October Days, November Nights

As December dawns, I thought it only appropriate to share the music that I’ve been listening to the last couple months.

October was filled with mornings. I found myself up-and-at-’em earlier and earlier. Whether it was for a run, for an assignment, for a meeting, or just for fun, I greeted the sunrise and it greeted me right back. I recall a particularly early, particularly trying morning run on Chicago’s lakefront trail listening to the Beach Boys. I nearly broke my stride hearing Carl Wilson strain that long “eeeee,” “Rise up early the day won’t let you sleep.” And on that very same lake — but in Milwaukee this time — I rocked out to Shuggie Otis‘ solo on “Bury My Body” which starts at minute 5:20. I looked at my handy-dandy Nike Plus app, and I’d had my fastest mile ever during that song. Thanks, Shuggie.

November, on the contrary, was all about the nights: mingling too long with Manhattans after midnight at Meat in Louisville; bolting some past-my-bedtime bacon pizza at a bowling alley with the likes of Christine Mitchell and James Fox; eating pho with Roy and Tanya’s family in this strip of down-and-out Vietnamese restaurants; and staying up later than I’ve stayed up in a long time, running all over town to raise a glass in honor of my old friend Mike on the eve of his birthday (that night, we even made him DJ. He’s a much better jockey than I. You should hire him to make your music).

Also, I kept returning to all this music from time spent living with Blake Royer (in Indiana, Ireland, New York, and here in Chicago — kind of), who I learned this month is leaving for the whiter pastures of Canada.

And here it is December, my birth month. Another year has come and gone. What a year it’s been. Plenty of good to go with the bad. I’m sad to see one of my oldest friends move away. Again. At least Toronto is closer than Tallinn. But I’m happy for the new opportunities presented to each of us at year’s end.

In tribute to Blake, these mixes end with the words from one of my favorite standards, “It Had to Be You.” I like to think of this as the unofficial theme song to When Harry Met Sally. While we were roommates, after hours and hours of viewing and reviewing (seriously, you’d think it was the only movie we owned), Blake and I — and by hook or by crook our significant others — would say this is our favorite movie. And so it is with some sadness, I present Nilsson’s timely interpretation. He ends on a rather bittersweet note, as only he can with, “It had to be me, unlucky me. It had to be… me.”

And the strings play out to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Here’s to uncovering that pot of gold in 2013.

October Days
1) Sam Cooke – Humming
2) the bird and the bee – I’m Into Something Good
3) The Intruders – Fried Eggs
4) White Fence – Balance yr heart
5) Guy Clark – Texas 1947
6) Lyle Lovett – Church
7) Curtis Mayfield – The Makings of You (Live at The Bitter End)
8) Ride – Vapour Trail
9) U2 – A Sort of Homecoming (Danny Lanois Remix)
10) Ramsey Lewis – Do What You Wanna
11) Al Kooper & Shuggie Otis – Bury My Body
12) The Beach Boys – Country Air
13) The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon
14) Cat Stevens – Miles From Nowhere (Demo)
15) Broken Bells – October
16) The Helio Sequence – October
17) Guy Clark – Stuff That Works
18) Lyle Lovett – Anyhow I Love You
19) Elvis Presley – So High
20) The Soul Stirrers – He’s My Guide

November Nights
1) Stereo Total – Push It
2) The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
3) Ian Dury – Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
4) Blur – Tender
5) The London Suede – Beautiful Ones
6) Oasis – She’s Electric
7) The Streets – Fit But You Know It
8) Art Brut – Good Weekend
9) King Curtis – Memphis Soul Stew
10) Dan Auerbach – The Prowl
11) Rahzel – If Your Mother Only Knew
12) Wale – Slight Work (featuring Big Sean)
13) Childish Gambino – All The Shine
14) Hopeton Lewis, Henry Buckley, & The Gaylettes – Mighty Quinn
15) Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You
16) Susan Cadogan – Hurts So Good
17) Jackson C. Frank – Can’t Get Away From My Love
18) Karen Dalton – Green Rocky Road
19) Guy Clark – Desperados Waiting For A Train
20) Netherfriends – St. Louis, MO
21) Wild Belle – Backslider
22) Lord Huron – Ends of the Earth
23) Bruce Springsteen – Because The Night
24) J.J. Cale – River Runs Deep
25) Titus Andronicus – In A Big City
26) Harry Nilsson – It Had To Be You

All Plaidout 2.0: Beta

Mom, I’m not dead. Stop sending me e-mail. You have my phone number. Just call me.

About once a week, someone sends me an e-mail with the subject heading, “Are you dead?”


As summer drew to a close, I got sick. My blog did, too. A nasty virus left by a fake commenter. With erectile dysfunction. The problem’s been fixed, though I’m sure the commenter remains flaccid. After recovering from my illness, I’ve been playing catch-up with work, trying to make ends meet. These are excuses, and they’re not very good ones. Forgive me.

This post is meant to act as an update of sorts.

Over the course of the next few months, All Plaidout’s going to receive a face lift. It will have many different incarnations as I reconstruct it to best suit my aesthetic. I will be introducing my first full-time employee. I’ll act as Editor-in-Chief, and I’ll still control Twitter and facebook. He’ll be paid, as I am, in the satisfaction of hitting the “publish” button. It’s my hope that as a blog with two contributors, it will improve as we compete with one another to post new and better stories of our discoveries on the highways of life.

Please update your links. http://allplaidout.wordpress.com is no longer.

And don’t forget: in addition to Twitter, and facebook, I have an inspiration page on tumblr where I destroy any and all belief that I have good taste – particularly in music.

Thanks for your patience while I regain my footing, make some much-needed updates and changes, and introduce new content and projects to this plaid, plaid world.

– Max Wastler

Porter Hovey, a Mad MAD (Wo)MAN

image001In November, it was announced that my dear friend, one time plaidy, Porter won a walk-on role on the TV show Mad Men. Well, the hour of Hovey is finally upon us. Her episode airs this Sunday. Look for her!

Fathers: Joe Gannon

Joe Gannon is great. The way he encourages me to post more often, the way he’ll whisper a story idea in my ear and beg for none of the credit when the story’s well-received, or the way he’s introduced me to a great many ridiculously out-of-this-world cool things, at times our relationship feels more like that of a father and son than of two friends with similar interests and a similar disposition.

Then, I remember he’s actually a dad, and from the sound of things, a pretty great one. The other day, he called me, “Quade’s going through one of those ‘Exactly like dad things.'” He went on to break it down, head-to-toe, from bikes to button downs, the kid is his father’s son. Joe wrote a letter to Quade for Father’s Day. He was kind enough to share it here.

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Fathers: Sam Parker

Sam Parker shoots from the hip. Sounds like the title for a Western, better yet, a song title. Short and sweet. That’s how Sam likes things. Make the trip to Context in Madison. Get Sam to show you around his shop. You won’t regret it. You’ll come away with more than an appreciation for fourteen ounce denim and grilled sirloin steaks the size of your skull. You’ll come away with a friend. Sam Parker, friend to all. You heard it here first. I’m posting his response as is, because it’s just that great.

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Fathers: Fred Egan Castleberry


After returning from lunch with Unabashedly Prep’s Fred, someone in my office asked me how I felt each time I made a new friend thanks to All Plaidout. The kindred spirits that exist, that feeling of familiarity that happens in spite of having never met, it lets me know that I’m not alone. I always worry that marching to my own drum means that I’m doing something wrong. And then someone like Fred comes along, and we speak the same language, and we share a common bond — granted it may have begun as something superficial like a love of oxford cloth button downs — we quickly realize, our bond is formed in something deeper, more meaningful. After listening to Fred talk about leaving a life in banking to follow his passion for photography, I felt better about the path I’ve taken. Fred wrote the following letter to his boys, and in it offers some advice we could all use.

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Rose Bredl Flowers & Garden

On a chilly December morning, walking around the hip Columbus, Ohio neighborhood known as the Short North, I stumbled into a new flower shop, Rose Bredl, and suddenly, amidst the fresh topiary, luscious orchids, and hand-spun pottery, it was Spring.
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Nashville Sporting Goods

I have a peculiar sense of direction. No one would describe it as “good,” though many have noted I always get where I’m supposed to go, and occasionally, in taking an indirect route, the road less traveled if you will, I uncover something miraculous along the way. On a recent trip to Nashville with my good friend Joe Gannon, if not for a wrong turn on our way to breakfast at Marché, we would have never known that a store called Nashville Sporting Goods existed.
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The Legend of the Sailors Knot and The Jewelry of Michael Saiger

Florida-based designer, Michael Saiger’s take on the Sailor’s Knot.

For the first time in five years, I did not spend Memorial Day dolphin diving with friends at the beach. By happenstance, each year on Memorial Day, at the surf shop pit stop, in addition to picking up a bottle of NO-AD SPF15 and a six of Bud Light, I made a tradition of buying a Sailor’s Knot bracelet, also referred to as a Nantucket Bracelet. And I’d wear the thing until it fell off, or until Labor Day reared its narsty head.
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The T-Shirts of Dennis Wilson

I didn’t discover Dennis Wilson’s solo album Pacific Ocean Blue until it was re-released in 2008. I was floored by its lush arrangements, by its bare bones lyrical narrative, and most of all by some serious introspection from the Beach Boy I’d come to know as the party boy, the one who actually surfed. Drummer Dennis had some soul.
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