Pittsburgh. Got any suggestions for excellent breakfast places?