Something to Chew…January 2021

Hi kids, your favorite music and food loving Mailman is back, it’s a new year and we’re all still kinda stuck at home and sick of the COVIDS (this is Chicago) so blah blah blah.  I just gave myself the blues so let’s spin some records and get something to eat to cheer up.  BTW, who’s ready for championship White Sox baseball?

Something Old: Blues Deluxe (Chicagofest Live 1980) – Various Artists

This gem of a record is compiled of recordings by Blues royalty while they were performing on the Blues Stage at the now defunct Chicagofest in 1980.

Quick history lesson from my inner Johnny Lawrence: Chicagofest was the precursor to the vanilla Taste of Chicago that we all now dread. It took place at Navy Pier before the remodel and it was friggin’ badass.

Blues Deluxe was put out by my favorite local radio station WXRT and Alligator Records.  When I drop the needle on track one of Lonnie Brooks singing Sweet Home Chicago, I’m instantly transcended back to when times were much simpler and a whole lot seedier.  I imagine myself standing near the stage, maybe a little underage, possibly drunk, and soaking everything in. 

I love live recordings, especially in this time of suckiness.  If you can find a copy of this at a favorite used record store or God forbid on Ebay, I suggest purchasing it to enjoy FOREVER.

I recently just purchased this next record so, by rule, it now falls under the category…

Something New: For Sale, Live at Maxwell’s 1986 – The Replacements

Yup, another live record, leave me be, I’m on a roll.  This double album is glorious, it’s The Replacements recorded at a small club in New Jersey right before a lot of their upcoming problems came to a head.  What’s all this I may be implying?  I’m not really up to the task of telling that story, nor am I a good enough writer to do it justice.

As the kids say, Google it! 

This record was kinda famous as a bootleg that serious fans vigorously  sought out through the decades, but it’s now available to purchase on vinyl thank goodness.  It’s very easy to tell that this band liked performing together as well as kind of hated each other.  You gotta love the way they’re starting and stopping abruptly as well as Paul being his usual jagoffish self throughout the performance.   There’s lots of gems on this record but I think You’ll enjoy the rendition of Hold My Life alone, but listen to everything, it’s crazy enjoyable. 

Something Borrowed: Tapestry – Carole King (1971)

This record was suggested to me by my sister Gale, I was hoping she could suggest a record with a few more iconic hits, but whatevs.  I have a like / annoyed relationship with this Tapestry.  I realize that this is an epic recording that won a couple of grammys and was made by an amazing artist, but I think I probably have heard a lot of these songs a bazillion times or so in my younger days and they’re like fingernails on a chalkboard to my younger self. 

I’m really getting into some psychiatrist couch territory right now. It’s my blog and I can steer it to whatever destination I MF’n feel like, GALE!

Just kidding, I love my big sis to death, this record is awesome, give it a few spins, you’ll love it. (Sorry, not sorry)

Something To Chew: Nicky’s of Beverly 10500 S. Western ave, Chicago

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I love me some Big Baby and fries.  This Nicky’s is kind of a step up from your usual type of hot dog / hamburger place.  They just recently moved a couple blocks down from it’s previous location and it’s one of the best gifts that 2021 has to offer up.  They use fresh, quality ingredients in all their vast offerings.  You can even get hand dipped ice cream cones as well as draft artisanal coffee drinks in here. 

Let’s talk about their new location, they took over an address that was never good for whatever half-assed restaurants that resided here, trust me, they’ve broken that curse.  They remodeled a tiny building and added extra seating with beautiful artistically inspired repurposed railroad storage containers, you gotta see it. They also have some great music pumping in here, which is always a plus in my world.

Come take a ride by here and you may see a perfectly content mailman sleeping behind the wheel of his truck after he just stuffed himself silly at lunch. Please try everything on the menu that looks good and hopefully we can BS while sharing a delicious meal inside this place very soon.  Until then, order online before picking up your food at this great new spot on Western avenue.

This has been fun, let’s do it again real soon. White Sox baseball season is getting closer, let’s be safe out there!

-Mailman Jack

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