Friday, April 28, 2006

Earl Weaver: Awesome

A special Friday night pre-Duo post for y'all:

Do yourself a favor and listen to this absolutely classic interview with former Orioles manager Earl Weaver for what sounds like an "Ask the Manager" type of segment for a local broadcast. People talk about Hal McRae and Lee Elia and Lou Piniella and Bobby Knight, but this might be the greatest two minutes of off-color managerial blow-up ever recorded. Here you go, and I recommend a second helping.

Why have I never heard this before? Where the hell has everyone been on this? Probably playing for the "fucking, goddamn Atlanta Braves."

Incidentally, if you took the under in the "Steve Howe Makes It to 50" prop bet, you may now sadly collect your winnings. We always knew the former Yankee reliever would flame out early, but most of us never imagined it'd be in a flipped pick-up truck. Steve, may your pain finally be eased and may your soul finally be saved.

(Major praise be to Greg for passing along the priceless Weaver clip...)

From the Fine Folks at Deadspin

I just don't know what to say about this one...

I guess we should have a caption contest though. Any suggestions?

(Thanks to Fritzy for the e-mail, and check out the other pic in the series)

View from the Cheap Seats

Your parents grow old. Your food grows stale. Your back grows hair. Almost everything fresh and idyllic eventually wilts or sags or finds some way to lose its luster. One exception, though, is the sparkling diamond and well-manicured outfield lawn of Yankee Stadium.

No matter how many times I walk out the tunnel to the field level, the historic beauty of that place brings me back to the first time I ever stepped foot inside the hallowed grounds. They should have Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" on a loop before every game.

And every time out, I can't help but imagine a simpler time when larger-than-life heroes roamed this very grass and dirt. Shit, that's where DiMaggio dove for balls in Death Valley, where Ruth knocked out more homers than the rest of the AL combined, where The Mick stood and eye-raped female fans, where Gehrig was lucky and Whitey scuffed balls. Who needs Cooperstown when you've got baseball's most immortal history right here in New York City?

For those of you who have never been to the temple called Yankee Stadium, these are the famed center-field "black seats." Personally, I think that's just fucking racist.

(As an aside, only 18 players have hit homeruns into the black seats a total of 24 times. Mickey Mantle was the first on June 7, 1955, when he smashed a 486-foot Ballantine Blast out there. The most famous black-seats shot is easily Reggie Jackson's third homerun of Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, a shot off knuckler Charlie Hough that measured 475 feet -- yes, that far off a knuckleball.)

We sat fairly close to those black seats, but we sat even closer to the less-heralded "latino seats." A large group of hispanic gentleman came barreling into the bleacher seats in the bottom of the first, led by a high-larious dude in a Beltran jersey and 1980s Mets bullpen jacket. These dudes were fine, but as a result of the law of unintended consequences, they inspired a group of four white douchebottle college-aged kids to get all rowdy and root against the Yankums. One kid even wore a Yankee hat and rooted for Tampa.

Last night must've unofficially been Idiot Night at the Stadium, a special promotion in which if you bring one idiot friend, you're both fucking idiots. I've never in all my games there seen so many unfunny hecklers and monumentally dumb fans. It was borderline embarassing, although most were actually Mets fans, which is obvious. The inferior breed needs to come to the Bronx just to smell the championships...

Let me say this: If you want to heckle, if you want to be loud and obnoxious, at least be funny. Please, for the love of gods, shouting out "Jeter sucks" and "A-Rod's a bitch" as loud as you can isn't productive. It just makes you look incomparably stupid.

If you wanna be loud, be clever. Don't stand above the visitor's bullpen yelling "Fuck you, Miceli." Instead, try something like, "Who's the boss, Miceli, who is the boss?"

Over the past few years I've sat within 10 rows of the Yankee dugout somewhere around 10 times. Roommate Dorsey's got great seats, and Chuck B took me to Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS against Minnesota when we sat on the dugout. Figures, though, that I buy a digital camera and we sit in the last row of the bleachers. The cheapies:

And one at night from the cheap seats:

But the game was great, a 4-1 Yankee victory, making me 1-0 on the young season. Thanks to Russ and Rob Ronanea for the company, and thanks to Derek Jeter for batting .408 so far this season. You're good at what you do, sir, keep it up.

Slack Link of the Day: Very funny clip of a hot girl caught trying to be seductive on a webcam, it's billed as "This is why doors have locks, and why some people shouldn't have friends." (may not be work safe, but I think you're cool)

Slack Video of the Day: Enter Sandman, Mo trots to the mound...



Slack Song of the Day: Sorry for the back-to-back Trey-related tunes, but I promise you this is good stuff. In honor of yesterday's big announcement -- a so-called Ambiguously Trey Duo* tour with Phil & Friends (Mike, Trey, The Duo & Phil? Holy shitballs!) -- here's Big Red sitting in with Phil on They Love Each Other, Up on Cripple Creek and Eyes of the World. *Geniusly coined by GZ's Henge

Thursday, April 27, 2006

His Guitar Says Bad Mutherfucker On It

April 27, 2006 -- "QUENTIN Tarantino is going from 'Pulp Fiction' to 'Purple Haze' now that he's reportedly signed on to direct the long-awaited biopic about Jimi Hendrix. Tarantino is said to be a 'huge fan' of the script of the untitled flick, according to producers at Dragonslayer Films, and will team up with Hendrix's brother, Leon, to tell the story of the guitar god's life. Tarantino will have full access to Hendrix's music and likeness while shooting later this year in Seattle, reports starpulse.com."

Hendrix, a mushroom cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker.

Total Costanza Move

"Well, I, uh, I'm not sure how you pronounce it or anything, but I, uh, believe it's menage a trois?" --GC, 1/5/95

I'm all about helping out the little guy. I do what I can. So when I stumbled upon this website, whether or not it's an original idea, I felt compelled to post it and do my part.

"So, here's the story...I said to my girlfriend that any stupid website could get tons of hits, simply because people are bored all the time. She said that I was an idiot and couldn’t make a website that could get tons of hits if I wanted to. After a long argument (mostly centered around the fact that she called me an idiot) we made a bet:

If I could not make a website to get 2,000,000 hits, I would agree that I was an idiot; however, if I could make a website to get 2,000,000 hits, she would have a menage a trois (that's a threesome to you non french-speakers) with me and another girl. I thought she was kidding at the time, but then she said she was so sure of herself, that she would even put it in writing. This of course is an ultra-binding contract." Well done, sir. Great bet.

My friend, whoever you are and wherever you may be, good luck.

Slack Link of the Day: It's been well-documented that I spend a good deal of my after-tax income on live music. Just this morning I ponied up $85 a ticket for Tom Petty with Trey Anastasio. Yesterday I laid out $80 for two tickets to moe. at Central Park. Last week I bought Phil & Friends tickets for May in San Fran, and this weekend I saw 14 hours of music as part of the Green Apple Music Festival. It's been a good year, it's getting better, and it all comes on the heels of last year's personal record of 73 live performances.

A recent post on the acclaimed music blog Coolfer has some more insight into the economics of live music, Rockonomics if you will. Princeton professor Alan Krueger examined the industry going back to 1981, and here are some of his findings:

1. "Since 1996 ticket prices have outpaced inflation -- 8.9% though 2003 versus 2.3% inflation."

2. "There is a very skewed distribution of income for bands," said Krueger. "The top 5 percent of artists in 1982 generated 62 percent of the revenue. Today, they're generating 84 percent of the revenue. More people are paying more to see the best."

3. Not from Krueger, but the piece says only TWO PERCENT of Americans see more than two concerts a year. That's craisins.

Check it out, and try to follow all the links. There's a good article on Princeton's website that discusses Krueger's findings as well, in greater detail. Cool stuff.

Slack Video of the Day: The Phish boards are a wealth of great videos -- here's one called "Hot Not to Stage Dive."

Slack Song of the Day: The Redheaded Fuckface is back on the road...at least for a couple of shows. Trey has officially kicked three of the original five 70 Volt Paraders to the curb (goodbye Mr. Mysterioso, Skeeto and Les) and brought in a few of his old standbys (hello Jen, Russ and The Truth!) for this two-night stand in Atlanta. And it looks like Big Red's packin' a whole slew of new tunes as well...

In honor of a semi-return to the old, new band, here's the Trey Anastasio Band with some sweet versions of Mozambique, Sand, and Gotta Jibboo from Red Rocks '01.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

One Nation Under a Groove

Now this is a man that love my Jesus. I like that this actually aired on public television somewhere in this great land.

As an added bonus, Chuck B just sent me this classic A-Rod moment.

Wait, What Do They Say?

You know those songs you've heard hundreds of times, maybe even thousands, the ones you sing along to, mostly out loud and in the presence of company, the ones in which you know maybe 98 percent of the words and not a clue as to the other 2 percent.

Take Sister Sledge's We Are Family for example. You know almost every line to that song, right? You heard it at Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings, at baseball games (especially in Pittsburgh) and repeated watchings of the underrated flick The Birdcage. There aren't even that many words, so you think you have it covered. But then what happens after this stanza, besides faking like you know the words:

All of the people around us they say
Can they be that close?
Just let me state for the record...

We give them love with the family doors? We gulfin' muff that our family loves? We grab earlobes in the family dome? We gettin' soap that our family does? We golfin' butts with the Fanta dolls?

I have no idea, so I looked it up (incidentally, what the shit did people do before the Interweb?). The next line of the song apparently goes: "We're givin' love in the family dose." Have you ever, in the history of that song, heard that lyric correctly? I'm calling bullshit.

I know there's a whole cottage industry built around misheard lyrics, but that's not what this is about. I'm not talking about the guy who thinks the Beatles' Paperback Writer is "Pay the Black Writer." This is about songs that are played millions of times a year from childhood to the present that people still have no clue what the lyrics are. And for some reason this morning, I find that absolutely fascinating.

Bohemian Rhapsody fits the description at some parts of the song. So does something like Magic Carpet Ride. Elton John's got a slew of songs that fit. What other songs can you think of that go along with this post? Let's be interactive today.

Slack Link of the Day: I missed the slow boil of this story, but I'm here for the full roll -- apparently Kevin Costner's in hot water for trying to turn a regular massage into a rub n' tug. On his honeymoon. Awesome. I wonder if Cal Ripken kicked his ass this time.

Slack Video of the Day: A buddy showed me this yesterday, a clip of the Cubs' Glenallen Hill mashing a shot that cleared Waveland Ave and landed on the roof of a building across the street from Wrigley. Glenallen Hill, that's a name no Yankum fan can ever forget, what that man did in the summer of 2000 should have been illegal.



Slack Song of the Day: I listened to Dave Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk -- one of the cooler jazz tunes ever -- on the way to work this morning, and felt the need to post some of the devil's music up here today. Coincidentally, someone showed me the following link as soon as I walked in, so here you go: Jazzification podcast. This is sweet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Good Band Name

Add this to the list: Iraqi Barometer of Violence.

(Or is that more of an album name? Hmmm, you decide.)

Bush Scandal

Now this is a classic: Reggie Bush's parents lived in the wrong house for a year, and for that, the Heisman Trophy Trust may meet to discuss taking away the running back's hardware. Not surprisingly, such a revocation has never occurred.

So let me get this straight -- Bush may eventually have his well-earned Heisman revoked because his parents pulled a Jeffersons movin'-on-up routine, but nobody on the committee thought to meet for some "soul-searching" after O.J. Simpson converted his ex-wife and her cockboy into a couple of Pez dispensers?

Even when Nordberg sold his trophy to finance his civil liability debts -- you know, for brutally murdering his wife and a poor dude who just wanted to bang a hot chick -- nobody on the committee thought to take it back then? Yeah, Bush's parents are the real criminals here.

Disgusting, those Bushes. I say take away that trophy and give it to Vince Young like the fans are requesting. Yeah, I'm sure that's how Vince wanted to win a Heisman. Let's get fucking reasonable here, dipshits. Good lord, everyone's an idiot sometimes.

Slack Link of the Day: I know I started to whole Green Apple blog to keep the mass music posts off this main site, but I figure what the fuck, might as well continue to ease the shit out of it. My site, my rules on blatant self-promotion. I still have some stuff to add, but it's basically a complete work now that my Tea Leaf Green Takes CBGB review is posted and complete. Check it out, lots of cool photos and videos and words.

Slack Video of the Day: Wanna see some absolutely stellar acoustic geetar work? Check out this video of Leo Kottke on January 11, 1970.

Slack Song of the Day: Now here's some absolutely stellar acoustic geetar and bass work from Leo and Mike Gordon on 10/22/05.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tone Loc: Dangerous?

I could use a day to unwind after this weekend's festivities. Instead, I'll have to settle for the busiest day I've had in months. Months!

The extended weekend fucked me up good. All told, I caught five concerts totaling 14 hours, attended at least part of three birthday celebrations, started a new blog and got limited sleep.

After that, surely I must have been looking forward to a pile of shit (yes, I eat pieces of shit for breakfast) and about 15 research requests from my bossman.

So I can't hang with youse all right now, as evidenced by my lack of posting today. I'll leave you with this weird thought: Was Funky Cold Medina a date-rape drug?

This brother told me a secret on how to get more chicks
Put a little Medina in your glass
And the girls will come real quick
It's better than any alcohol or aphrodisiac
A couple of sips of this love potion and she'll be on your lap

Then later:
I went up to this girl, she said, "Hi, my name is Sheena"
I thought she'd be good to go with a little Funky cold Medina
She said, "I'd like a drink, " I said OK, I'd go get it
Then a couple of sips, she sold licked her lips
And I knew that she was with it

I say yes. Lock up Loc. That is all.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Switching Channels

Since I'll likely be in Music Mode for the next few days worth of posts, I've set up a Green Apple Music Fest blog. You know, to spare youse from all the foolish hippie antics.

So if you're interested in photos like this, what looks to be parrots pecking at Jake from Umphreys, click over there periodically this weekend (and probably into next week). I've also put up some videos and words that resemble reviews. Good times.

"This new blog is the goods." --Officer Rod Farva

The Patchouli Grammys

Peter Frampton and his talking guitar... uh, Woodstock folkie Richie Havens, jazz legends McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea... People who are dead? An heir named Dweezil, one of the unnamed Marley kids... Oh, um, people capitalizing on old careers? The Dude abiding, the Rhythm Devils, tap dancer Savion Glover... uh, Blues Traveler. I don't know, people that have never been in my kitchen? Joe Satriani, exaggerated beanpole Manute Bol... PEOPLE ON STAGE AT THE JAMMYS!

Dun, nuh-na-nuh-na-nuh-nuh-na-nuh, dun, nuh-na-nuh-na-nuh-nuh-na-nuh.

Regardless of how the lineup looks on paper, I'm not sure I'll ever miss this show again. The Jammy Awards are all about the interesting mash-ups and clever collaborations, and the ceremonial festivities certainly did not disappoint. And I mean, seriously, any time Manute Bol shows up to give an award for anything other than Tallest Jamband, it's gotta be a good time.

Richie Havens opened the show with a percussion world band called Mutaytor, flanked by freaky dancers, hula hoopers and a two-man Chinese Dragon. Welcome to the Jammys, ya hippies, here's some Burning Man action to make you feel at home here at the Theatre @ Madison Square Garden. Sadly, regretfully, Havens played no longer than five minutes, but he left the stage only after winning the hearts of a late-arriving and very subdued crowd.

Jamband leach DJ Logic joined Blues Traveler and a Dionne Farris-esque Betty Someone for a few tunes, including Magic Carpet Ride. Decent set, though instantly forgettable.

Dual hosts and former Dead drummers Billy Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart then introduced an awesome segment: McCoy Tyner, Bela Fleck & The Fleckstones and Savion Glover. Tyner didn't solo or lead nearly enough, but in 20 minutes it's hard to get everyone playing time. I'm sure the former Coltrane bandmate felt comfortable on stage, though, with Flecktone Jeff Coffin playing more notes than any sax player I've seen live. Damn, these guys were just fun to watch, and they played so well together.

Widespread Panic took home an award for Best Live Album after that, and we were informed the members of WSP had won free Vonage service for life. Wait, what? Why did they announce that? What about us, why don't we get it? Fucking Schools gets free Vonage for life and we don't? How's that fair? Can you even picture Schools on a house phone? This is bullshit, I says.

The only thing that cured my righteous indignation was the next segment: uber-fellated guitar hero Joe Satriani, stool-sitter Steve Kimock and Jammy winner for Most Likely to Give the Audience a Boner, Grace Potter. Man, this chick has pipes (and bazooms). Sexual harassment aside, she was the breakout star of the show as far as I'm concerned. Potter played keys on and sang Cortez the Killer (!) with Satriani and Kimock trading licks, the first real "Hey, wow, this is a cool gig" of the night. Well, that's not true. But for the sake of this paragraph, it is.

After accepting a lifetime achievement award for his old man, Dweezil Zappa and Napoleon Murphy Brock dug up the Frank Zappa shit from out the back of the attic and put on a great set with his music. I was skeptical, but they really pulled it off. Former Miles man Chick Corea sat in on keys for a little bit, but the real highlight was Jake Cinninger from Umphreys, who came out to trade solos with Dweezil. The two went back and forth, and eventually the dueling solos led to a fairly serious prog-rock orgiastic climax.

After that, the crowd started to get to its feet. Until then, the energy was missing from the room, and one of the dudes in my party was actually asked to sit down. Zappa woke everyone up, and it was time for Frampton to take over. Guster played one of their tunes with the Brit in tow, and when I say it was the lowlight of the night, I'm understating it. But they then brought out Martin Sexton and the ensemble kicked in to Do You Feel Like We Do? Thank the gods, because if Frampton hadn't played it, there may have been a non-nitrous-related hippie riot. Here's a fuzzy YouTube video of the pre-talkbox Frampton jam. And here's the talkbox in action, sans title phrase. What a performance, seriously.

moe. and Made Professor followed, with moe. proving once again their might in the so-called jam genre. moe. is really "it" right now. To me, they're the only band out there that can carry any semblence of a torch from the VT Boys. Every time I see them they put on a sick show, and last night's abbreviated set was no different. First they covered The Clash's Guns of Brixton, then broke into a sick Buster, and their set may have been the real no-gimmicks musical highlight of the evening.

A 40-minute Rhythm Devils set followed, featuring the former Dead drummers, Phish bassist Mike Cactus Gordon, members of Mutaytor and a slew of other unshowered ne'er-do-wells. How 'bout some Jingo, some Aiko Aiko and some Voodoo Chile? How 'bout some African vocalists, more drums than you know what to do with? I didn't know if I were completely stoned or if it seemed like this went on forever, but I could have watched four hours of this and been okay. Mickey's also a Grade-A putz, so that's fun as hell to watch. Here's a YouTube video of the end of Jingo...

Mickey then followed with one of the dumbest moments I've seen at an awards ceremony. Mickey begins to give this passionate speech about how our biggest threat isn't Iran and Iraq, or this shitty administration, it's global warming. Global warming is reeeeal, man. And there's a great movie coming out, you all should go see it...it's called, um, well, I don't remember the name of it, but go see it, Al Gore made it. Pretty classic stuff right there. I wish I recorded that.

But then he introduced the finale act, Little Feat. Fannntastic. Like last year's MMW set, Little Feat was joined by a ton of people, most notably some stoned looking Marley kids. Bela came out, the Dead guys, Kimock, Satriani, Charlie Musselwhite and the singers, there had to have been 25 people on stage (like the Rhythm Devils set, which had 24 at one point). A few Marley tunes and a Dixie Chicken later, the show ended and everyone went home happy. Here's a YouTube video of Little Feat, the Marley kid, Billy and Mickey jammin' on Jammin'.

Long live the Jammys...always worth every penny of admission.

(More videos later when I get back from the free shows at Grand Central)

Playin' Hooky

"Ohhhh myyyy." --Dick Enberg

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's Official

The rumor mill treated me kindly this time around...the Steely Dan/Michael McDonald summer tour is on. Oh, it's so on.



I'm in for either Jones Beach, Camden or Holmdel. Who's with me?

4/20, Duuuude

I really dislike the 4/20 thing. And the 4:20 thing. And the "420" thing, like at the end of a screen name or on a street sign. I find it wrong and ridiculous.

Sure, when I was 16, maybe even 18, when April 20th rolled around everyone knew it was time to "get toootally baked, brah." Sometimes we'd even intentionally "smoke a phat bowl" at 4:20 every day, "'cuz that's when everyone else is tokin' too, maaan." And sometimes we even smoked at 5:20, "because kids in Chicago are one-hundreeed percent doin' a jay right now, duuude."

But when people started celebrating an unofficial national holiday on April 20th, that's when I threw in my resin-coated towel, or more accurately, when I stopped using it under my door as a smoke-stopper. Part of me's glad those Columbine fuckers chose today of all days, just to bring everyone down a bit. Nothing says "Whoooa, that totally fucked up my high" more than a moment of silence for tragically lost youth. And it's Hitler's birthday.

Don't get me wrong, I love pot culture, and I enjoy talking about marijuana and marijuana-related activities. I constantly leaf through Reefer Madness and spread the gospel of its author Eric Schlosser. My favorite expression is "the pot calling the kettle black." I consider Half Baked one of the more underrated movies of the '90s and Dazed & Confused a classic. My all-time favorite wrestler is Rob Van Dam because he's known to smoke a bunch, and because he' s awesome.

I'd even categorize my sense of humor as "intellectual stoner comedy" (well, with "comedy" used very loosely). But that doesn't mean I need to set aside a day, or a specific time of day, to get high and make it public. It's kinda low class. Act like you've been there before, right? I mean, every day is April 20th, isn't it?

So instead of the 4/20 love today, let us instead celebrate National High Five Day*. 'Cuz there ain't no better day to use the high five than today. So when someone asks you to smoke with them, just give 'em a high fiver, punch them in the cock and walk your separate ways.

*Believe it or not, this thing's the brainchild of the wicked smaht kid who put together that RBI Baseball Game 6 re-enactment, so it's been a whirlwind few weeks for him.

Slack Link of the Day: This might be my favorite Drudge headline of all-time: "Phony doctor, 76, busted for door-to-door breast exams..."

Slack Video of the Day: Average Homeboy, nuff said.



Slack Song of the Day: It's the 6th Annual Jammy Awards tonight (aka the Patchouli Grammys), and I'm pretty pumped. The lineup ain't what it was in year's past, but the mash-ups are usually much better than expected and provide great moments. Here's last year's Slack review, plus links to the entire show: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.

Part II is my favorite: Umphrey's McGee with Huey, Mavis & Sinead O'Connor, then a great bass n drums gig with Keller and ?uestlove. Part III has some highlights as well, including three of the greatest living bassists -- Phil, Cactus and Les -- all on stage at the same time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Two Things I Stole...

...from the trusty Phish message board:

1. This video of a guy trying to stumble home. He does so incorrectly, with sexy results (if by "sexy" I mean "hysterical"). Tough day.

2. This awesome quote from Britney Spears: "Anyone can sit down and write a boring, artistic song. Pop music is the hardest shit to write."

Like that
You like it?
Yeah
Now watch me (x2)
Get it, get it
Get it, get it ohh
Get it, get it
Get it, get it ohh (I'm your slave)

I really wanna dance, tonight with you
I really wanna do, what you want me to
I really wanna dance, tonight with you
I really wanna do, what you want me to (ooh yeah)

Yes, Ms. Shpears, very Robert Hunter-esque indeed.

TomKitten

You think that's clever? I hope someone fucking strangles the life out of you. All of you. The tabloids, the mainstream, the public. Stop it.

My Teams Stink

Last night was a hockey night, with seven of the eight seeds in the Eastern Conference up for grabs and three teams fighting for the Patrick Atlantic Division crown. The Rangers blew goats (I have proof), but the race itself superceded fan allegiance for the night.

But speaking of a team that stunk it up last night, one beisbol note of import broke through the icy wall yesterday, and it's a doozy concerning Blue Jays pitcher Gustavo Chacin. The specs-sporting southpaw has something no other major leaguer has, something both the Rangers and Yankums need right now: his own brand of cologne, cleverly titled Chacin Cologne.

If I were covering this story, I'd start it one of two ways. First, let's take a look at the benign, punny lede:

Giving new meaning to making players "whiff," Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Gustavo Chacin is about to debut his own brand of cologne.

And now for the Dorsey Levin "Is this racist?" version:

Giving new meaning to the phrase "Puerto Rican Shower," Blue Jays pitcher Gustavo Chacin is about to debut his own brand of cologne.

Yes, yes it is. But it's also pretty funny. Score one for the roommate.

Slack Link of the Day: Grace, get me Vicente Fox on the phone. I want to read him this ludicrous AP article about how Mexico treats its migrants like dogshit, including shooting them where they stand. Seriously, if you think the United States has wronged the illegal immigrant population here in any way (which would be a foolish thought), make sure to click that link. Where'd I get this article? The mailman...his body's decomposing in my lockerrrrr.

Slack Video of the Day: I'd love to take off today and catch the first leg of the Arsenal v. Villareal Champion's League semifinal, but it's gonna be a busy day here. In honor of the game, here's an absolutely sick goal from the best scorer in the world, Arsenal's Thierry Henry.

Slack Song of the Day: I plan on seeing Grace Potter & The Nocturnals on Friday as part of the Green Apple Music Fest, and I'm pretty excited about that prospect. This chick's got pipes, she gots the blues, and her band is solid. I'm diggin' on a tune called Gumbo Moon right now, but this whole Live Oh Five album sounds perfecto. Check it out here at indie911.com...

And Happy 31st Birthday to Red Cowboy...you the man.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hee Hee

"Michael Jackson, seeking to revive his singing career after his acquittal on sex-abuse charges, has teamed up with a label in Bahrain to record a new album set for release next year, the label said on Tuesday."

Sources tell me the new disc is loaded with adapted covers, including Elton John's Don't Let Your Son Go Down on Me, Hall & Oates' Boyeater, AC/DC's Little Balls, Frankie Valli's Big Boys Don't Tell, and Eric Burdon & War's Spill the Jesus Juice.

Eh, sorry. That was too easy. I'm just that uncreative today.

Bread Sliced By Width

Someone at work just dropped the "Greatest thing since sliced bread" platitude on me. I refrained from punching her squarely in the breasts.

I enjoy the "sliced bread" cliché for one reason: It led to one of the funnier dialogues in my storied history of e-mail frivolity. I just dug through my Yahoo! E-mail archives and found this gem from December of 2002.

Shortly after hooking up my new TiVo (thanks Red Cowboy), I sent this piece of online correspondence to my buddies and most notable amateur historians TJ in OH and Tits McGillicuty:

"Seriously, is there a better invention than TiVo? I think in historical significance, it goes: 1. Sliced bread 2. TiVo 3. Electricity. Thoughts?"

See, even I utilized the "sliced bread" banality at one point in life. Proof, we all can be saved from ourselves. Titsy responded first:

"Honestly, in terms of technology I've experienced, here's my ranking:
(3 way tie) High speed internet, Tivo, recordable CDs.
Technology I'd like to experience: XM Radio.
Technology that is unnecessary: color cell phones that include games and cameras. Give me a break.

Were people just FREAKING OUT when sliced bread came out? How did that go. Was there a big press release? Was it in the papers? Was it available just in time for Christmas?"


Titsy brings up a good point. But, as usual, the always insightful TJ in OH retorted with the answer (albeit fabricated) to his queries:

"Sliced bread as we know it took some time to develop. Early models featured the bread sliced lengthwise, which was impractical for its most popular application: the sandwich.

Even though it was sliced, the bread-consuming public just didn't give a damn. So when people say 'the greatest thing since sliced bread,' they should really say 'the greatest thing since bread sliced by width.' It's simply more accurate."


Truer words ne'er been spoken, TJ. Spread the gospel of width.

(More on Chillicothe MO, "The Home of Sliced Bread," and why they feel compelled to promote that as an actual accomplishment. The quality of life there must truly be off the charts.)

The Day San Francisco Was Flaming...

And we thought Katrina sucked? No, Katrina threw like a girl.

One-hundred years ago this morning, an earthquake ranging in estimated magnitude from 7.5 to 8.25 rocked San Francisco while the city slept. At least 250,000 of the city's 400,000 residents became instantly homeless, as 80 percent of the city (nearly 500 blocks) was completely destroyed from the quake and subsequent fires. I'm not sure whether the city's Chinee population clung to rooftops, stranded, waving banners and waiting for help.

A true testament to the spirit of rebuilding and regrouping, the Bay Area still stands 100 years later, bigger and better than before. And considering I just booked a four-day trip out there for late May, I can only hope it stands until at least the 22nd of the month. I'd prefer not to have the ceiling fall on my head at a Phil & Friends show. Just a preference. This shit's awesome, brah, I feel like this place is caving in on my head. Oh, it is, you say? Heady, man.

I love this sign. SF Mayor Eugene Schmitz put out a "Shoot to Kill" order for anyone caught looting or committing other crimes. And in case you wanted to plead ignorance, think again: The dude capitalized the word "KILL." Bang bang, on the door, baby. Happy anniversary.

Slack Link of the Day: It's official, Tom Cruise will eat the placenta. Her placenta falls in his mouth...The angel opens her eeeeeyes.

Slack Video of the Day: The Rangers go for the division title tonight, in the Garden against Ottawa. A win, and the Patrick Atlantic Division is their's. Since the Rangers haven't been relevant in a decade, I'll root them on with this shot of Matteau's game winner, with an exuberant, jubilant Ace in the stands celebrating like no other time.



Slack Song of the Day: Walk Away from Phish's 6/29/00 set randomly came on the iPod, and I suddenly felt the urge to dig on some James Gang. Not many quality recordings exist freely on the Interweb, but I did find this Central Park show from 6/17/74. It's got all the big songs: Ride the Wind, Funk #49 and Walk Away, so enjoy this shitty James Gang recording...(Added bonus: Phish's Walk Away.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Green Apple Gratis

New York's Green Apple Music Festival is almost here...

We've covered the basics here before, artists and venues. The festy all kicks off Thursday night with the 6th Annual Jammy Awards at the Theatre @ MSG (with one special Wednesday night show at the Canal Room featuring former Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart), then begins in earnest on Friday around New York.

Woo hoo, now comes word there'll be some freebies this weekend (a chance to break out the new digital camera). As part of the Earth Day festivities, promoters have lined up some free shows outside of Grand Central Terminal on Vanderbilt Ave.

Friday, April 21
Noon: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
1pm: Umphreys Mcgee
5pm: Mickey Hart with the Mutaytor and Baaba Maal
6pm: Martin Sexton

Saturday April 22
11am: Constant Wonder (kids show)
Noon: Jonah Smith
1pm: Ben Taylor
2pm: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
3pm: Assembly of Dust

Grace Potter, Umphrey's McGee, Bela & the Flecktones and AoD -- What has two thumbs and is calling in sick on Friday? This guy.

Upgrading Ace

After much idle chatter, I finally shifted into action this weekend and scratched off the top new toy from my parenthetical-dominated "Fuck It, Go Get Some Cool Shit" list:

1. Digital Camera (that takes videos)
2. Video iPod (with a battery life longer than 14 minutes)
3. Wireless Laptop (manufactured some time in this decade)
4. 300 GB External Hard Drive (for the music nerd in me)

I'm ushering in the dawn of a new age, a personal era of technological advancement and sophistication unseen since the days of beepers and pay phones. Man, remember when that seemed futuristic?

Item #1, the digital camera, was an important step in improving my life as well as yours via this here online rag. So hopefully one of you fine sugar mommies and daddies will feel compelled to buy me the remaining three listed gadgets, as they may also aid your enjoyment of these pages. Keep in mind for reciprocation purposes, I give a mean fingerbanging and an even better handjob.

Camera in hand, I've now become that annoying amateur shutterbug everyone hates, stuck in Honeymoon Mode, snapping more candids than that time I hid in that middle school locker room near my apartment. Suddenly I'm the Creepy Neighbor from American Beauty, finding the world in full bloom, seeing elegance in everything, taking video clips of my shirtless neighbor doing biceps curls.

Mostly, though, this purchase will no doubt assuage my future wanting, for I've lost official count of how many times I've said "I toootally wish I had a fucking camera, braahh." Now I'm free to photograph whatever I choose, whether it be Washington Square Park's famed Arch, three individual musicians who've come together in the name of honky tonk or an old man taking 10 minutes to throw out a newspaper as he reads it over the trash.

I'm also excited about the quality of videos this gadget provides. For my first piece of evidence, allow me to introduce this saxaphonist I've caught each of the last two weekends (with a much better drummer last time out) and the hilarious mock-robot, part-hippie dancer I've now seen in the park four times in the last month. Check it out:




There's also another guy dancing in the background, a ragged Puerto Rican with a white bandana, no shirt and definitely no belt. At one point, a father sitting around us went up to the guy and told him to hide the crack of his ass, which you can see at the end of that clip (the request, not the ass-crack). Upon conversing with this shirtless gentlemen, he made it clear that he "smoked crack 24/7." Good dude.



Slack Referral of the Day: If you're a regular subscriber of either the Sports Illustrated magazine or website, make sure to check out Gary Smith's incredible feature about the death of Max Kellerman's brother Sam at the hands (and hammer) of boxer James Butler. It's a bit lengthy, but it's really one of the better pieces of sports journalism you'll read this year. Seriously, I can't stress this enough.

Slack Link of the Day: This dude is a total problem-solving hero, a man who stepped up and took action: "A man who didn't get along with his neighbor trapped her cat in his backyard and then took it to an animal shelter to be euthanized, police said."

Slack Song of the Day: There's a strong and credible rumor circulating about a Michael McDonald-supported Steely Dan tour this summer. I'll be psyched to quite psyched if it ends up in the confirmation column. In honor of this rumor, here's a little Steely Dan from 7/21/96 at the Nissan Pavillion in Manassas, Virginia. Oh no, Guadalajara won't do.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Nostalgia Act

The official Clerks 2 trailer is out...is it me, or does this look terrible?



No, it looks pretty terrible. But I'll give Kevin Smith enough rope, ya know? If you want to see something that's actually funny, check out this guy getting NAILED by a tractor-trailer wheel at the gas pump. Jeez, now THAT is some serious comedy, broken bones and all.

Stay Classy

Catfight on the beach...a thing of beauty.

Watermelon Controversy

People are entirely too serious these days. They're way too touchy, crabby, in your business and quick to jump down throats in the guise of political correctness. I try to follow South Park Saddam's advice as much as I can -- "Heyyy, relaaax, guy" -- and I'd enjoy this world more if everyone else did as well.

Tiger Woods had to apologize for using the word "spaz" after The Masters (a tradition unlike any other). He didn't stutter "I putted like a total Schiavo" or mutter "I played like a retard, nay, more specifically like a retard with spastic palsy." He simply used a four-letter word that means "clumsy" in our lexicon, and he heard plenty from the douchebottle do-good crowd.

Now the following is example is a bit different, but I still think Jules Winfield would be right if he yelled "Tell that bitch to be cool" at everyone involved. A Bellevue Community College professor landed herself in trouble for getting a little too inventive with Question #25 of the math test. This, according to the Seattle Times:

"The question read, 'Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second.' The question went on to ask when the watermelon will hit the ground, based on a formula provided."

The teacher hath since apologized, and according to The Smoking Gun, "is seeking sensitivity training." I'm not sure why anyone would actively seek out sensitivity training under any circumstances, but if that's the way out of this unfortunate situation, so be it.

"Oh, you mean I shouldn't use unfair and often untrue racial stereotypes on a community college math test? I can't use my other Condi material about KFC or basketball? Nothing about Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and rice paddies or dry cleaning?

Well, thanks for the training. I guess."

Slack Link of the Day: I spent the Good Friday holiday last year with Donnie, Kenny Alias, Possibly Engaged Tim, Sylvio Dante, the Olsen Twins and Penny Lane at a mediocre Black Crowes show. Hey, at least they played Good Friday.

Slack Video of the Day: FC Barcelona is coming to America! Ronaldhino & Co. will take Los Angeles, Houston and New York by storm in August, though just my luck, they'll be in town on the date of a friend's wedding. Boo-urns. But if you live in one of these three cities, I'd strongly recommend checking out a game, if only to see the greatest player of our lifetime.

This video, entitled "Brazilian Ping Pong" will act as your enticement (I think this is real, but there are many doubters):



Slack Song of the Day: Black Crowes, 3/25/05 at the Hammerstein, the Good Friday show in question. Doesn't get much better than the opener, Don't Do It. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's Hard Out Here for a Ninja

Feds pounce on student dressed as a ninja.

Agent: "What's that smell?"
Student: "Uh, sorry, I just made some brownies in my pants."

Runnin' on Empty

I'm sorry, friends, but I've got nuthin'. I'm outta gas this morning. Fumes Patrol comin' through. Necesita gasolina, figuradamente.

It doesn't help matters that I've been fairly busy with work this week, or that someone just sent around a slew of scenic and candid photos from the recent Cancun junket.

Now I'm fantasizing about a return to Mejico, instead of trying to come up with witty, insensitive one-liners for this here blog, instead of doing any work for the guy who actually pays me every two weeks.

So I guess I'll just continue to stare at the computer screen and zone out accordingly (much like my "What are you grinnin' at you ghost?" kind of stare in the third picture, which I assure you is a clandestine shot, I really was that relaxed down there). I'll leave you with these photos and the usual featured links below. Refueling in progress...

Ahh, man, what I wouldn't do to see my feet covered in sand like this again...anyone got a private beach I can pillage and plunder?

Slack Link of the Day: Wow. This one's just wow. A kid set himself on fire after siphoning gasoline from a firefighter's car. Why? He flicked a lighter to see how much gas he got on himself. I bet he wishes he were outta gas and runnin' on empty like me. Nice work, kid.

Slack Video of the Day: I doubt you caught this, but June Pointer -- the youngest Pointer Sister -- passed away yesterday. And I know at least one Bayside (and Stansbury?) alumnus who probably isn't so exicted to hear that news. For June, this one's for you:



Slack Song of the Day: From Detroit's Grande Ballroom in October 1967 (was it even safe to be in Detroit around then?), here's a heapin' spoonful of Cream. This rager kicks off with Tales of Brave Ulysses, closes with I'm So Glad and features some serious power trio licks in between. Some classic Cream here, get it while it's hot.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Finally, Photographic Evidence

Check out this recent picture of Bonds on Bonds:

And now this one from his rookie season:

This guy is totally busted. Busted!

I Hate Holidays

But this is fairly cool...a Passover video ala Jib Jab.

Reunited and It Feels So Good

One night only. Boston's Bank of America Pavillion. June 30th.

That's right, Extreme is back, all original members in tow. I think the setlist may end up looking something like this: More Than Words > Hole Hearted > Jam* > Octopus' Garden > More Than Words reprise > Equipment fizzles, show ends early, people look pissed.

*w/ Hole Hearted teases

Slack Link of the Day: Long-time rock critic Steve Morse writes this in this weekend's Boston Globe:

"I shared bourbon with Keith Richards, followed my nose to track down Bob Marley, and had Bruce Springsteen practically drip sweat on me. In 30 years of covering rock for the Globe, I collected enough stories to last a lifetime. These are a few of my favorites."

Slack Google Searches of the Day: My top five favorite referrals that brought people here over the past 24 hours...

--flaming globes of Sigmund wikipedia
--Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg first pics
--"mike tirico" harassment
--trey heroin (top two links, fantastic!)
--brett basanez big penis

I love that this is why "brett basanez big penis" draws hits to Slack: "And either ESPN has some penis-loving yucksters manning the headline machine ...Senior quarterback Brett Basanez, the straw that stirs the purple drink (or ..."

Slack Video of the Day: How 'bout a little Them featuring Van Morrison from 1965? Preach on, Young Van, shake that tambourine.

Slack Song of the Day: Eh, why not stick with some Van the Man... Here's the Belfast Cowboy from April 26, 1970 at the Fillmore West. Damn, this is a fantastic 60 minutes of music, give'r a listen.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Home Opener

Beisbol in the Bronx for the first time in 2006. Yahtzee.

4:02 pm Update: Jeter, you sexy bitch...three-run shot with two down in the 8th. Wonderful. Beautiful. You're cool. And Bernie atones for earlier shittiness. Take that, Ambiorix Burgos. The Captain.

Link Dumpage

What a day for offbeat news junkies...here are five beauties:

--Two Waterloo, Iowa hucksters were arrested for allegedly filing a fake an obituary: "Authorities said James Snyder and Mary Jo Jensen filed an obituary with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier in December, saying Jensen's 17-tear-old son had died after a lengthy illness. Police said they did it so they could get off work for a few days."

I know what you're thinking, and I completely agree: That's awesome. These guys didn't just half-ass it and deliver a shitty excuse in order to duck out of work. They went all out, conjuring up a fake, terminal illness for the woman's son, then killing him off after a long battle just so they could take off for a few days. I love these people. Snyder and Jensen, you guys are on my list of amateur geniuses.

--You're a 58-year-old man. You just won a $1,000 Bingo jackpot. Four women approach you outside. They request you hand over the prize. Do you comply with the demand, or do you choose to receive the female thrashing of a lifetime, resulting in death? If you answered for the latter, you'd be correct, but also dead. Death by Bingo, tough gig.

--This story needs no real introduction or joke attempt, because it comes with some pictures and a video: "State Senator Gary Siplin (D-Orlando) jumped over a fence to avoid Channel 9's cameras minutes after learning he was charged with two crimes." Faaaantastic.

--This one, thankfully, does not come with video or photo evidence, but it still requires no real introduction: "Joseph 'Donald' Scordato offered a rare defense when Ridgewood police charged him with masturbating in public. 'That's not possible,' the 81-year-old man told police after his arrest in September. 'I don't have a penis.'" No penis, folks. Another stupendous story. It's also funny because he's lying.

--Who wants to bet there's a follow-up on this story by the time Slack inevitably runs its course? Something like "Brash Bullfighting Boy Dies Disgusting Death in front of Laughing Americans." Yeah, that'll do.

Slack Sports Link of the Day: Ethan pointed me to this piece over on ESPN's Page 2 -- excerpts from "Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game is Wrong." Very interesting stuff, about clutchness, Billy "Not the Gay One" Beane and Moneyball, and of course, the salary cap.

Slack Song of the Day: Two years ago tonight, the Trey Anastasio Band hit Winooski VT's famed Higher Ground venue. Since I've blow Big Red so often on this here rag, I'll cease with the intros. Here's Push on Til the Day, Drifting, Sultans of Swing, Chalk Dust Torture and Higher Ground (with members of Phish, Jamie Masefield, Seth Yacovone and others on those last two).

Monday, April 10, 2006

Brilliant Use of RBI Baseball

I know I exaggerate more than anyone in the history of the world, but let me be clear about this: The following is a MUST-WATCH video for sports and/or video games fans.

San Diego Serenade, a music blog with an impressive tinge of sports knowledge that I plugged here last week, re-enacted the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series using the old RBI Baseball video game. It's a bit lengthy, but it's about as perfect as one could pull off, complete with synched up Vin Scully commentary.

No Crampin' My Style

The Greyboy Allstars served notice to all musicians this weekend: If you want to make it to the top of the Best Shows of 2006 list, you're gonna have to bring your A Game.

Saturday's show at Irving Plaza -- part of the band's first tour in seven years, ahead of its first album in nine -- was truly off the charts. It was actually so off the charts it was on the charts. It left everyone with whom I attended the concert speechless, without speech. And it led me to write this mental letter in my head:

"Dear GBA,

I know you're all All Stars, not just average musicians. But, please, could you just sign here ensuring you'll never break up again?
(show the band paper to sign at this point) Thanks in advance.

Signed,
Everyone in Attendance"


The New York crowd was fired up for this star-studded collection of funk and jazz talents, a band that lost seven years on the road together as a result whatever reasons are floating through the rumors ether (band quibbles, seminary school, etc). And we all realized just how big that loss was after Saturday's show.

Saxamophonist Karl Denson started the Tiny Universe, keyboardist Robert Walter begot the 20th Congress, guitarist Elgin Park (aka Mike Andrews) wrote and performed the soundtrack to Donnie Darko, Freaks and Geeks and Ace-favorite Me and You and Everyone We Know, and the rhythm section...well, does anyone ever really care about the whereabouts of the rhythm section? And although critics and fans have celebrated all their bands and side projects, the sum of this group is clearly greater than its parts.

GBA's new tunes are powerful, instant classics, especially the first-set closer, Deck Shoes. Mixed in with the old standbys -- Cramp Your Style, Jack Rabbit, Chitlins, Nautilus, Taxman -- the setlist kept the crowd in a palpable frenzy all night, the place louder than any show I've seen there in some time. Reunion show or not, the venue truly went nuts for these guys, appreciating the jams' peaks and marveling at the wicked improvisation and familiarity. They've still got it.

Here's a list of reasons you should track these guys down and see them before they disband again:

1. Karl Denson can not only blow that sax, but he looks very similar to the black Jim "The Anvil" Niedhart. Great goatee. You can't put a price on that. He's also the coolest man to ever play the yazz flute, and that's including Ron Burgundy.

2. Elgin Park's bigdork glasses are constantly slipping off his nose, and he spends about a quarter of the show pushing them back up to the bridge. Plus, he kinda looks like George McFly tried to go as Buddy Holly for Halloween but ended up telling people he was Elvis Costello. Oh, and he's a sick, sick, sick guitarist. That too.

3. Robert Walter is a better keyboardist than anyone I know personally. I say that because I feel like he's the kid you went to high school with who wore overly nice clothes, maybe a tie and jacket to class, drove his father's Beemer, only at night he got seriously baked and played the party host's parents' piano all night before getting blown on the bench by the chubby, drunk slut who kinda digs music.

4. You'll never once say, "They should turn up the bass" or "I can't even hear the drums over this noise." Chris and Zak are total throwbacks, fucking fantastic. Plus, I think Zak was wearing shorts and knee-high socks, but I'm not sure. Unconfirmed.

5. GBA is utilizing a time-tested formula: Play well, make a name, quit for the better part of a decade and come back to a ready, willing and able audience. I'd seen these guys in the Spring of 1998, and I've seen Denson and Walter a few times since, but this show was circled on my calendar for some time. And when a band surpasses even your unreasonably high expectations, you know it's something special.

And maybe you'll get some special guests as well. We were treated to guitar legend Melvin Sparks, awesome free-agent drummer Adam Deitch and, for the second time in a few weeks for me, Jerry Jemmott (who also sat in on bass for Oteil at the 3/20 Allmans show). Following an overly impressive show that we witnessed unfolding from about 10 feet away, this was the ultimate icing on the cake.

I'll admit, this is by far and away the worst review I've posted on Slack in some time. I think it's due to the fact that I'm so overwhelmed by how fun the show was. Seriously, if you can see them in Chicago next week, or New Orleans for Jazzfest, or out in Cali after that, make sure you do. Oh, and one more piece of good news: The new album "drops" in January 2007, according to Denson, and there might be another one following it.

Stick around, guys. It's fun out here.

Slack Video of the Day: Here's a shot I uploaded to Youtube (I'm warning you, these videos are as terrible as the concert was amazing)...



And here are three more 14-second reminders I really need a digital camera that takes video clips: Video 1, Video 2, and Video 3.

Slack Song of the Day: I've posted it here before, but the 5/1/04 version of Greyboy's Jack Rabbit is one of the better songs I've ever heard, by any band. Just such a cool tune. If I were youse guys, I'd download the whole show from NOLA's Saenger Theater, then download the 8/29/03 show from Colorado as well.

It's all fantastic -- boogie-band fantastic. AND CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE 4/8/06 SHOW FROM IRVING PLAZA.

(All photos courtesy of Mike Wren Concert Photography)

Headline/Lede of the Day

Lions to protect pregnant Jolie's privacy: paper

"Pregnant Hollywood siren Angelina Jolie and boyfriend Brad Pitt have taken refuge in a remote Namibian game lodge where wild lions will help protect them from the media, a Namibian newspaper said on Monday."

I must reiterate, I feel the hubbub over Angelina Jolie and the constant updates on her whereabouts and health would be much more subdued if only her name were "Angie Voight."

Mother: Why don't you go play with that nice girl across the street?
Bratty kid: Who, Angie? Angie Voight? No way! She's gross!

Booing and Hissing are Not Part of the Show

How to Handle a Heckler, the polite way:

George Carlin in action
Bill Hicks' turn

I like Carlin's better, but they're both pretty faaantastic. "If you got a kid, I hope your fuckin' kid dies in a carfire. How do you like that, you stupid cocksucker?" Just perfect.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Castin'

An Aquarium Drunkard started podcasting recently, a welcome addition to the world of free music spliced together. Episode #2's a solid Funk/Soul/R&B compilation -- give'r a whirl.

Sticking with the recommendations, youse guys should all be TiVo-ing or watching ABC's Sons & Daughters every week (Tuesdays). With Arrested Development off the air, this is easily the most entertaining dysfunctional family on the tube. Besides, any show that starts each episode with the Dead's Althea has me at hello.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Voyeur's Voyeur

There's really no better spot than the subway to witness people operating in an unnatural and often uncomfortable environment.

Four and a half million commuters cram into New York's subway system every day, sliding seemlessly underground from Point A to Point B with a packed car full of complete strangers. Mix enough different races and religions and lifestyles together on a daily basis and you're bound to produce a potent cocktail of interconnectivity. People Watching, sport of kings (and Queens).

And there ain't a calendar day gone by that don't feature some semblance of communal humor, situational irony or cringing comraderie down there. It's the closest thing we have to that nostalgic gathering place where we come together to laugh, to inhale with one nose the foul stench of the passed out homeless dude, to collectively mock and judge the riders that talk way too loud.

But there's something people often tend to forget: While you're watching someone else, someone else is always watching you.

Someone's watching when you're rolling your eyes at the dashiki-clad Dionne Farris look-alike who's contorting and twitching and gyrating in dire need of an exorcism as she exerts tender fits of "praise Jeeeesus," or when you're silently mocking the heavy-set college chick in the #80 Weekes jersey, whose unconditional love for the New York Rangers is only trumped by her apparent love of black cock...

They're watching when you're basking in the Schadenfreude of a middle-aged French tourist in a black leather trenchcoat who's embarassingly trying to unhinge his trendy backpack strap-buckle inexplicably and impossibly lodged between two filthy subway benches, or when you're questioning the lifestyle choices of the arrogant Williamsburg feminist with as many lip and face piercings as condescending scoffs per hour...

They're watching when you're marveling at the Tyrone Biggums-impersonating crack addict fencing his hot double-A Duracells to a downtrodden B train in six different languages (including Hebrew and an African dialect involving clicks and blood-as-warpaint), or when you're contemplating immigration reform as you stare at the good-natured Guatelaman secretary on her way to remit three-fifths of her bi-weekly salary home to the four kids she left behind just to be able to feed and clothe them from afar...

They're watching when you're fixated on the mid-40s nebbishy math teacher who constantly re-adjusts his package when two Catholic schoolgirls board the train and talk about "Brad", or when you're snickering at the impending doom as two tired ladies fight passive agressively for the last seat on a rush-hour bench...

I'm the guy absent-mindedly focused on your reactions to the religious zealot, your expressions vis-a-vis the dubious battery slinger. I like watching people watching people. I'm the voyeur's voyeur.

Now here's my best Doogie Howser ending-a-diary impression: "And it's easily the most inspiring part of living in New York."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I Bet Piazza Loves Him

Spanish Miguel chimes in from Real Madrid country with an absolute gem from the CBS Sportsline fantasy sports department. Updating the Milwaukee shortstop's owners on his spot in the order, the Sportsline folks headlined the graf like this: Hardy likes it in the two-hole.

Hardy likes it in the two-hole
Updated 4/5/06
Hardy, J.J. SS MIL
News: Shortstop J.J. Hardy likes the No. 2 spot in the order.
"I usually batted second or third in the minors," he told the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I like (hitting second). I think there will be more chances of hitting and running in that spot, which I don't mind at all. I do not like batting eighth, but I do like hitting in the 2-hole. They pitch to you more up there."

If he suffers some sort of Mackey Sasser mental block and needs a sports psychologist, I recommend Dr. Tobias Funke, Analrapist.

Filth Flarn Filthy Darkies

The Cos is at it again...

At a rally with Sharpton and Double-J last weekend, Bill Cosby puddin' popped the city of New Orleans, urging its residents to "cleanse" themselves from their crime-riddled history:

Says Cos: "It's painful, but we can't cleanse ourselves unless we look at the wound. Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children. What kind of a village is that?"

Liberal or conservative, blackie or honkey, you really gotta love this dude tellin' it like it is..."I would liiike, to talk to yooooou, aboooout some of the thiiings, that yoooou doooo in New Orleans."

Related video: That quote obviously comes from Raw -- See here.

News Junkies Love Monkeys

There's a ton of genuine news today. Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise on the illegal immigration bill today, bird flu is killing British swans (that's a little bit racist), new reports say Bush authorized the Plame leak to the Times, flesh-eating bacteria is infecting Waikiki and other places, and Rudy Giuliani is testifying at the Zacarias Moussaoui trial.

Yet I somehow was most drawn to this huge chunk of news today: "A troop of mischievous monkeys at London Zoo have had to be re-trained after showing too much interest in mobile phones.

The ring tones and bright lights proved just too attractive to the squirrel monkeys in their new no-barrier enclosure. Visitors who held out their phones to video or take photographs attracted attention from the monkeys who attempted to take the object." [More]

Slack Link of the Day: Since the mainstream media enjoys trumpeting the bad news more than celebrating the good, we probably won't hear much about this today. But the number of people on welfare in New York City has fallen to a more than four-decade low, down two-thirds from its peak in 1995. So much for "We got no food, we got no jobs, our pets heads our faling off."

Slack Video of the Day: From the extras section of the second greatest concert film ever made, Stop Making Sense, check out David Byrne's hilarious and nonsensical self-interview. I can watch this clip every day and never tire of this man's sense of humor (and if you don't know what I consider to be the greatest concert film ever, you're not reading this blog often enough).



Slack Song of the Day: I flew back from Cancun and landed late Saturday night, and if I didn't travel with about seventeen bags I may have hopped out of the towncar when we passed the Bowery Ballroom. The newjacks on the scene -- RAQ -- were in town, and despite a fairly negative review from my man Lukas, I really wanted to check them out for myself. They've got a great buzz working, their fans multiplying in number, and I like what I've heard.

So take a listen, class, and let's see whether or not we like 'em. Mixed, mastered and posted on the band's website, here's The Circumstance, Forget Me Not and Said and Done from the most recent Higher Ground show (March 11, 2006). Feel free to hit up the band's site or archive.org for more...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pre-destined Career Path

From the desk of Denny Alias comes this interesting piece of information. I'm not sure if this is authentic, and despite being a master reporter and researcher, I don't care to debunk it.

Apparently there's an actual gynecologist named Harry Beaver, MD. That's really just too good to be true...I bet there's a clever web designer behind this cold-handed beaver character.

Update: I guess there's a slew of these occupational names running around (though none quite as perfecto as Dr. Beaver), and Slate reported on this in mid-December. Good stuff, enjoy.

Slack Re-run

For those of you that followed The West Wing to Sunday nights (or those tuning in for the last few episodes of a truly brilliant series), you probably caught the end of this week's installment. For those of you that haven't seen it yet and wish to, I'm going to ruin it.

Leo McGarry, apparently, dies. And considering John Spencer bought the Manchester farm in real life back in December, I'm guessing he actually dies in the show and they can't revive him. Just a hunch.

So I just scrolled through the ol' archives (I always say, the best part of having a blog is the ability to look back and see what you were thinking at the time of an event, uneroded by time), and I found my eulogy for one of television's greatest characters over the better part of the past decade: "Leo Thomas McGarry, We Hardly Knew Ye."

I thought I'd re-print that in honor of Mr. Spencer and Mr. Sorkin's enormous creation. Soon we'll return you to our regularly scheduled programming of sloth and insensitivity.

Slack Link of the Day: Growins up fast...This article says four out of every 10 city kids lose their virginity by the age of 14.

Jesus, seriously? I'm all for promiscuous highschoolers (just for the outside chance of some taboo amateur porn turning up), but good lord, before they're turning 14? Seeing as I don't think I had more than three pubes at that age, I'm stamping that "Far Too Young."

Slack Songs of the Day: I stumbled upon San Diego Serenade last night, a music blog authored by someone who gets also major hard-on for Opening Day, not unlike this reporter. In preparation for the season, he posted a nine-inning lineup of fun or nostalgic mp3s to get us excited for the upcoming campaign.

My favorites: A Springsteen Rosalita parody from the late '80s, Take Me Out to the Ballgame ("complete with Rosalita style hand clapping breakdown and gratuitous CC-esque sax solo"), as well as the RBI Baseball theme remix, the Dylan Gentile RBI Techno Mix and James Earl Jones' goosebumpin' speech from Field of Dreams.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Shaun Bradley: NBA Bitch

Not quite Vince Carter dunking over Frederic Weis, but a pretty good compilation of the Stormin' Mormon gettin' posterized...



I'd feel bad for him, but he's a millionaire, and I'm a broke jerkoff.

One Down, 80 To Go

How many more road games will elapse before Barry Bonds limps into the lockerroom to address the media and gives the dramatic, "Don't worry, I'm not gonna do, what you all think I'm gonna do, which is just flip out..." speech before storming out of the spotlight?

It takes serious balls to feign indignation in the face of the growing media shitstorm. Serious, shriveled balls. But based on his most recent aired exchanges with the mainstream press, I'm not sure Mr. Happy can keep this up for all too much longer.

If anyone's headed for a nervous breakdown or Salinger-esque hermitage, it's Barry. He's really a man alone these days. Well, that's if you don't count Joe Morgan, who has gone out of his way to implore us all to take the word of a likely charlatan over that of two of the best sports journalists working today.

What a fucking stooge you is, Morgan. At this point, I think I'd rather be Barry than the shill who publicly sticks up for him by questioning the journalists who gave up years of their life to investigate the truth. Then again, I'd probably rather be an unintelligible color(ed) analyst than a reporter who gives up years of my life strictly trying to catch a baseball cheater.

Either way, hours after the president throw out the first pitch in Cincinnati, a clever fan threw out the first syringe in San Diego.

Like Sam Wyche, I normally don't endorse throwing things on the field ("You don't live in Cleveland!"), but if you're going to fuck with the record books and refuse to ride off into the sunset, unashamed, then you must be prepared to deal with the impending ridicule. And if you cry yourself to sleep at night, so be it.

It's going to be a long season for Pedro Gomez.

'Twas a bad night for Bonds but a great one for fans of the Yankums. Donnie Fiedler and I shares this non-fluid exchange just before the Florida/UCLA national championship game tipped off:

Donnie: I really hope this game's a blowout so we can watch the Yankees without having to flip back and forth.
Ace: I'm on board with that plan.
Donnie: Welcome aboard, sir.
Ace: Consider that plan boarded.

Is it any wonder we haven't gotten anything substantial accomplished in nine years of friendship? Nonsense, always.

We were rewarded, though, with a shitty NCAA blowout and an even greater Yankee shellacking of the Athletics to start the season. Can't really script it much better than that. Onward and upward...

Slack Link of the Day: "The strange case of the man who took 40,000 ecstasy pills in nine years" -- 25 pills a day for four years? Good lord, this guy's favorite activity for years must have been taking a piss. The ecstasy piss shiver, guaranteed good time.

Slack Video of the Day: Kenny Alias passed this along yesterday -- I'm not gonna say it's the greatest short video ever made, but it's extremely well-done from an execution standpoint. Check it out, "The Easter Bunny Hates You."



Slack Song of the Day: Live from Sweden, today you're getting 53 minutes of Soulive from the 2005 Stockholm Jazz Festival. If you're not entirely familiar with the greatness of Krasno & Company, I recommend hopping on this show immediately. Just fantastic.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Nest of Serpents

As it turns out, Spring Break at 26 can be just as much fun as when you're in college.

Sure you might not frequent the same vomit-filled, cologne-stankin' fratty bars and clubs, and all three meals are serious upgrades from the usual fare of Sbarro pizza and local beer, but every night ends on the beach in the wee small hours and every day's spent sweating out the previous evening's imbibed tequila.

As I reported from the field last week, I didn't have any time to lay out in the sun and swim in the ocean or get drunk on the beach and pass out in a lounge chair (I think I got a better tan spending five hours in Washington Square Park yesterday than four days in Cancun). But there's just something about staying in a posh room at a resort hotel -- all expenses paid -- that makes you glad the office moved from New York to Mejico for a few days.

Here's the view from my room a la The Shittycameraphone...I always think of Arthur in luxurious times like these, when he explains to Linda the benefits of owning a yacht: "It doesn't suck."

You may notice a big ship coasting a little too close to the Cancun beachfront. That's actually the Mexican Navy, protecting los presidentes and el prime minister. I know some shit -- I can name almost every World Series MVP since the early 60s, I can tell you how big our nation's trade deficit has been since the late 90s, I can quote movies like Bottle Rocket, Waiting for Guffman and Thomas Crown Affair virtually line for line -- but I never knew the Mexicans had a Navy. I just had no idea(r).

That brings me to my absolute favorite scene from the trip: Three mean-lookin' but stick-thin, rifle-totin' Federales walk hurriedly through the lobby to the elevator, trailed by a pair of American touristas, an early 40-something mother and her preteen daughter retreating from the beach.

Two of the hotel's four elevators open simultaneously, and the three heavily armed patrolmen enter the waiting car second from the right. The daughter stops, tugs at her mater's hand and looks straight up at her with a quiver: "Can we take that one?," she nervously whispers as she points to the alternate 'vator. "Uh, yeah, let's go," Mom responds. They run into the empty one and quickly press the button.

I guess it's hard to fully laugh at that scene without seeing it, but if you're a mother from Decatur or Des Moines or Raleigh or Boise and you think you're going on quiet resort vacation with the kids and end up having to choose between a vacant elevator or one with three men with guns and license to use 'em, clad in fatigues on a hot day, that's gotta be an excessively strange scene. Just one in a long line of surreal moments this week...

Slack Videos of the Day: Some more from the shittycameraphone -- a short, 10-second clip from the Omni Cancun's pool deck and another from the hurricane-eroded beach (though still exquisitely gorgeous).

Slack Song of the Day: Here's the first song that I heard on the way to work this morning, courtesy of the iPod randomizer -- Around & Around from 10/20/78 at the Winterland in San Francisco.