Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Videos, Videos, Videos

I admit it: I've gotten video happy the last couple days, but, what's one more? Last night, my friend Harris McCabe and I had a somewhat intoxicated conversation about the song "Apache," which, I admit, I did not know by name. It's an instrumental that I remember from The Ventures, though.

So Harris sent me a link to this video today, and it's hysterical. Tommy Seebach, a Danish composer, is my new idol. All hail Tommy Seebach.

Preview Of Tomorrow's Features Section

Tomorrow, on the Life/Styles page of the Register, Jim Shelton has a story about the burgeoning popularity of the neti pot, something that's been championed by our own Features Editor Rick Sandella for years. He beat Oprah to the punch by a long shot. Rick is the King of the Neti Pot. Anyway, as a preview of the story, here's a video from YouTube. Now you'll know how to clean your nasal canal ...

Fun Time

OK, so people probably already know about this, but for those who don't, let's have a little fun. Little Nicholas told me about this. Follow these instructions:

Go to
Type in "find chuck norris"
Hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

That's it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Time

Well, guys, I know I already posted a very important entry today, but I just wanted to mention a couple great records I've been listening to.

Currently, while I type this, I'm digesting American Music Club's "The Golden Age," which I've been waiting for excitedly. Well, it arrived today (and arrives in stores Feb. 19) and it's pretty great. I'm on my second spin and it's really simple AMC. The huge arrangements of "Love Songs For Patriots" are gone and this sounds more like a distant folk album, which is really working for me. It's also a lot more accessible than most AMC releases, which doesn't really mean it's accessible, just that some of these songs have elements of pop. I still can't wait for April 24 at Cafe Nine.

At the risk of speeding up the hype machine even more, Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut hits stores today. I know the band's been getting tons of buzz from blogs, online magazines and hipsters everywhere, but it's deserving. This record is just so much fun. I mean, it's certainly not a "great" record, and it's not revolutionary like some are claiming, but it's a very good Camper Van Beethoven-like disc. Take a listen, really. And look for my full review Friday. That's Vampire Weekend in the photo.

And that's it for now. Later, OK? Anna Liffey's trivia tonight, be there. And then my good friends Jay Kubeck and Stefanie Harris perform at Cafe Nine. Go see them.

Work Out? Why Not Pray Too?

This is too good not to sure. A friend sent it to me, and it makes me happy. I guess if exercise and prayer are both part of your day, you might as well get them both done together, right? And this guy is just so happy ...

Editing note: I've been told that I must credit my friend. She got very upset when her name did not appear. So, to make everyone happy, former Register reporter Candace Taylor sent this link to me. It's her sense of humor and disdain for the Lord that made this video appear in my e-mail this morning.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy Days

Maybe I'm slow to the party or something, but I feel so strongly about buffalo shrimp, that I'm having urges to write about them here.

You see, I've never had a buffalo shrimp until today, and let's just say they're great. Very nice Play reporter Nicole D'Andrea is working on a story that involves the very nice Stowe's Seafood in West Haven. Because she has dinner plans, Nicole brought back a whole bag o' fried food and dropped it off at my desk. The bag had a bunch of fried goodies, but also a ton of buffalo shrimp.

I wish there were a ton left. Everyone should get down to Stowe's and enjoys these for themselves. I'm telling you, they were great. What's not to love? Fried. Buffalo sauce. Shrimp.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Teaching Time

So, in a couple hours, the spring semester will arrive for me. For the third spring semester in a row, I will be teaching a class on magazine journalism at Southern. While it's my third year doing it, I think it will be my first year where I incorporate this blog into the mix.

How am I going to do that? I'm not sure. But I might share some of the better articles on here, post some of the good query letters, maybe I'll complain a bit ... who knows? I'm not sure what benefit this might all have, but maybe someone will learn something, and maybe I'll be able to get things off my chest. Anyway, it should be fun. Wish me luck tonight.

Oscar Nominations ...

OK, guys, so here we go. This is a list of the 2007 Academy Award nominations. I'm not going to get into my feelings on the choices just yet, because I'm saving that for a column on Friday. But I will say that I'm very sad about "Gone Baby Gone." I'm crying at my desk. Tears of sadness. What do you guys think?

Complete list of 80th annual Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:

1. Best Picture: "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

2. Actor: George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"; Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"; Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises."

3. Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Julie Christie, "Away From Her"; Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"; Laura Linney, "The Savages"; Ellen Page, "Juno."

4. Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"; Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"; Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton."

5. Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"; Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"; Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"; Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"; Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton."

6. Director: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Jason Reitman, "Juno"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

7. Foreign Film: "Beaufort," Israel; "The Counterfeiters," Austria; "Katyn," Poland; "Mongol," Kazakhstan; "12," Russia.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"; Sarah Polley, "Away from Her"; Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

9. Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno"; Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco, "Ratatouille"; Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages."

10. Animated Feature Film: "Persepolis"; "Ratatouille"; "Surf's Up."

11. Art Direction: "American Gangster," "Atonement," "The Golden Compass," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "There Will Be Blood."

12. Cinematography: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Atonement," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

13. Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "3:10 to Yuma," "Transformers."

14. Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "There Will Be Blood," "Transformers."

15. Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli; "The Kite Runner," Alberto Iglesias; "Michael Clayton," James Newton Howard; "Ratatouille," Michael Giacchino; "3:10 to Yuma," Marco Beltrami.

16. Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova; "Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "Raise It Up" from "August Rush," Nominees to be determined; "So Close" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

17. Costume: "Across the Universe," "Atonement," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "La Vie en Rose," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

18. Documentary Feature: "No End in Sight," "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience," "Sicko," "Taxi to the Dark Side," "War/Dance."

19. Documentary (short subject): "Freeheld," "La Corona (The Crown)," "Salim Baba," "Sari's Mother."

20. Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Into the Wild," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

21. Makeup: "La Vie en Rose," "Norbit," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

22. Animated Short Film: "I Met the Walrus," "Madame Tutli-Putli," "Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)," "My Love (Moya Lyubov)," "Peter & the Wolf."

23. Live Action Short Film: "At Night," "Il Supplente (The Substitute)," "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)," "Tanghi Argentini," "The Tonto Woman."

24. Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Transformers."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Feeling American

I know it's not the same band. I know this upcoming record probably won't be as good as the shockingly great "Love Song For Patriots," but I don't care.

I can't tell you how excited I am for April 24. What's that day? Well, that's when one of my favorite bands of all time, American Music Club, will perform in New Haven. Even better? The Mark Eitzel-led (that's him in the photo) group will be at Cafe Nine, playing an incredibly intimate show that is sure to make my week ... and month. I can't wait.

American Music Club formed in 1982, but, of course, I did not know about the band then. I first caught wind of the guys in 1993, when I was a little 14-year-old boy who happened to buy "Mercury" randomly on the recommendation of some clerk at my local Strawberries. It was a spooky disc for a kid used to listening to a lot of Dinosaur Jr. and prog rock at the time. AMC is often credited with inventing the slow-core genre, the kind of dense and passively paced folk music often associated with such artists as Red House Painters, Cat Power, Smog, Shearwater and, controversially, even Elliot Smith. You need patience to like it and it grows on you like fungus. Too good.

The band broke up in 1994, and like most fans, I just continued to listen to the old albums and get excited every time Eitzel put out another solo record. And then, out of the blue, AMC reunited and returned with "Love Songs" in 2004. The album is easily the most consistent and best of AMC's career. I love it.

Well, now with a new bass player and drummer, AMC will return once again with "The Golden Age" on Feb. 18 on Merge. I haven't received a review copy yet, so I can't comment on its quality, but I know I'm super excited to hear it.

Anyway, I just can't get over AMC at Cafe Nine. I can't wait. I'll even not watch a Red Sox game because of it. Woo-hoo. Tickets are only $10, and, eventually, you'll be able to get them online at the venue's Web site.

See you there, and look out for my review of the record, I'll surely preview this show, too.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pick 'Ems

Okie-dokie, here are my picks for Championship Sunday. As you probably noticed, I didn't do so well last week. I'm not over-thinking anything this week. I don't think either of the underdogs can win, although Little Nicholas feels otherwise. So, of course, I brought him in for another week of fearless predictions. Here we go:

Chargers at Patriots
Little Nicholas' take: Not sure where to even start with this game. Well first let me start by noting the only thing I am sure of about this game. I will NOT be watching in HD. There is just no way I can stomach four hours of Norv’s face in clear, beautiful HD. Actually screw digital, I will be very happy with the analog signal today. Now back to the game. As my brother would tell you, I have been on the Chargers for the last four years, thinking that they were the best team in the NFL. Last year, they pooped their pants, instead of beating the Patriots. I still sit up at night wondering why they just stopped running the ball in the second half. The one time “MartyBall” would have worked, they go against it. This year, the Chargers started off very poorly and the Pats were incredible. Since week 10, however, the Chargers seem to get better every week and the Pats have come back to the pack a little bit. I am probably crazy, but I am going with the San Diego in a close one. I am partial to the history of San Diego, which as everyone knows, was discovered by the Germans in 1904. They named it San Diego, which, of course, in German means "whale's butt."

Little Nicholas' Pick: Chargers 28-24

Pat's take: I hate the Chargers. They're just a bunch of whiney little poopheads, doing little dances, yelling at each other over everything from a bad route to a missed tackle to stolen pudding. Let's be serious, unless you're from San Diego like my friend Shiloh, you can't root for the Chargers, even if the Pats are also unlikable. The team with the best quarterback and best coach usually wins in the playoffs. Bill Belichick could outcoach Norv Turner while on the toilet, and Tom Brady could be working on making more out-of-wedlock children from the pocket and still be better than Philip Rivers. So with all this said, the Pats will win. I will smile. The world will exhale and the march toward history will continue. It's the truth. It's not my fault for writing it. I mean, really, did you see when Brady hid the ball during the Statue of Liberty play last week? He's perfect. More perfect than me. Oh wait. The Chargers could win if they fly that woman who got a restraining order against Randy Moss to the game. Then Randy couldn't be there. That could help.

Pat's Pick: Patriots 31-17

Giants at Packers
Little Nicholas' take: If I played for Green Bay, I would probably be upset. I mean, all the credit for getting to this game goes to Favre. And, of course, all the blame if they lose will fall to everyone else on the team. Brett’s just trying to make plays. So what if he is throwing into triple coverage, make the play! I like the way the Giants have been playing and I think Seattle was a bit overrated to begin with. It's tough to pick Eli in a big game, but I have inside info that Peyton spooned him all night last night and now he is ready to go. OK, so Chris Berman just said the “frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” for the 57th time this morning already.

Little Nicholas' Pick: Giants 21-17.

Pat's take: So poor Eli Manning. He told Big Peyton to stay home because the Colts quarterback is bad luck. Then, for God's sake, a Wisconsin television station removed "Seinfeld" from the air just to mess with Eli's head. According to a Giants press release, Eli said, "I cried myself to sleep last night. I wanted to watch Little Jerry. I heard the episode they took off the air was the one about the Today's Sponge. It's always been my dream for Elaine to deem me sponge-worthy. I'm so sad. Brett's going to have fun today, throw the ball around like a little boy. I'm going to cry, wondering if I'm sponge-worthy." Yep, that press release got faxed to us. I stole it from the fax machine before Dave Soloman could get to it. Anyway, Eli's too sad to win this game. Way too sad. I mean, just look at the picture at the top of this entry. Could this man really appear in a Super Bowl? Of course not.

Pat's Pick: Packers 28-20

Popcorn, Picks, Plops

Don't ask me what the headline to this entry means. Yeah, sure, I did write it, but I was really just looking for three words that begin with P, and I didn't want to use poop, since I've already fulfilled my monthly quota for that word. So we get these three, and I won't be mentioning popcorn or plops. Sorry.

Anyway, so it's been a little while since I blogged. Busy week, I guess. So what's new in the world of entertainment? Well, I saw "There Will Be Blood" for a second time yesterday, and I have to say I like it even more now. Just look at the photo! Daniel Day-Lewis is intense, so Day-Lewis-like. It's not a perfect movie, but it is Paul Thomas Anderson's finest, most complete work yet. I know people complain about the ending, but I really loved it. And I'll tell you what I liked best about it: There's nothing obtuse about the conclusion. You know exactly what Anderson is saying by ending his film this way and, to tell you the truth, I think it makes a strong and accurate statement about society today. Did anyone else see the film? What did you think of the ending?

Speaking of movies, did you know "Rambo" opens Friday? Look for my piece in Weekend about me and John Rambo.

What else? Well, it looks like Suzanne Pleshette died. All the wire stories talk about her role in "Newhart," but I'm a little too young for that show. I remember Pleshette from the short-lived sitcom "Good Morning, Miami." It was a pretty crappy show, but aren't most sitcoms pretty crappy?

Speaking of deaths: "Sam the Butcher" from "The Brady Bunch" died. In all honesty, who would thunk that he was still alive?

Who wants to bet that some brash, young network exec has already thought about how he could make this a reality show?

I know there are some Hall & Oates fans out there. You know how I know? Sometime in 2006, I wrote a negative review of the duo's Christmas album and some woman basically threatened me with death and told me I was a f^(**)$%^&king moron and I didn't know music at all. Keep in mind, the record sucks. Sucks. And I love Hall & Oates. Well, I told her she couldn't be objective, and then she told me she could because she didn't even like the group. Then she berated me some more. But, you see, the beauty of the Internet is that you can Google people, and when I Googled her name, she came up as the president of numerous H&O fan clubs, ran a fan page and was all over message boards. Objective. Anyway, that's a fun story, and so is this.

Warner Bros. is going to re-release "Michael Clayton" next weekend. This is good news if you haven't seen this great film. There's a reason it was No. 3 on my best-of-2007 list.

Another movie that should be opening here soon is "Teeth." It's a horror flick. If you do not want to be disgusted, do not click on the next link. But anyway, the movie is about this.

So I guess that's it for now. I'll be back in a bit with football picks. Have a great Sunday. I love you all so.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Serious Note

I got an e-mail a couple hours ago and have now seen it on the Fox-61 news, but this is just a note about Ben Wu, the local-music booker at the Webster Theatre.

Wu, 28, was at a wedding in the British Virgin Islands over the weekend when he disappeared early Saturday morning. He missed the Saturday wedding and did not get on his return flight Monday. Authorities are currently looking for him.

If anyone has any info, call the British Virgin Islands police at (284) 494-2945. Let's hope Ben, who's a good guy, is safe.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Somethings

OK, everyone. How are you? I think it's been a couple days, but you just knew I couldn't not post my NFL picks. I am 4-0 during these playoffs, but I expect my run of luck to end during this round, which is really difficult to predict.

But before we get to the picks, though, let's talk about some shows I went to over the past couple days. On Thursday, I headed over to Cafe Nine just because I had to see what live-band karaoke looked like. I got there with a bunch of friends who were just as eager. Let's just say it was something. Folks living out their rock-star dreams ...

Yesterday, Friday, I first hit Toad's Place, which was amazingly crowded. I think it was the second largest crowd I've seen at the venue. It was really hot, really packed and altogether uncomfortable, but Mars Volta fans did not care. Did not care at all.

I couldn't make it through the whole show, hating crowds and all, but what I did see was OK. I mean, the band was good enough, but sometimes you need to say "when." If you got a guy playing cowbell, flute and a vase, it might be OK to use him only in the studio, especially when you have the guitar and kick-drum turned so far up in the mix you can't tell what the other six members are doing anyway.

Then it was off to Cafe Nine to see a bit of Eula, a good local band that I wrote about yesterday. Good stuff, as always.

So now let's get to the picks. That's what you're here for, I think. For a little variety, I invited Little Nicholas, my brother, to submit some picks. He's done that. He'll probably do better than me. We'll see.

Seattle at Green Bay
Little Nicholas' take: As much as I hate to pick any team coached by Mike Holmgren, my hatred for all things Brett Favre will not allow me to pick the Packers. I know Peter King would want me dead for saying this, but this Green Bay improvement has as much to do with their defense as it does with the improved play of Brett Favre. Who knows, maybe the Packers would have been good last year, too, if Favre didn’t throw 30 picks?

Nick Pick: Seattle 24-21

Pat's take: I couldn't agree more with Little Nicholas. It's not that I can't stand Brett Favre, I just can't stand how everyone worships him. When someone else messes up, it's a dumb mistake, when Brett craps the bed, "he's just trying to make a play, trying to lead his football team." Spare me. I like the Hawks' quarterback better, their coach better, their defense better, their city better, their uniforms better, their cheerleaders better, their green little cleats better, their mustaches better, their mothers and wives better ... everything. So I have to pick Seattle, right? Yes, I do.

Pat Pick: Seattle 31-27

Jacksonville at New England
Little Nicholas' take: There is just no way in the world Jacksonville can score enough points to keep up with the Patriots. Jacksonville gave up 29 points to a Steelers offense that is not nearly as good as the Patriots offense. As opposed to my brother, who has a man-crush on Garrard, I think he is mediocre at best. Not capable of beating the Pats.

Nick Pick: New England 38-16

Pat's take: OK, so Little Nicholas is talking about how I've been saying for two months that I thought Jacksonville could give the Pats a game because they run a lot, and my "man-crush" David Garrard doesn't throw interceptions. I know, I know, every other analyst is saying this now, too, but I say swear I beat them to the punch. David wears such nice hats and he has his own tailor. Isn't it funny how these little stories just keep getting told. Do I, as a football fan, care that David Garrard has his own tailor? Do you, as a reader of mine, care that I have my own couch, my own microwave? Nope, didn't think you did. I watched Jacksonville last week; they can't beat the Pats. They might score some points, but not nearly enough. You have to put up 30 to win, and this team won't do that.

Pat Pick: New England 41-24

San Diego at Indianapolis
Little Nicholas' take:
Not sure why, but I have a gut-feeling the Chargers are going to make a game of this. Marvin, will he or wont he? The guy has been out for 14 weeks with a bruise on his knee. The funny thing is he got the bruise while turtleing to the turf to avoid a hit. I think the Chargers defense will give Indy a lot of problems. No, I can't do it. I can't pick Philip Rivers over Peyton Manning.

Nick Pick: Indianapolis 34-17

Pat's take: The Chargers are like bullies. You know, they only pick on people smaller and not as good, only do it because they lack real self-esteem. Oh, sure, San Diego can beat up on Herman Edwards, but they can't beat the Colts. The Chargers will do little dances, play hopscotch on the field or something, all the while Peyton will throw, throw, throw, gimpy Marvin or not. I think this is the easiest game of the weekend. I am not a big fan of the Colts, but I hate the Chargers. I hope Peyton throws 12 touchdown passes. Oh, and Little Nicholas has this irrational love of Philip Rivers. He's always saying, "Rivers is my sleeper. Rivers looks good in his uniform. I wish Rivers was on Tampa Bay. I wish Rivers would come over and eat soup with me." He says that stuff all the time. I don't know why.

Pat Pick: Indianapolis 31-10

New York at Dallas
Little Nicholas' take: Instead of having Congressional hearings about Roger Clemens, Congress should investigate why the NFL would make us watch seven straight hours of the Manning brothers on Sunday. TO will play, so I think Dallas will look a lot better then they did against the Redskins. But I love the way the Giants have been playing, too. I think the Giants are going to win in a close, high-scoring game.
Nick Pick: New York 28-24

Pat's take: I can't pick every game the same as Nick, can I? But I also can't go against my gut, which just consumed a breakfast sandwich and seems to get bigger by the day. If you listen to sports radio around here, you'd think the Giants are the best team on the planet, and that the Cowboys didn't beat them badly twice already this season. Last year both the away teams in the AFC pulled off upsets in this round, can the NFC do it this year? That was the Colts and Pats last year, though. My friend Harris, a devout Cowboys fan who will probably wear his Marion Barber jersey tomorrow, was getting nervous about another NFC East game for Dallas, but then he texted me last week: "Eli can't have three good games in a row, right?" You know, I'm going with Harris here. I can't pick a guy whose real name is Elisha. Screw my gut. I'm going to eat what I want and smile.

Pat Pick: Dallas 35-28

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wednesday Teaser

So I'm working on a little story about my three favorite artists who are pretty much unknown and aren't local. I know ... that's a big group of bands, but over the past couple years, three songwriters really stick out as, well, just too good to ignore. I've written about each a good amount over the years, sort of, even picking choosing Graham Smith's "Final Battle" as the best CD of 2004.

I think the story will run next week (Fri. Jan. 18), but here are some videos. Pay close attention to the Graham Smith one. Not only is the video hysterical, but it's seriously a killer song, one of my favorites of the past couple years. Here we go:

Graham Smith

Meredith Bragg

The Lovely Sparrows

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Terrific Tuesday

Hello, people on the ol' Internet. Currently, I have a killer sinus headache and am waiting for the Advil to take hold of my poor, poor head. This searing pain makes it impossible for me to get any real work done right now, so I decided to post over here on this here blog. Hope your head's feeling more happy than mine.

So what's in the news besides Roger Clemens (look how big his head is and, remember, never trust a dude who dyes the tips of his hair!) lying more and more and secretly taping some guy? Well, Nicole Kidman's pregnant ... with a baby. Because of this, she dropped out of a movie, which is probably a good thing because, seriously, when was the last time she made a good one? I want to know. Do you know?

I just received a call from the fine folks over at the Arena at Harbor Yard. At 5 p.m. today they are going to announce a Feb. 25 concert. I'm not going to say who it is, but let's just say that it's the first country show at the venue in four years and the main performer might just be a nice looking woman who became famous on a TV show. Look for ticket info in Friday's Weekend.

So, my colleague Joe Amarante is absolutely giddy about the cancellation of the Golden Globes. He says that if the writers' strike forces the shutdown of one more awards show, it'll be a huge success. I'm just sad that I won't get to write a notebook about the show. Maybe I'll do a blog-only one on the news conference. We'll see ...

Finally, someone agrees with me. I just want to point out that I criticized Dr. Phil days ago.

broke the story of The Shins' Marty Crandall getting arrested for abusing his ex-girlfriend. Go read about it here.

It seems New Haven native Michael Bolton and his desperate fiance are a little cheap. I wish I could scan in the old, old press photo of Bolton that sits on my desk right now. Precious.

Early on New Year's Eve, I was at Delaney's for a bit of drinking and my friends Brandon and Jay and I were having some fun on the trivia machine. One of the questions was about Harrison Ford being cut from "E.T." Well, here's a list of other famous folks cut from movies.

So we have a new Bond girl. I would have stuck with Eva Green, but, hey, that's just me.

When I was a kid, my Dad just loved watching "Quantum Leap." I wonder if he'd like this show. Who would have thunk that Scott Bakula could sing like a bird?

That's about all I got today. After two weeks off because of holidays, Anna Liffey's will have trivia again tonight. Frank Critelli is over at Cafe Nine and me, my head still hurts, but I'll be OK.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Super-Quick News For Sunday

So this might be a little bit more information than you need to know, but I got out of the shower about 10 minutes ago, got ready to leave and quickly turned on the television to see if there were any networks showing football highlights. Well, as I flicked past NBC, I couldn't help but laugh that at the bottom of the screen, there was a teaser saying, "'American Gladiators' begins in 9 minutes."

I mean, is this that significant of an event? A little show that I used to love watching when I was a wee middle schooler is coming back, but does that really matter? Would this even be happening if it wasn't for the writers' strike? I have no idea, and I will admit I'm very interested to see how the show features the exact same events without being incredibly cheesy, but ...

I wonder if Joe Theismann is hosting again. I mean, we all know he doesn't have a job on "Monday Night Football" anywhere, thank god. That's a new gladiator named Hellga above. I just love that name.

In other news, I got all my playoff picks right this weekend. I wouldn't bet on that happening again. We'll see. Pretty much each game was fun to watch, so let's hope that continues into next week.

How does "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" keep raking in so much money at the box office? Basically, the action flick is taking advantage of a month when no big movies come out. But still, $170 million in three weeks is pretty damn good. Oh, and how the hell does "Alvin and the Chipmunks" keep making tons and tons?

I am going to choose to not write much about Britney Spears and her mental breakdown because, you know, we should all just feel bad for her. Heck, if cameras followed me around all the time, I'd go crazy too. With all that said, why the heck is Dr. Phil visiting her at the hospital and making statements? I've only briefly seen his show and don't care to watch crap like that, but maybe he makes some people feel better, but I just don't like anybody who hosts shows like his, programs meant to make money on other people's miseries. I mean, here's this guy visiting her and then going on all these TV shows after to talk about what's wrong with her. Just let the woman recover or something. OK, that's it for my rant against Dr. Phil.

How does someone like Amy Fisher return to the news? Oh, well, I guess she does by selling a sex tape of herself ...

This piece tells you what the cheesiest love songs of all time are. I agree with some of this, so what's your take?

OK, that's it for me. Have a good night.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Picks Time

OK, so we're like an hour away from the kickoff of the 2007 NFL playoffs. As usual, I'm here to give you some picks. It's a tradition, one that will make all of us cry if I break. So as I sit waiting to leave and do something, let's pick some games.

Washington at Seattle
Everyone on TV is jumping on the Skins bandwagon, but that will not be me. I refuse to believe that a team will go into Seattle and win, so I'm going with the Hawks in this one. As much as I want to pick the team starting Todd Collins, I just can't. I mean, Todd is from Walpole, Mass., which is a little ol' town I've been to a ton of times. Actually, now that I think of it, I hate Walpole. I hate Route 1.
Pick: Hawks 27-21

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
People love the Jags. They can't get enough of them. I don't know why, but when a team runs the ball, analysts and experts just swoon. For example, when you watch Mike Ditka talk about the team, you can see hearts floating around his head. Amazing stuff. Anyway, the Jags will win this one before losing next week.
Pick: Jags 31-10

New York at Tampa Bay
My little brother, Little Nicholas, loves the Bucs. For some reason, it's his favorite team. He wears orange every day and dresses like a pirate on game days. Actually, that's all a lie, well, just the part about him dressing up. Anyway, though, Nick's a big fan and watches all the team's games on Direct TV. Little Nicholas says the Bucs really stink. I trust him.
Pick: Giants 17-14

Tennessee at San Diego
Folks believe this game will be a blowout. I don't. I think the Chargers will win, but not by much. I mean, the Titans have a huge coaching advantage and Philip Rivers makes me want to vomit he's been so bad.
Pick: Chargers 24-20

OK, so those are my picks. Feel free to mock me when I get some wrong. Not much else going on here. Yesterday, I interviewed Eula for an upcoming Weekend. Good band, nice people. Then I headed over to Cafe Nine and caught Stefanie Harris' set and a bit of Jennifer O'Connor's performance. Both were good.

Don't forget about the benefit over at Cafe Nine tonight. Should be a good show. And that's it on this end. We'll talk tomorrow.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday Tidbits

Well, hello. Yours truly has just finished sending a Weekend section upstairs to get all pressed and printed, so I thought I'd stop by this here blog and ramble for a bit. I mean, it's been like four days since I last posted, so you guys must be lonely.

Let's turn that frown upside down. The first thing that we can do is go to tonight's killer show over at Cafe Nine. Yep, it's Safety Meeting Record's first big bash of the year, so head over to the State Street venue and check out locals the Mountain Movers and MT Bearington, along with Indiana indie rockers The Orange Opera (that's the trio pictured). I'm a fan of all three of these artists, so you know I'll be there sipping a beverage. Say hello, and I'll say hi back.

What else do we have going on? Well, if you're interested in reading my best films of 2007 story, check out Sunday's Arts section in the Register. I think I wrote on this here blog a few weeks back that you could expect it in tomorrow's Weekend, but, you know, plans change. So pick up the big and bulky Sunday paper.

I guess Elisabeth Hasselbeck will return to "The View" on Monday. Now, I know that you, like me, really don't care when some wacko conservative is going to return to some crappy television show, but I just posted this because I absolutely love how most of the wire stories on this topic talk about her having a kid with her "star quarterback" husband Tim Hasselbeck. Timmy's about as much of a star as I am, what with him third-string on a team with mediocre quarterbacks and all.

I've been listening to Cat Power's "Jukebox" a lot in the last couple days, and I have to say that the record, due out Jan. 22, is really, really good, better than her first covers disc, 2000's "The Covers Record."

Here's Paul Thomas Anderson talking about the upcoming "There Will Be Blood," which, let me say, is a very good movie. I actually went to a screening for it. I very rarely do that.

Please, please, please go read this story. It's about a former beauty queen going nuts. The mug shot might be the best I've ever seen, seriously. The woman looks completely bonkers. I'm laughing typing this. Laughing. Also make sure to click on the link to see the "racy photo" of her with a big huge rifle or something. Too perfect. I know that whenever I pose for racy calendars, I always make sure I can be holding an automatic weapon, or some Chicken McNuggets.

I was having a conversation with my friend Ryan Dixon the other day and he asked me if I ever watched "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila." I do not because I, unlike Ryan, have standards. Anyway, he should be happy because now gazillions of other big morons will get a shot to love the "26-year-old bisexual Internet celebrity." Woo-hoo.

Lastly, I just want to take a moment to console my colleague Joe Amarante. Over on his blog, he's so happy that the Giants lost to the Patriots last weekend. Well, he's happy the team played well. But, listening to sports radio around here, I've never heard fans so happy about a loss. You know that means? New York fans have officially become the new Boston fan, folks just happy when someone puts up a fight. I mean, it's hard to win when the Sox, Pats and Celts can't lose. Sorry Joe.

Well, that's it on this end. Have a good night and I'll see you at Cafe Nine. I'm going home to take a nap.