Thursday, March 30, 2006

Vaya Con Linkos

Hola from Cancun...I haven't had more than a few seconds to dip my little toes in the ocean, but the weather is gorgeous (Ithaca is Gorges) and the people are friendlier than the town weedwhore.

*UPDATE* The tootsies have touched the ocean waves! After a lovely team dinner at El Disteleria (where the enormous margaritas come with a liver transplant form), about 10 of us drank some Tecates on the beach and sang B-52s songs all night. Sign says, stay away fools.

I'll post some nice pictures and videos upon my return, but for now please enjoy these friend- and family-submitted links...

My favorite, courtesy of Handstand the Elder, is this awesome YouTube compilation of the reactions of Jets fans at the NFL draft through the years. Man, we're really just a bunch of gluttons for punishment who loved to get kicked in the jimmy.



Up next, courtesy of Brother Red Cowboy, comes this stupendous interview with Bret "Hit Man" Hart on the verge of his induction into the newly formed WWE Hall of Fame. I never really liked this guy when he was on top, but good lord, you have to feel for this guy after reading this. Plus, you have to respect the man that broke Vinnie Mac's face after the Montreal Screwjob.

Finally, staying on the wrestling tip, courtesy of oft-Slack commentator MDS, I think you'll enjoy this fantastic shoot interview with the Iron Sheik. Personally I think CNN or Fox News should interview this guy about the nuclear enrichment situation in Iran. I would pay a million pesos to see that.



We'll have more when Ace returns to Los Estados Unidos...stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm With Sykes

Like the one-armed man that killed Dr. Richard Kimble's wife, I'm off to Cancun for a fishing junket. Only there probably won't be much fishing. And I'll probably only use a boat if I land myself in a precarious Hollowayan position. Either way, Cancun awaits.

"Look, a year ago some people came to see me. They asked me questions about the night of the murder and I'll tell you the same thing I told them. I wasn't even in town then. I was on a business trip."

Strangely, this isn't a pleasure trip. I'll be working while I'm there, so my limited Internet access will likely be business-related, and my procrastination will hopefully be pool-related, not computer-related. Point being(-related), there'll be minimal postage over these next few days. If you really need a fun place to procrastinate, I suggest sending everyone you know one of these here Monk-e-mails. Classic.

Reruns: In a perfect world, Donnie Fiedler would fill the void with his hilarious anecdotes and jerkstore wit. I've been trying to entice his return to Slack for some time, but maybe he'll step up because he knows how much I love fresh content. Content, I've been swimming in raw sewage, and I love it.

Anyway, check out some ol' Feedbags material: Law School People Suck Like Frist, Tube (Try It with Music), L, and Boobish Names. That guy was truly funny before he died from a combination of tuberculosis and a tomahawk to the head.

And on the rerun tip, if for some reason you've never read the "Top Notch Slackin'" from the right-hand toolbar >>>, now would be as good a time as any. I recommend CDs Nuts, but feel free to poke around on your own. Also, don't forget to check out the other bloggers in that column -- most of them are funny as pie.

Slack Google Searches of the Day: I just love this stuff...
  • uncle touched my boobs stories -- I'm a bigger fan of uncle touched my boobs limericks, but we're all entitled to a good story every now and then.
  • Bea Arthur is a dude -- That's right.
  • horsecock -- That's also correct.
  • show me Wade Miller -- I loved this one because it makes me unable to decide which pop culture reference to drop here, Jerry Maguire or Family Feud. I like the latter best -- "Show me po-ta-to saaaalaaaaad."
Slack Link of the Day: Ladies and gentlemen, your hard-earned tax dollars at work -- "Earlier this month, [Fairfax County] agreed to participate in a White House pilot program to analyze wastewater from communities throughout the Potomac River Basin for the urinary byproducts of cocaine." [more]

Slack Video of the Day
: I'd say I've never seen a kid so excited to get a Christmas present, but that'd just be a lie. This little tyke's reaction to unearthing his holiday surprise is basically a carbon copy of my sheer jubilation when I learned a crippling late-December transit strike would mean a few days on the home couch for me.

Slack YouTube of the Day: Knowing my undying love for Bottle Rocket, Matty Mac forwarded this video to me this morning. It's very similar to those funky, revisionist trailers for The Shining and Sleepless in Seattle, only much cooler because it's Dignan.



Slack Song of the Day: Even if I do drop in a post or two from el Mejico, I doubt any music will come along with it. So allow me to keep you satiated for a while with a handful of SugarMegs shows...

Jaco Pastorius and Herbie Hancock -- 2/16/77
Janis Joplin -- 7/6/70
The Kinks -- 11/13/70
Little Feat -- 12/4/75
Phish -- 12/30/97 @ Madison Square Garden

Allright, Slackers, enjoy your week in the sun...

Booooo-urns

Potentially fatal news for Arrested Development fans...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My Own Open Letter to a Faux Redneck

I call this one, "It Took Awhile, But I Finally Got'r Done."

Dear Larry the Cable Guy,

I've completed your assigned task. Thanks for all your encouragement, but please consider the matter done. Leave me and my family alone.

Go away forever,
A. Cowboy

P.S. As long as you use the words "Hillary Clinton" and "balls" or "testicles" in the same sentence -- like in your act -- this movie's gonna git'r dun to the tune of nine figures. You're a genius.

P.P.S. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm already aware of one such Munich-style assassination campaign against anyone who actually pays money to see your movie and all their blood relatives. There may even be several more in the works. Just givin' youse the heads up.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dos YouTubes

This might be on of the most surreal and poorly executed news story I've ever seen. "Who else seen the Leprechaun, say yeeeeah!"



Lost's Sawyer on an Old Navy mersh? Say it ain't so, badass.



YouTube's really changing the world, one non-porn video at a time. Check out this pretty detailed article about how the entertainment folks are reacting to this democratic juggernaut.

NCAA or LLWS?

I'm all for raw emotion. I have no qualms with either JJ Redick or Adam Morrison shedding public tears over these brutal losses. Really, I don't. But I never thought I'd see the day when an adult athlete would lay in the middle of the court or field and bawl his cryin' eyes out.

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Oh Adam, how very Little League World Series of you. One of the nation's best players worked his mustachioed ass off this season and had the Elite Eight wrapped up, only to have it yanked away at the last second. To come this far and lose like that...I don't know how anyone would deal with that. Shit, I think his open display of human emotion was awesome. Perhaps that's because I am totally dead inside.

Two unbelievable endings within a 20-minute span last night...I don't know about you, but I can't wait for One Shining Moment this year. Fuck it, just end the tournament now -- I'm not entirely sure how it can get any better than that.

Slack Link of the Day: For some more professional analysis of the NCAA Tournament (and other fun topics, like "Is there a modern day Bill Walton hippiefolk in this hip hop-dominated era of college hoops?"), make sure to click on over to the SI.com Tourney Blog.

Slack Video of the Day: The tourney games last night kept me from attending a sneak preview of the Beastie Boys new concert film Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! According to something I saw on the Interweb today, "This innovative concert movie was shot with 50 video cameras handed out to fans at an October 2004 Beastie Boys concert at Madison Square Garden." Check out the trailer here.

For interested New Yorkers...on March 28th, there'll be a showing of the film along with a discussion with band member and filmmaker Adam Yauch -- a.k.a. MCA, a.k.a. Nathanial Hörnblowér -- after the screening at the Loews 34th Street (cough, for $24).

Slack Video of the Day II: Wanna kill four and a half minutes? Watch this guy's awesome juggling routine to a soundtrack of Abbey Road.

Slack Song of the Day: It's a hodgepodge kind of Friday...and a little bit of a Two for Tuesday. Here's Eyes of the World and Standing on the Moon from the Comes a Time Tribute to Jerry (9/24/05), This Ain't Livin' and Cold Beverages by G. Love and the Special Sauce (10/16/01), and Shine and Three Car Church by Vorcza (4/13/05).

Slack Podcast of the Day: Our friend over at Newmradio produced a nice podcast featuring the music of the popular rock band Phish. One problem: Even he doesn't know which shows some of these versions come from. So help some folks out after you listen to this (if you listen to this) and leave a comment if you have a vague idea from whence they came. First, enjoy some Phish...from Vermont.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Book: White-Hatin' Coon

Last week I was talking to a female co-worker about a study concerning the remarkably low tax rate corporations are currently paying to the government. I know, my job sounds really fun.

I pointed her to the study, which showed many corporations paid no taxes at all between 2001 and 2003, and that on the whole, the biggest 275 companies forked over only "half the statuatory rape."

Yes, I said "statuatory rape" to a pregnant co-worker. I obviously meant "rate," only one letter off. It happens, the brain is a funky place. I may have inexplicably revealed the fact that I secretly like the young'ins, or maybe I just misspoke, as humans are inclined to do.

I bring that amusing occupational anecdote up because a St. Louis talk radio personality was fired on the spot after he slipped and used the word "coon" in a conversation about Condoleezza Rice. The funny thing is, the radio host was actually praising her and thought she'd make a good NFL Commissioner, the discussion topic:

“She’s just got a patent resume, of somebody that’s got such serious skill,” Linehan said on the air. “She loves football, she’s African-American, which would kind of be a big coon, a big coon – oh my God, I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that, OK? I didn’t mean that. That was just a slip of the tongue.” Lenihan later said he meant to use the word "coup."

Obviously you can't say shit like this on the radio (nor can you say bomb in an airport). But if ever there were a professional mistake, this is it. He added an "n" onto a word and it cost him his job. Immediately. That's just not right.

Suspend him for a week, send him to racism school, do what you gotta do. But to fire this man is to admit ignorance in the matters of the brain. This isn't ignorance or lack of sophistication, this is the oldest mystery on the planet.

Fuckin' coons, ruining all the fun for everyone.

Slack Link of the Day: In the aftermath of Peter Tomarken's death last week, Dan over at The Daily Dump has been counting down the top-five game shows of our youth. I highly recommend checking out his rankings (#1 should debut today) thus far.

Slack Song of the Day: It's always nice to see a performer you spent countless hours listening to in the most formative years. God Street Wine was basically the soundtrack to my Sega Genesis Basement Days after high school let out, and frontman and guitarist Lo Faber was one of my first musical idols.

I caught Lo last night at a Lower East Side shack called Sin-E, accompanied by Some Dude from Hits from the Blog. Lo opened up for a band called Dumpshot, or Jumpshot, or Gladshot or something (I obviously didn't stay for their show).

He played for about an hour, some acoustic solo, some with a keyboardist and guitarist, some with a back-up vocalist from his rock opera. He played more than a handful of GSW songs, mixed in with newer songs. I love that he had the balls to introduce one of his tunes, "This one's from my second rock opera."

Anyway, here are the old-school GSW tunes I polished off and broke out last night: Red & Milky Way, Driving West, Happy Birthday Mr. President, Thirsty, You Know Me Best (unreleased GSW tune), Feel the Pressure > Get on the Train and Borderline.

And now for a few extra GSW tunes, just for good luck: Nightengale, Wendy, Molly, Tina's Town, Bring Back the News, Epiphany and Mile By Mile. All of these are taken from the 10/29/94 Garton's show on the Live Music Archive.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Interesting Thought

I just passed an Entertainment Weekly issue that features a few cast members of The Sopranos on the cover. And then it hit me...

Tony's in an induced coma, and with what the previews are indicating for the rest of the season, it would surely be a stretch for the producers to incorporate Dr. Melfi's awful character into the flow any time soon. It'll be an absolute blessing if they can write her out of the scripts altogether, but I'm not sure they'd want to pay Bracco for her time and not use her (aka the Allan Houston).

So, in spite of not recognizing that voice, is it possible that Melfi's the other woman in his life in purgatory, or wherever this alternate comatose universe is taking place? Just a thought.

Ya Hungry, Girl?

"Hey maaan...these munchies are, like, giving me the munchies."

'Pot Tarts' and 'Buddafingers' Manufacturers Busted: DEA arrests 12, seizes marijuana-laced candy and soft drinks in S.F. Bay Area

"The marijuana laced candy and other edibles manufactured by the company mimic the name and appearance of well known name brand candies and products. Some of the product labels seized by investigators include Stoney Ranchers, Munchy Way, Rasta Reece’s, Buddafingers, Pot Tarts, Double Puff Oeo, Tri-Chrome Crunch, Keef Kat, Twixed, Budtella, Puff-A-Mint Pattie, Puffsi, Bong’s Root Beer, and Toka-Cola." Click here for more.

Shut'r Down, Dave

Any blogger worth his weight in ego checks the Sitemeter early and often. Yesterday I came across a fun-loving Google search from the German version of the site, looking for "Brendon Tartikoff."

When I started Slack LaLane, I always dreamed I'd have the second-highest search ranking for the former NBC president on Germany's Google engine. That dream hath finally been realized.

In the process of matching up the odd search with the archived Slack post, I stumbled upon the source. Apparently I referenced him in this August 20, 2004 post about Charlie Murphy, Ashy Larry and a token white friend of Chappelle's coming to my place of business.

Upon re-reading that post, I realized that I actually, factually predicted Chappelle's downfall almost a full year before he flew to Africa in late April of 2005. In the above post, I worried that the show would suffer from one or all of three factors. The first? "Chappelle pulling a sports free agent move and performing Operation Shutdown after signing a huge deal (see Bartolo Colon and Twinkies)."

And shut down, he did. Kudos bar to me. So if you're counting at home, I thought the Jets would win the Super Bowl this year and my NCAA Tournament picks are about as useless as my penis after a few tequila shots, but I did predict Shawn Chacon was going to be a good Yankee and Chappelle would somehow fuck up that ludicrous $50 million contract. I think I'm about even.

Here are some other great Google and Yahoo! searches that brought folks on over to this online rag we call home:

--tea motherfucker tea rap parody chronicles of narnia rap
--john 3:16 sporting events
--ashlee simpson sex tape downloads
--I'm aware of the made up declarations about me that have recently begun to appear on the Internet
--Howie Mandel's daughter
--"Get your damns hands off her"
--mother goose hit on the head with a bible
--It's bush league psyche-out stuff.

Awesome stuff. I especially like the person who made it here looking for Howie Mandel's daughter. That's clearly a pedophile, considering she was featured on Monday's Deal or No Deal. Sorry, dude, no shirtless photos of Howie's daughter here. I can offer you this story about his "estranged daughter" though, from the comments section of a 6/22/04 25th birthday post:

"Howie Mandel's estranged daughter, that story is not a joke...this chick, with a straight face and in all seriousness, tried to convince [TJ in OH] and I that she was Howie Mandel's estranged daughter, and he was a prick or something like that. It was difficult, if not impossible, to hold back the laughter...especially since we'd been to Lechter's Housewares for some whip cream catridges earlier that day."

Slack Link of the Day: Surveillance cameras in New York City? Well, there goes any chance of hittin' a bowl on the street.

Slack Video of the Day: I'm not trying to cram my favorites down your throat, but the JamCam Chronicles released an early copy of Tea Leaf Green playing Warmup > Freedom (via JamBase) at last summer's Wakarusa Festival. I think it's really well-shot and the sound is fantastic, so I figured I'd post it in contrast to the shitty shots we took at the Knit shows earlier this month.

Slack Song of the Day: If you haven't been scrolling through the SugarMegs archives and streaming shows in your oodles of free time, then we can never be friends. I'm sorry you had to find out this way.

If we're still pals, then I offer you this gift of friendship: Rick Danko and Levon Helm from the the Starry Night Club in Portland, Oregon on 1/23/83. This may or may not be your speed, and it's not the greatest show ever, but I recommend it as highly as anything I've ever posted in this here space.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Liza Does Larry

I know I exaggerate and declare just about everything a "must-see," but youse guys really have to check this one out:

"Last Wednesday, Liza Minnelli appeared on Larry King Live. I know: who cares, right? I mention it not as a disciple of Liza or a fan of musical theater (I couldn't be further from either), but as someone who loves a good trainwreck. Which is what she offered, sorta."

I couldn't even remotely contain myself for a few of her violent, maniacal outbursts of insanity-laced laughter. The work people know.

The Allmans & Grateful Red

How fitting, on the very day we discuss the velvet smoothness of the paler, bearded soul species -- Michael McDonald and Kenny Rogers -- one of my roommates offered me a last-second, extra eighth-row center ticket for the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon.

While we're certainly permitted to semi-jokingly rank those aforementioned fellers among the greatest white soul brothers in music history, nobody puts Gregg Allman in the corner.

And sure enough, just two songs into the night, he belted out that from-the-gut "Lord, it just might happen to be your man..." a capella lyric towards the end of One Way Out, reminding us all at that moment who's truly the king of white soul. Accept no substitutes.

(Allman's looks have finally caught up to his sweet, old-timey bluesman pipes. And as he ages, he's really beginning to look like Jon Voight dressed up as Willie Nelson for Halloween.)

This was the ninth Allmans show in what seems like an annual 435-night run at the Beacon, and by all estimations, these guys are as good as ever. Gregg & ABB management have assembled an all-star roster of originals and ringers, letting the ridiculous combination of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks take over the solo shredding while the patriarch adds the fills and admits his blues.

It's really a brilliant lineup in every respect. I think everybody should have an opportunity in life to see these guys from 10-15 yards out, just so they can witness from such close range Derek and Warren trading hot licks and graciously switching roles. Everyone wants to hand Trucks the crown and scepter as guitar's greatest talent, but I think the guy to his right might take some offense to that. Personally, I thought Warren was the superior geetarist last night, though both are insane. Derek's got the cuter wife.

We were also treated to a handful of guests and different kinds of instrumentations throughout the evening, including three horn players, Truck's wife Susan Tedeschi, Mike Mattison on vocals and several people (an old guitarist and a funky bassist that replaced the unsung Oteil) that may or may not go by the band name "Random Black Guys." Does anyone have any info on who this was on stage with the Allmans? I'm not sure they were ever given a proper introduction, and I didn't recognize them.

Guest Update -- One reviewer on the Allmans site shares this info: "The Gregg Allman Horns (Jay Collins, Chris Karlic, Jim Seely) join for a sweet rendition of 'Loving You Too Long' that has couples swaying in the aisles like prom night...

Set two begins, and there’s a party on the stage. In yet another gesture to their past, the band welcomes members of the Kingpins, who played with King Curtis on his own classic Fillmore record, the one with 'Soul Serenade.' Cornell Dupree is on guitar, seated behind Derek and to the right; Jerry Jemmott has taken Oteil’s slot on bass, and Bernard Purdie, one of the most renowned drummers around, is on Butch’s kit; no Butch, no Marc. Mike Mattison from Derek’s band is sitting in on vocals. And the horns are back. So left to right, there are 11 guys on stage. It is our own Soul Revue."

As good as the band played (and they were fantastic), I think the highlight of the night was a special guest in the aisle of my row: Bill Walton. About 20 minutes into the show, a seven-footer strolled up next to us and stopped in his tracks. Unmistakable and unmissable, Grateful Red hung out about five feet from us all evening. Far be it from me to ruin his evening, we did not converse, not even about the handful of e-mails we've traded in the past, most of which conclude "Aiko Aiko, Bill Walton." I love that man.

Here's a shitty camera phone pic I took of him reaching his arms up 10 feet in the air and cheering on the band during the final notes of the Revival closer:

Many thanks to Roomate Glaser for hooking up a fantastic ticket, and many apologies for taking oney hits in front of his father. Last night was a helluva show, a great impromptu evening. I thought it was a bad sign when the band took the stage and my first thought was, "Man, Gregg Allman is going to be the next great music death."

But as it turns out, the band is as healthy as I've ever heard it, invigorated by some serious talent and held down by its original roots. Nobody left to run with? Bah, Greggor, there'll always be people lined up to run with youse guys.

Slack Quote of the Day: "In the grand scheme of us acquiring mediocre pitching, this move makes a lot of sense." --Diehard Cincinnati Reds fan Mitchell VergerDartz III, sounding off on the Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena trade. I, for one, think this is a pretty good deal for the Redlegs, and I hope Tim McCarver calls more of Brandon Arroyo's games this season. Dipshit.

Slack Video of the Day: Today we're featuring two disparate YouTube videos sharing the same music. First, a talented young gun plays the Mario Brothers theme on two guitars. Up next, a Super Mario Brothers Meets Kill Bill fight scene for the ages.

Slack Song of the Day: You're not just gettin' an Allman Brothers song today. Nope, you're due for a full Allman Brothers set. From the Fillmore East on 2/11/70, here's a super recording of the one and only ABB playing five tunes: Liz Reed, Statesboro Blues, Trouble No More, Hoochie Coochie Man and Mountain Jam. That's gouda.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Yah Mo B There

Would you like an opportunity to climb inside the genius mind of that sly silver fox, Michael McDonald?

Well, here's your chance. Go 'head and read this article called "Down Deep," penned by the incomparably white, but incredibly soulful Mikey McD.

It's not every day you receive nuggets of wisdom from everyone's favorite husky, blue-eyed tenor in a barely legit periodical that "helps people from all walks of life achieve their maximum personal and spiritual potential." You just can't pass this up. This may change your life. I know it has mine.

"A poor kid from St. Louis with a big voice and a lot of luck."

(Thanks to Plagiarist for the heads up on this February article.)

We'll 'Take Nails on the Chalkboard,' Dick

As the famed Mr. Clark may introduce, "Describe these 'Things that annoyed the shit out of me this weekend.' It's also tonight's 7-11. Get all seven correct and you win $1,100. These are 'Things that annoyed the shit out of me this weekend.' Ready? Go."

Let's Go Out to the Lobby...
Hoobs and I took in a near-midnight Saturday showing of the new mockumentary Confederated States of America at the IFC Center around the corner from my apartment.

The movie itself -- a reality-suspended what-if about American history that presupposes the South won the War of Northern Aggression -- was negligible despite an interestingly clever premise with gobs of potential for dexterous wit. What could have been a showcase for provocative, unconventional thought turned out to be a top-heavy film utterly devoid of subtlety. In the end it stretched far too thin, and the finished film suffered from a lack of true comedy.

And while the movie lacked good humor, the movie theater lacked Sno-Caps. It's not just the IFC that's guilty here, either. There's been a criminally foolish pro-business movement across the country to rid the concession shelves of my long-time favorite movie candy: Nestle's Classic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Nonpareils, better known by their nom de cocoa, Sno-Caps.

This trend towards a candy counter sans non-pees is wrong on many levels, but mostly I find it to be overtly racist. We're unconsciously moving to a pareil-only society, with pareil-only establishments, and what's worse, the general apathy of the American public on this issue is appalling. What the fuck have Milk Duds done for anybody besides injure the jaw and damage expensive dental work? Let us not marginalize the non-pareils, let us enjoy them as part of any nutritional breakfast.

Piss-Poor NCAA Mersh Part I
I tell you this...if I ever see those two fuckdicks from the "Three Hour Tourrr" Applebee's Shrimp Sensations "Gilligan" commercials on the street, I will beat them about the face, breast, chest, neck and head with their own instruments. There are no two people on the planet I'd rather see Abu Ghraibed than these no-good fonzanoons. Holy shit, CBS, remember to let moderation be your guide.

Piss-Poor NCAA Mersh Part II
Same goes for the two douchebottles in the Cingular cell phone commercial containing the cringe-inducing phrase "March Sadness." Memo to the shitface who keeps experiencing dropped calls and overage charges: that smug Asian dude has been telling you to switch plans for two fucking years, and just look how content he seems. If you had listened to him from the get-go (always trust a Chinaman when it comes to electronics, roundeye), none of us would have to be subjected to your shitty repartees.

Okay, so there's no 7-11. There isn't even a Mystery 7. There's just those three items. But I feel much better now.

Slack Link of the Day: U.S. Navy 1, Pirates on the Open Seas 0.

Slack Video of the Day: I had my first fantasy beisbol draft of the year last night, splitting a team with roommate Dorsey. It went perfectly, according to plan, according to Garp, and now I'm pumped for the games to start in earnest. So here's a little something to get you excited for the upcoming 2006 baseball season. Not a fan of the Bombers? Allright, in the interest of equal time, here's a Big Papi man-blast from a WBC game against Cuba.

Slack Song of the Day: I was going to hoard this one and only send it out to friends, but I've decided to throw this show up on YouSendIt and leave a link here for download.

It's a decent recording of two Bob Dylan sessions, one with George Harrison in New York 1970 and one with Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash in Nashville 1969. You can read all about it here and here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Blogger = Blowger

Sorry, folks, Blogger has been experiencing some serious technical difficulties this week, and Slack ain't performing up to par. But I will admit, you get what you pay for.

Hopefully the 40-foot cockroaches have all been ironed out and we can now return to laughing incessantly about text-messaging deaf chicks and high-speed trains.

Slack Link of the Day: "Before cops threw the book at him, Jakub Fik threw something unusual at them -- his penis." Craisins.

Slack Videos of the Day: Kenny Alias accompanied me to the Tea Leaf Green shows on Thursday and Friday nights and acted as my personal photographer. I think his camera was more for him, but I pilfered the videos and posted a few on YouTube. Enjoy these four quick clips of the first night's show: Freedom, Freedom (end), Franz Hanzerbeak (end), and Harvest Time.

Slack Songs of the Day: May I present youse all with a early- to mid-90s hodgepodge from the Live Music Archive...

Stone House - God Street Wine, 10/29/94
Little Miss Can't Be Wrong
- Spin Doctors, 1/10/91
Bittersweet - Big Head Todd & The Monsters, 7/5/93 (H.O.R.D.E.)
Westerly - Strangefolk, 2/6/98
Monkey Wrench - Gordon Stone Band, 7/16/97

Thursday, March 16, 2006

But He'll Never Touch Hair-Pi

Talk about a chick magnet: "A high school student Tuesday recited 8,784 digits of Pi — the non-repeating and non-terminating decimal — likely placing him among the top Pi-reciters in the world."

"Madness," I Says to Him, I Says

Straight ahead of me sits my computer. To my left, only about 18 inches away, I stare at this for the majority of the day:

Thankfully, this set-up has come in handy on many occasions: countless Yankees' day games, World Baseball Classic matchups, Olympic hockey, MTV Rock 'n Jock softball games, Jenny Jones and Rikki Lake, the occasional cooking show. But when it really comes down to it, I'd give up the teevee and all the joy it brings me. You can have it, except for two days a year: today and tomorrow.

It's tournament time, and one firm estimates some $3.8 billion will be lost in worker productivity over the course of the next two weeks (but how much time and money was spent calculating that figure, guys?). And as I said last year, the study also assumes that people actually work hard the other 200+ days a year, which is blatantly false and patently foolish of them.

CBS Sportsline is streaming the games for free this year, and apparently there's a "boss button," which when pressed launches a fake spreadsheet. Pure genius.

This week has been pretty craisins, so I unfortunately don't have time for my usual tournament preview. Hopefully you've all been reading and will continue to peruse Lukas' SI.com Tourney Blog in lieu of my overrated and especially amateur basketball commentary. So this'll act as more of an OPEN THREAD than analysis -- if you want to blow off work and hang out here or just comment on something going on, we'll provide you refuge from your boring workaday lives.

A couple of notes: Last year I accurately prognosticated #14 Bucknell would take down #3 Kansas (leading to a 100% perfect Syracuse bracket, every game correct), and this year I'm predicting #15 Winthrop will upset #2 Tennessee. I'm not just saying that to be contrarian, I truly believe it. Make it happen, Throppers.

--The toughest match-up I had trouble with was Memphis/Kansas in the Elite Eight. I can see Kansas' youngsters rallying through this toruney and winning that game, but I like Memphis' superior star talent and bevy of future pros. Thusly, I've got Calipari & Company in the Final Four, and I've got John Chaney busting into the press conference and threatening to kick Calipari's ass. I'll keeel you.

--First #1 seed to fall? Villanova, to Wisconsin in round two. Lowest seed in the Sweet Sixteen? That'll be #10 Seton Hall after defeating Wichita State and the aforementioned Winthrop. Biggest bracket buster? Boston College, when they lose to Nevada and everyone loses their "awesome sleeper team, dude."

--Here's my Final Four: Texas beats LSU, Memphis downs Gonzaga, UConn takes down UNC and Ohio State wallops an over-achieving Nevada squad. Eventually, UConn beats Texas in the finals, and Jim Calhoun passes out for the 13th time of his coaching career. I boldly predict Charlie Villanueva shows up for the final game and looks like a bald orange cat in the stands.

Enjoy the Big Dance...let's all have a good show.

The Phish in Brooklyn

Earlier this week, someone leaked six minutes of footage from the popular rock band Phish's long-delayed Coney Island DVD. The video shows the band practicing backstage before the first show of its (supposed) farewell tour, interspliced with shots of the scene and the wookish crowd saying its last goodbyes to the boys.



If this video is any indication, this DVD will be as epic as the rain-storm that fell on Keyspan Park that night. This thing needs to hit shelves immediately, so I can continue to make these dorks rich enough not to practice, or at the very least, medium rich.

Mission Still Accomplished

A bit of breaking news: "U.S. forces, joined by Iraqi troops, on Thursday launched the largest air assault since the U.S.-led invasion, targeting insurgent strongholds north of the capital..."

This concludes the "Salty & Tired Ace Report." We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming about heady grass and sloth.

Slack Video of the Day: Check out this super-sweet video of Biggie Smalls schooling some poor schmuck in a street rap battle at the tender age of 17. This also serves to highlight how much cooler black people are than white people. Really.

Slack Song of the Day: I'm not sure why, but I'm feeling a little Bruce Hornsby this morning. Maybe it's because I'd like to counteract the darkness of the Video of the Day with a tall white gentleman, or maybe it's because he fucking rocks.

Either way, enjoy this Man Smart, Woman Smarter from 11/8/98 at Yoshii's in Oakland. And just for good measure, I'll throw in some Western Skyline > Don't Do It. The dude's playing a goddamn squeezebox on this second tune...for chrissakes! Bruce is the man.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Day Tripper: DC Edition

Beware the Ides of March, they say. Yet I'm tempting fate by flying to and from our nation's capital for work today. A last-minute addition to the trip at that. Not that I really believe in all that stuff. Superstition's one thing, but can one even believe in Shakespeare?

"Cut your losses and make 'em a deal."

I'm assuming I'll make it back from the trip intact, so we'll see you fine folks right back here tomorrow. Enjoy your pebbles.

Slack Link of the Day: I checked the archives to see whether or not I used the corny "Ides of March" thing last year, and sure enough, I did. In doing so, I learned that today's the one-year anniversary of Dad Cowboy's hilarious and oh-so-racist joke about robot golf caddies. Feel free to laugh and immediately feel guilty.

Slack Video of the Day: I saw this preview on the tele the other day and thought it looked right up my alley. Count me in on seeing this when it comes out -- Thank You For Smoking.

Slack Song of the Day: Fitting on this day, here's a mighty fine Julius from July 16, 1998 at The Gorge in Washington. Starts off even-keeled, but the boys really lay it on thick after a few minutes. Listening to this, I'm reminded of how well Jon Fishman plays drums.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Game...Blouses

Meet Prince, the Willy Wonka of the music industry. Sweeeet.

Non-death Afternoon Linkage

It's been a morbidly crude 18-hour period here on Slack, with two posts covering the sad and tragic transportation-related deaths of a genial game show host and a deaf beauty queen.

Backing away slowly from the carnage, I offer you these friendly links as an online olive branch of good behavior...

1. I've mentioned this story before, but some kinky reporters are actually advancing this fantastic story: "The combination of nail-biting soccer matches and crowds of beer-swilling males could mean hefty profits for Germany's sex industry."

Read this story, there are some dyn-o-mite quotes in there, including this one, "Football and prostitution are a great match."

2. Sunny D may have won some major battles, bit it looks like the purple stuff finally won the war: "Orange juice's slice of the fruit juice market has gone down for six years running, while apple juice has been on the increase. And Asda now says it's no longer selling Sunny D. Is the sun setting on OJ?"

3. Imagine how much better that show Cold Case would be if they rolled the opening credits, the male lead took a folder from the unsolved file and simply marked it "solved." Well, it might make for bad television, but it makes for great police work.

4. I find it odd that Hollywood executives still think television shows from the '70s that weren't good enough to be full-length movies back then would make for good cinema now. Is there any chance "Welcome Back, Kotter" starring Ice Cube as Gabe Kaplan's character can possibly succeed? This movie's gonna suck. Signed, Epstein's Mother.

5. Lastly, our friend Matt over at The Function of the Unguent pointed us to some of the coolest old-timey jazz clips I've ever seen on the Internets. Really, you must check out this sick video of Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Buddy Rich, Ray Brown, Lester Young, Ella Fitzgerald and others. Bird, Bean and Ella -- it just don't get better. Then you can either hit "next" or come back here and click this link to see John Coltrane lighting it up with his collection of cool cats.

I Hear the Train a Comin'...

"On a warm springtime evenin', came a train bound for nowhere
I met up with a deaf girl, and I watched her get destroyed.
The train's horn was soundin', but my darlin' couldn't hear it
It's sad she got run over, that's how Miss Deaf Texas died." -K. Rogers

"The reigning Miss Deaf Texas died after being struck by a train, officials said. Tara Rose McAvoy, 18, was walking Monday near railroad tracks when she was struck by a Union Pacific train, authorities said. A witness told Austin television station KTBC the train sounded its horn right up until the accident occurred."

I know, this kind of shit makes me a bad person -- cold, crass and tasteless in every sense of those words. But you're laughing too (admit it, at least at the "the train sounded its horn right up until the accident occurred" line), and this makes you a bad human as well.

But, in truth, society needs this unmitigated, crude and cruel brand of humor to break people up in times of need and worry, in times of tragedy and crisis. Humor as a defense mechanism is a classy broad. This is why I offer my services to the general public in the wake of Miss Deaf Texas' death. May the gods have mercy on both our souls.

I have two questions about things that don't add up: 1) Wouldn't you stay off the tracks if you can't hear the train? 2) Even if you're deaf, can't you feel the train coming? I'm not calling for an investigation here, but something sounds a bit off, and I can hear it.

Update: Turns out, she was text messaging at the time the train struck her. Likely deaf text messaging.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Peter Tomarken, 1942-2006

Sometimes when you press your luck, life throws you a Whammy.

Sad news from Cali: "TV game show host Peter Tomarken and his wife, Katherine, were killed Monday when their small plane crashed into the ocean off the coast of Los Angeles."

I liked this Tomarken fella. I liked him because he was better than those maroonishly brown, cape-wearing, obnoxious critter thieves.

He was morally, socially, emotionally, economically and spiritually superior to them. So it's with great sorrow and a fistful of dollars, I bid thee goodnight and wish ye a pleasant Press Your Luck reunion with the always colorful Rod Roddy.

Related note: If you've never seen the amazing, true story of Michael Larson's Press Your Luck run in 1984, please do us all a favor and read all about how an unemployed ice cream truck driver from Lebanon, Ohio simply Rain Manned his way to $110,237 in cash and prizes. For more, click here, here, sign here, initial here...aaand click here.

Programming update: "GSN will salute Tomarken with two special tributes, starting tomorrow night (3/14) with the re-broadcast of the documentary Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal at 10 PM/9 PM Central. The network will follow with a day-long Press Your Luck tribute Sunday, March 19 from 9 AM to 6 PM ET."

Speaking for Aaaaace Cowboy, this has been a Mark Goodson teleblog production. Stay tuned, an all-new Classic Concentration is next.

CBS' Red Scare

Much like the Ben Kingsley/Hamid Karzai doppelganging, I'm not entirely sure I'd be able to tell Mikhail Gorbachev and Billy Packer apart without proper lighting.

And who knows which is which and who is who...

It's clear that Gorbachev is only a quality spit-shine away from announcing the NCAA Tournament with Jim Nantz. Now go home and get your fuckin' shine box, ya glasnost-lovin' freak.

Sports Miscellany

It's been three days since last we talked, Slackers, and I'm proud to report it's been a fantastic three-day weekend.

I caught two kickass TLG concerts at the Knitting Factory, my nephew's bris (for non-Jews, that's our tribe's getting 25 percent off of everything), Championship Weekend and Selection Sunday, the return of The Sopranos and The West Wing...and the beat goes on.

Since there's a small pile of work building on my desk, here are some quick hitters from the world of sports:

Baseball
--The United States mercy ruled a wily South Africa squad 17-0 in the team's final game of World Baseball Classic's first round on Friday, ensuring our advance to the next pool. Sure the score looks lopsided, but really, it's to be expected. Just think how badly they'd beat us if we played them in Racism. We can play the game, but these guys are in a whole 'nother league.

--Speaking of racism, the WBC umpires totally jobbed the Nipponese team against Los Estados Unidos yesterday. An ump called a Japanese baserunner out in the 8th inning for leaving the bag too early on a sacrifice, reversing an earlier (and correct) call. The game remained tied up at three as a result, and the American squad eventually won it in the 9th on a single by the ever-clutch Alex Rodriguez.

The home plate umpire had this to say after the game: "Upon further review, I think the original call that he left on time was correct. I just figured those Chinamen couldn't see that far to the bag anyway, so I reversed the call on 'em. My mistake, hai!"

College Basketball
--After CBS unveiled the NCAA tournament bracket last night, Jim Nantz and Billy "Tough Monkey" Packer grilled the reigning selection committee chairman Craig Littlepage over some of the last teams asked to dance. The conversation went something like this...

Nantz: "What did you think of the bracket, Mr. Littlepage?"

Mr. Littlepage: "Best bracket ever, mang."

Rushmore paraphrasing aside, anyone else think this Littlepage character looks like a cross between Gary Sheffield and Furious Styles from Boyz in the Hood?

--Here's a quote from this weekend's A-10 Conference Tournament final I found to be equally moronic and astonishing. With 10-seeded Xavier leading St. Joseph's by a point with almost no time remaining, a St. Joe's player drove the lane and got his shot swatted, the ball careening out of bounds and the clock running down to zero. There was still a second-plus remaining, though, and the refs correctly rewound the clock to 1.3 seconds, St. Joe's ball.

The color commentator felt compelled to add this to the telecast: "I think this clearly benefits St. Joseph's." Oh really, fool? Putting 1.3 seconds back on the clock and giving St. Joe's the ball is better than just ending the game and declaring Xavier the winner? Now that's what we call expert analysis. Fuckin' douchebottle.

--I'll post my full thoughts on the brackets later in the week, because I truly don't think there's enough amateur commentary on the Internets. But if you want some genuine help on filling out a winning sheet, I offer you this tip: follow the efficient teams, on both ends of the floor. I point you to Ken Pomeroy's site and this eye-opening SI.com column from earlier this year. Unlike the asshat color guy above, this is quality analysis that'll help you take home some cash.

Golf
Luke Donald will cash a $990,000 check after winning the Honda Classic yesterday. It's always nice to see a guy you graduated with make an insane amount of money every weekend. So congrats, man, I hope you remember what we learned in that Italian Diaspora class while you're lining up to putt.

"I knew if I just played Luke Donald golf, it'd be good enough," Donald said. "It's nice to finish with a great shot like that."

Shit, I'd just like to win some Luke Donald money.

Slack Link of the Day: Like immigrants in a Neil Diamond tune, bird flu is coming to America: "Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States." [More]

Slack Song of the Day: Roommate Dorsey (by way of J-Cantor) introduced me to this tune last night, a 15-minute live song trilogy from The Roots that's pretty effin' sweet.

Here's The Seed > Melting Pot > Web from "Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Roots"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Later, Jerks

I'm off today, so...go fuck yourselves. See youse Monday.

Slack Link of the Day: I walked in last night at the exact second ESPN started experiencing technical difficulties. At around 1:35 am, the ESPN News people came on air and completely blew the intro like the "Boom goes the dynamite" kid, and eventually the chick laid down a passionate F-bomb on the unsuspecting public. Classic.

Slack Video of the Day: I posted this once in late October, but I just saw it again and it's too good not to re-post...

"Handstand gave me the heads up on this pupper, a hilarious video of Jeremy Roenick dancing during a break in a pre-season Kings/Avs game. Apparently the crew was changing a broken pane of glass, and Roenick took the opportunity to entertain the fans. Whether you're a hockey fan or not, whether you like Roenick or not, this really is a must watch clip."

Slack Song of the Day: One show down, one to go. Tea Leaf Green hit the Knit hard last night, and they left themselves plenty of room to git down on it this eve. Look out for a killer Baseball Song closer...much more to come on Monday, including a marching band down Broadway.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bearfucker...Do You Need Assistance?

"You caught me ... I tried to [expletive] your sheep."

That's a Big Green Apple

So they finally announced the lineup for the Green Apple Music Festival, and it's not all that much different than the one I posted at the end of February.

It all kicks off with the Jammy Awards on Thursday, April 20th ("That's like 4/20, man, we can toootally get baked and go to that, duuude"), then continues with three amazing nights and days of music around New York City. Here's the list of the musicians and bands and where they'll be taking the stage around the city for the Green Apple festy.

Friday night looks like conflict central...but if I could be in several places at once, I'd certainly try to check out Umphrey's McGee at CBGB (that sold out in about 30 seconds), Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Steve Kimock Band, Particle's new lineup with Scott Metzger and Ben Combe, and Toots and the Maytals with Soulive. I really want to see Toots and Soulive, but I have a feeling it'll be Particle at the Bowery > Bela at BB King's.

Saturday brings Kaki King around (with Dan Bern), Deep Banana Blackout on the Rocks Off Cruise, the Everyone Orchestra, Bela at Irving Plaza and Kimock again, but I'm pretty sure Little Feat will win the night. Sunday, if I don't see the Fab Faux at 3 pm, I'll go back on the boat for Zen Tricksters and Max Creek.

Or maybe I'll just sleep in all weekend. Thoughts on the lineup? Thoughts on my choices? Thoughts on my heady awesomeness?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Busy Signal

Long day here. So in lieu of any regular afternoon posting, please enjoy this clip entitled "35 Face Balls in 32 Seconds."



Nut shots are always better, but this is a fine diversion.

End of the World Party (Just In Case)

What a day for the crazies: North Korea, Iran, China, Hamas, everyone's bat-shit today (why should today be different than all other days?).

Iran opens the match by threatening us with "harm and pain," kind of like a crazier version of the King's Gambit.

And they can do it...Iran has enough uranium gas to make 10 nucular weapons, we says to the world, we says.

Enter Israel, a country that's pissed as hell and seriously planning to emulate the Jew from Dazed and Confused, sneaking up on that dominant male monkey motherfucker Clint Iran at the Moontower. I have a feeling Israel's going to attack one day, the United States will play the part of Benny and hold people back, the United Nations of Pink and Wooderson will eventually break it up and "Tuesday's Gone" will blare over the world's loudspeaker. Aerosmith tickets!

But Israel has it own problems, folks, as those lovable old government reformers from Hamas have launched a kid-friendly website encouraging the little ones to be martyrs...because nothing says "legitimate government" quite like a state-run Internet propaganda tool that recruits children to blow themselves up for the cause.

Hey, at least Hamas ain't got no nukes...all they have are rocks and beards. Wait, but North Korea's in charge of a few missiles, and they're nuttier than squirrel turds. "Hey military," says Kim Jong-Il, "les all get in my low rider and test two surface-to air-missiles near the Chinese border, ese." I don't know why he sounds like he's Spanish, but he's craisins.

Speaking of the Chinese, the dot-commies are policing the Internets like no nation in the world...30,000 people stand atop the Great Firewall, cracking down on democratic themes on the interweb. The Chinee government says "No Tubgirl for you." Perhaps no Tubgirl, but they sure do have a wicked case of the bird flu over there, and that's fun for the whole family.

Finally, in a bit of breaking news, camouflaged Iraqi gunmen stormed the offices of a private security company in the disastrous region and kidnapped as many as 50 employees. Coming soon to a website near you, desperate pleas from crying civilians and more threats of senseless beheadings. Sounds just like the type of porn I'm into.

All the while, most major networks and cable news channels this morning has been focusing on Dana Reeve's tragic death from lung cancer. That's right, with all these stories going on today alone, why not devote most of this morning's time to the fake Superman's wife?

It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel tired fine.

Slack Song of the Day: For a dark day, I give you the Man in Black. Billed as the "Holy Land Concert" and broadcast on BBC Radio, here's a little Johnny Cash from December 26th, 1968. The show's missing June Carter, but the sound quality on this is fantastic...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Uncle Ace

As a good friend reminded me this weekend, there's nothing like reaping some of the benefits of parenthood without any of the responsibilities. That's Uncle Ace's new motto.

"My uncle couldn't shave today? What an asshole." --Kid Cowboy


After 13 hours of sitting around the hospital's waiting room, we finally got to celebrate the birth of the beautiful baby boy that Red and Ess Cowboy created 40 weeks earlier. At 3:15 on Saturday night/Sunday morning, all seven pounds and 15 ounces of adorable cuteness entered the world, prompting Ace to inquire, "Wait, there are 16 ounces in a pound? That's some fucked up repugnant shit."

Even more unbelievable than my lack of knowledge in the weights and measures category, Ess Cowboy actually delivered on her due date. That's just cool shit, no? If I were her, and someone tried to one-up one of my stories, I'd fire back with "Well I delivered a baby on the exact day they predicted. Eat that shit, turdlicker. Oh yeah, and I heard you were adopted."

So as every single person in history says after the birth of a newborn, "Mother and baby are doing well!" All gifts should be sent directly to me -- apparently I need a new razor. That joke never gets old, Dad.

Yanni Pulls a Puckett

I never thought I'd see a headline quite like this: "Yanni arrested after girlfriend alleges he hit her"

EB just passed that over to me with this description..."Here's a nice ditty from today's Palm Beach Post about Yanni being arrested on domestic violence charges. It's got all the elements: He took his girlfriend out to a restaurant to drop the dump-bomb on her. Later, back at the house, he's presumably getting her all packed up, and a fight ensues, and she kicks him in the nuts. Yanni! So he smacked her back, in self defense, he says. Cops come to the door -- she's bloody, he's not. Guess who goes to jail? Yahtzee."

Yahtzee indeed. I'd bet the farm it was all that industrial death metal he was playing in the background at the time. That shit just primes people for a good domestic slapping.

Unrelated: Our friends over at The Electric Commentary hosted an interesting debate about the banning of human/animal hybrids and whether or not this is ethical. I especially like the opinion of the second intellectual heavyweight.

Breaking News: Bonds Exposed

"Beginning in 1998 with injections in his buttocks of Winstrol, a powerful steroid, Barry Bonds took a wide array of performance-enhancing drugs over at least five seasons in a massive doping regimen that grew more sophisticated as the years went on, according to Game of Shadows, a book written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters at the forefront of reporting on the BALCO steroid distribution scandal." [More at SI.com]

Looks like someone finally got him. Craisins. This is definitely a huge "gotcha" story, but I think it'd be even bigger and better if they can prove Bonds killed Kirby Puckett. I'm hearing he did.

Pearl Jam's New Single

I honestly had no idea these guys were even still making new music. After listening to their latest single, Worldwide Suicide, I'm kinda wondering why they are. Thoughts? Jokes? Threats?

Puckett Dies, Minn. Women Breathe Easier

I'd love to see that run in the morning papers...

I feel like we often glance over the nasty chapters in the lives of famous athletes when they die. I think the "Great player, great man" revisionist fluffing is a load of Grade-A malarkey.

R.I.P. The Great Ballplayer and Teammate and Good Half of Kirby Puckett. Any chance Jack Buck broadcasted Kirby's death in Heaven and paraphrased his famous Game 6 call? "Puckett, I'll see you tomorrow night."

Slack Link of the Day: Sadly, Dana Reeve also died on Monday, a crushing blow for anyone like me who wants to believe bad things don't happen to good people. Like Brett Favre and his many struggles recently, the Reeve family had to be closet Nazis that skinned orphaned cats and anally probed defenseless rabbits in order to deserve this, right? Sad stuff, just really sad stuff.

Slack Link of the Day II: Russ just gave me the heads up on this one: "At last Saturday's Cal men's hoops season finale versus USC, Bears boosters pulled a prank that straddles the fuzzy gray line between 'Crap-Yer-Pants Hilarious' and 'Inexcusably Cruel.'" This is classic.

Slack Video of the Day: This one's got a cheesy introduction from a ceremony that probably blew goats, but it turns into a performance of Crazy Love by Ray Charles, Van (the man) Morrison and a gospel choir. If that ain't cool enough for ya, here's another video of Van talkin' jive and playing with the lucious Bobby Dylan.

Slack Song of the Day: The NYC folk have two Tea Leaf Green shows at the Knitting Factory this week...and a cool young band I caught last April called U-Melt will be opening for them. So here's U-Melt on their epic tune Red Star, and here's an interesting cover of Phish's It's Ice, both from the band's February 4th show in Pittsfield, Mass.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Awful Choice

Who had the worse year, Isiah Thomas or Hollywood executives? If Crash was indeed the best production to come out of the left coast this year, I'm thinking it's definitely the latter.

I can't be the only person who thought Crash was a destitute poor man's Traffic about racism instead of drugs, right? Maybe it's because I waited too long to see it, but I thought Crash was one of the more overrated movies I've seen in a long time.

There may have featured some really good scenes (mainly the Latino locksmith) and some of the acting was above average, but this movie left absolutely nothing to the imagination. It spelled everything out in the most in-your-face of terms and was just completely devoid of all subtleties and nuance. Okay, we get it, there's racism in the LAPD. Shit, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo broke more ground than Crash.

But that's the beauty of movies -- they emote such different reactions from people who have even the most similar of tastes. I didn't see that many movies this year, but if Crash was the best one in Hollywood, than it really was as bad a year for movies, as everybody knows but nobody admitted last night.

If you really want to discuss overt racism today, look no further than the exchange Hoobs and I had on Friday night before heading out (to Common Ground, a super-cool bar on Ave A, check it out). Hoobs picked up my 2006 NY Times Almanac and began firing some trivia questions at me, when we came to this impasse...

Hoobs: What's the official beverage of Mississippi?
Ace: N*gger blood?

Yeah, I used the n-word, but hot damn that's funny. It's okay to laugh.

My Favorite Oscar Note: Hey, whoa, isn't that Congresswoman Wyatt singing the song from Crash?! How did Andy get up there?

Slack Link of the Day: "Makers of the hit cartoon The Simpsons have a filmed the show's opening titles using real actors," according to The Sun. You can see this cool scene for yourself right here on YouTube.

Slack Video of the Day (updated): Since the Natalie Portman SNL skit was deleted off of YouTube, I offer this instead...

Slack Song of the Day: It's been a joyful weekend for the Cowboy Clan, so who better to usher in the new era than Robert Randolph. Okay, that made no sense. Regardless, here's a wonderful rendition of I Get Joy from Bonnaroo 2002. And for good measure, because I like bonuses, I'll throw in a little Voodoo Chile.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Clap Your Hands for Blogging

One of the reasons I'm so obsessed with my own blog is the look-back feature, the ability to virtually return to any event I've chronicled in order to see my feelings and thinkings at the time.

Sure, you get minimal enjoyment out of the funny links and mediocre prose, but I get an online time capsule out of this blog-deal.

Doctor J.B. Hoobs just passed along the link to the following video of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the South Street Seaport in August. Our little crew attended this brief (and free) show in honor of Lukas' birthday before we made our way over to the Knitting Factory for some Club D'elf with Marco Benevento action. Here's an interesting excerpt from my quick review of the CYHSY show:

"The other highlight was the pair of dancers you just couldn't keep your eyes off if you tried. One was a sloppy, late 20s/early 30s douchebag dressed in business casual, who looked like he'd guzzled 15 beers since work finished an hour earlier. He was dancing wildly on an elevated platform, stopping only to swig more beer and shout with his friend, 'Clap your hands...And say yeah' like a clever little girl." [More]

Now, please, watch this...good lord, I love YouTube.



The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth is a pretty cool song and these guys are a talented group, but here are the two points you should take away from these proceedings: 1) Don't act like a dickwad in public; but more importantly, 2) I'm a damn good eyewitness.

You're Gonna Be a Genius Anyway

I never thought trade talks between the United States and India would produce such a funny quotation, but then again, anything is possible with Putz Boy in office.

But in a trade eerily reminiscent of The Babe to the Yanks or Mess to the Rangers, we agreed to transfer our civilian nucular technology to India in exchange for their succulent mangos. Lots and lots of Indian mangos.

I'm not opposed to selling our nuke-tech to the Injuns, so don't go calling me a protectionism-lovin' isolationist or anything. But we couldn't get anything better back than produce? Like maybe their Herbie Hancock on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Or some more help with catching bin Laden? Or maybe some of our outsourced jobs back? Who's running this show, Scott Layden?

So President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped up to their respective podiums and delivered some well-choreographed remarks commemorating the deal and a new era of relations between the two countries. Then our president said this:

"...Mr. Prime Minister, the United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangos."

I, for one, certainly look forward to sinking my teeth into some Indian mangos. For a full text of Thursday's remarks, click here. And for more fun facts about mangos, consult this comprehensive resource.

Slack Link of the Day: Crain's reported this morning that Cablevision & Its Crooked Cronies are actually going through with their rumored plan to move Madison Square Garden.

As I said a few weeks ago when the plan leaked, "Moving Madison Square Garden down the street is about as necessary and well-intentioned as, say, invading Iraq. Sure, some good may come of the decision in the long-run, but it'll more than likely cause significant and avoidable pain for the foreseeable future." I stand by my comments.

Slack Search of the Day: How in the world did this guy find this blog from this: "What is the community of saints who devote themsleves to the rehabilitation of priests addicted to drugs?" Does anyone know the answer, because now I'm curious?

Slack Song of the Day: What else but The Mango Song, this one from 8/6/98 at the Lakewood Amphitheater in Hotlanta. There's also a funktastic Moma Dance and a ridonkulous Runnin' with the Devil cover during the first encore of that show.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Saw the Ghost of Elvis...

The madness continues. First the Virgin Mary visits one side of a grilled cheese sam'ich (one for three, two for five). Then she camps out in a grease stain on the wall of a Chicago underpass.

Fuck this Godly shit, that's small potatoes. All that matters is The King: A northern California woman "was looking up an Office Depot rebate receipt when she discovered the ghostly image of the King strangely manifested on the receipt itself."

I can live in a world where Elvis crumples up the receipt, mistakes it for some quality speed and ingests it along with several others. But unless you're trippin' equal-to-elvis balls, there ain't no Kang on that paper, lady. I don't want to live in your world. Actually, it really does look just like him. I'm totally on board.

And speaking of drugs, I just realized today's the one-year anniversary of my incredibly morbid prediction that Barry Bonds will die of steroid-related heart failure before breaking Hank Aaron's homerun record. Some of the stats are a bit off -- we've played a season since its original posting -- but I think it still flies. Folks, Imagine That.

(Thanks to en regalia for the heads up on this one...I should also give "mad props," as the kids say, to Slackfriend EB, who actually broke the Virgin Mary grilled cheese story nationally, taking it from a strictly local phenomenom to a ubiquitous punchline. True story.)

Trey's New Languedoc

Thanks to Jay over at Plagiarist for digging that photo up...he's also got an absolutely classic YouTube video of Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones on a kickass synthesizer medley at the 1985 Grammys.

I love the fact that Herbie and Stevie have no qualms sharing the stage with Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones...I mean, seriously, that's like the Williams sisters playing doubles with the autistic kid who hit those three pointers and his mother. I also love the fact that nobody's even remotely playing an instrument on the stage. Fakers!

The YouTube site has this comment under the video, by the way: "that has to be the most completely homosexual video i've ever seen/heard." Nice touch, good stuff.

Iocane Powder Immunity

Anyone ever see that sadly compelling HBO movie "The Positively True Story of the Alleged Texas Cheerleading Murdering Mom"?

Well, move on over mommy and make room for this daddy: "A retired soldier is on trial in France on charges that he drugged the tennis rivals of his children 27 times from 2000 to 2003, a report said."

After drugging six of his sons opponents and 21 of his daughter's, Christophe Fauviau finally got caught when one of his son's rivals fell alseep and died in the car ride home after a match.

See, and all this time I thought the French were non-competitive surrendering cowards. But this guy makes Mary Pierce's father look like an estranged deadbeat. Ugh, you really can't be happy starting off the day with Mary Pierce jokes.

I'm sensing it's gonna be one of those days...

Slack Video of the Day: The world rejoiced last night after Duke's loss, a truly sad and pathetic state of affairs. As a Yankee fan, I understand why some people hate the Dookies -- it's easy to want to tear down the best from their pedestal. But I never understood why Yankee fans would ever hate Duke, seeing as how they're very similarly packaged franchises.

Anyway, here's a pretty funny cartoon Deputy Girardin dug up called Coach Kommercial, and I'm sure all the haters and the fluffers alike will enjoy this to no end.

Slack Link of the Day: Deargod, Gregg Watson, what are you doing? Why in the world would you take a complaint about a rub-n-tug parlor and actually investigate?! What a douchebottle. And, by the way, this transcrbed quotation is just fucking racist: "'Would you like your little friend massage too? He sleeping,' the masseur said." Good work, bigoted dipshits.

Slack Link of the Day II: Jacob Eli sent this over yesterday, a cool link to some before and after photos of airbrushed celebrities.

It sounds complicated, but it's not, so follow this -- go to this site, then click on "portfolio" and click on before/after. When you've selected a pic, hold down the "before" button to see what the shot looked like pre-photoshop. Do it.

Slack Song of the Day: Someone alerted me to an Israeli artist named Eyal Maoz yesterday. His latest ensemble, Edom, features Ace-favorite John Medeski on the B3 along with Shanir Blumenkranz on bass and Ben Perowsky on drums.

The group released a self-titled album recently, and the song playing on his website from that disc is off-the-charts incredible. I'd love to see these guys play this live...preferably at Tonic.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

PostSecret Plug

I love this site and plug it all the time...yet I don't own the book.

My birthday is at the end of June, in case you were wondering.

Three Things

Since it seems like nobody's around to come out and play today, here are three great links I feel like sharing with the group:

This puzzingly courageous and well-reasoned interview
Dr. Wafa Sultan schooling some folks, claiming it's not a clash of cilivizations we're witnessing between the Muslims and the West, but rather "a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality."

This alarmingly intelligent and well-discerned article
If you've been following the UAE ports deal and/or the general giveaway of American assets, this one's for you. Whether or not you agree that Thomas Paine's Rights of Man has been replaced by Antonin Scalia's Rights of Corporate Persons, this is a great read.

This truly awesome and well-hidden jam session
Jimi Hendrix & Traffic, recorded some unknown time between 1968-70. The lineup is also known but unknown, supposedly featuring Jimi on geetar, Steve Winwood on piano/organ, Chris Wood on flute and sax, and Jim Capaldi on drums. The beauty of this recording, though, is that Jimi doesn't dominate and take over the session, he sounds like he's a genuine part of this band. Very jazzy, very cool.

Phone Booth

Stoned and groggy, I exited the W. 4th subway and scurried south, shuffling swiftly with shoulders hunched through the windy arctic blast sweeping down the island's cavernous halls.

I made the slight-left turn from 6th Avenue onto Bleecker St. and noticed a college girl huddled in one half of the telephonic kiosk on the street corner. Only, and I thought this a bit strange, she was talking on her cell phone.

I'm sure she had her reasons, like the nipply weather, but I just wanted to march right up to her and say, "You know you don't have to stand in there to use that thing, right?"

Some people need instructions for just about everything.

Slack Link of the Day: Unheralded character actor Peter Stormare in mock-Pimp My Ride Volkswagen commercials?

That is what's called genius, my friends. Brilliant casting, hilarious concept, well-executed, um, execution. If you do anything at all today, make it your beeswax to watch these three ads. And if you don't think they're funny, I'll stomp on your testicles.

Slack Video and Song of the Day: Hoobs found this gem on YouTube, a Crosseyed and Painless video by the Talking Heads that features what appears to be a black Ronald McDonald sans makeup.



Find your shape, Slackers.