Monday, January 18, 2016

DIBS SHAME: Kickstarter Incentives


Oh, hello. Most of you are probably here as a clickthrough from my Kickstarter link. If not, won't you check my Kickstarter link here, then click back through so you'll know what we're talking about? 

Now that we're all on the same page, the above photo is just a poorly rendered Photoshop image of what the streets all over Chicago will look like if we can get this Kickstarter successfully funded. Imagine it! Below  are photographs of the t-shirt and hoodies that are included as part of the incentives for the $25, $50, and $100 pledges. Below that is how each side of the final signs will look. Please pledge today, and pass this along to anyone you know who might also benefit from this hilarious widespread act of public shaming. Together, we can end dibs in our lifetime.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Horoscopes for Ian's Party 2016

Aquarius: January 20- February 18

Your unique and independent spirit will serve you well this weekend, Aquarius. While Neptune's third space-time continuum is in SUPERWANE, be sure to listen to that quietly nagging voice that tells you not to follow your most primal, drunken instincts, which, though having served you well in a past Tinder rendezvous, could be to your detriment on Saturday. That gin and tonic that someone sloshes at you during Sass Dragons' set at Chop Shop may or may not have some leftover oyster juice from the day before "inadvertently" spilled into it. Stick with your absinthe smoothies, you fucking weirdo.

Pisces: February 19- March 19

Pisces, as the Beastie Boys so eloquently said, "First of all, get off the wall. It's time to party, so have a ball." Check your elusive nature at the door, because this is no time to steer clear of all the Facebook friends you've been avoiding IRL the whole year. Use your fanciful, dreamy nature to conjure up new ways to shotgun Pabsts in the bathroom instead of how to escape the Double Door without being seen. Take your head out of the metaphorical clouds and insert it into an actual cloud of the dankest weed smoke in the alley behind Subterranean just for this weekend. It might very well be the social event that keeps you from wandering onto the El tracks after Al Scorch's hauntingly beautiful ballads about the inevitable suffering of the working man sends you spiraling back into the mines of depression. "There's Zoloft in them thar hills!"

Aries: March 20- April 18

Gravity is not your friend this weekend, Aries. With Gorbachev's Belt in full reclusion this month, your chances of maintaining uprightness are very slim, especially when your competitive nature compels you to continually challenge people to foot races up and down the steep staircase at Subterranean on Friday night. Your body's blood becomes stair blood as the sweet sounds of Space Blood send you careening to the ground after several victories, which have made you greedy for more. Why not put that feisty spirit to good use and see who can take the most Malört shots while standing on your head- you or Sam Edgin? Either way, you lose.

Taurus: April 19- May 20

Your persistent nature, though annoying as fuck to everyone that knows you, finally pays off this week, Taurus. After weeks of insisting that you will not pay for even one show on one day of Ian's Party since your band had to open the entire weekend a few years ago in South Barrington, your best friend's uncle dies on Friday afternoon, and she has no choice but to surrender her weekend pass to you as she tearfully boards the train to O'hare. A feather in your cap! Use the money you would have eventually shelled out at the last minute to see The Mons on Sunday to indulge your decadent nature at Chop Shop. Who just bet you that you couldn't eat six Reubens in one sitting? Now's your chance to prove them wrong. But hey, that third sandwich? Dedicate that one to Uncle Bill. It's the least you can do.

Gemini: May 21- June 20

Gemini! Sunspot X522LK9983 flares during Ecuador's last Blood Moon of the decade, leaving you in a  prime position to parlay your charming demeanor into being unofficially crowned King or Queen of Ian's Party. Your usually fickle nature plays to your advantage this week as you pit the members of Nervous Passenger against Sweet Cobra with gossip so juicy that the henhouse won't stop a-cluckin' for months! Apologize after things escalate a bit too quickly, and bask in the afterglow that only comes from solving a problem that you yourself created, as from nothing.

Cancer: June 21-July 22

People always complain that you're overly sensitive, Cancer, but they won't be saying that after you foil a domestic terror plot during Elephant Gun's set on Saturday. You suspected you were just dealing with a bunch of n00bs when you overheard the middle aged suburban couple behind you referring to the marimba as a xylophone, but you got really suspicious when they kept saying things like, "Boy, a good xylophone solo sure does TRUMP a guitar solo, in my opinion. Right, honey?" or, "TRUMPets are so boring, don't you think? They should really hit the xylophone more- reminds me of cartoon skeletons dancing... Speaking of skeletons dancing, we should really leave before he hits that C note for the FOURth time, don't you think, babe?" In all the commotion of nine people loading onto the stage at SubT, no one could have possibly seen a crazed right winger loading up Jon Olson's third of 12 instruments with explosives, but your quick thinking kept an entire city's worth of musicians alive to play another gig. Now, aren't you glad you didn't stay home this weekend, like your other dumb ass horoscope instructed?

 Leo: July 23- August 22

 Leo, you're facing a somber ride in Fortune's Hot Air Balloon of Justice if you follow your normal instincts this weekend. With Jupiter's Terre de Plume in the sixth house of ascension, your constant desire to be the center of attention may bring more focus to your shabbily dressed body than you had previously planned. You see, while it is true that you heard Ditch Club's Frank Okay call for "a karaoke singer up here," what he really asked for was a "Cherry Cokey Slinger up here," which is a high end cocktail that essentially amounts to a Singapore Sling topped off with cherry soda. And though your exuberant confidence usually carries you through and wins the day, this Saturday it wins you an evening in Cook County Jail.

 Virgo: August 23-September 22

Virgo, your meticulous attention to detail served you so well as you created an app for personal use that mined all of your own data to create a perfect Ian's Party schedule just for you. Not only did you program it to include all of your favorite bands, but it also learned and grew to suggest new things for you as it analyzed your tastes. A gentle buzzing on your leg reminded you when it was time to move on to the next venue, and since you built GPS into it as well, you never missed one second of one band that you wanted (or didn't know you wanted) to see. Fuckload of good that did you when you chunked your phone at the bar on Saturday night after the bartender wouldn't serve you that eighth shot of Fireball, eh? Lucky for you- you're a terrible shot and no one got hurt, but for the rest of the weekend you're floating between venues, lost- like a ghost in a mountain valley, not sure what band to see, or when, and the wailing is constant. Go back on Sunday morning and find your phone. (Hint: Check the duct tape on Canadian Rifle's banner.)

Libra: September 23- October 22

 Danger! The sands of the Sahara have shifted to the Northeast, Libra, which calls down the dreaded Tumultuous Typhoon of Tribulation upon your head this weekend, SO BEWARE. You are commonly referred to by your friends as The Diplomat for your uncanny ability to mediate an argument, jovially settle a bet sans the use of Google, and (although distasteful, but effective nonetheless) talk the struggling farmer down in price for organic eggs at Logan Square Farmer's Market. Unfortunately for you, "The Diplomat" is also what the off-duty cop who moonlights as a security guard at Subterranean calls his flashlight.  I should also mention that he refers to the space between his clenched fists as a "mediation-free zone." So, when you see him dumping a full beer on a young man's head for trying to sneak it out of the club while he smokes a cigarette, just remember that some arguments don't need settling.

Scorpio: October 23- November 21

Hermit-like dedication to your secret plan ultimately pays off this week, Scorpio, as the Arctic Tundra descends into madness, as foretold by the Dead Sea Scrolls, lo, these many eons past. Having finally completed your full scale paper-mâché re-creation of all the members of Prizzy Prizzy Please and their instruments, you are simply over the moon when they casually glance and laugh nervously at your unholy creation. Lights flash so brightly inside your eyes when they hand you a CD-R demo they recorded in 2005 (free of charge OMFG!!!!) that you have to find the darkest corner of Double Door and just sit there for hours, sweating and mumbling, until your hand soaks all the way through the paper into which your new CD is folded. The limp home through the warm sewers is a blur.

 Sagittarius: November 22- December 21

The curtains are drawn on Death's Door, Sagittarius, and for that you should be thankful. Your unemotional nature serves you well through the most touching, heartfelt set you've ever seen Cokegoat perform at Chop Shop on Sunday, but try to at least blend in with the rest of the sobbing crowd, who inevitably surge onto the stage and raise the members of the band above their heads, proclaiming them as Godmen. Realize that joyous crowds can turn into ravenous mobs on a dime, so try to at least shed a tear (call up memories of your dead pet sea monkeys if that helps) and try to obtain a chunk of one of the members' hair, lest you be the first sacrificial lamb on the altar to the new Saviors.

Capricorn: December 22- January 19

Caution, Capricorn, as Shame's Bicycle is in full motion on this New Year's Weekend. Use your keen sense of organization to set up a mass square dance during Velocicopter's set on Saturday at Chop Shop. Though many people might shoot you a queer look or, in some cases, even hiss at you for merely approaching them, once everyone is in sync on the huge floor, boot-scootin' their li'l hearts out with smiles as wide as Texas, they'll be glad they listened to you. And YOU'LL be saved the overwhelming embarrassment of being the only one to stomp through the flimsy floor of the club to your own demise in the murky sub cellar of an aging building.  

Thursday, March 06, 2014

52 Places To Visit in 2014

Sure, everyone knows the economy is improving. Some of us are finally out of the icy grip of those poisonous home mortgages that crippled the country a few years ago, interest rates are going down, and wages are (albeit slowly) heading up.  With Spring rapidly approaching, everyone is anxious to emerge from an extended hibernation and experience life with a renewed sense of vigor, promising never to take a warm day for granted again. Still, Americans are trepidacious. We're worried about dropping three grand on an all inclusive trip to Barbados, lest the bottom fall out of the economy again and we come back from a nice vacation with a killer tan and a pink slip.

The term "staycation" has come and gone, but in that vein, I'd like to present you with an easily achievable list of 52 places that you can visit quickly and cheaply, in your own town. Some people I've known have spread this list out over the course of days, weeks, even months, in order to savor the list's subtle intricacies, and some people have accomplished the entire thing (and more) in less than two days!

However you choose to tackle this list, it is my hope that you're able to extrude as much enjoyment and self-satisfaction that so many others have who have tried it. Let me know when you're getting close to finishing!
2. Home
3. Work
4. 4 a.m. Bar
5. Work (Two Hours Late)
6. Home
7. All Night Rodeo
8. Work (Four Hours Late)
9. Supervisor's Office
10. Human Resources Department
11. New Desk Nearer Boss
12. Stall in Men's Room for Last Half of Day
13. Liquor Store
14. Garage at Home
16. Seedy Strip Club on West Side
17. Work (Six Hours Late)
18. Regional Supervisor's Office
19. Desk to Collect Things
20. Home
21. Kitchen for Meeting with Husband/Wife
22. Bathroom to Escape Yelling
23. Backyard via Bathroom Window
24. Nearest Bar (Walking Distance)
25. Drug Squat with New Friends
26. Emergency Room for Slight Overdose
27. Sofa in Living Room
28. Unemployment Office
29. Attorney's Office with Husband/Wife
30. Home to Collect Necessities
31. Number 27 Bus to Nearest YMCA
32. Cramped, Shared Room with Schizophrenic Veteran
33. Nightmarish, Fevered Dreamscape of Life Gone Wrong
34. Food Stamp Office
35. Nearest Corner (for Change Begging)
36. City Lockup for Vagrancy
37. Highway 57 for Work Detail
38. Nearest Open Sewage Drain (for Stealthy Escape)
39. Waste Water Treatment Plant 3.5 Miles Away
40. 1994 Chrysler LeBaron (Stolen from Plant Supervisor)
41. YMCA for Quick Shower
42. Home to Plead with Husband/Wife
43. Backyard to Escape Yelling/Thrown Objects
44. Alley over Fence to Avoid Telephoned Authorities
45. Neighbor's House for Children's Bicycle Carelessly Left in Front Yard
46. Drug Squat for Sanctuary
47. Plate Glass Window (Thrown Through by Tweakers Wishing to Avoid "Heat")
48. Hospital for Multiple Lacerations
49. County Jail
50. 6x9 Cell for Meeting with New Roommate
51. Prison Infirmary
52. Early Grave

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Fliers 'n Such: 2/15/14

Event Page

Feel free to contact me if you require any work of a graphic designical (I can also invent words for a nominal fee) nature at

Monday, January 06, 2014

Things To Do When It's -45°

View the video here if you're on a mobile device and can't see the embedded video.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Open Your Dog's Poop Bag While Keeping Your Gloves on in Twelve Easy Steps! (Pictures Included)

If you live in any major metropolitan area and own a dog, you know that picking up their leavings in any public thoroughfare is a necessity. Whether it's based on a civic-mindedness that drives you to keep your city clean, or on the socially induced fear of  being looked down upon in disgust and anger by your neighbors, picking up Spot's poop is just something you become accustomed to when living in near suffocating proximity to thousands of other people. You know you have a city dog when they rush to the front door every time you pull an old Jewel bag from under the sink.

For years, I would just use these old grocery bags for poop retrieval when walking my own pup. It's a good way to recycle, and cuts down on the ever-expanding mountain of polyethylene slowly taking over my kitchen. But, after a few occasions of missing a small hole at the bottom of the bag and ending up with more shit on my hand than in the bag, I finally made the switch to buying bulk doggie poop bags. They're great- they come in rolls that can easily be stored in your pocket, and I've yet to find a hole in one. Some are even manufactured with a slight scent to mask the smell of what has become of all those terrible table scraps you fed your hound last night on the way from your hand to the garbage can. The bags are great- no complaints.

The only real issue I have with these bags is getting them open. Since they come in rolls, they are very tightly wound and folded to maximize efficiency. This is all well and good when your hands are uncovered and you can lick your fingers to get enough traction on the bag to get it open- not unlike the plastic produce bags in the grocery store. But, what about when it's so cold outside that removing your gloves is not only inconvenient and uncomfortable, but also a potential health risk?

I've spent many hours contemplating this very complex urban problem. After removing my gloves hundreds of times to pick up dog waste and ending up with only dry, chapped hands, a couple of lost gloves, and leash burn, I began to toy with some ideas. Most didn't work. You certainly can't lick your gloves; don't even try. Using specialized rubber gloves that you might use when handling chemicals does in fact work, as they are very good for gripping things, but do nothing in the way of keeping your hands warm. So, that's out. But finally, after months of trial and error, I finally stumbled upon a solution that works perfectly- every time. Please follow the steps below very carefully, and you too will finally be able to retrieve your dog's waste without losing your comfort, various sundries, or sanity!

1. Is it that time? Okay, while Fido's pooping, retrieve the roll of doggie bags from your coat pocket. Pull one off the roll while he's finishing up. Unfold the bag and hold it thusly:

2. Now, with your gloves still on, hold the bag between your thumb and middle finger, as you would to open it if your hands were uncovered:

3. Holding the bag very firmly, slowly begin rotating your thumb clockwise while keeping your middle finger stationary. The bag will be unaffected at this point:

4. Continue rotating. Notice that the bag has not begun to open at all, but in fact looks exactly as it did when you first unfolded it. Don't worry- this is important. Polyethylene has a very high friction temperature, and what you are doing right now is essentially breaking the bag down, coaxing it to acquiesce to your desires:

5. After about thirty seconds of this, note that the bag remains unchanged. Also note your dog's boredom and readiness to get away from its own shit. Now, here's the trick: switch hands. Laugh aloud to yourself while noticing the askance glances of casual passersby as you begin furiously rotating your other thumb (counterclockwise this time!) against your middle finger:

6. Hmm. Acknowledge to yourself that this fucking bag is no closer to being open than it was a minute and a half ago. Consider removing your gloves momentarily in order to expedite the extremely simple task of bending over and picking something up off the ground, but, and this is crucial, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR GLOVES. Do you have a pocketknife, or better yet, a loose straight edge razor floating around in your pocket? If you live in the city, you damn well better:

7. Expose your blade (the thinner and sharper, the better!). Gently touch the top edge of the bag, and try to find the space between the two thin sheets of plastic that are less than .0025 micrometers thick, which cling together through the maddening science of static electricity:

8. Oops! Did your restless dog dart after a passing squirrel, causing you to lose concentration while simultaneously forcing the incredibly sharp cutting implement across your free hand, lacerating it deeply? Perfect! You're almost there now:

9. Were you aware that human blood, while not only being an extremely useful household lubricant in a pinch, can also serve as a makeshift adhesive? Yes, as blood coagulates, it becomes extremely sticky and can serve all sorts of fun purposes! But for now, let's focus on this pesky dog bag. Hang your injured hand by your side, allowing the blood to clot more quickly, and hang your head in shame. Note the wild look in your dog's eyes as the smell of human blood conjures ancient genetic memories long since bred out of the docile creatures:

Note: If you are a hemophiliac, skip steps 10-12 and report to your nearest trauma center.

10. As your blood dries, carefully take the doggie bag out of your good hand with your injured hand and repeat step three:

11. Voilá! Your bag will open as if you weren't wearing gloves at all! Now, retrieve your dog's poop, allowing any extra unclotted blood to collect in the bottom of the sack as well, in order to avoid any embarrassing bio-hazard situations that may arise from nosy onlookers that callously ask you to stop bleeding on their lawn:

12. Scoff at your neighbor's shocked looks of horror, and say something cryptic like, "The blood's the thing, methinks." This part is really up to you. Have fun with it! If their reaction is anything short of a quick retreat back into their home and locking the door behind them as fast as they can, hurl your bloody sack at their house. Note that they will never again cast dispersions or ugly looks upon you when, in the future, you allow your dog to relieve himself there unencumbered, allowing the poop to collect and whiten in their front yard, creating brown patches of dead grass for years to come:

Then, run home.

Friday, December 06, 2013


Hi there. I only just now realized that I put a link to a blog that I rarely, if ever, post on in a book that just came out that has an article that I wrote. So, if you're here after reading the Tour Sucks book, welcome! And hi.. again. Most of these blog posts are years and years old. I got really into the blogosphere about six or seven years ago, and then got over it just as fast. I got really sick of having to explain or apologize for my posts to friends I'd see at the bar a few nights after I'd post something, or having to retell or give someone a complete history of the facts that led up to a post-in-question, so I kind of just stopped posting blogs. Here I am complaining about people actually being interested enough in what I was writing to ask me about it, but hey, what can you do? Plight of the asshole. This was also before the advent of social media the way we use it today. Sure, we were leaving bulletins on Myspace and such, but certainly not interacting in the real-time way we do today with Facebook, Twitter, etc.

A lot of what I write/wrote here is true to life, real stories of things that happened to me. On the other hand, I tend to fictionalize a bit as necessary. As an author, that is my wont and I feel no obligation to inform the reader either way when I post something. Most of the time it's fairly obvious. So, when a casual acquaintance asks me, "Did that really happen?" in response to a story I posted about BEING SHOT IN THE FACE WITH A SHOTGUN AND DYING on a pizza delivery gone wrong, you can see how I might have gotten a little annoyed and stopped posting things as much. However, there are a lot of things on here that I'm still proud of, and rather than have you wade through the whole goddamned blog to find one or two things that might make you laugh, I've decided to post a few highlights here. If you like 'em, let me know, and I'll start posting here again regularly. Lately, I just submit articles/stories to publications that never write me back, or keep my work confined to Word, where no man (unless you consider the paper clip thing a man) can judge me, until I'm ready to submit it for publication, that is. So, without further ado, please read the following posts and judge/criticize at your leisure. You can always email me directly at, too.

On Stealing My Own Van From an Impound Lot  

Just in case you're wondering, the above post is completely true.

A Series of Haikus I wrote about One Sarah Palin

Sometimes I write poetry. Not really, though.

On Getting My Bike Stuck in a Subway Turnstile

Also true.

On Failing Miserably at a Job Interview

I only wish this wasn't true.

Weird Fiction about Your Eyes

It would probably make sense to say I was doing a lot of acid at the time I wrote this, but I wasn't. No excuses.

On the History of Comedy

Bill Cosby invented comedy.

The Unfiltered Reaction to Coming Home to My Cat Being Mercilessly Slaughtered on My Kitchen Floor

This one got the cops called on me.

On Writing in Code and Puzzle

There actually is a hidden message in this post. I don't remember what it is.

On Dennis Madalone

I'm still proud of this one.

On My Trials and Tribulations at Carmax

This post won me $200. I suppose I should be proud of that, but I'm not.

On the Creation of a Fake Myspace Page and Corporate Espionage

This is one of those posts that people really thought was real, and got me more phone calls, emails, and texts than I'd care to recall. Don't bother clicking the link at the bottom- it's not there anymore. Myspace, ha!

On Quitting A Job Based On The Advice of Birds

True as fuck.


So, there you have it.  A brief history and a look back through some of my biggest hits as a blogger.  I welcome your questions, comments, and publishing contracts. Thanks for reading, and if any of what you've seen above makes you question whether what you read in Tour Sucks is true or not, know this: you can't make that kind of stuff up. Consider that story my first piece of music journalism.