Posts Tagged ‘Sidetrack’s
“Hey Buddy, what do you want to do tonight?”.
“Sidetrack’s. I want to go to Sidetrack’s. Let’s go to Sidetrack’s”.
“Really? We seem to go there all the time”.
“I don’t care. I want to go to Sidetrack’s”.
“But, there is a line there and the other bars do not have lines to get in”.
“I don’t care”.
“But, we were there yesterday”.
“I don’t care”.
“Actually, we have gone there every night this past week”.
“I don’t care”.
“But, there are over 20 gay bars in Chicago to choose from”.
“I don’t care”.
“But we can stay home and drink for free at my place and watch a movie”.
“I don’t care. Sidetrack’s. I want to go to Sidetrack’s”.
“But, the music is not that good there”.
“I don’t care”.
“There is a special party at another bar that we could check out”.
“I don’t care”.
“But, we go there so often they only need to look at us and they know what drinks to pour”.
“I don’t care. I want to go to Sidetrack’s”.
“I have spent so much money there I am sure I own 3% of the bar”.
“I don’t care”.
“But, honestly, we have slept with half the people in that bar”.
“I don’t care. I want to go to Sidetrack’s”.
“But, we cannot dance there”.
“I don’t care”.
“The boys are not very cute there”.
“I don’t care”.
“I just got a text message from a friend who is there. He said it is so crowded it took him ten minutes to get to the bathroom and twenty minutes to get a drink”.
“I don’t care”.
“But, all we do there is just stand around. At other bars we can do things. Like play darts”.
“I don’t care. I love Sidetrack’s. Let’s go to Sidetrack’s”.
“But, I can get us free drinks at Roscoe’s”.
“I don’t care”.
“Maybe we could do a bar crawl and just stop there along our way”.
“No. Sidetrack’s. I just want to go to Sidetrack’s”.
“Fine. But it is actually called Sidetrack. There is no ‘s”.
“I don’t care”.
“Let’s checkin there on Four Square. Do you have an iPhone? Iphone 4? I need an Iphone 4.”
NOTE: This video was made by a former employee of Sidetrack’s…and is a pretty accurate take on the Brendens who gravitate there (for the uninitiated, “Brendens” is a generic term for the vapid, usually young(ish), looks and material goods obsessed flakes who usually hang out in little cliques in Boystown…they can also be called “Mean Girls”).
When you are the biggest gay bar around and one of the most popular in the world, you need to have a sense of humor about yourself, but strangely Sidetrack won’t play this video on Comedy Night Thursday there. It’s a very image-conscious bar, and they are incredibly protective of their branding…and it feels like they are scared of insulting customers who talk like the sketch above. These Brendens are the ones that give Sidetrack the reputation of a “Stand and Model” bar, where that certain kind of guy goes there on a Friday or Saturday just to stand around, try to look cute, and judge others while believing he’s not being judged.
It never gets really bad, though, because the worst offenders at this kind of thing go to MiniBar, which is what MiniBar is for. If you are a d-bag really into the pretension, that’s where you go. Absent MiniBar, they would be at Sidetrack though.
The jab at them about the music isn’t always fair though. Some VJs there are better than others, and some nights are better than others for music. It’s a crapshoot because there are excellent VJs, and then there’s the two duds they have in the mix. One of them is a co-owner who plays moldy black and white vaudevillian videos on Showtunes night that are so old and obscure the picture and sound quality is warped to the point where people think their eyesight and hearing have failed them. The other VJ just plays games — like not running any of the requests he gets on “80s Video Request Night Tuesdays” and instead just plays whatever songs he wants to play (people call him Otho, and he looks down from the VJ booth at the crowd, keeping track of who is talking to who and generally being the spider queen of gossip in Boystown).
The whole bit about “it’s just Sidetrack, there’s no ‘s” is because 80% of the people in Boystown call the bar “Sidetrack’s”, with an “s” tacked on. There’s a bar across the street called Roscoe’s, with a possessive “s”. There’s also “Little Jim’s”, “Charlie’s”, “Bobby Love’s”, “Halsted’s”, and “Buck’s” on the strip. Other bars like Spin, Cocktail, MiniBar, Lucky Horseshoe, Hydrate, Kit Kat, Circuit, and Northend don’t get the possessive-s treatment. I’ve never figured out why people add an imaginary “s” to Sidetrack, but not to the other bars without that “s” in their actual names.
It’s just a weird quirk of Boystown.
If you live in Chicago and go out a lot, you probably call it “Sidetrack’s”. If you are from out of town and aren’t in Boystown a lot, you’d say “Sidetrack” because that’s what you read on their website or the concierge at your hotel told you to look for.
The video program used to create this very well-done skewer of the Boystown scene is called www.XtraNormal.com. You can use the preloaded animated characters, like the bears above, and type in text for the characters to speak. Geico has been running a series of commercials on TV employing this. They always talk in that slightly sing-song, robot voice.
UPDATE: January 1st, 2011
I was pleasantly surprised to see this video played in Sidetrack last night, on New Year’s Eve, as part of the Best-of mix for 2010. I’ve yet to see it make it into the Comedy Night rotation, but Sidetrack(s) does have a sense of humor about itself and put the video up on the big screens.
Customers laughed at all the right parts, knowingly.
The bit where the first little bear says “But the boys are not very cute there” got an “Awwwwww” and a few “Burn!” comments. In a smiling, realizing it is often true but not admitting it way.
Sidetrack cut the video off before it got into the 4G phone stuff, which was a good call.
I don’t know what made them come around on this because I heard from several people who know management well that the bar hated this video when they first heard about it…but they’ve now embraced it.
Because it is funny.
Someone we think is from an old Sandra Bullock movie is accusing Governor Sarah Palin of being anti-gay…and now we're involved too, apparently
We’ve never heard of this person, but there’s apparently a woman named Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post who’s allowed to bang her head against one of the typewriters, “just to see what comes out”. Occasionally, this dinosaur paper prints some of her missives (when there aren’t any drawings from elephants at the zoo that need to be published).
In doing this, she’s concocted a rambling, bizarre, indictment of Governor Sarah Palin that attacks her for swinging one of her Momma Grizzly paws in the general direction of Vanity Fair magazine, for the ludicrous, chock-full-of-lies piece it did on her recently (which relied heavily on not just anonymous sources, but “whispering coming from under the sink, late at night, after taking lots of the red pills”).
The first thing about all of this that comes to mind, of course, is the old Sandra Bullock movie, “The Net”, which features a character named Ruth Marx, who is evil, and tries to steal our Sandy’s identity (because Sandy worked from home, was some sort of computer genius, ordered pizza off the computer like 15 years before anyone else could, and didn’t talk to any of her neighbors). Marx gets the neighbor, Mrs. Kravitz, in on the act, and she basically accuses Sandy of being a witch, because she’s never seen her since she doesn’t have to go outside due to the fact she works from home and has all that pizza delivered via computer.
We love that movie. Especially at the end when Sandy goes all Palin on the bad guys and decimates them. Go, Sandy, go!
Ruth Marx we can do without, though, in real life as much as the movie.
The author of the Vanity Fair piece is a guy named Michael Gross, but he’s not the bearded Michael Gross from Family Ties who then went on to make those movies about evil, giant worms that terrorize people in the desert. This is ANOTHER Michael Gross, who actually IS gross. He’s the one the cleaning products whisper to at night, who wrote that article for Vanity Fair that was filled with so many lies that DEMOCRATS actually have come out to eulogize VF as now being completely and utterly irrelevant (and, at our last count, being comprised of about 15 pages of actual content…with the rest of its heft being an ever-dwindling supply of glossy advertisements).
Michael Gross is gay (once again, not the guy from Family Ties, though ironically enough the mom from the same show, Meredith Baxter, IS a recently out and proud lesbian) and Ruth Marx is claiming that Governor Palin insulted him by saying he was “impotent, limp, and gutless”. Which he totally is.
Ruth Marx says that’s a pejorative against gays, because she hears “limp-wristed” where Palin said limp…in the way Maureen Dowd imagines people add “BOY!” to any criticism against the current “president”, particularly if said criticism is leveled by Representative Joe Wilson at a State of the Union address.
FreeRepublic ran a blurb about all of this, and we just find it amusing that we’re quoted on there in defense of Governor Palin.
We’re going to tell you all something, and we want this to be abundantly clear — we stand with Governor Palin in all that she does, all that she hopes to do, so long as we believe she has the best interests of this country in her heart and she continues to fight for Americans in every way she knows how.
If any of us believed Governor Palin was anti-gay, we’d seek her out and have a sit-down with her and set her straight, no pun intended. Being prejudiced against gays is antithetical to everything the Governor stands for. A woman who is anti-government encroachment into the lives of Americans does not support the invasion of personal privacy that comes with anti-gay prejudice. Governor Palin has consistently stood up for the rights and liberties of all her constituents during her time in elected office — and yes, even the gay ones — and we see her on peer with former Vice President Dick Cheney as one of the Republicans we trust most when it comes to defending gay people against all bullies, wherever they may be found (hint: they’re usually on the Left, funded by the DNC, and not on the Right where state media tells you they are…Fred Phelps, the most gay-hating closet case in the known universe is a Democrat).
Here in Boystown, we’re all bombarded by irrational typewriter-head-bangings like those lobbed by Ruth Marx, because the Left is deliberately putting out a meme that Governor Palin is the second coming of Anita Bryant (the gospel-singing-whackadoodle and foil for Harvey Milk, not the place that Oprah shops).
Last week, K. was confronted by a random guy named Keifer in the Holiday Club because Keifer recognized him from TV and went on a wild tear about how “Sarah Palin is coming to get us”.
K. explained to Keifer that he’d met Governor Palin on several occasions, she knew who he was and that he’s “a Chicago gay activist” (according to columnist Andy Martin here in Chicago, who enjoys writing that about once a month or so), and Governor Palin — shockingly — made no moves “to get him”.
There was no abduction.
K. wasn’t bonked on the head and taken to Alaska.
Governor Palin didn’t make so much as a mean face.
Instead, she was welcoming, charming, and appreciative of the support she gets here at HillBuzz. That day, Governor Palin also met Joaquin from this site, and she didn’t try to “get him” either. Joaquin was so excited to meet the Governor and shake her hand that he forgot his own name, and the Governor didn’t make fun of him, but patiently awaited the return of his mental faculties, shook his hand, and then promised us that she’d keep working hard for America and saying what needs to be said. K. told her to not listen to the RNC, the state media, or anyone else that tried to tell her not to run for president — and that we would be with her all the way doing whatever we could for her — and the Governor said, “Oh, I got THEIR number, alright”.
It would have been pure Heaven if she had added a “you betcha”, but we still walked away content in the knowledge that Governor Palin has absolutely no problem with gays…and that she’s very much running for President and is not going to let the RNC and GOP establishment put up a boring cucumbers-and-mayonnaise soggy sandwich impotent, limp, gutless Romney Republican to lose to Obama in 2012.
Mittens Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels…all those guys ARE impotent, limp, and gutless.
Michael Gross (the writer, not the Keaton family patriarch) IS impotent, limp, and gutless.
If the males of the state media insist on using the pejorative “polarizing” for every female candidate they don’t like…while shoehorning into articles as many references to female politicians’ hair, makeup, and wardrobe as possible…exhausting every misogynistic and sexist attack they can…then we can all CERTAINLY refer to any man we please as being impotent, limp, and gutless.
Governor Palin is a hero of ours because she embraces truth and beauty and punches ugly square in the face.
And there ain’t NO BETTER place to punch a Soggy Sandwich male than below the belt, where all that limp is stored.
We’ve been actively backing Governor Palin since June of 2008, when we started advocating for her to become Senator McCain’s VP pick in the 2008 race. We know her heart, from reading everything we can about her, listening to all of her public remarks, and meeting her in person, and we can vouch that the woman possesses no prejudice…particularly none against guys like us.
We’re committed to doing everything we can possibly do to help make Governor Palin our 45th president. We surely would not be doing that if we felt she was “out to get us”. Unless she was “out to get us lemonade” or “out to get us sausage-and-marshmallow After School Special pizzas”.
We actually have a bizarre dream of Governor Palin coming to Chicago at some point, on a Monday, so we can take her to Sidetracks in Boystown for sing-a-long Showtunes night. She’d have a great time singing along, we bet, and all around her in the bar people’s heads would just explode. “There she is! She’s here to get us! Oh, wait, she’s singing along to Barbara. She’s not getting anyone.” Though, it would be hilarious if she moved around the bar, grabbing random people, shouting “Gotcha! Got another one! Huntin’s real easy here! Bwahahahahaha!”.
If that night would ever happen, they’d have to recall all known copies of the dictionary so Webster’s could rewrite the very definition of AWESOME.
The Governor has a great sense of humor. She speaks her mind and does not hold back. These are things the Left has not had to really face in a Republican politician since Ronald Reagan.
And we’ve got news for Ruth Marx and everyone at the Washington Post and the rest of the dinosaur media: Governor Palin is better than Ronald Reagan at what she does. We’ve seen her up close, and she’s the real deal, folks.
And she’s got a bunch of gay guys here in Boystown that’s going to make sure they do everything possible to put her in the White House in two years.
Our good friend Paul started writing a column called “The Showtune Mosh Pit” for Broadway World, all about the gossip he gleams from his various conversations around town about what’s going on in New York on Broadway, including things he overhears at Sidetracks on showtunes sing-a-long nights. We don’t know how Paul does it, but the guy gets all the latest gossip on Broadway, typically causing a good portion of Boystown to twitter and tweet with excitement about whatever latest tidbit Paul’s got.
It is all just simply BEYOND gay.
Welcome to fabulous, people.
Though if you don’t enjoy yelling highly inappropriate and often vulgar things up at video screens in place of the actual lyrics to musicals, you might not think any of this is at all amusing.
But, we are really proud of Paul. We’d been telling him for YEARS he needed to start a column on all the Broadway gossip he gets, since the guy knows just about everyone in the Chicago arts community and has all sorts of adventures in New York with the theater crowd.
Plus, for those of you who enjoy our stories of life in Boystown, here’s another take on it, by way of Paul, focusing more on the showtunes side of the street where we go for the political jugular generally.
Go, Paul, Go!
PS – The video above has nothing to do with Paul, Broadway, or mosh pits. But, it’s a clip from a benefit they did at Sidetracks recently for something, with lots of singing and a rendition of our new favorite thing in the world, “Don’t Stop Believing” from FOX’s upcoming show GLEE. Just a taste of some of the fun to be had in Boystown…and why we love this place so much.
Looking back on the general election, of all the bizarre experiences we collectively had, in many states, on many campaign related adventures that involved far too much Iowa for any one lifetime, the one that still haunts us is the Chicago Gay Pride Parade on June 29th, 2008. We had spent two weeks trying to get the Democrats’ presumed nominee to attend his first-ever Pride Parade, right here in his hometown, but instead he decided to get his hair cut and play basketball at the tony East Bank Club downtown (because, Heaven knows, there are no hairdressers or rugged, athletic, shirtless basketball types who could have helped a candidate out anywhere NEAR Boystown on the last Sunday of June, in the middle of the largest Gay Pride Parade between New York and San Francisco…where it’s almost guarateed said haircutting and/or basketball playing would automatically result in a water and/or tickle fight of some kind, scored to the Weather Girls blaring off Rahm Emanuel’s strawberry-pink boombox).
We were watching the parade slink by Sidetrack’s in Boystown, camped out at a choice air-conditioned spot by the big floor-to-ceiling windows, as our friend Jorge flaked on us to chase after a pastry chef he’d been after for a while (there are so many bakery-themed cruller, hot buns, and buttered rolls jokes we could do here, you have no idea). Left to our own devices, in Team Hillary rainbow-bedazzled shirts, we found ourselves in the company of a 50-something Republican and his 20-something “friend”, as the case typically is at Sidetrack’s. This was very early in our Democrats for McCain efforts, and we were still, at the time, suppressing with great difficulty our indoctrinated impulses to run screaming from the room at the sight of any Republican (“Vampires. That’s what they are. Vampires. Run, run and never look back,” the primitive, partisan, medulaoblongomacrat center of our brain egged on).
“I voted for Hillary, you know. I never thought I would say that, and I never thought I would like the woman, but man alive, did she fight. She undid years of everything I thought about her and I see her as a real person now. We all do. Even Rush likes her. Sort of,” the Republican in front of us said, basking in the rainbow-sparkling Hillary tees dazzling before him, which, to be honest, are as 100% effective in warding off unfavorable remarks about our champ as garlic and Holy water are at fending off real vampires. It’s hard to imagine anyone giving us a hard time about Clinton when we’re geared up with her big smiling face on our sparkly chests.
But, it was even harder for us to imagine what the Republican said next…and it still leaves us stunned.
He told us that while he would have preferred Hillary Clinton to the Democrats’ eventual nominee, Dr. Utopia, there was no way he was going to vote for John McCain, because McCain was too moderate. He wasn’t going to vote for Dr. Utopia (though he might have voted for Clinton), so he was going to skip the first election in his adult life. He just wasn’t going to vote, and launched into a long and still, to this day, head-scratching explanation of why he thought 4 years of economy-destroying, malaise-inducing, Carteresque buffoonary was better than electing John McCain the 44th President of the United States.
“Because then we get a new Reagan after the new Carter,” he said, taking a long sip off his even longer Island ice tea, like a cat that had just finished doing something especially vile in secret somewhere, savoring every last drop of schemaliciousness.
And his little friend, still in college, agreed with every word he said, before asking for a pair of twenties to buy another round, then cruising every last Aberzombie he passed en Byzantine route to the bar.
The Republican said a lot more, but he might as well have been talking underwater because we were too stunned to hear most of it, on top of the distractions of the parade and a busy bar in general. By the time the massive Sidetrack’s float passed by the windows and the place really got loud with cheers for the rainbow-speedo-clad bartenders turned Pride Parade go-go boys on the bar’s sponsored float, a few more Log Cabin Republicans had joined us, including one whose name we never remember because he’s a dead-ringer for a young Troy Donahue (but we call him Tab Hunter, since that’s more fun to say, and most people we know don’t have a clue who we’re talking about anyway).
Tab Hunter agreed with the first Republican, saying it was the opinion of Log Cabins at large that having 4 years of national acid reflux with Carter Redux was far more appealing than a one-term moderate presidency for John McCain (who very few ever expected to run again in 2012).
We’ll never forget their faces, as the young “friend” returned with the round of drinks (but, conveniently, not any change) and everyone stared blankly at the floats passing by, firm in their belief that everything they knew would happen to the deficit, to inflation, to increased government graft and corruption, to an empowered and better-funded ACORN, in the four years Dr. Utopia would have in Washington would be markedly preferable to four years with a moderate Repubican in office.
It was a parade of fools.
And the lot of us in that bar, crossing the aisle for the first time in our lives, realized we were working much, much harder to elect McCain than REPUBLICANS were, and that was the scariest and craziest thing any of us had experienced in a long, long while.
It still doesn’t make any damn sense, to be honest. Maybe it will in 2012.
But, the video above of Schumer is no accident: it is part of a very well-orchestrated plan hatched at the DNC to use the MSM and every available platform to push a weak Republican candidate to face Dr. Utopia in the next election, to guarantee him a second term. Schumer’s saying the GOP is too conservative, and needs to be moderate, but moderate is what cost the GOP the 2008 race. That’s like Oprah waking up one day and realizing little chocolate doughnuts, so delicious, are the cause of most of her girth and problems, yet deciding to order two vanloads of them today instead of her usual delivery. If something is a problem, you need more of it. We have always been at war with Eastasia. This strategy is indeed doubleplusgood.
Bobby Jindal is repeatedly pushed as the Webster to Dr. Utopia’s Arnold, the Deep Impact to his Armageddon, the Bug’s Life to his Antz. Jindal is a fatally flawed national candidate who will be excoriated by the media once he’d become the Republican nominee. It’s the same with Charlie Crist, who the media also pushes, much to the GOP’s detriment. Crist and Jindal should never have a slot on a national ticket. Because the MSM will indeed protect a Democrat from anything embarassing in his past (like his myriad latenight adventures in Chicago nightlife), but they will NOT extend the same ass-covering courtesy (literally) for someone with an R at the end of his name (or a Bob Mackie, Cher-inspired, sequined original in his closet, as the case may be).
Mitt Romney has too much of a gooey center as well. Though, if you listen to Schumer, you’d think he’d be just the candidate Republicans need, or at least just the candidate Democrats advise the Republicans they need, the same way the Washington Generals dutifully listen to every pointer Globetrotters like Schumer give them.
Tab Hunter and the rest of the Log Cabin pride crowd aren’t going to get revved up for Romney any more than they were mad for McCain. “Let him have another term, and then in 2016, we can have a new Reagan, or even a new Bush, after eight years of Clinton, unless Clinton runs again, and then we’ll have to go back to hating her for no reason.” We can just hear this nonsense now.
We clearly want to see Sarah Palin take Dr. Utopia on in three years. CLEARLY. But, the MSM is having a very real effect on many Republicans we know here in Chicago: more and more of them say that Palin can’t run for national office again because the MSM keeps pummeling her, and that Tina Fey will still be around to ridicule her more for the next three years, so Republicans should dump Palin and find someone who the MSM and SNL can’t make fun of.
Good luck with that.
Everyone can be made fun of.
Bobby Jindal will be depicted with his exorcism kit, expelling demons from under every bed, evicting Satan from every closet…where Charlie Crist just HAPPENS to be hiding, trussed up like Charlotte Rae, pearl necklace courtesy of the regulars down at the Green Iguana in Tampa…where Mitt Romney enters, clad only in his sacred magic underwear, lost, mugged, and looking for a phone to call Salt Lake to send Elders to save him.
Look what we did there, and we’re not even particularly original or talented.
But, at least we’re aware enough to realize that NO MATTER WHO Republicans run, that person will be ripped to shreds by the MSM and an entire entertainment industry that EXISTS to belittle and bemoan conservativism.
Republicans, in many ways, have themselves to blame for this. What Schumer does NOT offer as advice is something we tell all of you each and every day: lay off the gays, stop using abortion as a wedge issue, and send your religious zealots to the back of the bus if you want fiscal conservativism to relate to people who would truly embrace you, if not for all the hate flung at them in the form of weaponized religion.
Believe what you want. Keep pictures of Tom Cruise, Nathan Lane, and us for all we care up on your dartboards. Hate away! But just shut your mouths in public about it. Damn people to Hell silently, secure in your knowledge that you know best, but realize that all those male-male couples paying WAY TOO MUCH TAX on the spacious three bedroom condos they share on the Gold Coast with adorable labradoodles named Will and Grace would be votes you could have if not for Leviticus this or abomination that.
Because we have enough Obamanation currently and don’t need an extra four years of it because of your myopic stupidity.
And the greatest fear we have in this world, at this moment in time, is that we’re the only ones who see what the MSM and people like Schumer are doing: they are setting Republicans up for a 2012 fall. Mercifully, we were able to tell Michael Steele this in person when he was here in Chicago. No one can ever say a group of Hillary Dems in Boystown didn’t warn the Republicans about the heaping helpings of Jindal, Crist, and Romney coming their way. Robots sent from the future couldn’t have done a better job getting apocalypse-halting messages to the RNC than we did at the Union League Club (especially considering how we weren’t allowed in at first wearing jeans, and time-traveling cyborgs arrive completely nude in their temporal orbs, so we imagine the Union League Club would have had a problem with that too (but then again, maybe they just really, really hate jeans, but Austrian nudism is perfectly fine).