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Well, the wind outside is frightening. But it’s kinder than the lightning life in the city. It’s a hard life to live, but it gives back what you give.

It took me three days to clean up everything from Pete’s visit. I’d never seen him like that before.

To be continued…

“Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles – a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other – that kept me going.”

  • Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

Tonight Drinks at Dusk for anyone interested. Boozy Snow Cones included.

Friday 5/10 With a busy work week behind me I did laundry right after work and it was actually not annoying this time as the laundromat was not too busy. I took and Uber there and the CTA alter and once I got home I saw a text Greg Duncan was on his way up. I knew that I wouldn’t be putting laundry away and Greg had Titos in tow so we mixed it with Red Bull and hung out on the back porch. Dusk was approaching and the glow of red for the first night this year was about to happen,. We walked to Walgreen’s and then to Byron’s where we got burgers for dinner. We shared few drinks and with a busy day had of me I went right to sleep when Greg left.

The weekend could have been worse considering I woke up Saturday morning to hear Anita Blanton  on FOX 32 ruing my weekend news. I actually heard her say of Steve Albini that he’d been a legendary producer for 40 decades. 40 decades????

Saturday morning 5/11 I wake up to an email; from an old froend who I go back with to 1995


Dave d’Eath here. Things are so fucked up for me currently.
Could you please call or text me as soon as you can?
Molly has left this mortal coil

Dave d’Eaths wife passed away last October and I never knew. I also didn’t know Dave had his prostate removed 1 year before that. I called him right away and we got got up. His oldest son Wyatt is graduating college and he is also raising a 14 year old. We caught up and made plans to get together soon.

Incidentally Dave had moved to Chicago just about the time I did in 1998 and we both know a lot of the same people in the music biz.

After talking with Dave I showered and got on my bike to go shopping in Lincoln Park for a new sports coat to wear to Melita’s graduation the next day. Then the plan was for me to pop into Output and pick up my ticket for the graduation. The sad truth would soon be unveiled as all of the clothing stores with the exception of TJ MAX were no longer open. As a matter of fact I saw even more empty spaces once belonging to Wal Mart Neighborhood Market and a 2 story Walgreens right in prime real estate areas. It was too late to go into the city which I already had to do the next day anyway.

I biked back thru Lincoln Park and Lakeview the backway. I was not in a good mood and locked my BIKE O NEGATIVE in from of Output went in and sat and I think she saw it in my face I needed one. My cowboy drink. Double Jamo on the rocks. I had one drink and then went home to get ready for the DEVO concert. I do own enough dress clothes but I hadn’t bought anything new as in dress clothing since the COVID lockdown. VEY!

I left home just after 4 PM to head up to the Duncan home, yes I would finally meet Greg’s wife Gina Duncan. He lives right by the Aragon Ballroom, Uptown Theater and The Riviera where I have seen countless shows even before moving to Chicago in 1998. Max was meeting me and I had arrived a little early. I got to meet the Mrs and got the tour, impressive, and Greg made a few tequila drinks. I was starved having not eaten and the boys talked me into going to Fat Cat for a few drinks. I was so fucking hungry.

We got into the venue and took our seaszt and the show kicked off right away. It was fuckign awesome because it is FUCKING DEVO!!!

Column: Devo in concert in Chicago: At 50, no signs of de-evolution By CHRISTOPHER BORRELLI | Chicago Tribune

Towards the end of its show on Saturday night, Devo, which brought its 50th anniversary De-Evolution tour to the Riviera Theatre, finally asked the question I was expecting: Does everyone in this room believe in the theory of de-evolution? The signs are all around us, they warned. It’s the kind of light dinner-party quip you might expect from guys now in their 70s.

On the other hand, pop music-wise, the members of Devo were present at the dawn of de-evolution. You might even argue they popularized de-evolution. Science-fiction novelists and conceptual artists had been delivering visions of mankind regressing long before Devo crawled out of Akron, Ohio, but Devo committed to the concept, with costumes, videos and a stone-faced satire that reflected their roots. They were a cultural manifesto and also, incidentally, a rock group.

They were founded at Kent State University in 1970, as the campus was still resonating in horror at the deaths of four classmates, shot by National Guardsmen. Neil Young’s “Ohio,” his classic lacerating protest, would be released less than a month later, but Devo (who eventually collaborated with Young) adopted a far longer-term approach to disillusionment.

So long in fact that, just a couple of years ago, Webster’s dictionary finally got around to making the word “devolve” one of its words of the year. (The term “devolution,” however, dates back to the 1920s, probably to religious-based protests against teaching evolution.)

All of this runs through your head while watching a Devo concert in 2024.

And if it doesn’t, it should: Fifty years after forming, Devo has never broken into laughter at its own satire. At least not on stage. They sing “It’s a beautiful world we live in” before montages of extreme poverty. They still play their gloriously disrespectful, herky-jerky cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” They remain a dystopic mirror of pop pretense. They opened with a video of an oily record executive complaining that Devo was the worst decision he’s ever made, and yet, here they are, decades later, still “preaching to the converted.“ They walked out in matching windbreakers with “Reverse Evolution” on the backs; later, for the first of several costume changes, they wore their famous yellow industrial jumpsuits, and, of course, those red “energy domes”/flowerpots (and so did many in the audience). Mark Mothersbaugh, the leader and primary music writer, grabbed his microphone and stomped robotically to the edge of the stage, as angular as the music.

The joke — in 1974, and even more so in 2024 — is that they come off paradoxically more human than far more famous acts that sell themselves as authentic.

Which is also to say, they sound wonderful, tighter than tight, and since much of what they sang about 50 years ago — consumerism as a drug, corporate overlords, conformity, advertising — became the meat and potatoes of daily social media feuds and streaming TV series, it’s a bit easier these days to just enjoy how good some of their songs really are. And also how thrilling a guitar band Devo has become. Songs like “Gates of Steel” and even their signature “Jocko Homo” — with its campy sci-fi chant, “Are we not men? (We are Devo)” — showed off power chords that chuga-chuga-chugging guitar gods like Metallica would envy.

They feel streamlined now, for the better, less performance art than a solid act, and the beauty is that this hasn’t softened or simplified anything. It’s not just that they emerged from Kent State with an absurdist, Dadaesque take on American decline, but that they became a living, subversive protest, in their image and on their records. That refusal to even pretend to be authentic was radical in 1979, and it’s radical now. But what shouts louder are their bangers. “Uncontrollable Urge,” the first song of their first album, which has Mothersbaugh mostly shouting “yeah, yeah, yeahyeahyeahyeah, yeah,” still nails the rush of punk. “Peek-A-Boo” is still a surveillance warning minus the self-importance that would doom serious acts.

The “young alien types” they once celebrated in their songs are now parental units.

But nothing else about Devo feels old.

What I loved about them in 1979 was also what unnerved me. As odd as they were compared with, say, Foreigner, or even Talking Heads, they seemed to regard the audience as even stranger. We were the real aliens. They were responding in a sane, clinical way to an insane culture. That feeling’s still there. Mothersbaugh and Co. peered at the audience. Except everyone’s in on the joke now. With 50 years behind them, they’re now planning the next 50. They flashed a huge graphic promising: 100 years of Devo, coming in 2073.

Devolution be damned.

DEVO Setlist May 11, 2024 at Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL

Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man)
Going Under
That’s Good
Girl U Want
Whip It
Planet Earth
Carl Sagan – Interlude
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Secret Agent Man
Uncontrollable Urge
Jocko Homo
Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA
Gates of Steel
DEVO Corporate Anthem
Freedom of Choice
Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)
Beautiful World

Sunday Morning 5/12/2024 Up and at’ em early again this time to make my way to Melitas graduation.

I woke hungry and I had hours to kill before Melitas commencement. I left home much too early especially knowing that I know downtown has little to offer. Her event was in the west loop and I thought I’d kill some time maybe grab a nice bite to eat and chill. From the time I left the house around 10 AM nothing went the way I had hoped. I walked by El Palmar and knew I should have gone in but oh well I’ll hold out and eat at Blackwood BBQ by the Willis Tower. I transferred at Belmont to the Brown Line. there was hardly a soul on my car, which is exactly how I prefer it. I got out at Quincey and the wind took control of my hair. On top of that it was going up to 80 depress and I was sweaty. In my backpack I always have a comb and deodorant and even a toothbrush. But I did not have my backpack and I had no comb and my hair was a fucking rats nest.Oh well, I’ll hit one of the salons I used to go to after work on the nights I would go to the MCA Museums parties. I walked to Blackwood BBQ and it was shut down. FUCK! I walked up to Union Station and all that was open was fast food and the bar. I walked out to Clinton by my old office. All the good places I used to eat were close. Five Guys, closed. I walked to one of the salons and they were all closed. Shut down not to recover from the riots during COVID. I was carrying my sports coat aas I was working up a sweat and my hair looked like total hell. No salons and it didn’t’ dawn on me to but a comb at CVS because I was too hungry. Even Taco Lulu was not opening till 4 PM. WTF? 4 PM on a weekend? BULLSHIT. Everything was closed and I went into Ogilvie Transportation Center and only a few restaurants were open and I had no choice but to eat fucking Taco Bell. I was fucking over it. The West Loop would never recover. I hailed a taxi and was dropped off at the site of the 2024 Commencement

I was afraid I’d be too early but there was already a very long line down the street. With my coat in my arms I strolled to the back of the line and waited . The wait wasn’t too long but the damage was done. I was sweaty and messy. I walked in and took a seat at the end of the front row of the back set of stairs. It would be an easy out when the time came. I felt out of place as usual but I was there to show my support. As crowd of people walked in suddenly a familiar voice shouted ALEX! It wa Mike Quick, my old friend and former co worker from Quick, Leonard and Kieffer where i worked for 6 1/2 years in the west loop. He as there with his lovely wife Jolie and children. Little Quick Kids. We hugged and I shook Jolie’s hand and told Mike I think about him often. And it true I do. I really liked working with him. Okay that surprise was worth my long fucked up morning.

After some introductions Billy Dec delivered the commencement speech. Oy Vey. Billy Dec is another story from my past. The announcements and handing out of the diplomas was long. I saw Sophie and then saw Melita get their and I sat there like fucking Joey Doughnut. Finally I said F it and went to the Men’s Room and waited out in teh hall where I finally found Nelita nd got to meet her family. Someone took a picture of us and I was obviously uncomfortable. But she looked great and her bright red lipstick was song or at least poetry inspiring. I am thinking about writing one or the other and titling it Lipstick. I didn’t;’t want to be in the way so I made an exit, got on a bus and then toon and Uber to the Brown Line and home to the Red Line. It was 530 PM.

Melita and Alex Beauty and The Beast

I’m good at love I’m good at hate
Its in between I freeze
I’ve been working out but its too late
its been too late for years
But you look good you really do
They love you on the street
If I could move I’d deal for you
A thousand kisses deep

Leonard Cohen

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