Friday, May 30, 2008

Mayer ... Madness

He's taking some time off from cuddling Jenny Aniston. Yep, the Connecticut-born John Mayer is coming to the Dodge Music Center Aug. 23. I don't like his music, and I don't like doing interviews with him. I think I'd rather see "Sex and the City" than go to this show. So, there, I found something.

Friday's Fun Day

So let's start with a couple funny stories about DJs, one from me, one from my dad.

I was at the gym yesterday. And, for some really odd reason, LA Fitness occasionally has DJs at the gym. I don't understand it. Balloons were everywhere, too. I feel like if they didn't pay DJs, and didn't pay for all the balloons that are constantly everywhere, maybe I wouldn't have to pay $45 a month.

But anyway, so the DJ was taking requests. And he goes, "Now we're going to play one of the most classic songs in the classic-rock canon." Next thing I know, "Livin' on a Prayer" starts blaring. Can something with a "n'" be part of the canon? The canon? I promptly pushed play on my iPod and listened to Okkervil River.

My parents were at an anniversary party recently and my dad was sitting next to some guy, who said to him, "This DJ stinks. I want to hear some loud rock and roll. I love it really loud." After quoting Paul Stanley, you think he'd say he wants to hear Kiss or Metallica or something. But nope, his next like was: "I want to here 'Love Shack.' I love that loud stuff." Um, OK.

Now onto my video for this week. Here's it is, let me know what you think.

What else? Well, remember that Titles plays tonight at Cafe Nine. You'd be a dummy not to go. And when I say dummy, I don't mean a stupid person, but rather not a real human.

Oh, a new Okkervil River record comes out soon. The only reason I get out of bed in the morning is knowing that a new OK River disc could get released at some point.

Um, I got nothing else. I have to go watch "Sex and the City" now. So that was a joke.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long Weekends Kick My Butt

OK, OK, I know it's been awhile. My only excuse is that I was trying to get out of work as early as possible last week to drive to Boston for my mom's birthday, then the long weekend came. Anytime there's a long weekend, I'm in hell the next week trying to do five days worth of work in four. So sorry. I apologize. Don't hold it against me, but if you do, I'll make it up to you as best I can.

As I type this, I'm watching Kendrick Perkins have the game of his career, which is a very good and necessary thing. Let's hope it continues.

I don't have much to write about tonight, just wanted to say hello. Make sure to pick up Weekend Friday. It's our annual summer music preview, and there's a ton of stuff going on that you'll need to plan around. Cool?

What else? Well, I should remind you that Titles releases "Up With The Sun" Friday at Cafe Nine. I'll probably post about it again, and you'll read a whole lot about it Friday in Weekend, but it's important to mention here. This is one of, if not the best local record I've heard since moving here. And it will definitely end up on my top-20 of 2008 list come January.

That's it. Hope you had a nice day, and we'll talk tomorrow. I promise.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Wish I Had A Pun With Lester In It

The final pitch had just been thrown, but unlike a certain game that would end about 20 minutes later, this pitch did not lead to an out. It didn't even lead to a ball put in play. It was ball four and it walked in the run that beat our team, Jack's Bar and Grill. We had held the lead most of the game, even one in double digits, but we couldn't hold it. We couldn't stop walking people.

And our lack of control is somewhat ironic because one Red Sox pitcher named Jon Lester always looks good in games ... until he starts walking the ballpark. He has problems throwing strikes; he has a good ERA and a decent amount of strikeouts, but his WHIP stinks because he can't throw enough balls over the plate.

Well, when our game ended, we all checked our cellphones, like most folks do. A text message said that Lester was throwing a no-no into the ninth. With that, we grabbed our gear and ran toward the parking lot.

While enjoying a post-game beverage in the parking lot and listening to the radio, my friends Shayne, Jay and I listened to the broadcast and the final three outs. I don't know why, but I just consider it cool to have listened to the the game there in the parking lot with the radio blasting and all three of us pacing, listening.

I can remember exactly where I was for all four no-hitters thrown by the Sox in my lifetime. In 2001, when Hideo Nomo tossed his, I was glued to the couch of my Providence apartment, forcing my roommates to watch with me. In 2002, I was home visiting my parents when Derek Lowe buzzed through the Devil Rays. And last year, I was out to eat and then made it back to Jack's Bar and Grill in time to see the last few inning of Clay Buchholz's gem. So, I don't know, it was just kind of fitting to hear this one the radio, like I know everyone would have had to years ago. So congratulations to Jon Lester. The cancer thing is going to get talked about in every game story, recap and TV package, but it's fitting. I'm not the biggest Lester fan because I can't stand pitchers who nibble on the corners when they can throw 95, but this is a great moment and good for him.

Enough with the baseball though. We also had a great basketball game last night and my friend Harris McCabe, who lived in San Antonio for a while growing up, got to see his Spurs send the Hornets home. This made me happy because I hate Chris Paul. He's a little whiner. Just his face when he whines makes me cringe. Go Tim Duncan, who might be the best basketball player I've ever seen play in my lifetime, minus the big three of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

Only one more day, sort of, till "Indiana Jones" premieres here. I'll be at the 12:01 a.m. showing Wednesday night at Criterion, covering it for the Register. I'll be finding the funny stuff that happens. It should interesting. All I want is to spot a male or female with a whip. Can you hear me New Haven? If you bring a whip to the premier, I will make you the centerpiece of my column. Is this making news?

I want to receive my review copy of this CD, just so I can look at the CD booklet. I don't care about what must be the awful music contained on the disc. Although, she is only 19, so that's a bit icky.

I love "Law & Order." And this is just another reason why.

Our own Mates of State officially release "Re-Arrange Us" today. I'll review Friday, but please, please, please: Head over to your local record store or (if you lack a soul) fire up iTunes and purchase this thing. It's a great disc by a great and local band.

So R. Kelly's trial is just now starting? I mean, didn't this happen like eight years ago? If you or I got caught having sex on video with our 13-year-old cousin, I assume we'd already be in jail. But, you know, we don't make visually stunning videos for mediocre songs about being trapped in the closet. And I won't joke about the name, OK?

With that, I think I'm done. Got to get to work. Have a good day fine folks of the worldwide web. And, oh yeah, check out some of the comments being left on blog entries here: These are some funny stories happening in the world.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Missives

Here we are, Monday May 19, and the Jack's Bar and Grill softball team is sitting at 2-0, awaiting our third game tonight at 8. Yes, after starting last year a robust 0-3, and finishing 4-10, we are off to a good start, and I'm a happy boy. Wish us good luck tonight, and, if you want, come on down to East Shore Park and watch the game. There are always beverages around.

As for other news, I finally saw "Iron Man" Saturday and let me just say it was pretty damn good. It might be my favorite superhero movie of all time, besides "Batman Begins" and all of the "Rambo" series.

Tomorrow is an interesting day for record releases with Scarlett Johansson's disc coming out. It stinks, just so you know.

What else? Well, I was downtown a bit during Saturday's "Indiana Jones" event and some folks were pretty excited to see what amounted to a classic-car show with some music. I'm not sure why, but, you know, what do I know?

The Celtics advanced again, which is really the only reason I'm updating this here blog today. If the team lost, I'd still be crying on my bed, eating ice cream and screaming, "Why did they hire Doc Rivers? Why?!?!"

Well, lil' Ashlee Simpson is married. And she's pregnant, right? Makes sense.

You know, it's nice that Garth Brooks returned to the stage yesterday, but I'm really pointing you to this page for the photo. She's my new favorite country star if you get my drift.

That's about all I got for today. Get well, Ted Kennedy.

I will leave you with a video, good times. I warn you, I listened to a whole lot of old Genesis this weekend, for some reason.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weird World

So a co-worker of my brother, Little Nicholas, found this story. I want to thank Jennilee for being on the lookout for good stories for this here blog.

Now here's my question: I don't smoke pot, but if I did and I wanted a bong, I would pleasantly walk or bike to the nearest head shop and purchase a happy little bong for "tobacco use only." And if I didn't have any cash, I would connect to the World Wide Web and find some instructions on how to fashion a smoking device out of an apple or a Pringles can or something.

An idea that would amazingly never float into my head would be to walk on down to the cemetery and dig up an 80-year-old grave to use a skull for a bong. I might be a bit odd, but I wouldn't do that.

I've never been to Houston, but I did date a girl from there once. She said it was boring there. I don't doubt her; she was honest. But I still feel like there's better things to do than digging up graves to make bongs. It's surely an interesting arts-and-crafts project, but ... Heck, just play hacky sack or something.

Made The News

The little Weekend preview videos I do have made the Independent. They like them. I'm glad. I must now mention that there's no way they would be videos at all without the help of online producers Brett Orzechowski and Nick Scalia. That's it for now.

Marriage And Marillion

OK, so I got back from Jersey yesterday, but was way too tired to update this blog. I think I'm still too tired, but not from lack of sleep, but more because I'm tired from worrying so much about a softball rainout tonight.

Anyway, let's just say the wedding I went to Saturday was something. It was big, like really big. I think the band that played had more people in it than I have friends who I'd want at a wedding. It was something. Something.

I did attend Indian Jewelry's show at BAR last night. That group is just not nearly as good live as it as on record. Not close.

And please, please, if you are in a band and are going to liberally use strobe lights, tell me because I won't come. I thought I was going to have a seizure, end up on the dirty floor in a pool of my own tears and urine. I wanted to die. Nobody should use strobe lights unless, of course, you're the proud owner of a haunted house. No other reason is good enough.

So before Indian Jewelry performed, my friend and Brandon were talking about upcoming shows and I mentioned Fish (that's him above) coming to Toad's next month. Fish is the former lead singer of Marillion, which was part of the first wave of neo-prog that swept England in the late '70s, early '80s.

Brandon likes prog a lot, but hadn't heard of Marillion, so I told he needs to seek out the record "Script for a Jester's Tear." And just saying that name made me want to hear the album again, something I hadn't done in probably five or years. So that's what I'm doing as I type this. I then went to the wonderful YouTube and found an old video, which I posted at the bottom of this here blog entry.
In other news, Jennie Garth is returning to "90210." Now, I don't know what to think about remaking this show. I mean, perfection only happens once in a lifetime. Can you recreate something so magical?
"Survivor" concluded last night. Everyone who reads this blog know that, for some weird reason, I really love this show. I watch little non-sports television (not including an obscene amount of "Law & Order" episodes), but I love "Survivor," and this was the show's second-best season. Really.

"Speed Racer" crashed and burned at the box office, making this entertainment writer somewhat happy. I just think the movie looks so dumb and bloated.

There's a reason to go to the Grand Ol' Opry now. A really great reason.
Coldplay will perform in Hartford on its upcoming tour. Yep.

I like Paste magazine, but come on ... Nobody should give any extra press to the upcoming Scarlett Johansson record. It's pretty damn awful. Awful I tell you. And as I say that as someone who really liked Zooey Deschanel's disc.
And with that, I'm done. Pray that softball game goes off without a hitch, even if we lose. I leave you with Marillion performing the title track to "Script for a Jester's Tear" live sometime 1984, I bet.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Good Cause

OK, so here's the deal: For $7.50, you can really help some folks out. That's less than it costs to go to a movie, less than it costs to drive 100 miles (or three if you have a Hummer).

Before I came to the Register, I worked at a different paper for about a year. I worked as a columnist and copy editor, working mostly at night at a desk right near the sports department. Well, I used to watch the Red Sox on one TV while a co-worker of mine on the sports desk would loudly watch the Yankees. Steve's a great guy even if roots for the wrong team.

Now here's the problem: Steve Nalbandian and his wife wanted to have a baby, but when they went to the doctors to make sure everything was cool, they found out that two separate conditions that his wife, Lyndsay, has will make it basically impossible. So they're looking into either adoption or a surrogate mother, but both are very expensive and insurance, as usual, doesn't really help. So you go this site, buy a set of three magnets (depicting the artwork of Lyndsay's mom, for $7.50, and help them out. Take a look at the page and decide.

If you want to read a more detailed piece about this situation, check this one out.

Look, I haven't talked to Steve since I left my last job. We never hung out or anything, just talked baseball while at work. But I'm going to buy a magnet because I think it's a good cause. And because Steve once helped me design a page when I first started and I needed that help.

Games And Pages

Oh, my, I haven't blogged since Monday. I have a good excuse this week, though. And you'll all see it tomorrow in the form of a 48-page Weekend section, which is the biggest the section has been since I took over the tab four years ago.

Very large. Very heavy. Very tiring. Very time-consuming.

But now that it's over, I'm winding down by watching both the Celtics and Red Sox win games, which makes me very happy. Very happy.

Anyway, so a handful of you guys have e-mailed me about this: I am happy to report that Jack's Bar & Grill, my softball team, won our first game of the season 20-7, actually mercy ruling our opposition in the top of the seventh inning. This made me happy and giddy, like a little child. We played very well. Let's hope it continues this coming Monday. We'll see. That's me and teammates Stefanie Harris and Shayne Harrel enjoying a postgame celebration at Jack's. Thanks to Shiloh Kinne for snapping the photo.

So what else is going on? Well, you can check out my new video here. I didn't use any props because I barely had time to think about it. I decided to use my monotone voice, which I think makes people happy. I'm kidding.

I guess there was another Phish reunion. You know, I hate jam bands, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for Phish. That "Golgi Apparatus," that's a good song.

Speaking of Phish, Trey Anastasio and Son Volt have been added to the Newport Folk Festival lineup, which makes me a very happy little boy.

The stupid "CSI" star was formally charged. I wonder if they used to DNA samples to make sure they were his drugs.

This is very wrong. We all know who should be in this role.

And I guess that's it for now. I'm off to a wedding this weekend, but I'll try to post. Woo-hoo.

Monday, May 05, 2008

In Honor Of ...

The Celtics advancing to the second round of the playoffs, I give you ...

Oh, and by the way, today is Opening Day for my softball team. I can't wait. I'm nervous. I haven't slept for days. I'm typing this with my baseball glove on. I might be crying. Excitement is in the air. I could go on, but I won't. I'll let you know how we do tomorrow.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I Did It!

Well, I promised a blog post for seven-straight days after my pathetic, pathetic output the two weeks previous to this one. If anything, this proves I should be able to always do this, although I guarantee you it won't happen. I'll try though.

Boston was great last night, as always. I ate two Italian sausages, which really are my favorite part of Red Sox games. The rain delay just let me have many Sam Summer Ales before heading into Fenway. That made me happy.

Anyway, as I sit here watching the Red Sox beat up on the Devil Rays, er Rays, for the second night in a row, the only real news is Mariah Carey wedding Nick Cannon. Yep, the 38-year-old singing icon married the 27-year-old "actor." Congratulations to both of them. I once interviewed Cannon and he seemed like a nice dude. Let's hope this marriage lasts longer than our interview, although odds are good, huh?

So with that, I'll leave you with Mariah's new video:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday's Fun Day

Have I ever mentioned how much I love unicorns? Well, it's true.

I have no idea why I feel so hyper at 11 a.m. on a day off, a day off that found me out of bed by 9 a.m. Weird poop. Weird poop. I'm going to run in circles to calm down, maybe hit my head against a wall. Woo-hoo.

So let's see, my guess is that all of you have been out of bed for hours, read Weekend like six times through, and settled into your day. Am I close?

I want coffee. And I just spent a good amount of time interviewing Mates of State, the now-Stratford-based duo that will perform at Toad's May 16 before heading out on a big national tour to promote the upcoming "Re-Arrange Us."

I'm a huge fan of the disc. It might be my favorite of the band's records to date. Good for them. You'll read all about the making of the album and what's happened in their lives in my piece in a couple weeks, but for now, why I don't I post a video for MoS' new song, "Get Better"? Sound good? You know it does.

And with that, I'm going to say goodbye. Big day for me. I will finish typing this, spellcheck and edit it, then head off to the ol' gym, come back here for a bit of breakfast, then get in my tiny car and make the drive to Boston for a Red Sox game. Yes, two Sox games in two weeks; let's just hope that the starting pitcher doesn't get scratched before the game this time, huh? Ok, later.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Unicorns, Videos, Jon Cooper

You know, I never really thought about my love of unicorns before, but I guess the statement "I Love Unicorns" is true.

Now, some of you must have noticed that there are advertisements and a new look to this blog now. Our online editor, Jon Cooper, did this. He also posted the unicorns post. I did not. Sorry to disappoint all you folks with a unicorn fetish who hoped I had one (that means you Jon). He's an odd one who likes to watch movies while eating a bag of cheeseburgers and nips of Malibu.

Anyway, you can go take a look at my new video here. If you pay close attention, you'll hear me talk about Iron Man being an alcoholic. I mention that Jon Cooper told me this. Now, not only did he tell me this, he e-mailed me this:

"Eventually, Stark's heart condition is discovered by the public and cured with an artificial heart transplant. However, Stark also develops a serious dependency on alcohol. The first time it becomes a problem is when Stark discovers that the national security agency S.H.I.E.L.D. has been buying a controlling interest in his company in order to ensure Stark's continued weapons development for them. At the same time, Stark's business rival Justin Hammer hires several supervillains to attack Stark. At one point, the Iron Man armor is even taken over and used to murder a diplomat. Although Iron Man is not immediately under suspicion, Stark is forced to hand the armor over to the authorities. Eventually Stark and Rhodes, who is now his personal pilot and confidant, track down and defeat those responsible, although Hammer would return to bedevil him. "
I have no idea if Jon wrote this or got it from somewhere. Jon's a weird dude.
That's it friends. And yes, I love unicorns, but not like that, not like Jon does.

I like unicorns!

Why don't you?