Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rosie vs. Elisabeth, And More

I'm completely serious when I say that I've never seen more than 15 consecutive seconds of "The View." But, man, I think I'm starting to regret that. All these stories about Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are totally hilarious.

Read this one. So Rosie is on one side and "Survivor" woman on the other, and Rosie's going on about some inane thing taken out of context and the other one just sits there saying something like, "I don't want to talk about this." I wish I saw it. I don't know how Rosie can call Elisabeth a coward though: Pretty soon she'll be the only breadwinner in her family, once her husband gets cut by the Giants.

In other news, I'm not an "American Idol" viewer either. But it looks like someone named Jordin Sparks won the show this year. I keep hearing that Simon and company might have jumped the shark this season... and that was before someone with a perfect porn name won.

When did the last "episode" of the second "Star Wars" trilogy come out? I don't remember. I know, I know: It was 2005. What I do remember, distinctly, is that I wrote a column about how there wasn't as much buzz surrounding it as there was "Episode 1." Wow, I've never received so much hate mail. People wanted me dead. I'm pretty sure you can still find an Internet debate from readers discussing my degree of dumbness. Well, let the mail flow again: I would rather die than do this. If you're interested in reading what I read to spark the hate mail, here's my article from two years back. If you keep reading past the "Star Wars" part, you'll find that I sort of choose the best-picture Oscar winner almost a year before the trophy was handed out. And you want to debate my dumbness!

This site will ask you a few questions and then generate a fake band bio. Pretty fun.

I'm a huge fan of the site Fire Joe Morgan. It is on a real roll right now. If you want some of the best sports media criticism on the Web - all with tons of humor - go take a gander.

You know, a few years back the Wilson brothers - Owen and Luke - could do no wrong. Now Slate is publishing articles about how they've gotten stale. You know, I can't really disagree, especially in the case of Owen.

Ain't It Cool News somehow scored almost four minutes of footage from the upcoming "Rambo" flick. So, if you're 17 and interested in all things Sylvester "I Love HGH" Stallone, go check this out. Man, does Sly look old or what? There's so much violence, it's actually laughable.

I don't know about you, but I can't stop listening to this new Handsome Furs record.

The good ol' Mountain Movers officially releases its picture disc Sunday at BAR. Um, this is a must attend. On the other side of the picture disc is Titles, and it plays Rudy's Saturday. That's another must-see show. Titles plays first, so get there for 10 p.m.
I think I'm about done now.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Here's a confession for you: I didn't watch the Country Music Awards. I know, you're shocked.

I've talked about it here before, but let me say again that I think most of today's popular county music is contrived, manufactured and, most importantly, bombastically crappy. I mean, the singer who looks like he ate Lance Bass — the one from Rascal Flatts — he's like the epitome of all that is evil about the genre. I know some of you like Rascal, but come on, you have to know it stinks, right? They even have fake names! I mean, LaVox? Just typing it makes me giggle out loud here at my desk.

Pathetically jingoistic lyrics, bad Bon Jovi chords, shiny and blase song doctors and one-note vocals do not make a decent band. On the other hand, there's some great country music being made, even by some of the genre's most successful stars. I mean, Keith Urban's recent disc has its poor moments, but for the most part, it's an above-average record.

But I'm off the topic a bit, now. The biggest story coming out of Tuesday's awards show was the growth of former "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler's breasts. They're big, so big the singer isn't even doing the normal celebrity charade, saying she had no work done. Pickler had work done.

When Sam Waterston asks a question, you better listen up. I mean, he is the world's greatest lawyer.

You know, I've had a lot of people tell me how good "Veronica Mars" is. I've read the same sentiments, too. But I tried to watch it once a couple years back and couldn't believe it was so boring. Well, now it's canceled.

My co-worker Mike Gannon showed me this story about a very well-endowed Mary Jane from "Spider-Man." I love how the comic-book fans have reacted. But they should ask themselves what adult should ever buy a figurine? The answer? Nobody.

Do you know your "Die Hard" trivia? Well, take the quiz.

David Faustino was arrested for pot possession after an argument with his ex-wife. Two things about this: Why do celebrities always seem to argue outside? Go in the house, man. Also, does anyone find it surprising that an actor who will forever be known as "Bud" got arrested for pot?

OK, that's it on this end. Be sure to pickup the Register tomorrow and check out Weekend. We've got a ton of stuff jammed into it, including a lot of local-music news and my love affair with the new Genesis box set.


Monday, May 14, 2007

More Excuses

Yup, there's a reason why I haven't posted in a week, but I'm not sharing it. OK, you've convinced me: Last week, I worked a good portion of the time at a different paper, helping out another one in the Register's chain. That left me little time go get Weekend done, much less blog. So, I apologize. And, hopefully, we'll get back to our more regularly scheduled entries now.

Anyway, I took a little test today to find out which indie-rock album is most like my personality. I guess I'm like Modest Mouse's "The Moon and Antarctica." Take the quiz yourself and post a comment about what disc you're like. Could be fun.

Last night was the finale of this year's "Survivor," and if you've read my stuff for any amount of time, you know I'm strangely addicted to this show. The episode, like this season, was really a bummer. But I guess the right person won.

You can read more in Friday's Weekend, but just so you can plan you weekend early: There's tons of local music coming. On Friday, The Space hosts the finale of its Battle of the Bands IV. I'll be a judge, and six very good bands will perform. On Saturday, Independisc and the Jellyshirts join forces to release the band's "lost" record, "Outside," over at the John Slade Ely House. But there's a huge twist.

Derek Holcomb headlines Beatnik 2000, episode 364, over at Cafe Nine tonight. You know that'll be good.

Here's another story about someone stealing music, and the RIAA fining them. As I've discussed numerous times, the RIAA might be going about this all the wrong way, but it's the organization's right to do so. This student even admits she knew it was illegal, but says, "Obviously I knew it was illegal, but no one got in trouble for it." OK, so if I go kill someone and not get caught ...

The people I work with like to joke that I'll eat anything fried. And they're pretty much right, but there are some lines I won't cross. This is one of them.

My prayers have been answered. If this news wasn't this way, you may have not heard from me again, after a nervous breakdown or something.

Lastly, I guess some dude was really mad when Ben Folds wouldn't play "Brick" or something. In my mind he just yelling, "Play 'Brick' or get out of here." Then some other guy took off his shirt, because that's what you do at a Folds/Boston Pops show. The guy yelling got offended by this, and threatened to throw a brick. then a fight happened. Keith Lockhart didn't know what the hell was going on since he's used to the senior-citizen party that usually accompanies a non-Fourth of July performance by the Pops. Keith is now at a serenity center, and Folds vows never to play with an orchestra. "Man, I was scared for my life," he said. "When's Toad's re-opening?"

I'm done. Perhaps tomorrow we'll speak again?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Roger That: Clemens Returns

So Roger Clemens is coming back, to the Yankees no less. While Yankee fan boards are awash with excitement over the seven-time Cy Young winner returning to stabilize the team's rotation, no NY fan that I've talked to likes the news. Nobody likes Roger. Imagine that.

Don't get me wrong, everybody knows he would have made any rotation he stepped into better. And as a Red Sox fan, I understand he would have been better than Julian Tavarez — although maybe not Jon Lester.

But big oaf Clemens is entirely impossible to root for. He's a publicity hound, a wanna-be martyr and, most importantly, a mercenary. Let's also not forget that if we're going to brand Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa steroid users without much evidence, let's not overlook good old Roger. The ancillary evidence:

1. Started to decline with age, then somehow get better.

2. We talk about hitters, but look at Roger's body — and head — from the early '90s and now. There's a huge difference.

3. Jose Canseco, in his now prophetic book, says he'd heard that Roger was taking roids.

4. Most importantly, Jason Grimsley, a former Clemens teammate, named Roger when naming names after being busted with steroids and HGH last year.

With all this said, the actual and emotional boost of the Clemens signing should help the Yankees. The team has already started to get better, so this will only augment this. But, keep in mind, that Roger is now a 5-6 inning pitcher, if that.

As a Yankee from 1999-2003, Clemens' average ERA was just a tad bit under 4. Then he went to Houston and became Superman again. It cannot be overstated how bad the offenses in the NL Central are. They are absolutely horrible.

Roger could take coffee breaks when facing the 2 and 6-9 hitters in NL lineups, except when facing the Mets last year, which he probably did only once or twice. He's going to be slaughtered by the AL East lineups. The prediction here is a 4.70 ERA, which isn't bad, but certainly isn't worth a $28-million pro-rated salary.

In other news, "Spider-Man 3" shattered all previous box-office records. Of course, it's a bit misleading because it now costs $10 for a ticket. But anyway ...

I spent most of my weekend on a movie set, which was really fun and interesting. I got to see how the scenes came together, talked a lot with the crew and the actors. Good times. I also got a chance to see "Year of the Dog," which I recommend.
Here's a good story on August Wilson's "Radio Golf," which had its world premiere here in New Haven a couple years back. Honestly, I thought it was one of Wilson's worst works, but this story says it has been updated a lot since 2005.
You know, a lot commercials warn against drinking and driving for a lot of the obvious reasons. And while those warnings are all valid and incredibly important, it seems like they might not be enough for some people. Well, this story should do it.
ABC announced there will be three more seasons of "Lost." While I like how a network is taking initiative and saying one of its more popular shows will last another three years, I think this move gives master tease J.J. Abrams another 48 episodes to screw around and make an unwieldy plot even more dumb and contrived.

That's it on this end. I have to finish up here at work and get ready for my first softball game of the year. Our team plays its first game in the New Haven league tonight. I'm a very excited boy. I'll let you know how it went tomorrow, if I don't pull my groin or something.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

May Day, Part II

And so it goes in the world of local places to see live music. After Friday's Black 47 show at Toad's Place, the venue will close for 90 days. Oh, if there was only a better way to check IDs and not let those pesky, underage college kids into the dance parties.

According to my sources, all the rumors of Toad's permanently closing its doors after Friday are untrue. Shows have already been booked for Aug. 4, the day the suspension ends. We'll see.

We did get word of the lineup for this summer's free shows on the Green. Here's my article on the roster. I'm pretty excited about Soul Asylum (pictured above). I caught the band at Mohegan Sun about a year ago, right after the quartet's recent disc hit stores, and the show was fiery and entertaining, with Dave Pirner, Dan Murphy and company performing a decent batch of old tunes. For some reason, my story got changed a bit and the new name of the series was left out: The concerts are no longer The New Haven Jazz Festival or the Free Concerts on the Green. The series is now called Music on the Green.

So what else is going down? In Ticket News in Weekend Friday, you'll learn that Bob Dylan, the White Stripes, Diana Krall, Meat Loaf, Poison and O.A.R. are all coming to the Nutmeg State this summer.

I just learned that Ashlee Simpson is 'confident' with her appearance. I'm glad, too, because that would mean she wasted a lot of money on all that plastic surgery, otherwise. I do think, though, that good ol' Ashlee gets a bad rap. Her most recent disc is so far and away better than Joan Jett or something.

Wilco is streaming its upcoming record, "Sky Blue Sky," from now until its release date of May 15. I've been listening to this album on and off for about the last two months. And as a huge Wilco fan, I've got to say I'm disappointed. I just am. It's way too jammy. I really wish I could say otherwise, but this disc gets boring about mid-way through. Look for a full review the week of release.

This happened last week, but, you know, I'm a busy guy. Anyway, the nominees for this year's Shortlist Music Prize have been announced. The list of 10 finalists includes Joanna Newsom, Cat Power and Tom Waits. Unfortunately, our own Mates of State, which made the long list of semifinalists, did not make the cut. Lester Bangs' death. I won't write anything about that, because, well, I'm not a fan at all. But Bangs did make a lot of people music fans, and he influenced a lot of folks, good or bad, who do a job like mine. The Chicago Sun-Times' very vocal Jim DeRogatis, who adores Bangs, wrote this. The funny thing is that Dero is really good, and writes nothing like Bangs, thankfully.

With that, I'll leave you for the day. But have you ever wondered what "Star Wars" character you're most like? If so, check this out. I'm Emperor Palpatine, whoever that might be.