Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

Coming Next: Happy Birthday Asshole

Posted on March 4, 2015

It was recently Liffey’s birthday. We celebrate the assery of it all.

Coming next: Happy Birthday Asshole.


September Girls

Posted on February 12, 2015

They’re girls. They rock. They’re from Dublin. They kick my ass and yours. What else is there to know?

Here’s their new interview on The Dodgy.


September Girls are Lauren, Paula, Caoimhe, Jessie, and Sarah. This interview is with Lauren.

How did the band form? 

Paula, Caoimhe, Jessie and I are all old friends, and have made music together in various incarnations over the years. Paula met Sarah in 2011 through another project and suggested she drum with us. She was the perfect fit so we officially formed September Girls in – surprise surprise – September of that year.

What’s been your favorite place to play live and why?

I think my favourite gig so far has to be our last gig at CMJ in New York last October – we were right at the end of a 7 gig run over 4 days and should’ve been exhausted, but we all just completely let go and gave it everything we had and had the best time. Honourable mention goes to the Best Kept Secret festival in the Netherlands last summer. It was the loveliest festival on the side of a lake, and everyone there was super nice – I don’t think we’ve ever been looked after so well.

After-concert drink of choice?

No Moёt no showёt darling! Just kidding – a few beers suit us just fine.

Who is the shyest band member and who is the most outgoing/craziest?

I’m probably the shyest, but if I’m honest we’re all pretty mellow so unfortunately I don’t have any crazy war stories worth telling at the moment….guess we’ll have to up our game.

If someone is heading to Dublin for the first time, what bar would you recommend they hit?

Well, we’ve definitely spent way too much time in the Garage Bar over the last few years – Paula is one of the DJs there and the tunes are always good. Whelans is always a good bet though – it’s a Dublin institution, especially for live music.

Is there a tour of the states (Chicago) in the works?

Nothing planned at the moment, but we’d love to tour the US! We were really lucky to get to play in the States twice last year at SXSW and CMJ and had a great time and met some amazing people. Hopefully we’ll have another opportunity to get over again soon.

Any favorite current bands?

PINS from Manchester, UK; The #1s from Dublin, Ireland; Sissy from Dublin, Ireland.

Craziest concert story?

Hm…well as I said we don’t really have much crazy to tell, but one that definitely registered for us was when we played this gig in London for our record label right after our album came out last year, and found out that Bobby Gillespie was there. How he ever heard of us we have no idea, but it definitely blew our minds….”no pressure,” right?!

Favorite cover song – or a cover you’d like to do?

My dream cover would be ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t think we’d ever actually attempt it because we’d probably butcher it!

september girls

Look out for the September Girls. No matter what the month. I know a lot of Chicagoans first discovered them when local station WXRT played their new song “Melatonin” this month. You can check them out here: They’ve got Facebook, Twitter, all that good shit.

And it goes without saying to check out their first full-length album Cursing the Sea and the follow-up EP Veneer where your ass will hear “Melatonin.”

I hope to share those few beers with them someday.








UK Grief walks into a bar

Posted on February 1, 2015

“Hide the fuckin’ alcohol, here comes UK Grief”

Yours truly, Chicago reclusive author Clive Javanski, Aidan, Franz, and Sasha are the local band UK Grief. We had plans to record our debut album in various Chicago dive bars. But plans go to shit.

We wanted to record our first single, “Fuck Anne Hathaway’s Short Hair” at Mickey’s in Bucktown, but they closed down, it turns out. The bar on the corner of Leavitt and Medill had what one would call either the best or worst jukebox in Chicago. Once I was there and a van caught on fire outside the bar. It ended up with Aidan and I chasing a car down Leavitt, throwing rocks at it. That story is for another time.

The first bar we approached will go unnamed, because Aidan decided to steal alcohol from the place. We were going to record our cover of The Game’s “Hate it or Love it” there.

“Hide the fuckin’ alcohol, here comes UK Grief,” was actually said by one bartender as we walked in the doors. I don’t remember which bar. We were drunk. We didn’t record a song there, but I made out with Sasha in the men’s room.

“You and your fucking girls and bathrooms,” Aidan said.

He was referring to the Puerto Rican Chicago paramedic I kissed a lot in the woman’s bathroom at the Black Beetle, or  just The Beetle Bar, in Ukrainian Village. Then there was the tattooed blonde in the bathroom at Cleo’s in the same ‘hood. She stole my wallet.

Also on our list was Bob Inn, on Fullerton across the street from the old Fireside Bowl, where Clive said he lost his virginity. I wanted to record one of the songs in the Violet Hour in Wicker Park.

“It’s so fucking dark in there I had to use my cell phone flashlight to see the bill,” Aidan said about his one visit. “I was with a girl there who had amazing legs but I couldn’t fucking see them it was so dark.”

Nick’s on Milwaukee Avenue just around the block was another option. It’s where I first met the Pretties – my friend Paul’s two beautiful model roommates.

The Mutiny, on Western Avenue, was a favorite of ours. It had area in the back for bands and we like to drink their half pitcher of beer.

“Oh, these are cute,” said Sasha – who could drink my ass and yours under the table – something I’ve told her a number of times.

“I’d rather fuck your ass under the table,” she said. “But let’s get this fucking record done first.”

* “The First and Last Gig of UK Grief” 


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 658 other followers