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 ...