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The State Legislator Who Rocks

By Steve Rhodes

Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago) has done fine work for her district during her eight years in office, but it was her bravura performance during the Blago impeachment imbroglio that - at least briefly - made her a star. From calling the ex-governor a "pathological liar" who might be in need of medical attention while he was still in office to her eloquent disquisitions on why he deserved to be impeached, Mendoza became a go-to media favorite who nonetheless never drifted into sillyland.

Mendoza also rocks.

In fact, she is quite likely the rockingest member of the General Assembly - perhaps in its entire history. She's a Roger Waters fan, for godsakes.

And when she isn't on the job in Springfield, you can catch her at shows around town here in Chicago. Among the interests she lists on her Facebook page: live music.

And her taste - judging by her Facebook favorites - is (nearly) impeccable: "Wilco, The White Stripes, !!!, Yo La Tengo, Rage Against The Machine, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Jane's Addiction, U2, Pixies, Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Interpol, Depeche Mode, Queen, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, AK Trio, Pool of Frogs, and yes...to the chagrin of some of my friends, I like Aerosmith. On the Spanish side, I love Luis Miguel, Mana and Juanes."

Her favorite quote as listed on Facebook comes from Hendrix: "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

But the real fun is tracking Mendoza's status updates and Twitter feed.

Here are a few highlights.

* Susana A. Mendoza will be rockin' out at the KISS concert with the girls tonight. The KISS Army will be out in full force. Woohoo!!!
November 6 at 7:33 p.m.

* Susana A. Mendoza is still thinking about how awesome Wilco was this weekend!!! October 20 at 11:47 p.m. via Twitter (Mendoza went both nights)

* I am SO going to that KISS concert. Holy hilarious...that's gonna be insane! Great seeing you too Jules!
October 21 at 8:02 p.m.

* Susana A. Mendoza is saying it's official. Yo La Tengo is pure musical genius. They were themselves tonight at The Vic...completely AWESOME!
October 7 at 12:15am via Twitter

* Susana A. Mendoza is totally in awe at how amazingly awesome NIN was tonight!!!
August 28 at 11:54pm via Twitter

* Susana A. Mendoza thought that Jane's Addiction was &$"!#%# AMAZING!!!! Awesome...thank you Perry!
August 9 at 11:35pm via Twitter

* Susana A. Mendoza is in love w/Depeche Mode! They always were and continue to be my favorite band. Day 1 at Lolla rocked!!!
August 7 at 9:58pm via Facebook for iPhone

So I asked Mendoza to rank her favorite shows of the year. This was her response:

"So if I can think back clearly enough to exactly one year ago, I'd have to say that I saw (and all of these were totally fun and kick #@$) Beck, My Bloody Valentine (I think I got permanent hearing loss at that sick show . . . it was awesome), Pool of Frogs at Metro and The Empty Bottle(my favorite local Chicago band that not too many people know about but should), went to Pitchfork to see Yo La Tengo, Flaming Lips and a bunch of other good bands, caught Chicago's own Tortoise at Pritzker Pavillion, did Lollapalooza AGAIN and remembered why I worshiped Depeche Mode all throughout college (although I did not crowd surf out of the crowd this year like I did when Rage Against the Machine played there the year before . . . that was AWESOME CRAZY!), Depeche Mode and Janes Addiction were the highlights for me at Lolla, saw The Ting Tings at Metro and couldn't stop dancing to them, saw Unicycle Loves You (another cool local Chicago band), absolutely LOVED Nine Inch Nails at the Aragon and jammed to Yo La Tengo at the Vic which is an incredible venue. And, as for the double cherry on top, I did Wilco back to back this last weekend. While my favorite band is hands down Wilco at this point, I'd have to say that the best show I saw this year was Nine Inch Nails, followed by Wilco and Yo La Tengo at the Vic. The Pixies are next!"

Indeed. From those about to rock, we here at the Beachwood Music Desk salute you, Rep. Mendoza.



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Posted on November 10, 2009


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