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Deep Soul Sendoff For Don Cornelius

Chicago institution and legendary creator of Soul Train Don Cornelius passed away yesterday at the age of 75.  If that’s not an occasion for a self-respecting Chicago boy to spin a set of deep soul and funk, what is?  After hearing of an opening there by way of pal Ryan Rezvani, that’s exactly what I did last night at Charleston’s from behind the bar with the lovely and talented Ana Marie and her Aviator jello shots.

The challenge:  bringing nothing but the laptop*, did I have a full four hours of the good, greasy stuff mainly from the Johnson, Nixon and Ford eras?  The answer: almost.  Once an hour I had to cheat and go back to an already-played artist.

While that’s a serious enough offense to get your DJ license suspended on the South side, nobody minded.  Many moves were busted, much funk was given up.

Special thanks goes out to Jon Solomon of WPRB and Comedy Minus One fame who reached out and hit me with an MP3 of Don Cornelius’s and Soul Train Gang’s long-lost side “Spectrum”.

The Playlist:

Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
The J.B.s – Breakin’ Bread
Meters – Cissy Strut
Ohio Players – Skintight
Isaac Hayes – Walk On By
Back To Black – Amy Winehouse (request)
Maceo And the Macks – Cross The Tracks
Bar-kays – Shake Your Rump To The Funk
Bootsy Collins – What’s A Telephone Bill
Sly Stone – Take You Higher
Commodores – Machine Gun
Big Boys – Hollywood Swingin’
Archie Bell and the Drells – Tighten Up
Barry White – Enough Of Your Love
Graham Central Station – Can You Handle It
Curtis Mayfield – Pusher Man
Rufus – Tell Me Something Good
Kool And The Gang – Open Sesame
Smokey Robinson – Tears Of A Clown
Fred Wesley / JB’s – I’m Paying Taxes, What Am I Buying
War – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground
Gil Scott-Heron – Lady Day And John Coltrane
Parliament – We Want The Funk
Meters – Live Wire
Shuggie Otis – Strawberry Letter 23
Don Cornelius – Spectrum
Clarence Carter – Patches
Maceo And The Macks – Soul Power ’74
Temprees – Your Love Is All Ineed
William Bell – Tryin To Love Two
Cornelius Brothers – Too Late To Turn Back Now
Tyrone Davis – Turn Back The Hands Of Time
Lipps, Inc – Funkytown
Rick James – You And I
JBs – Pass The Peas
Black Sugar – Walkin’
Curtis Mayfield – Dont Worry (live)
Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
Stevie Wonder – Living For The City
Al Green – Lets Stick Together
Junior Parker – Love Aint Nothing But A Business
Isaac Hayes – By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Isley Brothersr – Put Yourself In My Place
Blossoms – Shockwave
Con Funk Shun – Ffun
Shuggie Otis – Aht Uh Mi Hed
Pointer Sisters – How Long
Ronnie McNeir – Summertime
War – The World Is A Ghetto
Average White Band – School Boy Crush
Meters – Sophisticated Cissy

* Full gear complement included the Macbook Pro, the ProFire 610 I/O and Ableton Live.  Used Ableton for cuing and crossfades only, not beatmatching. Worked fine, although I could do without the scary beachballs while scanning the library.


Yahoo: Did A Second-Rate Search Company Resort To Third-World Censorship Tactics?

[UPDATE: Roughly two hours after this post went up, @YahooCare announced an apology for the misconfiguration of the spam filter in Yahoo! Mail.]

What exactly does Yahoo! think it’s doing by apparently filtering its Yahoo! Mail service to prevent the sending of links to the protest website

As the multi-day protester occupation of Wall Street unfolded, watching today’s developments on the Twitter hashtag #occupywallstreet brought many things to light. We saw video of police dragging, kneeling on and cuffing peaceful protesters, of police confiscating tarps protecting video and electronic gear from the rain (prompting me to write this joke in the morning and to watch it be lifted and repurposed w/o attribution by beat-biters around the world. You’re welcome, guys.)

Then a disturbing screencast video caught my eye, wherein a Yahoo! Mail user showed an apparent instance of Yahoo! preventing his sending an email containing the string This was presented as evidence of anti-protest censorship on Yahoo’s part and Twitter people took it as prima facie evidence of concerted corporate censorship aimed at protecting the financial class’s status quo.

I wasn’t so sure. As a software tester and technical writer, I spotted that the video had a flaw in its methodology. I felt it was possible that the URL in question was triggering a spam filter in a general way, because the text in the guy’s message that was stopped read “[…] go here:” while the next message’s text was constructed using some linefeeds (meaining the new URL was off by itself on its own line and might therefore not trigger a spam filter.)

So I decided to try my own experiment at how Yahoo! Mail handled the string I made my own screencast video of it. And I found that Yahoo! Mail prevented my sending of mail containing that string alone while passing other mail with other lone URLs. In my experiment, Yahoo! Mail treated as spam only the message containing  I was being effectively censored from sending such an email through Yahoo! Mail.

My testing method still isn’t technically complete. But it did remove variables from the test I saw earlier, and I think at this point, it’s on Yahoo! to explain how or why the string has ended up in its spam (or any other) filter.

There is a big irony in the bigger picture: Given the Yahoo! board’s legendary mistake in declining Microsoft’s 2008 buyout offer, you might guess the company would welcome instead of hinder any protest-related interruptions in trading at NASDAQ in the hope of temporarily arresting its plummeting share price.

Apparently they’re just not devious enough for a plan like that.


Chris Ware’s Rejected Fortune Cover

Somebody at Fortune magazine thought it would be a great idea to have Chris Ware draw the cover for their Fortune 500 issue.

But somebody at Fortune didn’t know that Chris Ware is a pretty observant fellow.  What he turned in proved to be a bit too close to home for the Mammonites, and was rejected.

Milton Friedman Paycheck Advance?  Fabrica de Exploitacion? Helicopters airlifting cash from the treasury into the banks?  Fortune: “Hey, sure, we do business journalism..but not business journalism.”

Click on image for larger version.

Link thankfully swiped from Chris Herbert on Twitter.


I Can’t Laugh, And I Can’t Sing, I’m Finding It Hard To Do Anything

Let us be thankful that the nonstop cavalcade of absurdity that is life in these United States remains in full effect in the new decade, available with only a click of the remote.

Like tonight: A quick perusal of TV offerings uncovered a Barry Manilow special, wherein the 67 year old popular troubador favored Chicago’s channel 11 viewers with a medley of his hits, his face frozen in a wide-eyed expression of…glee? For song after song, Barry maintained a childlike surprise that eventually became terrifying.

That’s because, as I managed to figure out eventually, Barry can’t stop. His cosmetic surgery work has stretched his facial skin to a drum-like tension, permanently fixing his visage in a bright, cheerful mask of abject fucking horror, impervious to any eventuality.

“Barry, your gig in Dubai has been canceled.”

“Barry, your accountant has embezzled all your money. You’re penniless.”

“Barry, I’m sorry, the biopsy found cancer”

Confidential to the Los Angeles, CA elective surgery industry: Stop. Just…stop. For fuck’s sake. Please.


St. Rose Center Meets 30 Rock: Winning Entry In’s VolunTV Challenge

voluntvcropThe lovely Maureen Sullivan and I do fund raising and communications work for a few great clients, including a South Side community center serving developmentally disabled adults. Since 1962, St. Rose Center has been giving job training and education to adults with special needs. Think of them as similar to Misericordia, only much smaller and far less funded. Here’s a clip showing the place in action:



So over at, we noticed something called the VolunTV Challenge was launched “to celebrate the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s “iParticipate” week of volunteer—focused television programs from October 19-25, The Chronicle of Philanthropy invited individuals and charities to create their own ideas of how volunteerism could be incorporated into their favorite TV shows.”

That’s what we did, and we won $2,500 for the Center. Score! The treatment we wrote was for Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, NBC’s finest comedy since CPO Sharkey. Amusingly, all three of the winners used 30 Rock for their entries.  Wonder what a Silver Prize 250-word show pitch looks like?

Liz Lemon enters Jack Donaghy’s office to find him agitated and distracted. Donaghy just came back from an art auction where he lost a bidding war on a painting to first lady Michelle Obama. “She can raise her hand faster to outbid me because she doesn’t wear sleeves,” complains Jack.

Jack puts Liz on the task of finding more art from the artist. Liz discovers the artist is a member of St. Rose Center in Chicago, a service organization for developmentally disabled adults. Lemon notices St. Rose’s website call for volunteers at a talent show they will run next week.

Liz tells Jack that the artist whose work Jack was bidding on is developmentally disabled and that St. Rose needs volunteers.

Pausing to consider the information, a big smile crosses Jack’s face. “Outsider art!” he exclaims. “Do you have any idea how lucrative that is today, Lemon? What a tremendous investment! What will it take to lock it all up?”

Liz suggests volunteering to help produce the talent show. Jack orders her to collect writers, stagehands, makeup artists and actors and fly to Chicago to help put on the show.

Jack accompanies the volunteer group and meets the members and the nun who runs the program. The pros help make the show a huge success and Jack gets a meeting with the nun and her lawyer to negotiate the exclusive rights to all of St. Rose artist’s work.

Seated in the room is the nun and her lawyer, Michelle Obama.

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I Ain’t Got No Call To Hurt No-body

Seeing dear old Greg Dunlap post comments to RW370 is such a treat, it forces that most rare of RW370 events: a multiple-post day. I know! If you need to take a minute to collect your bearings, I understand completely.

Greg: as a fan of Sling Blade, I know you will appreciate what I named my XP image under Parallels:

There ain’t no gas in it.


reverb tails

this arrived today from hammond_b3@********.com:

dear doctor fiction:

i know you don’t wish i was fiction. the violent femmes have a 20 year anniversary or some deal like that cd now. 2 cds, 1st album plays auditions and unreleaseds, stuff like that. BUY IT NOW!!!

my mother’s coffee table,
lou reed’s double

this turns out to be true so do what he says. whoever it is, because i have absolutely no idea.

edit:  this turned out to be a nice hello note from an old running buddy, andrew conant.  and when I say “running” i really mean “hanging out”


failure to suck, part one

hey, the guy who invented web pages and web software, tim berners-lee just picked up a massive cash prize for his genius. in the spirit of recognition of the web’s creator, why don’t i put together a list of the web’s worthiest locations? the obvious answer follows: “because there aren’t any worthy locations.” but that would be impudent and cynical and unfair to dr. berners-lee, a guy who deserves billions in a world where bill gates couldn’t shine his shoes. so here’s the tip-top of the short list:

subservient chicken tell the chicken what to do. puzzle over its oblique interperetations or the prisoner locator bracelet on its right ankle. try not to have nightmares over the idea that this chicken is somewhere. brought to you by…burger king?!? what exactly the fuck?

little steven’s underground garage syndicated radio show rolling the best primitive garage rock from the day and from today. i love new jersey tough-guy personas who speak with a lisp.

the smoking gun unlike ‘reality’ tv shows, documents culled from real law enforcement agencies, courts and bureacracies provide more than light entertainment. they provide the kind of painful confirmations that will never, ever let you take at face value anything an institution tells you ever again.

jack chick christian comics before the era of the web, it took more than a cheap hosting account and a couple of html page templates to publish your specious piety to the world. back then, it took hard assets. paper! ink! a printing press! an incomparable drawing style – all of these and more were needed to disseminate idiotic branded belief systems ranging from religious fundamentalism to rock band fan club newsletters. the chick tracts have to be a huge success as they have been appearing regulalry for over twenty years. scary and fun.


so long pioneer 10; let ’em know we’re coming

well, a miserable winter means silence. there hasn’t been much worth posting lately…bitter complaints about the weather are about as much fun to read as they are to mutter, so silence has done nicely.

but today…today saw a landmark event in the eternal human struggle to spew ourselves into every crack and crevice we lay eyes on.

back when nixon was president, nasa launched a space probe named pioneer 10 on a mission of exploration. amazingly, just today, the 570-pound, nuclear-powered tourist, eight billion miles from home, sent its last message back to nasa. it’s so far away, it took the signal 11 hours to get here at the speed of light.

pioneer was the first probe to survey jupiter and saturn, and lasted 28 more years than it was designed to. the computer processor power onboard has less muscle than your cellphone, yet it hung in there until today, when it sent its last faint message home using the last of its power.

it’s on its way to the star aldebaran, which is the eye in the constellation called taurus the bull. at 68 light-years away, it’ll get there in about two million years. there’s a plaque bolted to pioneer 10’s side that shows pictures of human beings for the benefit of any sentient beings who may intercept the spacecraft. apparently, pioneer’s designers felt that the human species might not proliferate out into the cosmos and make aldebaran a suburb of earth and thereby make our presence known. they can be forgiven for this mistake; it was 1972 and they hadn’t yet seen the true magnitude of the sprawl of suburban blight we now have caked around our cultural centers.

next time you feel out of sorts, think of poor pioneer 10, a billiard ball coasting forward 30 years after the smack of the cue stick. 30 years down, 1,999,970 left to go. you may feel better about your own predicament. unless you’re stuck in traffic.



rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

July 2020