The Joys of the Music Industry

For the past three years, I’ve been booking all of the musical entertainment at the Grant Park Festival. I happen to know a lot of musicians and so it isn’t too painful for me to line up a decent group of bands (check out this year’s lineup). It can still be a logistical nightmare, sometimes, trying to schedule the lineup, create a logical flow to the music and not step on egos. I think I manage alright. The bands still return my calls, so I think they are relatively cool with how I work.

Bands live complicated lives, though, so every year people will have to cancel on me. It’s no big deal; I usually have extras lined up to fill in the vacancies. This year has been about par for the course with 2 or 3 bands having to either cancel or play at a different time. Like I said, no big deal.

Well, get a load of this email I received yesterday, a mere 3 days before the festival starts. It’s from a guy playing a small food and wine event at the festival (and is actually one of the few paying gigs).


Yesterday evening I set my classical guitar on top of 
my car and the wind blew it off and it broke. I am 
sorry but I have to cancel on the agreed upon date. 

Xxxx Xxxxxx

What an idiot. Is that the only acoustic guitar in Georgia? You don’t have any friends you can call to borrow a guitar? Hell, aren’t there going to be about 100 musicians at the festival who might have something you can play? Have a little backbone, dude! I mean, it sucks that your guitar broke, but don’t let that bring you down! Pull yourself up by your boot straps!

I’d hate to be this guy’s boss.

Dear Boss,

This morning as I was getting ready to come into 
work, I spilled coffee on my brand new shirt.  I 
don't have anything else clean so I'm not going to 
be able to come into work today.  Sorry

Xxxx Xxxxxx

Needless to say, this guy has been replaced and will not be playing the festival.

So, if you want to come hang out at a cool festival, come on down to Grant Park this weekend! My wife will be showing her jewelry and I’ll be hanging out all weekend enjoying the music (and beer).

Party of Five

Kottke’s got a post about the quirky NYC restaurant, Shopsin’s, that’s worth a look. Sounds like a fun place to go next time I find myself in New York City.

The funniest thing about their extensive menu other than its sheer exhaustiveness has to be this poem regarding their policy of no more than 4 people per party:

PARTY OF FIVE by Robert Hershon
you could put a chair at the end
or push the tables together
but dont bother
This banged-up little restaurant
where you would expect no rules at all
has a firm policy against seating
parties of five
And you know you are
a party of five
It doesn’t matter if one of you
offers to leave or if
you say you could split into
a party of three and a party of two
or if the five of you come back tomorrow
in Richard Nixon masks and try to pretend
that you don’t know each other
It won’t work: You’re a party of five
even if you’re a beloved regular
Even if the place is empty
Even if you bring logic to bear
Even if you’re a tackle for the Chicago Bears
it won’t work
You’re a party of five
You will always be a party of five
A hundred blocks from here
a hundred years from now
you will still be a party of five
and you will never savor the soup
or compare the coffee or
hear the wisdom of the cook
and the wit of the waitress or
get to hum the old -time tunes
among which you will find
no quintets



I’ve long professed my love for the brilliance that is Veiled Conceit. If you’re not familiar, let me get you up to speed. Veiled Conceit is a blog that makes fun of the NY Times Wedding Announcements or, as VC puts it: A glimpse into that haven of superficial, pretentious, pseudo-aristocratic vanity: The NY Times’ Wedding & Celebration Announcements.

Well, Veiled Conceit’s writer has been pretty slack as of late on the posts, but the wait has been worth it. This week’s post is brilliant. Here’s a sample:

Just when you thought the announcement was getting boring, they drop this gem on you:

“The furrier Dennis Basso, a friend of the bride’s family, said his designer’s eye saw a future for Ms. Nehmen and Mr. Stark. “You know when you see a couple and visually they just fit?” he said. “Well, they fit.””

What the fuck? A furrier? Really? I like that he’s friends with the bride’s family, since it would be counter-intuitive for a furrier to associate with the shaven Stark Carpet clan. A furrier. Wow. I don’t know why that’s so weird to me, but I picture a french-canadian trapper decked out like Davy Crockett. I also think it’s funny that a man who makes his living ripping skin from the flesh of dead animals used his “designer’s eye” to approve their beautiful-people fucking beautiful-people relationship. It makes no sense.

So good and it just gets better. Do yourself a favor and read the Times’ announcement first and then go check out Veiled Conceit’s take.

Are You a Yindie?

I’m not ready to admit it yet, but I might be a Yindie. The test they have on that page is totally geared toward the British, but I still have a hunch that I’m in the club.

Meet the Yindie: half-yuppie, half-indie, moneyed urban hipsters aged 20-35 who listen to wry northern indie music on their iPod nanos, and who think Zadie Smith is the pinnacle of alternative fiction.

I am 100% sure, however, that Michael Oakley is a Yindie.