Tag Archives: Wilco

looking at marina city

8 Dec

Wilco's iconic album cover borrows from Bertrand Goldberg's iconic towers

Since becoming an editor at a building-and-design magazine, I’ve grown fond of architecture. It’s all around me. On my screen, in my hands, out my window. Hard to live in a place like Chicago and not appreciate things ornament, engineering, and bridge design. It’s one of our proudest exports, our architecture. And since my day deals in urban infill and LEED certification, I’ve grown especially aware of the built environment I move in and out of each day.

Earlier this week, I was walking along the Chicago River to give my eyes a rest from the monitor and eventually came to Marina City, the most iconic riverfront structure we have. If you don’t know it by name, you at least know it from the cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The twin towers hover over the water, boats parked in their empty bellies.

In spite of feeling outdated, their repetition always mesmerizes me. This fall, two photographers exhibited a show called Inside Marina City and answered a question most Chicagoans have asked themselves at some point: what is it like up there?

Mostly terrible, seemed to be the answer. It wasn’t anything like what I imagined. From the inside, the building looked even older than it did from the outside. The rooms were washed out and faded, and so were the people in them. >

"Horns," from Inside Marina City by Andreas E.G. Larsson and Iker Gil

"Yellow Kitchen," Inside Marina City

"Lady in Red," Inside Marina City

On my walk, I thought about those photographs, about how I couldn’t decide if they unspooled the myth or added to it. I thought about writing this very post, but decided against it. Everyone knows Marina City. Everyone knows Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

But then today, Gapers Block linked to a short film called Covers by Luis Urcolo, and it was a wonderfully simple concept cleanly executed. Got me thinking about all this again, especially once it reached the four-minute mark. I’d say more, but it’s better if you just watch it. Everything should make sense soon enough.

oscar cocktails, other pairings

17 Nov

Ken Walczak keeps up his cutting commentary and cocktail-making. The subject of his scourge this time around: everyone involved in the Oscar-host fiasco.

How do you give a dude like Brett Ratner a proper sendoff? How about with a shot of Kansas Spirit. … Kansas Spirit bills itself as “whiskey without the middle-aged yuck factor.” I bill it as nonsense, inspired by poseurs—and as the perfect pour for a Hollywood douchebag whose accomplishments include sleeping with women half his age, then publicly ridiculing their appearance, sexual performance, and ethnic background; linking the words “masturbation” and “shrimp grease” in the public imagination; and the music video for “Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Being Crushed by Buildings.”

In other cocktail news, Drinkify pairs a drink to what you’re listening to. When listening to Gayngs’ 69-beats-per-minute groove, you should pour yourself six ounces of gin, served neat with a grapefruit twist. Phantogram requires a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale garnished with a cucumber. The “Of Montreal” is a bottle of Captain Morgan shaken up with a Monster energy drink.

I couldn’t stump it. They even had a drink recommendation for WU LYF: 10 oz. Microbrew, 10 oz. Lime juice, 6 oz. Damson Gin.

My musical tastes are apparently pretty narrow. Red wine was a popular pairing, from Wilco to Bon Iver to Mugison. The last I’m not sure about. More like eight ounces of Jack Daniels poured into a cup of boiling hot coffee, or a martini made with fish oil. SIMS was a surprise: water. Maybe the hip-hop artist doesn’t drink?

Check it out for yourself. I imagine there have been plenty of Drinkify-themed parties. People take turns choosing an artist and listening to the track the site plays while mixing up a new drink. Everyone has to finish it before the song ends. Could be fun. If I was DJ, though, everyone would apparently be asleep.


5 Feb

some beautiful songs from the past week…


I Can’t Feel My Hand Anymore, It’s Alright, Sleep Still, Mum
—> i sincerely regret them coming to Lawrence on the same night I already had tickets for Gogol Bordello at Liberty Hall.


Lakeside, BLK JKS
—> i sincerely regret them coming to the Empty Bottle on a Wednesday.


Misunderstood, Wilco
—> i sincerely regret missing Glenn Kotche’s benefit show a few months back.


There Will Be A Light, Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama
—> i sincerely regret not yet seeing Ben live.


Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On), Robert Plant | Allison Kraus
—> i have no regrets, sincere or otherwise, about this song or these people.


Album of the week: Robert Plant & Allison Kraus’ project, Raising Sand.