Off social for Lent but obligated to announce starting tonight you can now hear me on SiriusXM Radio’s Pitbull #Globalization Radio (channel 13) every Friday at midnight eastern 11pm central. Tune in on your way to the party. #dale
And this Tuesday my remix to Halsey’s ‘Bad At Love’ will be available on my soundcloud. #badatlove
Chicago people that’ve known me since college know this is pretty heartbreaking news. Pumping Co. & I go way back.
When I first moved here for school (I’ll never forget my mother in tears crying “I can’t believe I’m leaving you in this dump” – referring to pre-transformation Rogers Park and pre-Garanzini Loyola) Pumping Company was one of the first places I went.
I didn’t know one person in Chicago. Which is part of the reason I came here. But I quickly became great friends with my room mate (Kristopher Musgraves, who drew the shortest stick of all time along with me and was thrown into a lounge space converted into a freshman “dorm room”), Justin Hough Cuyler Hettich Brian Riordan.
Everybody in the school went to Hamiltons and only Hamiltons. Place was meh and got played out really quick. Even for freshmen.
One day (yes day, like 2pm) Brian took us down Broadway a few blocks past Hamilton’s to a spot his older brother had introduced him to. The Pumping Company.
The place was an eye sore.
But it was awesome.
It was decorated in an old Chicago Fire House theme complete with beer taps running through CFD Fire Hydrants. The bar tenders were degenerates who loved to talk shit, the bouncers should have been playing in the NFL but were way too nice of guys, and the “regulars” were all down on their luck guys whose better days had passed and you got the all too sad feeling this place and the people in it was all they had.
We were sold.
We hit it off with the place’s GM’s and head bartender’s Sean and Jeff from the get go and started going by all the time. And we brought friends. Lots of them. And most of them were girls. Young decent looking college aged girls which this place probably hadn’t seen since Kennedy was in office.
One thing lead to another and before we knew it we were throwing and “promoting” parties here once a week. And I was Deejaying.
Small aside here- After Highschool my plan was never to continue DJ’ing seriously. My friend Mariano Conte and I had a company in high school that we should have taken more seriously because for how young we were we made a fortune. I haven’t met many 16 year old’s that got to spin in 21+ nightclubs (behind curtains but still) or got booked for private school proms.
Before moving to Chicago I made the tough decision of selling all my equipment in order to save up some cash so I could buy textbooks. I told my new friends that I was a DJ in high school so they couldn’t tell Jeff and Sean quick enough that they should let me DJ and let us throw parties. Jeff and Sean seeing dollar signs couldn’t say yes fast enough.
So we had these totally obscene flyers printed up and litter the entire Lake Shore campus with them. I’m not going to say what kind of phrases were on these flyers but being the hot-shot marketer that I am these things were definitely eye catchers.
I call home to tell my mom that I think I found a job. She would never let me work in a bar and never knew I had ever stepped foot in a bar period or half the stuff I did so I think I lied and told her it was DJ’ing in the school’s cafeteria for events. So I needed new equipment again.
Like the little asshole I was I flew back to Boston and allowed my poor single mother to max out her credit card at Guitar Center on me so I could have these brand new mind blowing things called CDJ’s that were gonna save me THOUSANDS because I would be able to download music for free and just burn it now.
First party we threw there was a line down the street. And the next one and the one after that.
We got paid 200 bucks I think. Might have been less. Highway robbery. I was paid $80 to DJ for five hours and couldn’t have been happier.
As time went by Jeff and Sean told us they wanted us to stop doing parties on Friday’s and start doing them on Thursdays. Against Hamilton’s biggest night.
Hamilton’s did bananas numbers on Thursday nights.
Hamilton’s was SO popular on Thursday nights that even the big men on campus up the street at Northwestern Jeff Roehl and Ray Bogenrief used to slum it down to Rogers Park just to come.
We said yes and decided to go head to head with Hamilton’s and continued to on weekly basis for the next 2-3 years.
I honed my DJ game and learned basic marketing strategies (see- lowbrow) working here. I made peanuts in exchange for making these guys a fortune for 3 years. But being so poor I literally had to sleep on my friend’s couch for an entire semester those peanuts at the time felt like a fortune and helped me survive.
Made some amazing friends that worked there and frequented it. Fell in, then out, and back in love here.
I stopped playing here sometime my senior year when Jeff got fired and most of the old staff had left. Our core group of friends kinda grew apart. One got a fiance. One left school. I become tight with another group.
I had this misconception in my head that I’d never accomplish anything by continuing to DJ and wasting my time in a bar. If I wanted to be successful I needed to continue on my path to becoming a lawyer. So I said goodbye to Pumping Company and took a clerk position at a firm in the loop and joined the rat race at the young age of 21.
I made so little at that law firm that even with my student loans (I was paying my own way through school) I could barely afford to eat or feed my dog.
My senior year I worked full time 8-5 while somehow managing to be enrolled in school full time taking classes 5-10. I still don’t know how I did it, or how my dog didn’t run away.
A couple of months after we graduated, I realized I flat out didn’t have any money to afford to live and pay back loans. So while studying for the LSAT I sucked it up and slogged it back up to Rogers Park one day and asked for my job back.
The new GM, Hef, couldn’t have been happier to let me do a night a week.
My friends had moved on. My girlfriend was still in school there but not living in the area. So most nights there I’d be lucky to see a few faces I recognized besides the regulars that’d been coming there since before I moved to Chicago. At the end of the night I’d pack my stuff up and get back on the Redline and take it back downtown and pray I made it home alive.
The rest is history and eventually I was able to land bigger and better gigs outside of Rogers Park.
I may have grew out of it but I never turned my back on it or forgot about it. And they never forgot about me. It changed ownership a couple times but to this day I still get random tweets or FB messages from young Loyola student’s to the tune of “can’t believe you used to play at P.CO, me and my friends go there all the time and one of the bartender’s was telling us about how bad you used to be and how crazy the parties you threw were!”.
It’s always been on my list to buy this place down the road and restore it back to its old and dingy, but full of so much character self. Not to make a killing obviously but more so for memento’s sake. It’s sentimental. But not until I had a few other Chicago spots running smoothly first.
We just signed an LOI on our first Chicago location, a west side spot last month. And this fire might be just the thing to move my plans up a few years.
Time to give my realtor a call.
Original Article Here.
Didn’t wanna say anything Til I was sure the Cav’s were for real. I’ve been supplying sounds at Quicken Loans Arena since the playoffs started and they’re undefeated. Just saying…
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2015 was a rough year for the city of Philadelphia. Collectively, their teams might be the worst in the country. The Sixers are a debacle. The Eagles are going nowhere. The Flyers suck. And the Phillies are an embarrassment. And their golden boy rapper Meek Mill was the punch line in the biggest diss track since Ether (that’s somehow Grammy nominated.)
But they still lay claim to the greatest fictional sports icon of all time, Robert “Rocky” Balboa. And 2015 marked yet another comeback for the champ with the spinoff “Creed”.
Creed was flat out one of the best movies of 2015.
Going in with minimal expectations I left the theatre blown away.
I liked “Rocky BALBOA” and didn’t think it was as terrible as some critics and Rocky die-hards felt about it. For a character that’s 60 years old it was what it was. Good not great. Creed, and namely the stars Stallone and Michael B. Jordan are great.
The film stars Stallone but this is his first appearance in the series that he didn’t write or direct. Ryan Coogler directed and did an amazing job straddling the fine line between paying homage to the classic storyline and launching a new one. I was never really sold on Michael B. Jordan before but after seeing his performance in this movie I won’t be surprised if and when he turns into one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Not joking. The kid is electric.
Without dropping any spoilers, the story line is well done. Jordan plays Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son, Adonis, who bounces in and out of foster care and juvey until he’s taken in by Apollo’s widowed wife Clair Huxtable. He uses boxing as an outlet and the first half of the movie centers on his shady Tijuana underground bouts and his admiration and contempt for the father he never knew.
He packs up and moves to Philly in search of his father’s friend Rocky and the scene when they first meet, in Rocky’s restaurant while looking at the famous painting of Apollo and Rocky trading blows is awesome. We even get some cool backstory on that private one on one fight between Apollo and Rocky that cuts out at the end of Rocky 3. Stallone looks beat up and weathered and does a good job of portraying a worn down, punch drunk boxer. He’s basically playing himself, which you could argue is part of the reason the Rocky movies are so great and stand the test of time.
He persuades Rocky to help him train. First just by providing workout instructions and eventually full time which then leads to Rocky being his corner man.
He meets an Alicia Keys-esque chick that lives below him and blasts her music because she is hearing impaired. Obviously Rocky always had the love story undertone with Adrian so you knew this was coming and Coogler does a good job of balancing things so that it never gets too sappy.
There are some great scenes that take place around the city, especially south Philly. Including a spat with a local rapper and Creed’s love interest at the famous Electric Factory. (Which we did 3 sold out Blackout shows at a couple years ago nbd).
The first fight scene at a local Philadelphia charity event against real life hometown hero Gabe Rosado steps the films pace up big time. Coogler shot the entire scene in one take and the camera work is phenomenal. Tight angles and real surround sound in the theatre complete with shouting from each corner and the crowd gave off the impression you were right there in the ring.
Aside from casting the Philly middleweight Rosado, Coogler did a great job also picking British cruiserweight champ Tony Bellew to play Ricky Conlan, the prison bound reigning champ that gives Adonis a shot as a money grab before he goes away. A little far stretched? Maybe. But it’s a movie so relax.
The climax of the movie comes as Adonis is training for the match and imitates the famous Rocky training montage from the first film of the series. He jogs through the streets of Philly joined by supports on dirt bikes while Meek Mill’s “Lord Knows” plays and then transitions into “Gonna Fly Now”. Awesome scene.
The climax of the movie, the title bout, plays out as perfect as you could want. Creed’s entrance song is Tupac’s Hail Mary which did a great job setting the tone. Again Coogler uses tight frames and the single shot technique for the entire first round. Without giving everything away, the match goes into the deep rounds and Coogler absolutely nails it when he brings in “Going The Distance”. It’s one of those rare times where the hair on the back of your neck stands up and what makes going to the movies so great.
From start to finish Stallone is great. He doesn’t over do it at all and he has a scene where he reflects on his past life that is so well done it feels like you got punched in the stomach and makes you actually feel for Rock. He’s getting a ton of praise for his role, and well deserved. But the biggest surprise for me in this was again Michael B. Jordan. He does an amazing job of making you genuinely want to see his character succeed and root for the guy. I hope they rattle off an entire series of these movies because it will be awesome following his character. I wanted to write this review because I feel like this movie’s kind of been slept on for how good it is. And because I got to include one of the funniest bits ever from one of the funniest guys of all time.
It came down to the wire but we passed our final inspection today and are ready for business. Tonight is our soft opening on the eve of a blue moon! It’s been a roller coaster ride but despite a ton of set backs we pushed on and stayed moving FORWARD. My partners Bobby and Mike amazed me every step of the way and I couldn’t pick two better guys to be in a foxhole with. Can’t wait to finally show everybody what we have in store. @fwdnightclub #FWDCle #newcle
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It came down to the wire but we passed our final inspection today and are ready for business. Tonight is our soft opening on the eve of a blue moon! It's been a roller coaster ride but despite a ton of set backs we pushed on and stayed moving FORWARD. My partners Bobby and Mike amazed me every step of the way and I couldn't pick two better guys to be in a foxhole with. Can't wait to finally show everybody what we have in store. @fwdnightclub #FWDCle #newcle
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Page 4 of today’s Chicago Tribune sports section. @gronkspartyship #gronkspartyship #gronknation
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My new office is best seat in the house. Happy to announce I am officially sound & music engineer for the Chicago Cubs. It’s going to be an amazing season. Can’t wait for Opening Night on @espn this Sunday.