Mars Life


Happy Sandwich Week!

I'll explain the title in a bit, I just have unfinished hip-hop business from yesterday, so onto that.

My history with hip-hop (like any of my stories on my personal life) could go back very far. Let’s go back to high school for the sake of this story. My friends got me into rap music back when I was in high school. As I only had about four close high school friends, I pretty much listened to whaqt they listened to. I really did like rap, and gained my own appreciation for it, and even started to seek out new artists I liked (I can still recall the first time I ever saw Del on Yo! MTV Raps, and telling my friends about it). This was from about 90 – 93 or so, when a lot of people thought (and some still think) the artform was at its prime.

When I went off to college, I still listened to rap music, but it was a bit harder to find like-minded fans, so I started to once again take in the influence of those around me. Enter Phish. It was in 94 that I really started listening to a lot of Phish, hanging out with the hippies in school, and buying copious amounts of tickets for the tours they were on (also the hey-day for Phish, some think). Rap music started to adopt a lot of thuggish imagery, gang associations, and less-than-enlightened themes around this time (forgive the pompous sound of that last remark, circumlocution’s a bitch) and though some of it was good, I didn’t really feel it in me to be ‘in the game’.

Nowadays, there are all sorts of incredible independent-label emcees, and artists who are of the same opinion as me, and prefer not to pander to the gangsta rap of the mid-to-late 90’s. They’ve actually been around in some form since I dropped out of the scene, but they’ve been gaining momentum and are quite a bit more prominent now. So, what do you know, my eyes have been opened, and I’m back into hip-hop. The prodigal son has returned (“anyone stepping to me ya get burned…” yeah, I know)

So now let’s revisit last Friday night. Whenever I go to a hip-hop show nowadays, I get this incredible connection to it. I know I have a background in it, I feel confident in that, I just don’t run with a crew that lives and breathes hip-hop. I love the energy, I love the artists, the battles, the circles, the call-and-response, and it’s all good times, really. After every hip-hop show, open mic, or event I go to, I always have a buzz from the energy and swear I’m going to try more to be an active part of the scene. The thing is, how the hell do I actually do it?

I’ve gone to the open mic in my neighborhood a few times before, but I don’t know anyone, so I stand there and just watch. It’s entertaining, but I can’t exactly go with anyone I know, because the thing doesn’t usually get hoppin until about 10:30, which is much too late for all of my day-job having, wanting to get paid for their art friends. Ah well, what can I do? I can just stand on the sidelines, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to start writing verses again (I used to be in a couple bands where I rapped. Everyone always told me I was good, and, ironically enough, that I sound just like Del).

So my connection to the hip-hop scene is limited, at best. Shit, I don’t even have cable anymore, so it’s not like I can even see what passes for a rap video these days. However, that didn’t stop me from stepping to Pugslee Atoms of the Nacrobats after last Friday’s show and offering to do a video for them with RoxBox. Pugs was selling CD’s after the show, (which they sincerely rocked, by the way. Anyone interested in Chicago hip-ho should check out Nacro) Jamie gave him a business card, and I reached out to build. They’re going on tour, but how fun would it be to have a RoxBox/Nacro collabo? I’d love to work with them to see what ideas they’d have to put into a video.


OK, the Sandwich Week explanation, as promised. Tuesday, I got lunch at a nice little salad restaurant in my building. I usually, for the last year or so, have been getting one of their salads (If you ever find yourself in a Salad Spinners restaurant, I suggest the mexicali), but I used to be a big fan of their sandwiches. Well, on Tuesday, for no real reason I can tell, I decided to go back to the sandwich.

Coincidentally, Kerri had a sandwich for lunch that day as well, from Mr. Submarine. She sat down with me after work to eat the remainder of her sandwich, and I reveled in the coincidence, and proclaimed it Sandwich Week.

Since Tuesday, I've had sandwiches at Mr. Submarine, Potbelly's, and right now I just finished a chicken bacon club at a small place named Earl's. From my experiences this week, I'm going to have to give my judgment to Potbelly's. Stop by if you want a great hot sandwich at a very reasonable price. I suggest the 'Wreck'.

Lastly, an update on mom’s project. I think I’ll be able to do it. I made a little progress yesterday, and now I just need to put in some time on Saturday. If all comes together as I plan, I’ll give an update on Monday and tell all about it.

Until then, even if it’s not until Monday, there’s sure to be more to come!


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