Category Archives: Articles

Fly Like a Butterfly, Sing Like Mariah

If you fly frequently you undoubtedly accumulate “miles” as part of a loyalty program. Given a sufficient cubic ton of these “miles” you’re able to book even more air travel, although you probably find that it is exceedingly difficult to schedule anything that goes anywhere you want to at the time that you want to go.

Airlines have cleverly come up with ways for people to use their miles for non-flying purposes, everything from magazine subscriptions to memberships in the airlines’ lounges.

Delta, the Macaulay air travel vendor of choice, has taken this use of miles to a whole new level with its “SkyMiles Experiences.”

This allows you to use miles to “bid” on various things, ranging from attending a NASCAR race to having dinner at Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant. While you probably would have zero problem getting tickets to the Quaker State 400, reservations at Per Se would be something else entirely.

At this point you may be wondering whether this is the GloNo Travel Tips section that you’ve accidentally stumbled upon.

No.

Continue reading Fly Like a Butterfly, Sing Like Mariah

Rose City ‘Til I Die

By the time this publishes I should be barreling down the road in a van packed with my wife, my son, three dogs, a cat and two of my most cherished guitars. We’ll be heading east, away from a city we love more than we could have even imagined when we moved here almost ten years ago. It’s a necessary move and one that brings its own level of excitement and opportunities, but one that breaks our hearts just the same.

I arrived in Portland, Oregon on December 5, 2008, just weeks before the biggest snowstorm to hit the city in 40 years. After a decade in Chicago, we were ready for a change but also ready for an adventure. So I found a job and five weeks later we packed up out two year old son, two cats, a crazy dog and my one most cherished guitar and headed west. The thing I like to tell people about Portland is that it lives up to the hype. What I don’t tell people is that the hype is killing some of the things that make Portland one of the truly most original and magical places I’ve ever been. But that’s the thing about change: it happens. And still, Portland amazes me in its creativity, its generosity, and yes…its weirdness.

Being a sometimes musician my entire adult life, I was excited to check out the scene in a city that was already well known as a creative hub. I couldn’t have anticipated what that scene would actually mean to our lives here. Yes, I’ve always had musician friends, but I have never had a community as tight-knit and supportive as what we found here. We found a monthly gathering of friends who get together and jam, and pass dishes around, and contribute to the community beer cooler and celebrate the spirit of simply being friends. Sometimes swelling to more than a hundred people, I never once saw a dispute, let alone a fight or aggression. I’ve also never received so many hugs. We all had our kids there and our dogs. It was incredible. I have a long-form piece I’ve been mulling for two years but if you want to get a taste of what The Hoot is and was, please read this post by my friend and everyone’s favorite Philly, Phil Favorite.

The curse of moving around is that it means you’re always leaving people you love. It was hard for me to leave my hometown for Chicago. And then it was hard to leave Chicago for Portland. And now it’s miserable to leave Portland. So why are we doing it? The truth is that it’s because for nine and a half years we’ve been missing people back in the midwest as much as we’ll now be missing our friends in Portland. And so we go.

Continue reading Rose City ‘Til I Die

Riot Fest: The Music Fest for Grownups

It’s not easy being a grownup music fan. And the older you get, the harder (and weirder) it becomes. Your peers (i.e., your neighbors and your kids’ friends’ parents) can’t even pretend to understand why you’d choose to stand outside in the dirt for three days and listen to bands nobody’s ever heard of. And it is impossible to justify. I love music fests, and yet even the greatest sets I’ve experienced would’ve been way better in a dark club or theater.

So what’s a middle-aged music fan to do? (Actually, let’s not say “middle-aged.” Let’s say “mid-century modern.”)

Here’s what: go to Riot Fest. They book a lot of bands that prominently feature guitars. That might seem quaint or old-fashioned, but if that’s your thing then Riot Fest is pretty much the only game in town.

Yesterday, they announced the “first wave” of the 2018 lineup. There’s a ton of good stuff. I’m especially excited to see Beck, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Liz Phair, Cat Power, Johnny Marr, Superchunk, Speedy Ortiz, Bully, and the Bombpops, but there’s way more that I’m interested in checking out.

One disappointing thing: by my count only 14 of the 82 acts announced so far (17%) are fronted by women. That’s worse than both Lollapalooza (38 of 183; 21%) and Coachella (56 of 166; 33%). Seems like they could do better than that these days when all of the most exciting new guitar music is being made by girls. Maybe next year…

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Iowa Jam: The Grateful Dead at the UNI-Dome 2/5/1978

The word is it was a cold night with a biting wind that brought the real world temperature to around 20 below. The sky was overcast on that Sunday evening in Cedar Falls, Iowa and there was a chance of snow. It was a fairly common winter evening for this college town of about 50,000 residents nestled next to a river of the same name; some even perpetuated the myth that the University of Northern Iowa campus was the second windiest, trailing behind Loyola or some other Chicago-based college.

The Grateful Dead’s winter tour in the early months of 1978 had just played Madison and Milwaukee, making Wisconsin the lucky recipient of the band’s weekend mojo. The University of Northern Iowa was fortunate enough to book the band for the Sunday night in their large athletic arena called the UNI-Dome.

I should note that I am an alumnus of the University of Northern Iowa, so I’m very familiar with the campus and the area itself. I continue to live in the Cedar Valley and enjoy living here.

I’m also a fan of the Grateful Dead, to the point where my family rolls their eyes when I ask Alexa to play the band in the kitchen. But fuck those guys. I’m cooking them dinner and I want to hear “Jack Straw” sometimes while I’m boiling water.

Acknowledging both of these things is important, because it makes me a barely credible source regarding the time the Grateful Dead rolled into Cedar Falls and performed a concert at a regionally iconic venue/sports complex at the same university that let me walk away with a B.A. in Communications after only five completely underachieving years.

While I wasn’t present for the performance, I was very aware of the folklore of the show while attending the university a decade after it actually happened. The recollections were (literal) half-baked musings or suspect recounts of someone how knew someone who had a friend who went to the show.

Continue reading Iowa Jam: The Grateful Dead at the UNI-Dome 2/5/1978

Sounds Like. . . ?

Apparently there is a museum in France dedicated to the works of a late 19th- early 20th century painter, Étienne Terrus.

The museum, located in Elne, France, in the Pyrénées, is full of paintings by Terrus.

Or at least many of the 140 paintings are by the artist.

And even more of them are, as has recently been discovered, fakes.

Experts have come in and determined that 82 of the paintings were not executed by Étienne Terrus, who died in 1922.

One of the clues in one of the landscapes: buildings that weren’t built until after the artist died.

You would think that something like that might be noticed.

But you often don’t see something unless you are looking, even if you’re looking right at it. And arguably there have been hundreds of people looking at those paintings, thinking to themselves, “That’s a nice Terrus.”

As the tagline for this site is not “Gouaches Can Change Your Life,” you are probably wondering what the Terrus Museum has to do with anything.

It got me to wondering about how we actually know whether music that we think has been recorded by an individual or a band really is aural evidence of that.

Continue reading Sounds Like. . . ?

Listen: JTL FM ii

Spotify: JTL FM ii

I don’t want nobody hurt, but I made an exception with him.
–Cherry Glazerr

Making a mess is easy when you think you know it all.
–Jessica Lea Mayfield

The color of your mind, you feel it coming right through you.
–Beach House

When you talk to my face you speak politely. I know you’re only following to bite me.
–Tayla

Is she a stripper, a rapper, or a singer? I’m busting bucks in a Bentley Bentayga.
–Cardi B

I don’t want a secret, secret life. I have no idea what I really wanna be.
–Speedy Ortiz

Take over me, I’ll never be the same.
–Ashley Monroe

Major league chemicals make her grave.
–Unknown Mortal Orchestra

So I fall into continents and cars All the sages and stars, I turn all of it to just a su–
–Lorde, Run The Jewels, El-P

It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault like you say it is. It’s not my fault, because I told you long ago that I wouldn’t put up with your bullshit.
–The Regrettes

For all that we know, the heart is pumping rhythms that are not our own.
–Natalie Prass

Even if you got somebody on your mind, it’s alright to be alone sometimes.
–Kacey Musgraves

I don’t wanna worry no more. I just wanna ball like the big leagues. I just want a nice house on the shore. I want a big house like Gatsby.
–Diplo, Lil Yachty, Santigold

Jordan 23, guarantee you’re gonna wanna leave with me.
–Camila Cabello

I remember the first time I was in love. It was only back in 1997.
–MO///

Lean back. Lean back. Lean back.
–Fat Joe, Eminem, Lil Jon, Mase, Remy Ma

You want some me so bad? Come get this body.
–Tinashe, Ty Dolla $ign, French Montana

Continue reading Listen: JTL FM ii

Buckingham Out; Ringo Pissed

Fleetwood Mac has apparently given Lindsey Buckingham his walking papers, which is only metaphorically true as Buckingham has reportedly recently sold one of his homes in Brentwood for about $20-million and anyone who has that kind of money doesn’t walk anywhere unless (1) a red carpet is involved or (2) it has something to do with the latest cardio program and it requires a personal trainer.

And realize that while McDonalds’ may have trouble selling Big Macs (which accounts for its recent size-variant offerings of that saucy delicacy), Fleetwood Mac evidentially is sufficiently fungible to get a list of venues as long as your arm for its upcoming tour. Oddly enough, the Big Mac and Fleetwood Mac were both formed in 1967.

It seems that the other members of the band have hired Mike Campbell late of the late Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of the best band that will unfairly be remembered as a one-hit wonder, Crowded House.

This has to make Buckingham feel fairly good, as it takes two to replace him. (One assumes, however, that if Campbell and Finn were “hired,” they’re going to be getting a salary, not cubic feet of cash, so the rest of the band members will make out very well, thank you.)

But here is when Ringo gets pissed.

For the past too-many years, Ringo has been touring with the All-Starr Band. (Another good reason why he changed his surname, as “All-Starkey Band” sounds like something Stormy Daniels would be in.)

Ringo’s M.O. has been to hire musicians who have had “hits” but are past their prime, such that he can use them to play their hits so as to minimize the need for an entire set to be based on his meagre catalog. People like Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), Simon Kirke (Bad Company), Colin Hay (Men at Work), Graham Gouldman (10cc). Actually, this is the proverbial double-win because Ringo gets talent and they get to play at venues where corndogs aren’t (necessarily) being sold.

But now there’s Fleetwood Mac vying for talent, hiring musicians like Campbell and Finn.

One can only imagine Ringo dropping one digit from his peace sign when talking with Fleetwood and McVie.

Continue reading Buckingham Out; Ringo Pissed

The Rolling Stones and Existence

“Do the Rolling Stones still exist?”

That, I’m afraid, was my reaction when I read about the band’s apparent continuation of its “No Filter” tour, which will start up again next month with 11 dates in Europe.

Now I know that Jagger, Richards, Watts, and Wood are still alive, so it wasn’t an issue of the band ceasing to exist because a key member died. (One could make the argument, perhaps, that the band really stopped being what it once was when Brian Jones died in a swimming pool 49 years ago.) But it struck me that there is a visible absence of the Stones in the context that they were once part and parcel of popular culture as delivered in various forms, not just in the pages of something like Rolling Stone: they made music, they made news, they were there, out in the public, and people, like it or not, knew it. Given that they are still touring, given that the 11 dates are a continuation of a tour that they were on last fall, means that they are no less public.

But are they?

In keeping up with the characters, we have:

• Mick—Sir Mick—age 74 with a one-year-old child whom he had with his 31-year-old girlfriend. He has seemingly become an item for the gossip pages, sort of like Frank Sinatra in his heyday.

• Keith—who is still working hard everywhere, most recently performing at the second-annual Love Rocks NYC concert at the Beacon Theater.

• Ronnie—who recently announced that he is free of lung cancer. (Although he looked awfully cool back in the day with his rooster-shag haircut and a smoke dangling from his lips as he made magnificent sounds come out of his guitar (most of us would have a difficult time smoking and playing at all), his cancer is a cautionary tale, more telling that the warnings on cigarette packs.)

• Charlie—who told The Guardian in February “It wouldn’t bother me if the Rolling Stones said that’s it. . .enough.”

Enough.

Continue reading The Rolling Stones and Existence

New Quasar Wut-Wut video: Jezebel’s Arm

Video: Quasar Wut-Wut – “Jezebel’s Arm”

Quasar Wut-Wut – Jezebel's Arm (Official)

From Digesting Mirror, due July 2018.

Back in 2004, flush with revenue from the burgeoning online advertising market, we here at Glorious Noise had more money than we knew what to do with. Cans of Pabst were only $2 at the Long Room on Tuesdays after all. So what’s a fairly young music website to do with all that cash? Pay its contributors?

Pshaw! We started a record label!

Our first release was the new album by our friends in Quasar Wut-Wut. The first time the guys played Taro Sound for me, I immediately knew we had to start a label to release it. It was so good, so dense, so unlike anything else going on at the time. These dudes were like mad scientists, tinkering away in their rehearsal studio, coming up with the perfect sounds. A little White Album here, a sprinkle of Pixies dust there… They’re notorious for laboring over tones for years. Literally.

That’s why it’s been 14 years without a proper followup to Taro Sound. Part of why, anyway. Things like puppet shows, weddings, houses, building out a recording studio, kids, and Buster Keaton have also played a role in the delay. And besides, it’s not like it’s Chinese Democracy or anything…that took fifteen years!

And yet here we are. Long after Glorious Noise Records went belly up, a new Quasar Wut-Wut album is on its way. I’ve heard Digesting Mirror, and it’s well worth the wait. If you’ve been lucky enough to have seen the band in one of their rare live appearances in the past several years, you’ve likely heard some of these songs already. The studio versions will blow you away.

The band is currently putting together a release show for Chicago in July. You may recall the USO circa 1916 themed show for Taro Sound at the Hideout. While it’s still early in development, the direction is moving from the wartime entertainment of the Taro Sound release towards a post-WWI Dadaist exhibition. Something like a variety show with multiple film-loop projections, cult leaders, and celibate dancing ladies…

As the details get firmed up, we’ll be sure to let you know. Until then, enjoy “Jezebel’s Arm.”

Quasar Wut-Wut: web, bandcamp, fb, amazon, apple, spotify.

Continue reading New Quasar Wut-Wut video: Jezebel’s Arm

New Automne video: Soeurs de Coeur

Video: Automne – “Sœurs de cœur”

Sœurs de cœur – Automne

Directed by Joséphine Lajeat. From the Automne EP, due March 23.

Paris has style. I mean, come on. Look at this video. Who has house parties where everybody is so elegant and chic? Not in a trendy or pretentious or stuffy way, but just totally stylish. Wine, pistachios, tarot cards, chaises longues, cigarettes… So damn cool.

Full disclosure: Autumne’s guitarist, Perry Leopard, is a friend. I’ve hung out with him in divy little bars in outer arrondissements far off the tourist track. We’ve listened to his pals play blues and jazz to an audience of a dozen locals drinking 1664s. We also went and saw the remains of the MC5 together at the Élysée Montmartre. Perry’s a great guy, an Alabama native who’s called Paris home for many years, and a fine connoisseur of rock and roll.

And now, he’s involved in a new project with classically trained Parisian cellist Automne Lajeat. They’ve been woodshedding and playing gigs together for about a year along with drummer Thomas Gromb and guitarist David Haddad. They’re planning on recording a full-length album to be released early next year.

My français is très rusty so Perry helped translate the lyrics for me. The chorus (“à mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur”) roughly means “to my homies, to my blood sisters.” And “sanguines” has a double entendre: a “sanguin” is someone who easily gets carried away.

“Sœurs de cœur” is a celebration of friendship, and the video features our women friends, who are poets, theater technicians, photographers, musicians, and painters. The director, Joséphine Lajeat, is Automne’s younger sister, and she and her director of photography, Joanna Cognard, have been a movie-making team for a while. They made Automne’s previous videos for “Lovecrafter” (words are a Patti Smith poem) and “Nedjma.” Their most recent film of their own is a short called Pouce, in which Automne and I have bit parts.

Even if you can’t understand the words, you get the feel of what Automne is singing about. She sounds brave and defiant. The song is arranged beautifully: subtle but dramatic with brooding cello and gnarly guitars and spooky background vocals, building up to the climax: “Aux optimistes, aux féministes!”

Automne: web, facebook, youtube.

Continue reading New Automne video: Soeurs de Coeur