Archive for June, 2011
On my recent trip to Chicago, it struck me that I am now more or less traveling in the future. Traveling now is so much more user friendly than before. Granted, I did most of my traveling from 2003-2007. But so much has changed in a few short years that it feels like a whole new experience. The most noticeable difference was how my iPhone allowed me to be interconnected with almost everything around me.
I noticed it right away in the rental car. In my experience, rental cars always had shitty stereos that often only had a tape player even though it was the 00’s. This rental car had an iPod hook-up even though it was the midsize. It was the same in our hotel room. Instead of the basic AM/FM alarm clock we had an iPod alarm clock. This was even more useful since all of the guys besides me on the trip were former/current AT&T employees and everyone had an iPhone4.
By the end of the long weekend, the iPhone had officially been declared the MVP of the trip. We used ours to take pictures, track CTA times, use Google maps to keep the cabbies honest, play games, text each other highly inappropriate pictures, etc. All the guys were on Twitter & Facebook, so there was a constant stream of funny updates to follow in real time. And all of my updates generated quite a bit of traffic on social media as well. Especially humorous was the fact that my dad joined Facebook right before I left, and apparently had a hoot following my adventures over the weekend.1
I would’ve killed for any and all of that ease back when I traveled the country in 2003. Back then, my mobile technology was a clunky 2nd generation cell phone with no coverage and a heavy laptop without wi-fi. It’s amazing how far mobile technology has come in eight short years.
1. And since it happened to be over Father’s Day weekend, I considered it a DIY gift.
As you can see, I haven’t posted in the past seven days. Funny how time catches up to me when I don’t act my age. Besides the two posts I wrote last Monday nite, I haven’t had time to write much of anything in the past 12 days. Busy, busy, busy. I’ll be covering the contents of my full schedule in this week’s Friday 5, but for now I just want to get back in the habit of posting. I know from past experience that the longer I put off writing, the tougher it is to get started again. And I love to write, dammit! So today I thought I’d spend a paragraph on the death of my original writing inspiration, MySpace.
As you may or may not have heard, Rupert Murdoch sold MySpace today for $35 million. That’s pretty remarkable, considering that he bought it six years ago for $580 million. The slow, painful death of social media’s first juggernaut has been fascinating as hell to watch. But I am a little sad to see it fold.
When I first set up a MySpace account back in 2005, my only friend was Tom. I never thought to even look up anyone until my buddy General Mendoza suggested I friend him. Soon I was friends with all of the Monday nite Ruiz karaoke crowd. From there, my friend total grew exponentially as everyone flocked to the emerging social media trend. And while MySpace’s clunky interface seems dated now, back then I was amazed at how easy it was to connect to so many friends. It was this connectivity that originally encouraged me to start writing for fun again. My original blog started on MySpace back in 2006, and later this year I will be celebrating five years of The Captains Quarters!
Granted, I’m not really all that sad to see it go. MySpace is now basically one large spam and advertisement delivery system, and it’s probably been at least a year since I’ve logged on to it. But I am still grateful for providing the spark that lit the fire in me.
In yesterday’s Chicago bachelor party post, I neglected to mention what was probably the highlight of the trip. We caught My Morning Jacket as they played to a sold out crowd at the Auditorium Theater on June 17th, and they actually lived up to the hype. The theater was gorgeous, our floor seats were great, and the band was full of energy. Jim James seemed ecstatic to be playing to such an intimate crowd and spent the nite running around the stage in his goofy, furry moonboots.
And he took full advantage of the unique features of the setting. At one point he stopped the music and demanded that the light tech make use of the rows of lights on the ceiling.
He called them The Golden Rainbows, and they made for some incredible ambiance. After they got the lights just right, they broke into what was probably my favorite song of the evening, Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
It was beautiful. The other highlight from the new album was the title track, Circuital.
Both have a good shot at making Modern Rock 2011, especially Wonderful. Being the first time that anyone in our group had seen My Morning Jacket in concert, we all left with a newfound respect for Jim James and Company. Now I’m really looking forward to their show at The Pageant on August 6th!
The Captains were in Chicago for 72 hours.
As you would probably expect, alcohol was consumed
and eventually the demons came out.
Per standard guy code, I am choosing to refrain from the details of this past weekend’s bachelor party in Chicago. Here’s what I can mention. I had a great time at Wrigley Field watching a Cubs-Yankees game.
I saw lots of cool local breweries, my favorite being Revolution Brewing
I had an amazing steak at Carmichaels
We stayed safe by riding the train, taking cabs and walking all weekend
And the Bachelor definitely got the full party treatment.
We must’ve done something right, because I’m still exhausted 24 hours after returning home. Special thanks to Zim for providing the transportation and to The German for being such a great Chicago guide. Well done all around gentlemen, well done.
As I mentioned on Two For Tuesday, I’ll be at a My Morning Jacket show tonite in Chicago. Driving up to Chicago for the show may seem like a long drive just for a concert, but for residents of St. Louis it’s a normal occurrence. Some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen were in Chicago, because many bands make a nasty habit of skipping St. Louis when they tour. So in honor of yet another Chicago road trip, here’s this week’s Friday 5.
Top 5 Chicago Concerts
1. Jane’s Addiction, Aragon Ballroom, 1997
This was during the Relapse tour, which I wrote about on a separate entry here. At the time, it was the best concert I had ever attended.
2. Lollapalooza, Grant Park, 2005
After the unsuccessful touring festival of 2003, this was the first attempt at reimagining Lollapalooza as a destination festival. Great lineup, featuring Cake, Primus, Pixies, Liz Phair, Weezer, Billy Idol. The show was so successful that Lollapalooza has been in Chicago every year since.
3. Underworld, Riviera Theater, 1999
Back in my electronica days in the late nineties, I was a huge fan of Underworld. While not particularly popular, they are probably best known from the closing scene of Trainspotting. This show was a nonstop dance party. From the moment the first beat dropped, the whole room danced nonstop for the next two hours. The sweatiest concert of my life, by far.1
4. The Strokes, Aragon Ballroom, 2003
I drove up with my neighbor at the time, Josh, to catch The Strokes a week before the release of their second album, Room On Fire. This was on the same tour as the show I mentioned here. And now Josh and I are driving up to Chicago for another show, eight years later. Awesome!
5. Lollapalooza, New World Amphitheater, 2003
As I mentioned, this was part of the failed relaunch of Lollapalooza the tour. Still a pretty solid lineup, with Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Jurassic 5, Queens of the Stone Age. But it was obvious that the touring aspect wasn’t going very smoothly.
1. I still sweat to this on a weekly basis. The live album from this tour, Everything Everything, is at the top of my workout playlist. When I run in Creve Coeur Park, this is usually what I use to keep me going.