Get to know your blogger – Can You See The Sunset

Today I say down with Eric from Can You See The Sunset From The Southside. I was wondering if I should even post this because he doesn’t like my favorite album of the year. All kidding aside, Eric runs a great website, and I’m happy that he took the time to answer my questions. Below you will find a picture of his new baby girl. As you can see he’s getting her started early as a music fan. Maybe I’ll send her a copy of the National’s “Alligator” album.


Let’s get some general background on you. Where do you live, how long, etc.
I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life and currently live in the western suburbs of Chicago with my wife and 3 month old daughter. I actually met my wife while booking shows for the punk band I used to play in. Blah…

I want get an idea of your musical taste evolution if you will. What were some of the first albums/tapes/CD’s you bought?

The first cassette tapes I remember having were dubbed copies of 80′s glam metal bands like Motley Crue, Poison, and Def Leppard. I was probably about 11 when I bought my first tape and (much to the disappointment of my parents) it was Guns ‘N Roses Lies. They should have been thankful that it was mostly acoustic.

How about some of the more recent CD’s you’ve purchased?
Some of the newer stuff that has been in the CD player or on the iPod recently is: Wilco – Kicking Television, Jose Gonzalez – Veneer, the Bound Stems EP, Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon, Small Towns Burn A Little Slower – Morality As Home Entertainment, The Alan Broadbent Trio – Round Midnight, Elizabeth Mitchell (of Ida) – You Are My Flower, and Seu Jorge – The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions.

Where do you buy the majority of your records? Do you support a particular record store in your area, buy online, and if so, where?

Since there aren’t a lot of good independent music stores in my neck of the woods so I usually end up at the Tower Records near where I work and if I buy something online it’s usually from Insound. You can find just about anything of the indie variety there. My wife (however) is a big fan of Ebay.

When I started listening to music, there were certain musicians that led me in the path of a lot of other bands. Did you have any similar experiences with bands growing up?

Yeah, it has to be Green Day. Funny, I know. I had been listening to stuff like Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, Buffalo Tom, and the Lemonheads, but hearing Green Day literally changed my life. I was probably 14 when I fist heard “Longview” and I knew instantly that this music was different. It was fast, snotty, and full of “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” youthful rage. From Green Day I found Lookout!, Fat Wreck Chords, Epitaph, and so on down the punk rock line. The rest, as they say, is history.

What are some of your favorite records of all time?
The Clash – London Calling, Lifetime – Jersey’s Best Dancers, Slapstick – Lookit!, My Bloody Valentine – Loveless, Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come, Miles Davis – Kind of Blue, Dismemberment Plan – Emergency & I, The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds, Screeching Weasel – Anthem For a New Tomorrow, Fugazi – Repeater, Guns ‘N Roses – Appetite For Destruction, Scud Mountain Boys – Massachusetts, Braid – The Age of Octeen, Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Jawbreaker – 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, Pixies – Bossanova, Blur – Blur.

Any idea how many albums are in your collection?
Without counting probably 800 – 1000 CD’s, 30 GB of MP3′s, a milk crate full of punk 7″ records, and a handful of vinyl LP’s. Yes, my turntable works.

If you could spend time with 3 musicians, who would you choose?

Jeff Tweedy, Joe Strummer, Ornette Coleman.
I’m sure you’ve seen some great concerts. Can you tell me what the first concert you saw was and when? To follow that up, are there any particular shows that stand out in terms of being favorites?

The first band I ever saw in concert was Bon Jovi. My sister paid for me to go with her because my parents would let her go unless I went along. She went just to see the opening band Extreme. It wasn’t the best concert but she was a huge fan. Luckily, I have also seen a ton of great ones too. Wilco @ Otto’s Bar in DeKalb as a warm-up to the A Ghost is Born tour, Jeff Tweedy @ The Vic in Chicago in 2005, Matt Pond PA & Lucero @ Empty Bottle in Chicago in 2004. Some great shows I’ve attended in years past have been: Slapstick’s reunion show @ Fireside Bowl in Chicago, Boxer & At The Drive-In @ Stevie Ray’s House of Wax in Muncie, Radiohead & David Gray @ Metro in Chicago, Braid/Get Up Kids/Jimmy Eat World/90 Day Men @ Fireside Bowl, Jawbreaker & Smoking Popes @ Metro.

What are some bands that you haven’t gotten the chance to see live, but would really like to?
I’m beginning to think that I’m that only person in the world that hasn’t seen The Arcade Fire and I’d also like to see Lifetime on their reunion tour but they aren’t coming anywhere near Chicago.

How did you choose the name of your blog?
The name of my blog comes from the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola movie “The Outsiders” that starred so many good young actors its sick. There is a scene where Ponyboy is talking to Cherry Valence and asks her, “Can you see the sunset from the Southside very good?” That is where the name comes from. That line is also sampled on the song “Ostrichsized” from Lifetime’s Hello Bastards album.

Can you tell me what got you into blogging, and are you surprised by the popularity your blog has attained?

With a horrible acronym like CYSTSFTS representing the name of my blog I’m actually surprised that anyone reads at all. As for the beginning, my good friend Jacob started a blog called Cannot Be Trusted in early 2005 and urged me to start one. I put if off for a few months and then just started blogging. I couldn’t think of anything to write about but music and have been posting a daily does of MP3’s since.

What are some of your favorite blogs? Music or otherwise.
Muzzle of Bees (of course), An Aquarium Drunkard, JT from Feed Me Good Tunes also has a great Cubs blog called Lingering Bursitis that is fully operational during the baseball season. Those along with Motel de Moka are must reads.

How important do you think music blogs are in general? Do you think they will continue to be as popular as they are today?

Music blogs are hugely important to me. I have found so much great music through them that I would have never been exposed to otherwise. With all media and news outlets becoming increasing linked to the Internet for quick and easy access to information, I think that blogging in general is becoming more popular. The music blogs will follow suit. They are even mentioning blogging on TV shows now.

Let’s get away from music for a bit. What are some of your favorite movies and television shows?
Well, with my busy schedule I really don’t watch a whole lot of television but I’ll be the first to admit that the O.C. is like crack-cocaine for your eyes. It is totally addicting. My wife always tells me that we don’t watch enough movies, but some of my favorites are Fight Club, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Rushmore, and anything else by Wes Anderson.

Outside of music do you have any other interests or projects?
Well, I have a full-time job and go to school 3-4 nights a week and also have a baby to take care of so that pretty much kills all my time, but, when time permits, I love being outdoors and doing things like snowboarding, canoeing, and hiking. If only Chicago were in the middle of a mountain range… I also enjoy spending time with my wife and baby doing nothing.

A lot of people have a favorite concert t-shirt, do you have one?

Not really but I do have this navy blue Braid t-shirt that I got in April of 1998. It has no holes and (thus) I still wear it a lot.
In your opinion, what’s the best place to eat on your city?
Heaven on Seven in Naperville is easily the best restaurant within 20 minutes of my house. They serve cajun/creole fare and have a bananas foster pecan french toast on their brunch menu. Yum! If you are willing to travel a little further and venture into Chicago the choices are endless. Clara’s Pasta in Woodridge is also fantastic.

Animals dressed as humans. Funny or not?
I think I might need to get PETA involved here…