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: Blink-182 at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre review

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 – Black Sabbath live at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Chicago review

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: Orland Park couple’s container garden

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 Humorless Ladies of Border Control review

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

Links – The A.V. Club: Review of Dave Eggers’ “Heroes of the Frontier”

It’s been awhile since I have had an opportunity to review some literary fiction, usually skewing more toward the realm of memoirs and other nonfiction. But The A.V. Club gave me the opportunity to review Dave Eggers’ latest, Heroes of the Frontier. I found it to be a delightful read and more than a little complex. I had a fun time trying to break it down, both in a general review, as well as a new feature called The Last Page, which delves specifically into the last chapters of the book, so, you know, spoiler warning!

Links: A.V. Club review of Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats

I recently reviewed Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats, a collection of selected nonfiction, for The A.V. Club. While I like the work a lot, the essays are previously published, and I’m not quite sure the book does a good enough job of justifying itself beyond collecting them in one place. But I explain in more detail here.

Link: A.V. Club review of NOFX’s Hepatitis Bathtub book

We’ll file this under things that probably won’t make my mother proud. I recently reviewed the NOFX memoir The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories for The A.V. Club. It turns out it’s more oral history than a comprehensive NOFX autobiography, but that’s just fine, as far as I’m concerned. Fans should like the backstage stories feel the book has, though it occasionally fails to live up to its potential. You can read the review in full by clicking here.