Links: Love, Music, and Joy: The Story of Core Demo

  I have to admit, I’m bad about reading things my talented friends write as much as I should. But Matt Peters posted something with Mighty Ink Comics the other day on Core Demo, a fundraiser he started and with which I was honored to be involved a few years back. I hosted the inaugural event, despite my usual stage fright. It was an incredibly strange event — I wrote fictional biographies for unsuspecting belly dancers, if you were wondering just how strange — but for a great cause. It was something personal for Matt, and he tells the story Continue reading

Links: Lego Batman Movie review for 22nd Century Media

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a chance to review a film for 22nd Century Media. I was happy, though, that I got back into it courtesy of “The Lego Batman Movie,” which is a ton of fun. You can check out my full review of it here. (subscription)

Links: Blink-182 at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre review

That cover story I wrote on Blink-182 playing the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Chicago can be found by clicking here. (Subscription) Photo by Laurie Fanelli —– A preview of my take on the whole thing… If Tinley Park felt a lot like high school again Friday, Sept. 9, that is because Blink-182 was in town for a headlining set at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. It just did not sound quite the same as it did in high school. Bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker were still living up to the name, but Tom DeLonge was replaced by Matt Skiba, of Chicago’s Alkaline Continue reading

Links – Black Sabbath live at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Chicago review

I recently had the chance to cover Black Sabbath’s farewell tour when it rolled through the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Chicago. Pretty happy with my lede. Fun show. Subscription site. Slightly lamenting the idea that I might have done my best work for a sister publication this particular week. Check it out by clicking here, if you’re interested. Photo by Ross Halfin. —– From the story… Farewell tours are a dime a dozen in the music industry. Reunions? A quarter. So fans are justified in being at least a little skeptical when an act like Black Sabbath announces a tour called “The End,” featuring three-quarters of Continue reading

Links: Orland Park couple’s container garden

I put together a story on a couple’s container garden, which I didn’t expect to do much with. But I was taken by the personalities of the couple, thought what they had done was really cool and found a lot of interesting little story threads in the bigger picture. So I wound up doing a few things in a different style than I normally try with news/features writing at the day job, and I wound up pretty happy with the way this little story about a garden turned out 1,600 words later. The story is on a subscription site, FYI, Continue reading

Links – The A.V. Club: The Humorless Ladies of Border Control review

I have been a fan of Franz Nicolay’s work as a musician for awhile now. I was excited when I got the assignment to read his book “The Humorless Ladies of Border Patrol” for The A.V. Club. And I am happy to report now that it’s good, especially if you’re interested at all in the changing dynamics and history of Eastern Europe, as well as the counterculture perspective on it. The only thing I wish it had a little more of is Nicolay’s personality, because when he really lets it shine, the book is at its best. Full review can be found Continue reading

Links – The A.V. Club: The best books of 2016 so far

The A.V. Club put together a “The best books of 2016 so far” thing, and the site was kind enough to let me contribute to it. Know going in that I probably left off your favorite book of the year (or the only book you started reading this year). I do that sometimes. Instead of considering your opinions, I just went ahead and added that wonderful Bob’s Burgers Burger Book with which I had so much fun, the Dave Eggers books I just got done reading/reviewing and then a memoir by Amber Tozer that I didn’t have a chance to Continue reading