TOPPIN THE CHARTS Vol. 2 by Gabe Liebowitz

This is the second submission from Gabe Liebowitz, singer, songwriter, and bandleader for the excellent Chicago-based folk rock band Dastardly. It's a continuation of his last submissionTOPPIN THE CHARTS.  Liebowitz explains the background of this piece thusly: "haha i had the flu and was having crazy fever dreams and i woke up at 3 in the morning and realized i had dreamt that entire music column so i just wrote it down emailed you and went back to sleep." You should download his recently released live album featuring nine really well done covers. 

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MY NEW MUSIC COLUMN!!!!!!!! by Gabe Liebowitz

Yesterday, without any explanation or context, I received this submission from Gabe Liebowitz, singer, songwriter, and bandleader for the excellent Chicago-based folk rock band Dastardly. I don't know if the "NEW" in "NEW MUSIC COLUMN" is in reference to the music or the column, but based on his numerous Facebook status updates in the last 24 hours, he seems to have his heart set on this column becoming a regular thing (and maybe going viral), so help him out with that by checking out TOPPIN THE CHARTS.

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A short thing before this Friday's fundraiser

There's a special fundraising show this Friday (11/16) at saki for Joe McAdam's Aunt and Uncle, whose home in Brick, New Jersey was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The show features standup from Junior Stopka, Will Miles, CJ Toledano, and Joe Kwaczala, and music from Gabe Liebowitz from Dastardly. We've also received several generous prize donations from local businesses like Second City, The Owl, The Music Box Theatre, and more, which we'll be raffling off at the show.

If you'd like to make a donation but can't come out to the show, head over to Joe's website and click the giant "donate" button in the top left corner.

What follows is a brief piece from Joe about his family and his personal connection to New Jersey.

My aunt and uncle along with their two boys just lost their home the other day to Hurricane Sandy.  It seems hard to even imagine completely losing your house, but I've seen the pictures, there was about 5 feet of water in their living room and it completely destroyed nearly everything they owned.

I'm racking my brain to think of a comparable situation I may have been in.  One time someone stole my clothes at a party, it was weird.  That might be the closest.  

It's hard to imagine a place you used to visit being gone.  I went to their home a lot as a kid, it was my favorite place.  

My aunt Krissy McAdam was always "the fun aunt".  She is a lot younger than my dad and had Grateful Dead posters and a Nintendo.  I remember meeting her husband for the first time too.  He showed up with literally a car's trunk full of candy.  I'm not kidding at all.  To this day, I've never seen such a thing.

My memories of visits with her are some of my favorites, she would always take me out to the boardwalk to go on rides, play carny games and all the other Jersey-type fun.  She used to own a pseudo-head shop store that sold bootleg concerts and incense and all that, and it was my favorite place to hang out.  I'd sit around there all day learning juggling sticks or something.  She let me be in a parade float for her store one time too.  I got to dress up like a Grateful Dead bear and ride a jet ski on the bed of a truck.  This sounds weird and looking back, it was.  To me New Jersey was like an entire state that was an amusement park.  Now I know that it's just Jersey, but my aunt and uncle made it the best place imaginable to a kid.

Even growing up and visiting as a teenager was great.  I remember having one of my first beers at that house (if you tell my dad, I'll fucking kill you.  Also if you tell him about the swearing, well, that's not exactly cool either.)

The point is, my aunt Krissy and her family have been really important to me.  They've been extremely generous and have always been some of the most welcoming and loving people I know.  As a young nephew you're rarely in the position to do something to return the favor.  But right now they need some support to get back on their feet and rebuild.  I'm a broke comic, but I have a lot of good-hearted friends so I figured I'd use the only real skill I have, tricking people into laughing, to help them out.  I know what I'm able to give back pales in comparison to what they've given me, but I feel like they don't even want me to dress them up like Dead bears at this point anyway.

-Joe McAdam