Sunday, December 30, 2007

Missing The Cut

So here I am, sitting on my couch and trying to recover from a little sickness. I mean, tomorrow is New Year's Eve and that means I have some big plans. Actually, to be honest, I don't even have real plans yet. I know I'll be doing something, and I know other people will be involved, but I am not sure what yet.

Anyway, excuse this post if it lacks any humor. I've filled myself with Sudafed and feel like I'm in a daze. But enough talk about that stuff, let me quickly mention that my friend Danny's band, The Black Noise Scam (that's them above), will bring its brand of old-school punk to BAR tonight. The guys will be opening for another one of my favorites, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, which features the Advocate's Brian LaRue, a really good guy. It all starts around 10 p.m. Make sure to be there. And, hey, bring some tissues in case I need a few.

In other news, if you picked up Friday's Weekend section, you read my article on the top 20 records of 2007. Well, as usual, I had to leave off a bunch of really good albums that I loved a lot. So, I wanted to list my near-misses.

One disclaimer, many readers have wondered why I didn't include Radiohead's "In Rainbows." Well, here's the thing, I'm going to consider that really great disc a 2008 release. Why? Because you can't buy it in stores until next month. So, consider me old-fashioned or stodgy or whatever, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, here are the discs, in no particular order, that just barely missed inclusion in my story:
21. Menomena - "Friend and Foe" (Barsuk)
22. Paper Airplanes - "Boyhood" (54-40 or Fight)
23. Loney, Dear - "Loney, Noir" (Sub Pop)
24. The One AM Radio - "This Too Will Pass" (Dangerbird)
25. Mother Mother - "Touch Up" (Last Gang)
26. Immaculate Machines - "Fables" (Mint)
27. Neil Young - "Chrome Dreams II" (Reprise)
28. Rocky Votolato - "The Brag & Cuss" (Barsuk)
29. John Vanderslice - "Emerald City" (Barsuk)
30. Sea Wolf - "Leaves in the River" (Dangerbird)
31. Band of Horses - "Cease to Begin" (Sub Pop)
32. Levon Helm - "Dirt Farmer" (Vanguard)
33. Phonograph - "Phonograph" (Arclights)
34. Nick Lowe - "At My Age" (Yep Roc)
35. Amy Winehouse - "Back to Black" (Republic)
36. Ryan Adams - "Easy Tiger" (Lost Highway)
37. The Magic Numbers - "Those The Brokes" (Astralwerks)
38. Aqueduct - "Or Give Me Death" (Barsuk)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Taking A Look At R.E.M.

Recently, while talking amongst some friends, someone asked me what I thought the best R.E.M. album was. And since the band has a new album scheduled to hit stores and iTunes early next year, I thought maybe I would answer that question here.

I mean, it's the day after Christmas and nothing is really going on, so why don't we have a discussion? Let's rank the best R.E.M. albums, OK.

So, without further ado, here is how I rank R.E.M.'s many offerings. Please, please, please, post your opinion, if you have one. So here we go, from worst to first.

"Reveal" (2001): This was a tough decision for me, choosing the worst record of the band's career, but I have to go with "Reveal," which just lacks cohesion. I understand the trio is going for a Beach Boys-meets-old-R.E.M. sound, but other than "Imitation of Life" and maybe one other song, this one just doesn't do it for me.

"Up" (1998): OK, so I have the most mixed feelings about "Up" as any record I've ever listened to. I can still remember when this was delivered to my college radio station a few weeks before release. I was so excited and took it back to my apartment immediately. My roommates and I listened to it straight for about two days before I put it into rotation at the station. If you asked me back in 1999 or so, I would argued on and on that this was a truly great album, regardless of critical perception. Well, when I went back and listened to the remastered, double-disc version that got sent to me a year or so ago, I just didn't like it. At all. Call it a keener critical sense, being less of a devout fan of the band ... call it whatever you want, but I'm not sold on much of "Up" anymore.

"Fables of the Reconstruction" (1985): Plain and simple, the worst of the IRS years. It's not a bad disc, but it just pales in comparison to everything else in band's early days. The songs just lack that something, that certain something.

"Monster" (1994): This disc holds a special place in my heart for being the soundtrack to one of my years in high school. I like certain songs a lot. But, and this is a big but, Peter Buck made me never want to use a delay pedal again. What do I mean? On "Monster," Buck uses a delay pedal so damn much, it makes me want to die. But, hey, "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" is just too good to ignore.

"Around the Sun" (2004): I know I'm in the minority on this, but I really think "Around the Sun" is a very good album. Barely anyone bought it, but longtime R.E.M. fans who did ignore it should really give it a second listen. It makes me excited for the new disc.

"Green" (1988): The band's major-label debut, "Green" features "Turn You Inside Out" and "World Leader Pretend," two of my favorite songs by the group. The reason the disc is this low lies in the amount of filler on the very top-heavy album.

"Reckoning" (1984): Man, I heard "So. Central Rain" on XM just this weekend. That tune is way too good. I love it. Add "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" and a few other gems, and you have quite the disc. This is the point where it becomes very hard to rank albums because I love them all so, so much.

"Out of Time" (1991): Here's the one and only reason I put "Out of Time" ahead of "Reckoning": "Country Feedback." Oh sure, I love "Losing My Religion" and "Me and Honey" a ton, but "Country Feedback" is, probably, my favorite R.E.M. song. The guys don't play it anymore now that Bill Berry retired. That's sad.

"Murmur" (1983): The record that started it all, it's tough to rank "Murmur" this low knowing it's the blueprint for countless bands that came after. But, it's got to rank somewhere, and I think there are some lesser tunes here.

"Document" (1987): I can still remember being 8 and seeing the "The One I Love" video on MTV incessantly. My dad used to mock the song and tell me it was bad, but I didn't listen. I made him take me to some mall record store to buy the tape. Somewhere, probably in my parents' attic, I still have that tape.

"Automatic for the People" (1992): Many people of my kind, you know, rock critics, rank this at the top of the R.E.M. hierarchy, but I put it third. I love it, and still listen to it, but I just can't bring myself to put it ahead of the next two, no matter how I (sarcasm alert) controversial it might be to place it here.

"Lifes Rich Pageant" (1986): I love this record. When I was having that conversation with friends, my first inclination was to say this was my favorite. Every song is good. The disc is short. "Fall on Me" is perfect. There's so much more I could say, but that'd be just piling it on, wouldn't it?

"New Adventures In Hi-Fi" (1996): I know this is "new R.E.M.," sort of, and that it's not even really a traditional studio album, but I just don't think R.E.M. ever got better than this. It's really sad knowing this was Bill Berry's last disc with the band because the guys clearly had so much momentum. I can only imagine what the followup might have been. I know this record is a tad bit long, but it's so good. There is not one mistake to be found, one note out of place. I still listen to this consistently.

OK, so time for your list. Hope your Christmas was good. Mine was OK, for a little while. Thanks for asking.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas ... Eve

I'm sitting here in suburban Boston, at my folks' house, and I thought I would drop a quick line.

So I did see five movies this weekend, catching "Charlie Wilson's War," "The Savages," "Juno," "Atonement" and "Sweeney Todd." If I had to rank them, I'd probably say "Charlie Wilson," "Juno," "Atonement," "Sweeney Todd" and "The Savages."

But - and this a big but - those top four are actually very close. That's "Juno" pictured.

I want to thank Rachel Hinkel, Harris McCabe and Helen Bunch Blanchard for joining me at these various movies, especially Harris, who actually went to all five with me. I like company.

The Rev. Dave Kelsey sent me this new profile photo that I put up. It was only taken last week, so it's a better shot than the one that was a couple years old.

I guess that's it. I need to go to bed soon so Santa can come down my chimney and eat the cookies we left out for him. My hands are killing me because my little brother, Little Nicholas, has "Guitar Hero" for Wii, and it's too damn addictive.

OK, so everyone have a merry Christmas and we'll talk soon.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

An Early Recap

If you guys read my column in the paper, you know that my plan is to see five movies this weekend. Well, I went to two yesterday, and I thought I'd provide an early recap, just in case anyone is thinking of going to the cinema today.

OK, here goes:

"Charlie Wilson's War" - A very good, funny and well-done comedy. Honestly, I'm a Tom Hanks fan and thought the film would be good, but it's actually much better than I anticipated. I went with three others and we all really loved it, and we all have very different tastes.

"The Savages" - OK, so my best advice on this one? Stay the hell away. After seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman turn in an award-worthy supporting role in "Charlie Wilson," we thought we'd be getting a whole lot more of good Philip. Well, here was good, as was Laura Linney, but not even the best actors could save this script. Not good. Not good at all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Disappointments Of 2007

I've come to a big conclusion: 2007 has been a decidedly mediocre year for music. Sure, there are plenty of really great albums that hit stores this year, but too many bands disappointed. Heck, too many of very favorite bands disappointed me over the last 12 months.

I'm sitting in my apartment trying to come up with the CDs that will make up my best-of-2007 list that will be on the cover of the Dec. 28's Weekend. I've got about 47 discs that I'm considering and just like every year, this is the hardest part: getting that number down to the magic 20. It's a tough job.

But as I look at my list of every significant release of the year, I can't help but see too many of my favorite bands in the mediocre category. I mean, you name a favorite of mine, and I can almost guarantee they put out a record this year that disappointed me greatly. Besides Okkervil River, Dinosaur Jr and The Weakerthans, I can't think of one that bested its previous efforts.

The list of mediocrity is long: Wilco, matt pond PA, The New Pornographers, Spoon, The Good Life, Bright Eyes, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers and, especially, Rilo Kiley (that's singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis above, credit for the photo goes to Trombontim). The sad thing about Rilo Kiley is that I'm listening to a live show of the band's from not even three months ago, and the new tunes sound good without all that crappy production. If you want make a Fleetwood Mac record, do it, but don't layer on oodles and more horrifying oodles of synths.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud right now, waiting to head off to my department Christmas party. And, of course, I'm only talking about groups that I would have mentioned out loud if someone asked me what my favorite bands were sometime in January. Believe me, there are plenty more disappointments and successes of 2007.

So here's the question, what were some of your highlights and lowlights this year? Let me know ...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday Warbles

So here we are, on this wonderful Wednesday, less than a week before Christmas. I have no idea why I started this blog with that sentence; it just felt right. Don't we have to go by our gut feelings sometimes? My other gut feeling wants a buffalo chicken wrap, but I'll ignore that one for the moment.

Anyway, I'm just taking a break from getting Weekend all ready to go. You've got plenty to look forward to on Friday. I've got a column about vomit, movie reviews of about 37 movies, Todd Lyon visiting the Valley and, of course, our annual New Year's Eve roundup featuring more restaurants and clubs than you can shake a stick at. Watch out shaking sticks though; someone could lose an eye ... or a nose.

So the photo at the top of this story is me and Huck, a blow-up doll that I met through a bunch of Yale students who believe in eugenics. You see, when I was writing my column on The Game, a group of Yale alums invited me to have beer with them and listen to their plan about only having sex with fellow Yale alums, thus creating more and more Yale football fans. Sounded OK to me.

The biggest thing for me today will be my Celtics facing the Pistons on national television. I'll get to watch the Celts for the first time in a long while, and the team will finally compete against a quality opponent. Good times.

Sometimes, press releases rule. Let me share with you two press releases for books I've received in the past 40 or so hours. Here we go. This first one is about "They Want You to Know ... Messages from Beyond the Grave."

One of the most interesting compilations of predictions, past experiences and mysteries from life yesterday and today is expressed in an interview book unlike any other published, "What They Want You to Know ... Messages from Beyond the Grave." Carter Shepard's second book is replete with comments and thoughts from some of the most powerful and elite people of our society ... who, by the way, are all deceased!

The interviews were designed to be done with no preconceived notions. As in a case like O.J. Simpson, there has been tremendous interest regarding his innocence. When I asked Nicole to describe her murder, I had no clue what her answer would be. It is not I, but Nicole, who accused O.J. And it is interesting to note that Nicole said O.J. would be in trouble again — and look what is happening in his life right now!

No excerpts from the press release for this one, but how about a book aimed at alcoholics titled, "Just Snap Your Fingers and ... Bingo You're Sober." That's just too perfect.

In other news, it seems Jessica Simpson thinks taking her clothes off will give her more credibility. I can't agree more. You see, before I was able to write things in newspapers, I had to do a full-frontal scene in some obscure art film. If I didn't do that, I would not be taken seriously today.

Like sister, like sister: It seems Britney Spears' sibling Jamie Lynn Spears also doesn't understand the value of a condom. Some folks, especially 16-year-olds, just shouldn't procreate, OK?

Well, the Lying Lunch Lady won't collect her cash. Poor, poor her. Yeah right.

If I ever get married, I hope my bride wears a toilet-paper dress. I mean, I might get nervous and have to use the restroom suddenly. Plus, I'm guessing most women never wear their bridal dress again, so why not have one that can provide another use?

It's been 10 whole years since Chris Farley died. Wow. Read this tribute piece to a guy I never really found funny, but had his life sadly taken early.

I guess Lily Allen is pregnant. I wonder if the kid will pop out spewing pointless swears.

Well, the writers' strike is getting so bad, NBC will begin airing episodes of "Monk" and "Psych" in January. The sad truth about this is that those two shows are far better than anything on NBC currently ... besides all those "Law & Order" shows.

I guess that's all I've got for today. We'll talk tomorrow in between my two Christmas parties. Smile.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Time

OK, so your friend Pat (that would be me) got out of work about an hour ago on this lovely Tuesday evening, picked up a Modern pizza on the way home and decided to get more work done before he went out tonight.

I'm done with the third-person thing now; it's giving me the creeps. Anyway, I checked my e-mail and noticed I had a blog comment, one about missing me. It made me feel bad. So here I am.

Yep, I was bad last week about updating. The end of the year is a tough time. I've been trying to get things done in advance so I can work as little as possible over the next couple weeks. But I need to make time for blogging like an Egyptian. I just need to do that.

So anyway, this weekend was an OK one. I braved the snow for Cafe Nine's Christmas party, which is always my favorite holiday fest of the year. It's too bad the snow made Sarah Borges cancel. I'm a big fan.

If you've read this blog long enough, you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for "Survivor," so you should know I had to watch the finale Sunday. It was pretty good, a solid ending for a solid season. I happened to be talking to Gorman Bechard about the season earlier last week and he and I were sure Amanda would win. I guess we're both big stupid heads.

Speaking of "Survivor," it seems the lunch lady should be called the lying lunch lady. Man, how can you go on national television, lie and not think it'll be figured out?

In other news, Amy Winehouse was arrested again. Her record may end up on my best-of-2007 list - which will be published in the Dec. 28 Weekend - but she's quite the mess. I mean, we know she's a crackhead, so I guess that makes sense. If you're going to live by one motto and one motto only, use this: Don't ever count on a crackhead. It's bad business.

What's the age-old question? If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone notice? Well, how about, if Anthrax gets a new singer, does anyone really care?

So Peter Jackson will have a hand in "The Hobbit" movies. The "Lord of the Rings" helmer won't direct the prequels, but will executive produce. I'm sorry. I just don't care. The "LOTR" movies are OK, but I'll never watch them again. I don't like all the goobly-goblin stuff.

Rachael Ray has a new show on the Food Network. Why is this news? Doesn't she have like 43 shows on the station? They should give more shows to that Gia (or something like that) woman. I like her, even though she has a huge head, or so says Joe Amarante.

Pitchfork has announced its 50 best records of 2007. It's not a bad list, but the site always seems to like certain artists (MIA, ahem) more than it should.

As I type this, the show "Duel" is on in the background. Can a contestant really not know how many oxygen molecules are in carbon monoxide? Where did they find these folks? And why didn't they call me?

While we're talking about television, the big news around New Haven is, of course, Michael Bolton and a bunch of local folks on "Clash of the Choirs." I will never watch this show, but I'd like to send out a big good luck to Greg Sherrod, a really nice guy and great singer who's on the show. Good luck, Greg.

And with that, I'm done for the evening. By the way, a reader sent me a note about me having a Wikipedia page. I can die now, I'm so happy. Talk to you tomorrow. I promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hot Night At Toad's

When I got to New Haven in 2004, Hot Rod Circuit had pretty much moved on, with members spread out all over the country. I can't write a column about seeing them here first and finding out they're local.

If you want that kind of piece, take a look at my friend Brian LaRue's story in the Advocate. It's really well-written and Brian's knows what he's talking about.

In Play, editor Jeff Petrin, a good guy who likes big Dunkin' Donuts coffees, conducted an insightful interview with Hot Rod frontman Andy Jackson. The singer/guitarist talks a lot about the reasons for the breakup and the future of the band members.

All I can say is that it'll be a sad night tonight when HRC takes the stage for the final time. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Toad's Place and will also features performances from the very good Diamond J and the Rough (featuring former HRC bassist Jay Russell) and Titles.

I first heard HRC in 2000, when "If It's Cool With You It's Cool With Me" arrived at my college radio station. At the time, I was program director at the station and pretty much decided a lot of the playlists for the DJs. My friend Brendan Ryan and I loved the disc so much, we put it straight onto the must-play list, we gave it an add, and I think for at least one week reported it as our No. 1 CD to CMJ.

So I might not have a personal connection to HRC, other than interviewing Andy a couple of times and sort of knowing Jay Russell, but it'll be sad to see them go. I honestly think this year's "The Underground Is a Dying Breed" is the band's best.

Not many New Haven bands make it out of here and go on to the national level, but HRC certainly accomplished that. The band made emo before emo was a word, and it ended its run with a record with tinges of country, Americana and straightforward pop. It's a great disc from a great band.

It's certainly a band I'll miss. In some ways, HRC put New Haven on the map, so let's help them go out with a bang. When I moved here, I knew of two bands from here: HRC and Miracle Legion. I didn't even know Michael Bolton came from the area. I think that says something.

So, make sure to head over to Toad's tonight and pay tribute to HRC. Say hi to me. I'll be wearing a Red Sox hat and glasses.

Just Go Away PETA

I'm all for PETA, really am. I don't incorporate fur into any of my outfits, no matter how much the thought of a mink coat on an August evening makes me happy. But seriously, the group does its thing and whatever ... I really could care less either way, but the idea of not needlessly killing animals sounds good.

On the other hand, here's something from WENN:

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen have been attacked by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which claims they have "ignored pleas to stop wearing fur and using it in their fashion collection." PETA has dubbed the pair "the Trollson Twins" and "Hairy Kate and Trashly" in a stinging new campaign. A poster, with the tag line "fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people," is to be unveiled on Tuesday at their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles.
Seriously, how can you respect an organization that would resort to such immature and stupid behavior? "The Trollson Twins"? Come on. And calling them "ugly people." Can't find a more adult way of criticizing people for wearing fur?
Better yet, can't they stick to getting actresses to get naked in their ads? That's a good way of doing things.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Tidbits

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty OK. But there's a lot to talk about today, so let's get going. That rhymed.

First, we really need discuss why the city would be doing roadwork where 91 and 95 meet at 10 a.m. Let's see, well, that's one of the busiest areas, traffic-wise, in the entire city, so why not do roadwork during the tail-end of rush hour. It makes complete sense to me. To get from my apartment in East Rock to the Register, oh, about 30 minutes this morning. Fun.

Now that I'm done complaining, and thank you for listening, let's talk about "Friends (With Benefits)," Gorman Bechard's upcoming comedy. I saw the film Saturday and it's definitely worth keeping tabs on, making sure you know when it comes out. Many, many scenes are laugh-out-loud funny and, simply, it's a good movie. I'll keep you posted. By the way, the picture above is of three of the stars of the flick.

Angela Easterling and The Hickups perform at Cafe Nine tonight, which makes the venue the spot to be if you like your swinging country music. It's a top-notch bill, so head over if you're so inclined.

I lost in my fantasy football playoffs. I'm a sad man. Sad.

It turns out that 25-year-old guy who spent like $200K on tickets to Led Zeppelin's show last night made a good investment. All reviews say the band was amazing.

Well, Quiet Riot's Kevin Dubrow died of a cocaine overdose. Sadly, this isn't the least bit surprising.

I can't say I've ever watched "Dancing with the Stars." It's been on in bars that I've been in, so it's not like I'm completely naive to it. Anyway, what a month for the 19-year-old dancer Julianne Hough. First she wins her second "Dancing" championship, then she ruins someone's engagement and now she's been signed to a record deal. She's going to make country music.

So I guess that's it from this end. We'll talk tomorrow about Hot Rod Circuit's final show. That's it.

See you at Anna Liffey's for trivia tonight? My team came in fourth last week with only four people; we have our sights on first tonight. See you there.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hate Mail

I get a lot of mean e-mails and voicemails; it just comes with the territory when your job is to criticize music. I mean, like I always tell friends, if you say something bad about U2, people think you're insulting their mother.

So, inevitably, I'll write a negative review of some artist that some angry person really likes and they'll shoot off some hate mail to me. Most of the time, they're just dumb. But sometimes, when I'm lucky, the messages are both dumb and hilarious. Here's one I got Friday, from Cathy in Hamden, which is too good not to share. Keep in mind, this is totally unedited and presented exactly as how I received it.

I HATE YOU!!!!! YOU SUCK!!!!! I hate the fact that you have an outlet to voice YOUR opinion - who cares about YOUR opinion??? Not me - or anyone else I talk to for that matter.

I couldn't resist writing her back and basically telling her she needs to take a deep breath, and that we all have different tastes in music, I'm just giving her the critic's perspective, blah, blah, blah ... And here's what I received:
You're right - we all have our own taste in music (Opinions are like (swear)- everyone's got one). NO ONE'S gonna tell me who I should or shouldn't like as I would not try to shove my opinions down anyone else's throat. WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO SHOVE YOUR OPINION DOWN MY THROAT EVERY WEEK???

I HATE that you get your own paper to do that every week!!! WHERE'S MY PAPER to tell people what to listen to, what to like, what not to like???

I hope these brought you the same joy as they did me. Honestly, this made my day yesterday and were way too funny not to share. All because I dissed Godsmack and Daughtry. Oh no!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Why ...

... have I not heard a peep this week about the millions of people who can't watch tonight's Bears-Redskins game? Isn't it everybody's unassailable right to watch every football game free of charge?

Woo-Woo Wilco

I'm waiting for confirmation, but it looks like Wilco will perform at the Shubert Theater in New Haven Feb. 24. I have no ticket information yet, but this is great news for the city. Or maybe for just me.

But, seriously, this is a very significant show for the venue, which doesn't have many mainstream rock acts play there. A good turnout for this concert could change that. I, for one, am excited to know that I can ride my bike to see one of my favorite bands.

In other news, Grammy nominations were released earlier today. I wrote an extra column about it, so take a look at that in tomorrow's Register. So, you know what that means? Yep, you get two Ferrucci columns tomorrow. Get excited.

NOTE: OK, just got got confirmation from the Shubert. Tickets for Wilco go on sale Dec. 15. Tell you more soon. I'm starting my weekend now. Have a good one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Did I Miss Something

If you would have asked me about Chuck Norris any time over the past couple years, I would told you a few things.

First, I would have said he used to star in "Walker, Texas Ranger," and that I have a good friend who enjoys getting drunk and then watching the show on the Hallmark Channel at like 3 a.m. Then I would have said that anytime I turn the television on early in the morning, I see Chuck flexing his senior-citizen muscles on some machine he wants the American public — and the whole world! — to own. Lastly, I would have said he used to be some kind of kung-fu action star, but that was before I was born. I then would have taken a sip of my beer, and blurted out, "Oh yeah, he has a sweet red beard." That's it.

So imagine my surprise when the front page of Yahoo today says that Chuck may help get a presidential hopeful elected, that good ol' Chuck, who's not that famous, is just as influential as the GOD OF TELEVISION of herself, Oprah. How did this happen? A quick look at Chuck's Wikipedia page tells me that the actor is a staunch Christian who believes in Biblical creationism. We're listening to this guy? He invented Chun Kuk Do. Um?

In other news, tonight over at Cafe Nine, my friend Danny's band, The Black Noise Scam, will open for the Murder Junkies. That's it for that. The band plays old-school punk, I'm told. Go see them.

I thought we were all done with the "Borat" lawsuits. I guess not. The driver's ed teacher that appears in the comedy is now suing. People need to get over things. I'm quickly in "300 Mondays," at the end, and I'm not suing. I didn't know my voice and face would be in the movie. I'm laughing now.

Some group doesn't want the children playing video games with people peeing in them. Oh my. When I was a kid, I wanted a Power Glove or something. Would I want a game with people peeing if I was a kid today? You betcha.

I'm a big fan of Harp magazine. It's honestly a must for any serious music fan. And, oh my, the pub just released its best-of 2007 list. I'm nervous about putting mine together in a couple weeks because for the first time in years, I don't have a clear-cut No. 1 record. We'll see. Anyway, Harp chooses my favorite band Okkervil River's "The Stage Names" as its choice. That makes me so happy. I think my list and Harp's will have a few similarities, that's for sure.

Please, please, please go visit Bob Mould's Web site and download his new single, from an upcoming February release, "District Line." Mould, the former Husker Du and Sugar frontman, is one of my absolute favorites and this song is his best in years. Years. It makes me so excited for the record. I can't wait.

Anyway, that's it on this end. I'm getting back to work. Enjoy your hump day and pray that Johan ends up with a "B" on his hat.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clearing The Desk — Online Edition!

So my weekly column is called Clearing the Desk because when I started it about four years ago, I thought it would be a good place to get a ton of little notes that didn't fit anywhere else in the paper. Somehow, well I know how, it's morphed into a more traditional column, a traditional column that uses the word poop a lot. Anyway, here's a bunch of things I would have gotten in to my column a few years back, but probably won't have the room this week. Enjoy.

Saturday's "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" fundraiser went off even better than expected. I had a great time. Cafe Nine was sold out; they stopped letting people in. How often does that happen? Answer: a couple times a year. It was a great feeling to know that a good cause and good local music could sell out the place. I loved, seriously, all the bands' performances, but I particularly dug The Sawtelles' take on "Life In Prison." Here's the setlist:

"You Ain't Going Nowhere" — Eric and Sandra Lauren Lichter
"I Am a Pilgrim" — Mercy Meadows
"The Christian Life" — Mr. Ray Neal
"You Don't Miss Your Water" — Lys Guillorn
"You're Still on My Mind" — Frank Critelli
"Pretty Boy Floyd" — Shandy Lawson
"Hickory Wind" — The Freewheelin' Chris Bousquet
"One Hundred Years from Now" — James Velvet and the Ivory Bills
"Blue Canadian Rockies" — Mercy Choir
"Life in Prison" — The Sawtelles
"Nothing Was Delivered" — PonyBird

The photo above of The Sawtelles is courtesy of Jennifer Dauphinais of the very good PonyBird.

In other news, AOL has just released the results of a "survey" that determined "TV’s Sexiest Women—Ever." The results came out today, but we got an embargoed list yesterday and we here in the Register's Features Department discussed this topic. Pam Anderson No. 1? Really? I'm not really sure who I'd choose in my top 10, but I have to say it'd be a lot different than this list. Part of it is a generational thing, for sure, but part of it is knowing Eva Longoria belongs nowhere near a the top five. Nowhere. So who's your top 10? I did see "Chuck" for the first time ever last night ....

I don't know why anyone would care, but Red Lobster's chefs now have a blog! The e-mail came to me this morning. How exciting. I want to know how they prepare so much shrimp during that month where you can eat shrimp until your belly explodes.

I don't watch much television, but this makes me happy.

Is the Spice Girls reunion really worth the nine-year wait? Really? Can this be true?

What an escape by the Pats last night, huh?

That's all I got for now. See you at Anna Liffey's tonight for trivia?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Oh, 'Sweetheart," Listen Up

Man, can you believe it's December? I mean, it feels like the last six months of this year have dragged by, but, all of sudden, here we are and it's almost 2008. Amazing stuff.

So how are you going to celebrate the first day of the last month of 2007? I got up, went to the gym, watched a bit of TV, had some food and, soon, I'll head over to Cafe Nine for Chris Bousquet's fundraiser for Elm City Cycling. This should be one cool show.

Chris and a host of other local musicians -- including James Velvet, Shandy Lawson, Frank Critelli and more -- will perform The Byrds' classic "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" in its entirety. I'm excited for this. You should be too.

I really like it when folks try something that might not be easy. This kind of show could be a logistical nightmare, but that's OK. It should be great. See you there. OK?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eye Opener

Look, I want to see tonight's Packers-Cowboys game as much as the next guy, but, unlike all the people I hear complaining around town, I can watch it while sitting on my couch. I'm going to a bar, but I CAN sit home and watch it, if I want.

Oh, and no, I do not have a dish. Well, I have a dish that I just ate a chicken sandwich off of, but I don't have a satellite dish; I'm a reluctant Comcast subscriber.

Here's my point: I'm sick of people thinking they're entitled to things. If you live in a New Haven, you can have a satellite dish or Comcast and get the NFL Network. Oh sure, if you have Comcast, you have to pay $5 a month for it (and a few other sports channels), but you can have it. So if you care that much, pay the cash. If you don't want to pay for it, well, then, shut up and go to one of a gazillion bars that will have it on tonight.

Why do we as a society think we're entitled to everything now? How dare Comcast make us pay for the NFL Network? How dare the NFL make it difficult to watch eight games? Look, the NFL is charging what it thinks makes sense for the channel, and cable companies don't agree, so it's difficult in some parts of the country to see this game. In many areas, you need a dish to get the game. That's not the case here. So why is it a big deal?

As I write this, I'm on my couch and watching Marshall Faulk break down the game on the NFL Network. I'm comfortable. You could be doing the same. So stop complaining.

Man, I feel like a republican when I type this kind of stuff. It makes me so icky inside. I'm going to vomit now. Bye.

-Your Comfortable Friend Pat

PS: By the way, make sure to take a look at Weekend tomorrow. We've got some good stories for you, including one on Saturday's "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" fundraiser for Elm City Cycling over at Cafe Nine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tonight at The Space

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Somewhere, maybe on page 321, the Friend Handbook says "thou must publicize friends' gigs in your blog, gosh darnit."

If you don't own the Friend Handbook, you should get one. It'll help you be the best friend you can be. So anyway, I surely want to do my part.

With that said, my friend Jay Kubeck, aka Calvin DeCutlass, will be performing as the featured artist at tonight's Open Mic at The Space. You might know Jay from such good bands as The Tires and The Nortons. Or, from this picture from when we tried out for the Cutters together. (Unfortunately, this one didn't make the paper.)

I usually like to talk about Jay playing at Cafe Nine, but this will give you a chance to have some tea or coffee and enjoy some really good music. Jay writes good songs, which means you should go see him. I'm done now. Hope this is a happy Tuesday for you. Mine stinks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mourning DuBrow

Reuters is reporting Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his Las Vegas home early this morning.

I don't have much to personally add to this story, as I was little too young to really get into the band, if that would have happened at all. I do know that one of the saddest "Behind the Music" features Quiet Riot, just because it really seemed like that this was a band that really screwed itself up, that could have been popular for longer had it avoided excesses and in-fighting.

Anyway, this is a probably a story that will get swept under the rug after today, and, unfortunately, could be a suicide if the past is any indicator. It's just sad.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Catching Up

Man, what a weekend. So much happened.

I started it off on Friday, one of my days off, by seeing an early screening of "No Country For Old Men." My friends Brandon and Harris saw the Coen brothers drama with me and we all thought it was brilliant ... until the end. None of us are really sure what to think about that part. Give us a week more to discuss it in depth, and I'll get back to you with our conclusions. You should go see it, though. It's truly great, possibly the best flick of 2007 so far, rivaled only by, maybe, "Gone Baby Gone."

Saturday marked my first experience with Yale-Harvard. I've gotten tons and tons of e-mails about my column, some good, some the usual hate-mail stuff. It's not original to say: "Pat, you're so funny" or "Pat, you're so stupid." I appreciate both sentiments, but give me some specifics, OK?

After the game on Saturday I did something I've never done. My old college roommate, Ryan Dixon, was in town for the game, him being a Yale School of Management grad and all, and afterwards him and some friends went to Black Bear. I've never been there. I avoid trendy places. If you've ever met me, you'd know I'm not very trendy. Nope. Anyway, one thing that was great about Black Bear — keep in mind I didn't eat or even really drink — is that there are televisions on every table, just like the sadly dead TK's. I miss TK's for that reason. Now that's an example of a place that was decidedly not trendy. God rest its soul.

Getting up so early exhausted me Saturday, though. I fell asleep on my couch at like 9 p.m. and didn't wake up until 8 a.m. I rarely go to bed before 1 a.m. Weird.

Last night I watched the "American Music Awards." Why would I do such a lame thing? For you, my friends. I've got a running diary all set for Friday's Weekend. If I'm out and about, people always tell me how much they love my diaries, so I'm going to try to get to every awards show this year. The "AMAs" begin the fun Friday. I had friends Jay Kubeck, Helen Bunch Blanchard and Rachel Hinkel joining in, and I think this one is pretty funny. We'll see. A teaser: Carrie Underwood, above, plays a big part in my column.

The Patriots can't lose. And as much as that's kind of nice, it's really making football season boring for me. I think I switched over to the game once during the "AMAs." I would have been in hell in a normal year, having to divide my attention.

This might be harsh, but why would anyone read a memoir from Scott Weiland? I could ghost write the thing using only one run-on sentence: So I helped start this band that ripped off grunge — we were called STP — and as we went on we got better, mostly thanks to my bandmates who started to write more original music to play behind my garbage lyrics and then I joined this awful, awful band with what's remaining of GNR, we're called Velvet Revolver, and yes, we do sound worse than even that name sounds, and, oh yeah, I was in rehab like 60 times over this period, and did I say my name is Scott?

The contestants for the celebrity version of "The Apprentice" were announced today. I have two words for you: Gene Simmons. OK, another two words: Marilu Henner.

"Beowulf" topped the box office last weekend. I have to admit, I hated reading the story in high school and in college, and I just have no interest in seeing this movie. I'm not much for Robert Zemeckis, either.

After weeks and weeks of hype, "Frank TV" finally premieres tonight. I feel like I saw every episode of this show while watching the baseball playoffs. Yep.

Oh, my God, oh my God: Blockbuster is coming into the 21st century by itself, not just copying others. I have a passionate dislike for the video-rental giant. I'm sure it's a tad irrational, but, you know, I'm probably a tad irrational.

We'll talk soon, OK? Hang in there during this short week.

Monday, November 12, 2007

When Can We Be "Friends"

I got an e-mail from local filmmaker/ author Gorman Bechard, left, this morning. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I interviewed Gorman before production of his upcoming film, then was on set for a couple days.

Well, now "Friends With Benefits" is ready for an early screening. This isn't an official release or anything, just an informal get-together for film fans to come together and give Gorman your thoughts on this early cut of the comedy.

If you're interested in attending, sign up here. During my time on set, I saw many scenes filmed and read a good portion of the screenplay and am very excited to see the final product. And, don't forget, Gorman's last movie, "You Are Alone," won numerous awards and, this should go without saying but was really, really affecting. Maybe I'll see you at this screening? Sign up.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Couple Odd Ones

You couldn't even make up something like this story. Basically, a woman, who I hope was at least attractive, went to a bank to get a loan. Her credit stunk, so, of course, that loan wasn't forthcoming. But luckily she was in the office of a bank manager who came up with the only logical conclusion for this predicament: Why doesn't the woman just give the bank manager sexual favors for a loan from his pocket? Makes sense.

Well, the bank manager didn't have the cash either, so he did another very logical thing: He embezzled funds. Everything seems normal, right? These are the things rational people do. It's the next part that's amazing.

The woman's cousin got suspicious about where the woman was getting the money, so she called the bank manager. Now, he's not a liar, so he told the cousin exactly how the woman was getting her money. So what does the cousin do? Of course she starts blackmailing the bank manager, who, incidentally, is a married man with kids.

Of course that's what happened. Of course.

In other fun news, I guess you can't just throw stuff away anymore. According to this story, if you have any remaining pills from an old prescription and want to get rid of them, well, of course you should put them into animal poop and flush them down the toilet. Yep, that's the first thing I would have thought to do.

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday. It's been a good weekend, huh? "Bill & Ted's" was better than I remembered, James Velvet and the Ivory Bills were great at Cafe Nine last night, Yale won and that means my column from next week's Yale-Harvard game will be more fun and, lastly, I sat at Koffee on Orange for about four hours today and it was great. Great.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Another Example

So I'm trying to pass the time in between editing pages and came across another example of how soccer does not matter in this country. I know some kids play it in high school — I did not — but that doesn't mean squat.

I watch all sports. I can watch all the big four sports, love checking out tennis and can even muster some enthusiasm for golf on television. And when it comes to Boston sports, I digest everything.

Everything, that is, except the New England Revolution, the Boston area's team in the MLS. According to this story, the Revolution are going to championship for the third straight year. Really? I did not know.

Does that make me ignorant? No, it makes me exactly like everyone else on the planet.

Working On A Saturday ... Excellent

Much like the reporters, we editors here at the Register work a Saturday-night shift once every four months or so. Well, I'm on tonight.

Because of that, I thought, well, wouldn't my good ol' friends on the Web like to hear from me, since I have some time? I didn't really hear an answer when I posed the question in my mind, but I know that if I did present it to people — by yelling it out the window or something — the sound that came back would be a resounding "Hell, yeah, Pat, we want a blog entry." OK, OK, stop yelling.

When I get out of here, I'm heading over to the Criterion to catch the late-night screening of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." I remember seeing the movie in theaters when I was when I was 10, back in 1989. Weirdly, I vividly remember that I didn't feel good walking into the cinema (an old 3-screen thing in Milford, Mass., that was connected to the K-Mart), and so I puked on the sidewalk. My parents wanted to take me home, but I resisted and said I felt fine. I didn't. I sucked it up, though, and made it through the movie. On the way out, I threw up again.

Isn't that a great story? I hope you're not eating or anything.

Anyway, the real reason for this entry is to once again talk about what the Criterion is doing Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I've mentioned it in print dozens of times, but it's worth writing here, in cyberspace. Insomnia Theater and Movies and Mimosas are two of the coolest programs in the city.

For Insomnia Theater, Criterion becomes like an old art-house theater and shows old, cultish movies like "Bill & Ted's" late at night. I've gotten to see a good amount of movies I never saw on the big screen this way. I saw "Bottle Rocket" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and so much more. Way cool. The cinema puts on the flicks at 11:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday mornings, the Temple Street cinema becomes home to Movies and Mimosas, which mostly shows classic movies and gives folks a chance to buy cheap mimosas. I took my parents to see "Miracle On 34th Street" a couple years ago when they came to visit. It's a good thing to think about when your family comes to visit. You can watch a movie and not talk to them, while having a great time. I'm kidding, of course, but it's nice.

All right then, that's pretty much all I've got. I hope your weekend is going as well as mine. I'm done, now. We'll talk soon, though, so don't fret. I love you all.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Quick Hits

Band of Horses at Toad's Place did not disappoint last night. Although Play editor Jeff Petrin thinks it may have been the best show he's ever seen, I'd disagree and just say it was really good. And when a good show is going on, Toad's is just one of the best places to be. Sure the venue can be annoying in some ways, but on a good night, it's truly great. And last night, the crowd was into it, and, all and all, it was the best show I've seen at Toad's in a while. Plus, you can't beat those Red Stripes. I only drink Red Stripe at Toad's, and it makes me happy.

Please, please, please: If you're looking for something to get me for Christmas, go here.
It seems like Winona Ryder is dating another musician, this time Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley, who's one ugly and tiny man, yet very talented. Why oh why won't Winona just date me? She's only a few years older ...
And, finally, Ed Asner is getting a divorce. I only mention this because I picked Eddy in a death pool with some friends like seven years ago. I saw him on TV one night and he looked bad, Quaker Oats guy-bad, so I picked him. He's so alive that he's still ticking off wives. Man.
I guess that's about it. It's time for me to go home for the evening. Well, go home and eat and then go do some fun stuff. Well, it may not be fun. Well, it'll probably be OK. Maybe I'll see some music? I don't know. The options are unlimited. Really?
Have a good night, people. We'll be back tomorrow with some updates on what you can expect in Weekend Friday. OK? Sleep tight.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Let's Horse Around

Toad's Place is the (toad's) place to be tonight. Why? Well, indie favorites Band of Horses comes to town for a show at the legendary venue. That's good news folks, really.

Fresh off the successful release of a great sophomore disc, "Cease to Begin," Band of Horses will definitely be ready to brings its Shins-like rock to the people of New Haven. I'll be there to accept it with arms wide open (imagine me saying that in the best Scott Stapp voice ever).

I've been looking forward to this show since I got wind of it a few months back. I've been told by a little birdie that the group's shows at CMJ last month were much better than expected. Band of Horses has never been known as a great live band, but I guess that's changing a lot. We'll see.

You should come. It'll be fun. We can say "hi" to each other, maybe share a laugh and a PBR. But only show up after you vote, OK?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Argument Against

OK, so in today's Register there's a great and informative story by Business Editor Cara Baruzzi about why sports teams keep failing in New Haven. Cara lays out all the reasons, including the ones that proved to be the downfall of our lovable Cutters.

Now we know that the Cutters really lacked corporate sponsorship, and that's what did the team in. Well, if you read my column about how to save the Cutters (which is not online for some very frustrating reason), you know that my whole plan revolves around turning games into entertainment during which fans drink $1 beers. In Cara's piece, the idea of changing the whole how-a-team-makes-money-and-operates paradigm is never questioned. We never go outside of the box. All we hear from executives and experts is how a model franchise runs. Well, that's not working here, so let's shift the paradigm; let's turn it on its bum.

Here's the deal: You want corporate sponsorship? Well, clearly most Cutters games end around 9:45. You're not going to bed then. Heck, that's more than three hours before my normal bed time, before I get my pajamas on and get tucked in. What do we do in that time? We go to a Cutters-sponsored Happy Hour, of course. We get local bars to be our corporate sponsors and in return we host our after-game celebrations there. This is a good idea.

That's about all I got. But the key to all of this isn't why the Cutters failed, it's how every one of these teams fail. It's not because of Yale Field and stadium amenities; that's way too easy of an answer. It's really about branding. Too many people didn't know the Cutters existed. But, when a good promotion came to town, say midget wrestling, the Cutters still drew fans. So getting the word out through $1 drafts daily and cool promotions like "Take You Picture on a Pony Night" would work.

I'm not giving up. I'm not a quitter.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Ugh ...

My car got towed for the first time ever today. My little Fit was gone went I went to drive. Poop.

So Let's Talk ...

So to answer the question everyone keeps e-mailing me: Nope, I've not heard from anyone with a boatload of cash looking to front me in my bid to purchase the Cutters and turn Yale Field into the best bar in the city, or at least in West Haven. Maybe we still have a little time?

All you folks e-mailing and calling me about my Britney Spears review: Stop! I don't care what you think. The record stinks. It smells like a public bathroom that hasn't been cleaned in weeks. Just thinking about it makes me want to convulse, drop into the fetal position and cry. I can't take it. And no, I don't think all of her albums smell bad, just this one. And to Mark S., who calls me a prude because I don't want to hear simulated sex noises in my music? Well, if that makes me a prude, I guess I am.

What else is going on? Well, I got a few e-mails from folks a little disappointed the Register didn't run a full article about Band of Horses coming to Toad's Tuesday. Don't worry, guys, that's coming Monday. Check out the Life/Styles section. It'll be right next to Catherine Galasso-Vigorito's column ... just where it belongs.

Whether us music fans want to admit or not, this weekend's biggest event is easily Pats vs. Colts. I'm going to be a lil' homer and pick the Patriots to come out on top in rout. Yep, you heard it here first, 42-24 Pats.

Over the past couple weeks, I've seen four movies: "Gone Baby Gone," "Dan In Real Life," "Reservation Road" and "The Darjeeling Limited." Here's some quick reviews:

"Gone Baby Gone" - Make sure to check this one out. Who knew Ben Affleck could direct? Seriously, some great acting and the script is much better than "Mystic River," which was also based on a Dennis Lehane book. And the actors give us much better Boston accents than the ones in "River" or, gasp, "The Departed."

"Dan In Real Life" - I know, I know, I probably shouldn't have liked this, but I did. It's way better than any movie with an obvious ending should be. You might want to save it for DVD, but not a bad option for a day you just can't figure out what to do.

"Reservation Road" - A friend and I went straight from "Dan" right into the "Reservation Road" theater, a break only for an unsurprisingly awful 15-minute visit to Cafe Bottega. This one's a bit harrowing, a film to see only if you're like a me: a person whose mood can't be changed by a depressing movie. I really liked it. Although, I must say, Joaquin Phoenix with his shirt off is a frightening sight. It's like he's a humpback.

"The Darjeeling Limited" - OK, so my favorite movie is "Bottle Rocket." I would have called Wes Anderson my favorite director until "The Life Aquatic" put me to sleep. With all that said, "Darjeeling" is garbage. It stinks. Don't see it. I wanted to laugh; I tried to laugh; I faked laughter ... nothing worked.

So let's see, this weekend I'll probably check out "American Gangster" because my brother, Little Nicholas, is visiting and he wants to see it.

I saw "1776" at Goodspeed last night. Nothing makes me giddy like democracy in action. I wanted to see the musical because I had to watch the movie of the same name in eighth grade social studies class and remembered really enjoying it. Yep, it was fun, a tad long, though.

What else? Well, the Celtics open their season tonight. I'll watch and hope that my favorite basketball team is relevant again. We'll see ...

I guess that's it. My November resolution is to blog more. Wish me good luck with that ...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let's Get Out The Checkbook

I am going to buy a baseball team. This is not a joke. Pick up a copy of Friday's paper to read my column that details a sustainable business model to keep the New Haven County Cutters in town.

I cried earlier today when I learned the team was packing up its bats and balls and getting out of Dodge, er, New Haven. What am I now supposed to do on Thursdays in the summer? It's one of my favorite things to do. It's not a joke when I say my friends and I are seriously depressed.

So let's keep the team. I have an idea. We'll need cash, but I think we can do it. Make sure to buy the paper Friday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Look Out For Curling

My story on curling in Connecticut runs in tomorrow's Register. I am not going to give too much away, but let's just say my friends and I had a great time playing the sport.

I was going to write the story as a first-person narrative, but there's just too much info needed when you're writing about something like curling, something that not everyone's familiar with. So I still wrote in the first person, but there's a lot of good info in there and the piece is not all about me. I hate when things aren't all about me.

Anyway, as a tease to the story, here's my friend Harris McCabe getting ready to throw the stone. I'm not sure 6'8' people are meant to curl. We had a great time though.

It Starts Tonight

OK, let me be truthful for a minute, no matter how embarrassing it is: I had real problems sleeping last night. I'm not joking. I tossed and I turned because I am just way too excited for tonight. If you don't know what tonight is, then let's just say you're not a baseball fan.

It's on these days that I miss Boston a bit. Tonight's going to be fun, watching the game with all my friends who are also Sox fans. We'll be at a bar that I enjoy watching baseball at. But there's no excitement in the air outside. If we were in Boston right now, all you would be hearing is Red Sox talk. There's something you can't put your finger on that happens whenever the Sox have a big game.

I'll never forget the last big game I experienced in Boston. It was Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS, the Aaron Boone game. I had the day off because I wasn't going to get anything done anyway (I'll take a half-day today). It was amazing how no matter where I went — Dunkin Donuts, Newbury Comics, even some small sushi restaurant — all anyone wanted to talk about was the Red Sox. There were flags everywhere. I bet 70 percent of people had some kind of Sox hat/shirt/button on. Seventy percent.

But I'm in New Haven today and, frankly, that's probably a good thing since the only time I ever saw the Sox win a World Series was while I was sitting in the same seat I'll probably sit in tonight. I'll drink the same beer, wear the same hat and try to remember what shirt I wore. I can't wait.

As I said in a previous entry, I like the Sox to take this series in six games. I know the Rockies are hot, but when I really think about it, I don't know how they can win. Think about it: The Red Sox have the better player at every position except shortstop ... and maybe right field, but that's still very debatable. The Sox have the better starting pitching and the better back end of the bullpen. The Rox have the better bullpen overall, but how often does middle relief really play a part in a game? And if it is, that means something bigger went wrong.

The one thing very few people are talking about is how Rox pitching walked a lot of Diamondbacks. It's damn tough to walk Diamondback players. Damn tough. The Red Sox are going to work those starters so much, we're going to see a lot of middle relief, a lot of four-inning starts. The Sox feast on middle relief.

I guess that's it. I could babble on about this game for hours, but I'll stop now. I hope God (I mean Josh Beckett) pitches a good game tonight. Either way, I'm just happy the Red Sox are in the World Series for the third time in my life. And let's hope they win it for the second time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What A Weekend

I have to admit, I had some doubts about whether the Red Sox would pull out the ALCS. I went to Anna Liffey's Friday afternoon, at about 6 or so, and my softball teammate and Liffey's trivia MC Jon Edwards told me I should be disowned as a Red Sox fan for admitting doubt in my column. He also thought the Red Sox would beat the Rockies in the World Series, even though I joked either American League team would get swept.

Jon was right. I'm predicting right here, right now, the Red Sox will win the World Series in six games. This will be the third time the team has been in the World Series in my lifetime, and I'm very excited about this. I am going to have problems sleeping the next few days. Seriously.

In other news, I went curling on Saturday. Look for that story in Thursday's paper. It's a good one. Well, I haven't written it yet, but there's a good story to be told. Hopefully I can do that.

What else, what else? Well, Kid Rock was arrested outside of a Waffle House. I mean, if I told you Rock was going to be arrested outside of a breakfast joint, you'd guess Denny's, but Waffle House would be the second choice, right?

I think that's about all I've got for today. I'll leave you with my favorite music video of all time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In The News ...

So investigators are searching David Copperfield's warehouse, a place he regularly performs. Here's what I'm thinking: The FBI is like a decade behind on this one. Don't you think they should have searched there for the Statue of Liberty when it disappeared? How about for whatever drugs he clearly used to get Claudia Shiffer to date him for six years. Oh yeah, what about when he claimed to find the Fountain of Youth a few years back? This guy's been begging for an investigation. Well, he's got it now.

A friend of mine pointed me to this site. Very good stuff. Check out the Elvis Perkins material.

I have the day off today. W00-hoo me. I'm watching ESPN and New Haven just made "First Take." Yep, the crappy morning talk show just showed Chaz and AJ's "Hannah Montana" ticket fun. Good stuff.

So rapper Nas is going to name to his upcoming record "Nigger." According to, the rapper says this of the very controversial title: ""(People) shouldn't trip off the (album's) title; the songs are crazier than the title." Well, wowee. You know, I don't know what to think of this, except that if you're going to name your album this, you're really looking hard for some publicity. This disc isn't supposed to drop until December, and we're already talking about it. I guess Nas is smart.

OK, so I know it's been said by hundreds of people over the last decade or so, but very few people benefited more from a suicide than Kurt Cobain. Word is another movie will be made about the late grunge icon. I like a lot of Nirvana's music, but this ridiculous notion that the band started grunge or did anything that Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du, Sonic Youth or countless other groups didn't do is preposterous. I mean, is the movie going to focus on Cobain coming up with brilliant lyrics like, "Here we are now, entertain us." Wow, those are Dylan-esque. Jeez.

Breaking news alert: Rod Stewart's ridiculously looking hair is not genetic! Thank god, says his son, who has other problems.

I know this is a little dated, but he's from New Haven and this video makes me laugh so hard. Just look at his pained faces while he sings. Anyway, enjoy.

Lastly, let me end this entry by saying that if Josh Beckett could pitch every game in the playoffs, the Red Sox would basically be the Colorado Rockies. Well, it's now Big Schill's turn, and he relishes this kind of game. More fun tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where Do We Start

Let's do a little notebook kind of thing since I haven't written in a while. You see, once the baseball playoffs start, I have a really hard time concentrating on anything else. Anything else.

So, as you can imagine, I'm a little nervous about the Red Sox tonight. It's hard to be confident when 3,000-year-old Tim Wakefield is going and he hasn't pitched since like May. But when Wake's on, good things happen, so here's hoping. It seems like the Indians and the Sox are only playing to see who gets swept by the Rockies, anyway.

In other news, I refuse to review the new Radiohead album in print because I want an album that has packaging. I like the idea of going around the record companies, letting fans pay what they want, but I guess I'm a bit old-school still. I really love the feeling that comes along with opening a CD and reading the liner notes and looking at the artwork while listening to it. With that said, I'll review "In Rainbows" when I get the box set in December. But, I really like this disc. It's pretty accessible, which I thought wouldn't be a good thing, but it works.

I saw Kevin Devine and Aeroplane, 1929 last week, on a Red Sox off day. Good show. I really enjoyed it. Those are two great acts, really. And we should feel lucky that half of Aeroplane calls New Haven home.

I'm going curling on Saturday. I could not be more excited about this.

So Led Zeppelin is going digital, leaving the Beatles, Radiohead and a couple more big bands as the only ones not online at iTunes. Doesn't everyone who wants a Zeppelin disc have one?

Drew Carey is finally hosting "The Price is Right." I guess he's doing a good job, but it doesn't seem right to not have Bob Barker. And, by the way, is anyone, anywhere a fan of Drew Carey?

A review will be in Weekend Friday, but the new R.E.M. live set is really great.

Well, I guess that's it on this end. I promise I'll write a lot more and be more of my entertaining self after the Red Sox are out of playoffs, which will hopefully come after Game Four of the World Series.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baseball Predictions

I'll explain more later, but I wanted to get my predictions published before the games start. So, with analysis to follow:

Rockies over Phils in a sweep.

Indians over Yanks in five.

Red Sox over Angels in four.

Cubs over Diamondbacks in four.

Springsteen Makes The New Classic

You've read the story, now here's my review of the Springsteen show. It'll appear in the paper Thursday.

By Patrick Ferrucci
Register Entertainment Editor
HARTFORD — A full hour after he was supposed to take the stage at the Hartford Civic Center Tuesday evening, Bruce Springsteen finally emerged to the raucous strains of "Radio Nowhere," the first song on Bruce and The E Street Band's first album in five years, "Magic," which was also released Tuesday.

On the first day of his national tour, Springsteen brought old and new together for a show that so completely bested any of the previous Boss shows this reviewer has ever seen. Unlike many of the tunes of the last Springsteen and E Street disc, "The Rising," tracks from "Magic" sounded great live, blaring from the speakers and shaking the foundation of the arena.

Whether it was somber "Gypsy Rider" or the buoyant "Girls In Their Summer Clothes," the new songs sounded perfectly in place next to classics like the keyboard-driven "She's the One," the bleak "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and the chant-ready "The Promised Land."

The early set highlight had to be a tingle-inducing performance of the classic "Night," with Springsteen and guitarist Stevie Van Zandt nuzzling up to each other and screaming the classic chorus. Both the rollicking "Reason to Believe" and anthemic "The Rising" got the fans out of their seats and dancing, pumping their fists and smiling.

Springsteen and the nine-piece E Street performed on a large, simple stage. There were no huge televisions behind them, no huge lighting setups, no over-the-top pyrotechnics. This was a classic rock 'n' roll show. The fans showed up to see Springsteen and the group, and they delivered a fiery set short on props, large on excitement.

Besides The Boss, the star of the show had to be drummer Max Weinberg, who Springsteen sorely misses when he tours without E Street. Weinberg started the set by pounding away, almost John Bonham-like, on "Radio Nowhere," and he never stopped keeping terrific time and leading the charge.

In the middle of all the fun, Bruce never missed an opportunity to take shots at the Bush Administration, speaking about wire tapping, six years of lies and more. It made the new tunes, especially, more valid and vital.

The show's only down note came when Bruce and wife/guitarist/background singer Patti Scialfa dueted on the title track from "Magic." The atmospheric tune felt disjointed and messy until midway through when the rest of the band entered. But that's getting a bit picky. This was a set for the ages. When the group closed the set with "Badlands," you could tell the fans got their money's worth and were more than OK waiting the hour it took Springsteen to get on stage.

Unlike the long break before the beginning of the set, the band took the shortest encore break I've ever seen, ending "Badlands" and coming back on the stage with seconds to jump into the encore, which began with "Girls In Their Summer Clothes," moved into "Thundercrack" and then climaxed with the classic "Born To Run."

The show ended with the bouncy "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" and the "Seeger Sessions" tune "American Land," which sounded great with E Street. But, you know what? Everything sounded great. I've only been to five Bruce and E Street Band shows now, but this one clearly topped them all. It's fitting it happened on "Bruce Springsteen Day in Connecticut."

1. Radio Nowhere
2. The Ties That Bind
3. Lonesome Day
4. Gypsy Rider
5. Magic
6. Reason to Believe
7. Night
8. She's the One
9. Livin' in the Future
10. The Promised Land
11. Town Called Heartbreak
12. Darkness on the Edge of Town
13. Darlington County
14. Devil's Arcade
15. The Rising
16. Last to Die
17. Long Walk Home
18. Badlands
19. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
20. Thundercrack
21. Born to Run
22. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
23. American Land