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Bloodshot Briefing

By Matt Harness

The Bloodshot bandwagon pulls into Philly this week for the final warm-up before heading to the Hideout on Sept. 12 for the hometown party.

If you are going to the Elston getaway, you already know about the musical acts, headlined by the indefatigable Waco Brothers.

But Nan Warshaw, Rob Miller and Hideout officials have also cooked up a recipe of auxiliary activities if you care to rest your legs from the dance party on Wabansia.

Namely, belt-sander races and a drunken spelling bee.

Let's break 'em both down.

I've only participated in these as a spectator, the last one several years ago at a pig roast in Pilsen. Dope, dangerous and disappointing. The overwhelming feeling was disappointment, though, mostly because the anticipation was so high as I stood on the edge of the track and rooted for the sander I gambled on. But most sanders, including mine, pu-pu-puttered out before the halfway mark. The operators, it seemed, spent little time on the electrical component, which is ultimately the most important element if you want to win.

Still, a fun time.


Let me first confess I had this idea a long time ago, but I never did get one going. Shame on me. Now, they are all the underground rage (just guessing). I know Morseland in Rogers Park has had one and every bar in Brooklyn probably has one, too.

Whatever. I don't need the credit.

If you are looking to skip out on the tunes and have a choice between spelling words and watching belt-sanders shoot down a track, choose spelling.

Spelling even stands to be a better spectator sport. Who will not laugh if Johnny Hipster can't spell d-e-o-d-o-r-a-n-t? Well, that's ironic.

My hardest word sober is e-m-b-a-r-r-a-s-s-ed.

Maybe they'll try this one.


Beer-B-Q Breasts
If you're hungry, feast on BBQ breasts from Honky Tonk Barbeque in Pilsen. According to Yelp, good pick. Out of 99 reviews, Honky Tonk scored four stars.

Here's the high (from Amused Bouche X):

"Mmmmm. MMMmmmm!

"If I were on death row and had one meal left on Earth, I would come here and have the BBQ assortment platter. Then I would re-incarnate to do it all over again. It's that good.

"I was originally avoiding the smoked sausage because I am a ribs and pulled pork kinda gal, but was persuaded to cede valuable stomach space to a few bits. DELISH . . . "

And the low (Jerome H.):

"I was SO disappointed in this place, I was just starting to use Yelp when I ran across this place with 'amazing authentic BBQ in Pilsen.' I have lived here for a while and have to say almost any deviation from charbroiled chicken and Mexican fare is welcomed. But in this case, I was so disappointed. I could have driven to the south side and had some real BBQ and not this sub-par excuse for ribs . . . "

Grammy Slammy
The biggest label news has to be Justin Townes Earle's possible, if not impending, Grammy nomination in the new Americana category when the academy releases its picks this fall. He would be the first Bloodshot artist to be so honored.

The Americana Roots field is a combination of the old Folk and Blues and the best Bluegrass album also will be absorbed into the new category. The award Earle probably will compete for is the Best Americana Album, which used to be a combo of Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.

I listened to Midnight at the Movies for the nth time two nights ago, and this dude can bring it. Just a real sound, nothing fancy or contrived. He's not trying to re-invent a sound, only perfecting music that's been in his consciousness for a lifetime.

Plus, his lyrics are true. I believe the 27-year-old when he sings, "We don't see eye to eye. I'll be the first to admit I never tried" or "She's got a gentle way that keep me from feeling so alone."

This easily ranks as one of my favorite albums in years, and, unlike the others that will fade away as my taste changes, I am confident Midnight at the Movies will be played when I am eating oatmeal at 5 a.m.


Bloodshot Briefing appears in this space every Friday. Matt welcomes your comments.


Posted on September 4, 2009

MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Flint Town.
POLITICS - We Killed Some Folks.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Let's Go Hobos!

BOOKS - The Soul Of America's Media.


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