Smashing Pumpkins, Before they were…

Before the Smashing Pumpkins were, well, The Smashing Pumpkins, they were a band out of Chicago trying to find their sound and looking to catch a break. This video (about 60 minutes in length) is from 1988 and was apparently filmed for a local Chicago cable access show (aka shows filmed out of people’s basements and broadcast on local cable before YouTube. Kids, ask your parents about it or go watch Wayne’s World) Pulse Basement Live. The sound of their music in this video is noticeably different than the sound that they developed in the later 1990s on albums like Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and Adore. I can hear and feel the influence of 1980s bands like The Smiths in some of the earlier songs in the video. It feels like in real time, you are seeing them test new sounds and try to figure out what their sound should be. Really amazing time capsule video of one of the more influential bands of the 1990s.

Red Sox – Cubs

Super cool to see the Chicago Cubs playing the Red Sox at Fenway this weekend for the first time in 93 years. If the baseball Gods had not been so cruel back in 2003 – the year of Steve Bartman in Chicago and Aaron (F***ing) Boone in Boston – these two storied (and until this past decade, cursed) franchises would have met in the 2003 World Series. And then the world would have come to an end (until that time, neither team had won a World Series in pretty much forever).

ESPN Chicago

Another nail in the coffin of newspapers and local media. Today, ESPN launched ESPN Chicago, a version of ESPN.com specific to Chicago sports. Basically, they are going to try to leverage their scale to deliver localized content to Chicago. But it’s not just Chicago, this is going to scale to the major markets across the US and Canada. The incremental cost to develop this site was probably relatively minimal, but they will now be able to charge a premium to advertisers who want to market online to a predominantly Chicagoland audience. I’m sure NYC, Boston, LA, Dallas and others are not far behind. And just think, with ESPNZone in Chicago, they can have some serious multimedia, multi channel promotions to dream up. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this – whether they will gravitate to this offering or if they will continue to stick with their trusted sources like the Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times and the bartender at Harry Caray’s.