Monday, December 28, 2009

Quickie ...

You know I don't usually go political on this here blog, and I promise a real entry later today, but I just had to post this. Someone sent me this link, and the idea of it makes me laugh.

This is a YouTube video without any actual, um, video. It's professional wrestling manager Jim Cornette going off about health care. Now, some of it contains a few bad words, so any kiddies out there shouldn't listen. But if you're over 18, push play.

As the person who forwarded this to me said, the funniest part about the rant is that Cornette -- a dude who makes a living accompanying steroid-laden entertainers to the ring and then hitting folks with steel chairs -- makes more sense about health care and expresses everything better than anyone I've heard yet, including our president.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Turning To Baseball ...

OK, so we're going to not talk about pop culture for a second. Don't hate me. I've been meaning to write about baseball for the last couple days.

It's been a pretty busy week for hot-stove fans. But I don't want to talk about how the Red Sox got better or how I feel about trading a handful of prospects for Adrian Gonzalez. What I want to discuss is a piece penned by Jerry Crasnick (who I usually enjoy reading even if he does think Dayton Moore is a good general manager) about the best pitcher of the decade.

I've been thinking a lot about the last decade lately. For an upcoming edition of Weekend, I'll be putting together a list of the best albums and, probably, films of the '00s. Crasnick's story made me think about the best pitcher. He chose Mariano Rivera. Of course, I'm a big Red Sox fan, so it's hard for me to be objective, but I just don't understand how we can choose, basically, a one-inning guy for this title.

He threw 713 innings from 2000-2009. To put that in perspective, Randy Johnson topped that number before 2002 was over.

Look, I realize Mariano is the greatest closer of all time, and I pray each night to Baseball Jesus that the Sox can find someone as consistently great as him. But, we have to remember that the closer as we know it is a modern-day invention. Even 20 years ago, relievers were not used like Rivera. And do we honestly think that if some idiot made Randy Johnson a closer 20 years ago he wouldn't have had peak years as good as Mariano? There's a reason Rivera and every good closer is a closer: They failed as a starter.

I'm not sure if Randy Johnson is the pitcher of the '00s, but, keep in mind, in those three years that I noted, the big lefty did win three Cy Youngs, three more than Rivera has in his presumably filled trophy case. I think you can make a good case for Doc Halladay and Johan Santana and, even, Roy Oswalt for the title of pitcher of the '00s. I'm going with Johnson, I guess, but my real point, obviously, is to argue against a closer. Can't we all agree on this?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BAR Shows No More

I will have more on this in Weekend, but effective the minute Sunday's show ends, there will no longer be Sunday evening shows at BAR. The venue and booker Rick Omonte (Shaki Presents) have parted ways. All of the shows scheduled for after Sunday have been canceled.

The venue may choose to do something in the future, but, as of now, New Haven's lost one of its most vital spaces for live music.

Not The One In Cooperstown

When I logged onto my computer this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to read something that's been a long, long time coming: Genesis has finally been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. About damn time.

But that's not even the main reason for the excitement. Oh, sure, the band getting recognized is great, but what does that do for me? This is all about me, you know?

Everyone who reads this here blog enough knows that I have a thing for Genesis. I love the band. I particularly care for the Peter Gabriel-led version of the group; but, hey, I don't discriminate. I'm a firm believer that the Phil Collins years are critically underrated. There's some good stuff on those records.

Anyway, what gets me most excited about this is the possibility of a Peter Gabriel/Genesis reunion for the concert that always happens during the induction ceremonies. I would be way too happy. I would take the day off from work, order too much food, buy a case of Whale's Tale and get way too anxious. It'd be the best day of my life. And then maybe it would spawn a full-blown reunion tour, which I would never go to because I would died of a heart attack when the tour was announced. Woo hoo.

I'm just so excited about the possibilities. I mean, I feel like the reunion at the induction is almost a given. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

What else am I excited about? Oh, yeah, a Miss Carrie Underwood is coming to Bridgeport in March. I am going to buy an engagement ring and offer my apartment as a hotel substitute. I have a winning personality, you know ...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And It's December

I bet you expect me to make some dumb excuse about Thanksgiving, teaching or having lots of work for not posting in what seems like forever. Well, you're wrong.

You see, I was driving my little Fit down the road and hit a tree. Right after this happened, everybody in the world found out that I was having sex with 3,234 different women each night. With that in mind, you should realize that I can only text things like, "CU l8er for OMG good stuff. Can I be ur boyfriend? I will wear you out soon" to so many people in one day and still have time to post here.

I hope you guys understand. I mean, it's kind of understandable, right? We only so many hours in a day. Some things have to take precedence, and that includes my many mistresses.

In case you didn't figure it out, I'm actually lying about everything I just wrote. I was trying to make a joke about Tiger Woods. If you haven't heard, he's a professional golfer that likes to have sex with skanky women.

He's famous and married a hot Swedish nanny and the world is currently in the process of acting surprised that a famous dude who married a hot Swedish nanny may like to have sex with women, that he may be superficial. Who would have thunk it?

Seriously, the only thing I find even remotely interesting about this whole story is the idea that none of this would have happened if Tiger could just back out of his driveway without incident. Then nobody would have found out about anything. I mean, that's kind of odd, right?

Oh, and I must admit, I did really enjoy reading the text messages in the Post last week. The whole situation proves he's an ass, but the texts just made him look incredibly stupid. So I'll say it right here: Tiger Woods, you can play golf but you have a brain the size of my big toe. And my big toe is not abnormally large. It's really quite average looking.

Honestly, though, I don't have a great excuse for not posting lately. The holiday made me incredibly busy, so the week before and after were ridiculous. After that, though, I was just in a groove of not posting. Sorry. I promise it won't happen again. Believe me.

I'm sure there have been plenty of fun things I could have posted about over the last month, and now that opportunity is gone. That's what saddens me the most. I saw three great shows over the last week. I find it absolutely amazing how well "The Blind Side" is doing at the box office. I thought I was in the majority whenever I said, "Sandra Bullock can't act." Who knew? I could have talked about all of this at length. Lots of paragraphs.

What else? Well, I'll admit something somewhat embarrassing here. I've always sort of enjoyed fantasy football. I've done it for a few years with my little brother's friends and that's been it. I spend very little time doing it and don't watch that many games. But I've become addicted to fantasy basketball. My friends Harris, Jay and I constantly talk about it; that's really all we talk about at the bar. Anyway, I wanted to get that off my chest.

So, yeah, since I can't go back in time and recommend things, just be ready for Thursday. That's when Eric Bachmann plays Cafe Nine. That's going to be an awesome and huge gig. I'm an excited boy. I'll leave you with a video of his:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Ready

Hello friends,

I would like to formally announce my candidacy to take over the position currently held by Oprah Winfrey. I will go on yo-yo diets, choose books, give away crap and interview people without faces. I will carry the banner. I will be the greatest talk show host to ever live. I will be an icon to middle-aged women everywhere. If I tell them to jump, they will jump. If I tell them to stand on their heads for 25 minutes, it's a done deal.

Once I get the show rolling along, I will start my own production company called Tap. I will become the publisher of my own lifestyle magazine, P. I will go on vacations with my "friends." I will star in movies directed by famous dudes. I will rename my one-bedroom apartment "The Promised Land." I will befriend Maria Shriver and date Roger Ebert.

I will be everything Oprah is and more. Please, please, please: I beg for your support. You know I will do a wonderful job. I will even let Tom Cruise jump on my couch, even if I secretly wish it was Katie Holmes. The first book that I will choose for book club will be "Everyone Poops."

Thank you for your time and patience. Send all campaign donations to Pat Ferrucci, New Haven Register. I will spend them on beer.

I love you all and, of course, God Bless.

-Patrick Richard Ferrucci

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Metal Mania

Here's some ticketing info:

On sale at 10 a.m. Friday
American Carnage Tour with Slayer & Megadeth with Testament
Tuesday, February 9th
Oakdale Theatre
$59.50 General Admission Pit, $39.50 Reserved
Tickets available online at

Tuesday Morning Video

As I sit waiting for the day to begin, I deciding to add a little treat here. So, my gift to you is this Antlers video for the tune "Two." Enjoy it. I do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Well This Stinks

When I was a young little Patrick, my favorite television program, no joke, was "Remote Control." I can still remember getting home from elementary school on winter days and watching the game show. I swear it's a primary reason why I'm so good at pop culture trivia today.

Well, it turns out, sadly, that "Remote Control" host Ken Ober died over the weekend. He was 52. While many people just three or four years younger than me probably don't remember the MTV game show — which was one of the first original programs on the then-fledgling network — for people my age and a little older, it was a fun show that introduced such future stars as Adam Sandler, Colin Quinn and, of course, most memorably, Kari Wuhrer, my first real crush as a child. (Well, besides Belinda Carlisle.)

So it’s a very sad day. There’s really not much more to say. “Remote Control” has been off the air for 19 years, and most folks probably don’t remember it. But don’t think it was just a silly little show that nobody watched. Heck, there was even a Nintendo game based on it. I actually downloaded the game no more than a year ago. I still kick ass at that show.

It’s too bad about Ken Ober. Fifty-two is damn young. Maybe to honor him MTV will bring the show back for a bit. It’ll be the first time I watch the network in ages. I just hope Ober's death was natural, and not something more awful. Anyway ...

Here’s an old ad for the show:

You Call That Super?

Here’s hoping everyone had a nice weekend. I’m going to write this post while consoling myself with the knowledge that Bill Belichick did, in fact, make the statistically correct call last night. That makes me feel a bit better.

Unlike Coach Bill, though, one person who did not make the right call this weekend was Bruce Springsteen, who lived a Southwest commercial. Too funny. Poor Bruce, he’s getting a bit old, you know. He forgets. It’ll be OK.

Speaking of the Boss and football, I’d like to talk Super Bowl music now. You see, it’s been announced that The Who (that's them pictured) will perform this year. I just don’t get it.

Did music stop being made after 1975? Why can’t a modern act ever play the big game? Radiohead, Coldplay ... heck, I’d take John Mayer just for the actual point. He stinks, too. What about The Flaming Lips? Would anything be more fun? There are so many options. Wilco? But, no, we get half of The Who, one of the most overrated bands I can think of, and an act that can’t even sell out concerts now. If you’re going to stick to older acts, just bring on Buffett or, gulp, The Eagles or something.

Look, I know some people love The Who, and I know the band has three huge songs that it’ll play on that iconic Sunday. But, really, nobody’s cared about The Who in forever. Doesn’t it make sense to get someone relevant? And if you want to reach the most people, wouldn’t Coldplay work even better? I say this as someone who doesn’t even really like Coldplay. Producers are running out of old bands. Next year we’re going to get a double shot of Kansas and America, teaming up to perform the new mashups “Dust in the Golden Hair” and “Carry On My Wayward Highway.” And, yeah, I know those were lame jokes, but not as lame as The Who during halftime of The Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl victory.

I’ve never seen or read “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” but for those of you who have, well, now you know who actually wrote the thing. A British scientist decided to become a prostitute while working on her Ph.D. If I ever go back to school, I think I may turn to the sex trade and write a blog. It’d probably be kind of boring though. Poop.

Am I the only one who could give a crap whether Sarah Palin knew if Bristol was having sex? Am I the only who just wishes this utterly unqualified woman would just go away? I’m not a Republican, but I sure hope the party can find better candidates for future elections. If one wins, I don’t want it to be somebody as ... You fill in the blank.

Woo hoo, another “Scream” movie is coming to the big screen. Wait, before we celebrate that, let me see if I can remember how awful films two and three were. Oh, yeah, do we need this?

And with that, I'm going to do some work on this wonderful Monday afternoon. We'll talk soon. Yep.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not A Bear, But A 'Pear'

I've been meaning to post this for a while. Here's a video for the song "Gold Pear" from New Haven's own Titles. It's a cool video, but it's also an example of the (sort of) new direction of the band.

Some Swine Fever

New Haven rock legend and Saturday Night Live Band lead singer Christine Ohlman will locally release her new record, "The Deep End," at a concert Saturday at Cafe Nine. You can read a big article about all that come Friday in Weekend. But I wanted to share this clip of Christine that aired on "SNL" last weekend. This is a fake commercial. Ohlman, of course, is the woman in the band.

Okkervil ... Woo Hoo

Here's an Okkervil River performance of "Unless It Kicks" from last week's episode of "Austin City Limits," something you should really, really watch in its entirety. Have I made myself clear?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Say It Ain't So, Sammy

Apparently, former baseball slugger Sammy Sosa dreams of being of being the Dominican Michael Jackson ... minus all those pesky pedophile rumors. You see, over the last few days, a photo of Sosa looking awfully white has spread across the Internet, thanks to the technology that the great Al Gore invented at his kitchen table some three decades ago.

Seriously, supposedly Sosa’s going through some “rejuvenation process for his skin.” It’s all the rage amongst women, apparently. Of course, Sammy ain’t a woman. And if this “process” made all women look a cross between Herman Munster and a dude who ate Robert Pattinson, I highly doubt they would, um, continue the process.

So what else is in the news? Apparently Randy Quaid is a wanted man now. The actor supposedly skipped out on a large hotel bill, and now the police are looking to lock up the star of the criminally underrated “Quick Change,” which should have taken home dozens of Oscars. I guess Quaid owes about $10K for the room, which means he must have opened the cashews in the mini-bar.

Speaking of actors that are now criminals, “Friday After Next” actor Katt Williams was arrested for burglary. I would have arrested him after participating in the crime on society that was “Norbit.” Nuff said.

Taylor Swift will be the center of attention come Wednesday, when the Country Music Awards go down. Everyone should be OK with this because I, your trusted columnist, will be doing a diary about the show for the second time ever. Woo hoo.

I can’t find any corroboration for this, but according to my friend Eric Danton’s blog and the Boston Globe, Steven Tyler has quit Aerosmith to focus on ‘brand Tyler.’ I guess both sources got this info from reading Joe Perry’s Twitter updates. I’m not exactly sure what “brand Tyler” is, but I can assure you of one thing: It will include crappy music that nobody cares about. Look, Aerosmith has sucked for years, but they get paid by going out on the road and playing old songs. If Tyler thinks anyone cares about his wrinkled, Botox-ed ass outside of the band setting, he’s going to be really saddened. Him and his scarves and bad singing are in for a rude awakening.

And with that said, I’m in for a rude awakening when I wake up tomorrow and teach after a long game of racquetball. I’m doing that in a second, so goodbye friends.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

And The Winner Is ...

So let's talk Elm City Cocktail Competition, OK? Register food columnist Stephen Fries invited me to judge this a couple months ago, and that's a good thing because I came to a major, major conclusion: I can consume some mixed drinks without making funny faces. I'm serious. It's possible.

I'm a beer guy. You pour me a good ale, and you'll have my heart forever. Sadly, none of the nine bars that competed in this first annual event gave me a Dale's Pale Ale in a martini glass or anything. I had to drink (some of) nine cocktails. I haven't had nine real cocktails in my life. Well, maybe I have, but it's really, really close.

Out of all the entrees, the one that scared me the most beforehand was coming from Leon's, a little concoction that included cucumber, my mortal nemesis. I did not like that drink. It turns out, Bespoke won the event. I have to say, that drink tasted like a Sour Patch Kid to me. It wasn't that great. Way too sweet. Way too sweet.

Personally, I was a big fan of the drinks poured by the very nice people over at BAR, Bar 19 and 116 Crown. I guess I like things with "bar" and numbers in the name. Who knew?

The big surprise, to me, was that I tended to like the manly drinks. I had a feeling I'd like the girl-friendly stuff because, you know, I don't do mixed drinks and fondly remember $1 mixed drink nights freshman year Providence College. I personally consumed many, many screwdrivers and Midori sours. Girly. I grew out of that crap quickly though. At this event, I liked the stuff with whiskey and bourbon best. That's amazing to me.

That’s what you all missed today. You might regret that, but you certainly shouldn’t regret the heartburn that I got. Too many acidic drinks left me with some burn. But it’s good burn because, you know, now I'm officially an adult. I can drink a cocktail without making a funny face. Woo hoo.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Technical Difficulties

OK, a couple things.

Mark over Manic Productions just texted me so that I would remind everyone that the very funny Neil Hamburger is over at Cafe Nine tonight. What I would add to this is JP Incorporated is opening. I've written about him before. Hysterical.

On to the difficulties, I'm trying to make this blog wider, but can't figure out how to make this border wider, so there's a line in the middle of the posts. Does anyone know how to fix this? Later, aligators.

Tonight, On 'The Needle Drop'

If you're looking for something to do tonight, I highly recommend buying some beer, building a fire and listening to Eric Danton and I guest on "The Needle Drop," the music show hosted by Anthony Fantano on WNPR. The show airs at 10 p.m. tonight on 90.5 FM out of Hartford. We had fun recording our segment yesterday.

What else? Well, I'm back in Boston for a cousin's engagement party. Woo hoo. Just a reminder, if you're interested in giving to charity and drinking some booze, I'll be a "celebrity" judge at tomorrow's first annual Elm City Cocktail Competition. The event kicks off Restaurant Week. I like food. I like alcohol. It's truly a no brainer.

But, yeah, the event's for charity and only costs $30. You'll get to drink and eat. You can't go wrong. Oh, and you can also corner me and make me answer questions. That should make the cost no big deal, too. See you there, OK?

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Bare Facts

So let me try to put this into words:

I would rather walk barefoot over hot coals than see Barefoot Truth again.

I would rather walk barefoot through a whole lot of goat poop than see Barefoot Truth again.

I would rather eat a bucket of mayo while barefoot than see Barefoot Truth again.

I would rather have my head chopped off while barefoot than see Barefoot Truth again.

You get the point, right?

For a variety of reasons, I saw Barefoot Truth in the Lily Pad at Toad's Place last night. For a variety of reasons, I didn't enjoy this particular experience. Not one bit. The only thing that made it even the tiniest bit tolerable was the particularly crazy woman who was standing in front of me.

Before we get to her, though, let's talk about my personal nightmare. Most people reading this have probably learned over the past six or so years how much I hate jam bands. Now, wait, let me say there are exceptions, but not many.

So you probably think that's my least favorite type of music. You'd be wrong. I really, really hate white-boy reggae. More than anything. Frat boys who grew up listening to Bob Marley trying to play a bastardization of Marley and Mayer ... well, that's my personal hell. Maybe I'm going there someday (I doubt it; I'm a nice person), but I should not have to visit now.

Barefoot Truth manages to synthesize all three: Marley, Mayer and the Allmans. But all three of those acts have some decent characteristics. This band, which formed in Connecticut a few years back, neuters them all. There’s nothing dangerous here, just some bland music and more lyrical cliches than you can count.

Watching the guys play - and I'm sure they're all nice people - I couldn't help but feel the only people, by and large, that could like this music is college girls and older people who think it might be cool. I know that sounds harsh, and it is to a point, but I sure had that feeling numerous times last night.

Now, there are some good things to talk about. These guys are all good musicians. The singer has a good voice, even if he hasn't found anything close to a unique way to deliver it.

Why try so hard to sound like other people? Why try to make your pretty-boy folk have a reggae tinge? Why? Why? Why? Why have band members switch instruments when it only lessens the level of play in both cases? Why do a cover medley of old R&B songs mixed with Sir Mix-a-Lot? It's a lazy way to get laughs and, more importantly, it's borderline insulting. Why did HBO just begin playing "Sweet November"? Why? Why? Why?

Look, I know I’m just crapping on a band here, but, of course, if you play music in public you should know some a-hole critic might be watching. I just don’t understand why bands are so happy to be completely ordinary. Do you really want to sound like DMB without any kind of testosterone? Do you really want to sing like you’re Bob Marley and constantly mock Beenie Man (who was playing the main room downstairs) during your set? When you can only hope that someday your crappy take on reggae can even be in a conversation with Beenie Man?

Every one of the band members has talent. They should use it to find their own voice. Or, just keep on going doing this thing, playing to a rotating group of college girls who, while you get older, they stay the same age.

Wait, maybe I have the wrong idea here? Maybe Barefoot Truth is a lot smarter than me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The End?

Well, last night was probably Pedro Martinez's last professional game. That's not an absolute, but, sadly, it is more than likely.

He's my favorite athlete of all time; and it makes me sad to think that was it. So, because of the end, here's Jonah Keri's piece about the greatest pitcher to ever play.

More later, but this needed to be put up now. Woo hoo.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tweet Tweet

OK, so I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about this in the morning. I may wake up and do the proverbial walk of shame in my head. I may wake up and want to vomit. I may wake up and not want to look at myself in the mirror. There are a whole lot of things that I may want to do, but I have decided to become a Twitterer.

I will tweet, or whatever. I feel dumb just saying that, but it's come to the point where I feel like I'm missing out on something. Whenever that happens, my natural intellectual curiosity gets the better of me.

With that said, I feel I should warn you: There won't be anything very "intellectual" going on in my tweets. This is going to be purely for my own enjoyment. Fun, little dumb jokes.

Anyway, you can follow me @patferrucci. Let's get me some followers. Deal? I'm watching basketball right now, so ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

What I Saw

What I really want to talk about today is "The Joe Schmo Show: Season 2." Yep, we're going back to dark days of 2004 for this post.

I was recently told to check out this show. Correction: I was recently told that I needed to see this show. I was told it would change my life.

Five years ago, I didn't know it existed. I remember the first season of "Joe Schmo." It was OK. I laughed a bit. I had no idea a sequel was made. Now I believe that the sequel might be the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. That might be a bit hyperbolic, but I'm dead serious.

The DVDs came out over the summer, but I was told only last week about them. I put the series in my Netflix queue and the first disc of the set arrived at my apartment Saturday. Life has not been the same since. I don't want this to end. I want to savor each and every episode. I watched one at 8 a.m. this morning, and I bet I woke up the neighbors laughing. Loudly. Howling, really. Tears. Lots of them.

So, basically, in case you don't know, the premise of "Joe Schmo 2" is that two regular people are invited to be part of a dating reality show very much like "The Bachelor." The only thing is that everyone else is an actor. Everyone. The bachelor. The bachelorette. The other contestants. The host. All of it. It's very "Truman Show" like. The cast does hilarious things to get a rise out of the two people who believe everything to be true.

I can't even explain the crap that goes down. Basically, every stereotype is amped up. Every thing ridiculous that's a little subtle on a show on ABC is the furthest thing from subtle on this program, which originally aired on Spike. Seriously, I can quite make it clear how amazingly awesome each and every moment is, how much I laugh and laugh.

Here's a clip. Just watch:

On another note, over the last few days, I've seen three movies: "Zombieland," "Paranormal Activity" and "A Serious Man." Let me just say that I wholeheartedly recommend "Zombieland," which is a truly comedic romp of energy. I'm not a big zombie guy, but this one won over my heart. I was laughing throughout.

"Paranormal" is something to see this week, what with Halloween being all the rage and everything. Yet I can't really tell people to check out "A Serious Man," the newest Coen brothers flick. It was weird. And with repeated viewings it might turn out to be good, but I'm not so sure. The jury's out.

I guess that's basically it for today. Mount Eerie and Tara Jane O'Neil are The Space tonight. That's a show you don't want to miss. Seriously.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Happy Return To The Living

"Let's just talk about what I can do for you."

Those were the magic words whispered to me last week. No, I was not visiting a prostitute. I was actually on the phone with a lovely person with a Southern accent. She's an employee of Comcast. You see, last Friday I got my cable bill and it had gone up by almost double. This wasn't acceptable. I called Comcast.

I guess some promotion that I was enjoying (for the last three years?) ended. Before I phoned the cable company, I took a brief look at the DirecTV Web site to see prices. Before the lady said those words above into my ear, I said, "I don't understand why it's not in my best interest to just get satellite."

That's when she started to debate the merits of satellite vs. cable. After I rebutted one of her claims, she said, "I don't want to have this debate with you. Let's just talk about what I can do for you." Woo hoo.

What this meant was a major reduction in price for me, plus a long period of time with every single movie channel. I am having a hard time leaving my couch. I'm pissed off right now, wondering who Kevin Costner (that's him above!) voted for at the end of "Swing Vote." Why didn't they tell me? Damn them. I just saw a preview for "Paul Blart." On Sunday, I watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" when it was actually on! I don't think I've done that since 2002 or something. Amazing.

Why am I sharing this little story? Well, someone once told me about doing this, which is why I called last Friday. With all the competition out there now, cable is not a monopoly. You have choices. You can haggle over prices. You can quote competitors' prices. It's OK. Go for it. There are now too many movies on-demand, at my fingertips. It's scary. I may call in sick next week.

I'm not going to bother catching you all up on why I've been MIA the last couple weeks. Let's just say I was a very busy boy. Lots of work, lots of school work, I'm playing in a fall softball league, tons of shows, good music in the mail ... Oh, wow, did I just catch you guys up? Look at that. Oh, I forgot that I've been in mourning over the Red Sox, too. Plus, baseball playoffs are my favorite time of the year, Sox or not.

By the way, did any of you see this story from our paper last week? Is there a funnier vision than a guy dressed as a ninja claiming he wants to beat up Senator Lieberman? I don't believe so. No, I don't. The guy took my Halloween costume. I've always wanted to be a robot ninja programmed to end Joe Lieberman. Damn dude ruined everything.

That's all I got for now, but speaking of Halloween, let me leave you with a scene from my favorite horror movie of all time, 1981's "Student Bodies." We'll talk tomorrow. I promise with all my heart.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Guns And Stuff

I'm not much of a proponent of gun laws. I'm the kind of guy who believes in an evolving Constitution, one that realizes that maybe, just maybe, the laws and ideas of the Founding Fathers back in the 18th century may not work in the 21st.

My stance on right to bear arms varies by the day. I can admit that. I don't know the answer.

I know I love coffee. I don't know whether guns should be illegal or whether making them illegal would change anything. I know if coffee was made illegal, it would change me. I'd be an unhappy guy that constantly sobbed in the streets. That's true.

Anyway, I do know that world was a far different place when the Second Amendment was written. We've changed the Constitution a whole lot since the 18th century, but haven't changed this. Now, semi-automatic weapons are legal. One thing I know is that shouldn't be the case.

Why am I going on about guns? Because I read this story today. For some reason, I missed the stories last year, the ones that told of Meleanie Hain bringing her gun to her kids' soccer practice. Well, now she's been killed by her husband in a murder/suicide.

I just think it'd be really hard for folks to commit these crimes if they had no gun.

Just look at the photo of Hain above. I mean, that's just batpoop nuts. I could make a lot more jokes if the woman wasn't killed yesterday, but I feel like if you're packing heat everywhere you go, you have a much better chance of being shot than I do, a guy who packs nothing. No heat here.

Guns to soccer games though? Huh? I mean, did she expect one of the kiddies to bite her leg? I just think this is all something to think about. I have no answers.

I do know this answer: Did the Red Sox win last night? No they did not. I cried like a baby. I'm very excited about tonight's contest. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Playoffs? Playoffs!

Well, hello all my friends out in the cyber world. How's it going? Sorry it's been so long. As you probably could have guessed, the week after I get off vacation is always hellish. I've been catching up and doing a whole lot of schoolwork ... so the children don't suffer, of course.

Anyway, I'm good now. Promise. It took a little more than a week, but I'm caught up on work, school, sleep and whatever else people catch up on. And it's no coincidence that happened today. I've been planning my grand return, getting tons of things done in order to be able to say this: I can concentrate on the baseball playoffs now. Woo hoo. I love baseball. I love the playoffs. I'm a happy, happy boy.

I'm even skipping a chance to head to Toad's tonight to see Dinosaur Jr., one of my all-time favorite bands. Of course, if you're not a baseball junkie, you better be on York Street tonight. You better, you better, you bet. Or whatever.

So what else is new? Not much really. I had a great vacation, going from New Haven to Boston to Kansas City to Columbia to Kansas City to Dallas to Boston to New Haven. That's a lot of traveling for one week. I didn't do one bit of work while I was gone. I think that's the first time I've ever gone on vacation and not done anything. Of course, this meant plenty of catching up.

So that's all I got for right now. I'm going to type playoff predictions in a second. Oh, and by the way, the best part about the last couple weeks? My Pavement tickets came in the mail. Yep, I bought tickets. Couldn't chance it. Here's a Pavement video. Woo hoo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just A Bit Weird

I just saw the oddest shirt ever. It said, "I wish I was Kenyan." Um, OK? For marathon purposes?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

At The Ol' Airport

I've never posted using my phone, so forgive me if this is messed up. I'm currently at the gate and just finished eating. UFood is good.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nine Hours Till Takeoff

As I sit here in the Bay State, silently petrified about the fact that my flight to Kansas City leaves at 6 a.m. from Logan, I can't help but want to talk about the news. So let's do that. But let's not take too long since I need some sleep or I won't be able to walk on to the plane. Someone will have to roll me.

Anyway, if you looked at the front page of today's Register, you saw this story about a Hamden porn store. Now, look, I'm going to be honest with all you folks on the World Wide Web Of Wide Wonders: I'm a 30-year-old heterosexual male who's never really been into porn.

I could count on one hand the amount of "films" I've seen, and I've only gone to one of these stores once: When I was freshman in college I bought someone a, um, "blow-up sheep" for a Secret Santa gift. That's it. That's my experience. And, yeah, I have a sick sense of humor.

With that said, I'm a very liberal guy. If you want to watch porn, have some fun. If you want to build or own a porn store, that's totally cool.

I think it's ridiculous we see so many of these stories about area towns trying to shut down a VIP or whatever. Are people really this lame and hypocritical?

"Oh, all those people who watch porn are sinners." Get a grip, people. If you don't like porn, don't watch it and don't go in the store. I honestly hate folks who want to tell others how to live. I wish I could ban those people from my town. Maybe Attorney General Blumenthal would speak out on my side; he certainly can't let anything go without commenting on it, after all.

As you can see, I could care less about adult stores. Open one up right next to my apartment; I don't care. Yet, I just don't understand these "preview booths." You really need to preview a porn movie? You don't know what's going to be on it?

Let's be clear: These booths are for folks to jack off in. I know that's crude, but why beat around the bush? I'm not a reporter right now; there's no need to be objective. Let's call these things jack-off booths for the rest of this entry. OK?

So while I'm totally cool with adult stores being everywhere, can't we make sure people masturbate in the comfort of their own homes? Is there any reason to have these jack-off booths in a store? It sounds so utterly disgusting. If you paid me to go in one of these places, I would cover myself in Purell or something equivalent.

I've seen "The Squid and the Whale." It wasn't OK for that little kid to whack off in school. You can't go in to Urban Outfitters and whack off. So why is it OK to have these jack-off booths? Or, better yet, why is it OK for this store to have four but not nine or whatever? Are there going to be lines now? Lines to jerk off?

These are the questions we need to ask ourselves. I just don't understand it all. Why is this OK?

And again, I'm the most liberal guy in the world. Yet can someone explain this to me? On the store's Web site, it quotes the First Amendment. I teach a class in the First Amendment, and I've never told the young ones that the Founding Fathers said it was OK to jack off wherever they want. And don't let Adult Video Liquidators fool you: If they didn't know these "preview booths" were really jack-off booths, the Web site wouldn't advertise that these booths were "clean."

Look, let's leave it at this: It's totally cool to masturbate. I'm sure the Founding Fathers did it. Just don't do it in public, OK? And let's not make it OK for others to sit in the back of a store with their pants around their ankles. Deal?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two Biggies Returning

Well, it's been reported in a billion places and I still can't really believe it, but one of my favorite bands in the whole wide world, Pavement, is reuniting. I just can't figure it out, though.

I've interviewed singer Stephen Malkmus numerous times, and he's just never given off the impression that this was very possible, especially under these circumstances. He's always said they could do it as a one off thing, just for fun. But according to all press releases and interviews, Pavement will reunite next September for a world tour. And that's it. No more shows. No records. No nothing. Just a world tour. The only way to interpret that is the band is trying to make some cash. I mean, a show happening more than a year from now and tickets go on sale tomorrow? Really?

Look, I'm OK with buying tickets tomorrow. I don't even know if I have to, being press and all, but I feel like if I get comped next year, I could easily get rid of these seats, but ... It's just weird.

With all that said, I'm pretty damn excited. Pavement is a top-five band for me. I've seen them live about three times, and I've seen Malkmus solo five or six times too. I've never been disappointed. This is good news.

What's also good news is that in about a month, The Flaming Lips will return. The band releases its new record soon, and I can't wait for that one to magically show up on my desk. Can't wait. I love the Lips. Love them. Although, the last album disappointed me a bit. Poop. The good news is that the guys played on "The Colbert Report" last night, here's the tune.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Flaming Lips - Convinced of the Hex
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

That's two pieces of really great news. Don't you think? Two of my most favorite bands in the whole wide world returning to prominence? I'm such a happy little boy. What else could go right for me? Well, how about "Survivor" premiering tonight? You all should know it's the only television show that I actively enjoy watching when it's, you know, actually on and not in reruns. Fun fun. I guess that's all I got today. But I'll leave you with my new favorite comment the dolts on our comments pages left. These people scare me. I hope they don't have children. Anyway, here's my favorite:

"its obvious some project annie was working on and her treatment of those poor animals led him to this heinous act..if someone tortured abused your children, you can't tell me you wouldnt lash out at the person inflicting the pain suffereing up on your own children. the mice / rodents were like his kids...seeing them mutated with radiation and having their eyes plucked out would take its toll on anyone"

I love people. And I love you all. Let's do this again tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And The Beat Goes On

Oh, man, what hasn't happened in the last two weeks since I went missing? The Red Sox have gone on a tear, I got donuts in the mail, Labor Day has come and gone, a little show called "Melrose Place" premiered, Jay Leno began hosting NBC's Death Blow and, oh, something happened at Yale.

I mean, there are plenty of things to write about, but to be honest, there's a few reasons why I haven't blogged in a bit.

Oh, sure, I've been busy as usual, but school also started, and that takes up a whole lot of my time. Plus, I've been trying to get ready for my vacation next week. Usually when I go on vacation, I'm around and pop in to the office every so often. I don't have to get everything done beforehand when I do it that way.

But beginning Sunday, I'll be in Kansas City and Dallas, so there won't be any popping in to the office next week. I've been trying to get everything done so I don't have to think about work. I will blog though. Don't worry. Most importantly, I just need more sleep. My Mid-September Resolution is to sleep more.

But let's talk about the biggest story in the land. Or, sort of talk about it. We all know what's going on with the Yale murder. It's being covered everywhere. What I want to discuss though is another thing that's really troubling about the whole ordeal. Reading the comments on the bottom of our stories really scares me. I'm being very serious.

The amount of amateur sleuths living among us is frightening. Don't people have more to do than peppering a comments board with silly conspiracy theories right out of the Junior CSI handbook? Let's look at a couple of my favorite posts:

I don't know what some post by "Doug" said because our Webmaster probably killed it, thankfully, but here's a response:

"The thing about Doug Nannally is that right now he's probably in front of his computer with his pants at his ankles enjoying his only way to feel powerful in life in any way. he loves our hate because it validates his Enjoy yourself Doug, but you do realize you are a racist Psychopath."

Um, OK? How about this? From someone, I assume, that idolizes Columbo:

"If Annie was strangled I would rule out the GF I have heard ( through other cases ) that strangulation is not and easy task. It takes time and strength .
I wonder if this PIO had scratches on his hand also? You would think that the victim would have been tearing at what ever was around her neck ( hands , other device )."

How about this one, who's clearly a psychic:

"I don't think that Annie was having an affair. not in the slightest bit. i have cut Annie's hair along with one of my co-workers. she was a lovely girl and very sweet. Clark deserves to be in jail. if he has all those scratch marks and bruises then Annie tried to put up a hell of a fight. and i don't know how the Police Department can release him. they should have held him until the DNA report came back."

Why am I writing about this stuff? I just wonder what it means about our society, and, to be honest, journalism in general. I don't know the answer. I mean, almost every newspaper, Web site, etc., now allow comments, which give readers a chance to mention potentially useful info, actually comment on the article and, mostly, spout nonsense and unintelligently criticize the author or police or whatever.

Is that a good thing? Is it a bad thing? It's probably a mixture a both, although I wonder about people who have the time and drive to write the posts above. Why waste your time? I don't know.

I guess that's all I've got for now. I promise now that I'm basically caught up, I promise the blogging thing will be back to being a frequent thing. Deal? Fun. Yippee Skippy. I think I'm going to watch my DVD of "The Stepfather" that showed up on my desk today. I love that movie.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Silly Craigslist

So have you guys seen this story? I mean, I'm sure this stuff goes on more times than you can shake a stick at, but it's still funny, especially because of the "Erector set" line. That's just the perfect amount of randomness for me.

The piece made me think of an e-mail forward I got a couple years ago. I wish I still had it to post here. But, alas, not so much. The gist of it was this guy in New York who wanted to rent the second bedroom of his apartment for basically nothing. The only catch was that he wanted the renter to be a hot female who would walk around in their underwear.

This all got me thinking: Don't you wish we could see every e-mail response to ridiculous Craigslist posts like these? I mean, in the Register story above, the prankster relays some the messages he got, but we don't actually see them. I decided to solve this problem myself.

Here we go: I decided to write my own dumb ad. I will publish the results right here.

This is the stupidity that I just gave to the World Wide Web:
In these hard times, money is tight. That's why I have a good idea that can help both of us. In my two bedroom apartment, I have a very large closet. You can fit an entire bed in it. You could also get a dresser in there. I will rent this out for $50 a month, utilities included. I will use the $50 to pay my gym membership, which helps me stay strong and fit for the ladies.

I have an open second bedroom, but that's where I keep my pet gerbils and parrots. They play together. It would be wrong to put someone else in there.

Anyway, you would have access to the entire apartment (kitchen, study, gerbil and parrot room, den) except the kitchen sink. That's private.

About me: I'm a 30-year-old professional male. I work about 55 hours a week, so I'm usually not home. I'm clean. I'd be a good roommate. We'd get along.

Shoot me and the gerbils and parrots an e-mail if you're interested.

Here's a link to the posting.

Let the fun begin.

Monday, August 31, 2009

End Of Summer

Hello fine folks in the wide world of Cyberspace. Yep, for me anyway, summer's over. And, I have to say, I'm pretty excited about it.

That sounds awful, huh? But I'm a man of routine. I need to get back to doing my normal thing, which is working, going to shows, teaching the young children and smiling. These are the things I do.

When I'm on vacation for too long, or when I'm writing columns about a wonderful tennis tournament, I don't have time to do a lot of stuff. I know that sounds silly since, you know, I'm on vacation and should have tons of time, but it's not true. I had barely a minute to myself over my three-week vacation of sorts.

Whew. I'm happy to be teaching at the bum-crack of dawn tomorrow. What this means for you is plenty more blog entries. Yep. We'll be back to normal.

While I type this, I'm listening to "Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy," a tribute record honoring former Miracle Legion frontman Mulcahy. Of course, Mark is a former New Havener, and Miracle Legion is one of the finest acts to ever come from these parts. When I moved here, it was the only band from the Elm City that I already owned records of ... or at least that's what I thought.

A little more than a year ago, Mark's wife died, leaving him to care for young children. This 21-song disc aims to raise funds for the family. Shout Factory is putting it out, and what a lineup. It's mind-blowing.

Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe, Dinosaur Jr., Mercury Rev, Elvis Perkins, Frank Black and The National are just some, um, national names. Plus, locals like The Butterflies of Love appear. It's a seriously great record. Look for a full story on it from me in the Arts section on Sunday Sept. 27.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tennis Time

Well, I just had my first Pilot Pen lobster roll, and I have to say I'm disappointed. I'll write more about this in an upcoming column, but sadness is overtaking me right now. I have no idea what to write, how to feel or how to move on with my life.

What's a boy supposed to do when his favorite thing in the whole wide world has been shrunk considerably, and changed in a meaningful way? I haven't been this traumatized since the fine folks at Sam Adams discontinued its Spring Ale. Pardon me while I cry some more.

Keep in mind, that starting tomorrow, I will be writing a column a day for the regular newspaper. I'm here at the Pilot Pen, covering everything that has nothing to do with real tennis. For tomorrow, be on the lookout for a piece on the largest tennis court ever constructed, or something like that.

I'll be updating this blog regularly from the tourney, so pay close attention. OK, now I've got to get a free razor or 30 to cheer myself up.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Reason To Hate The Yankees

Lord knows there are plenty of reasons to hate the New York Yankees. The big, huge financial advantage they have on every team, the ridiculous and inflated offensive stats some players are putting up because they play in a little league park, the dumb push for dumb-face Tex to win MVP when Joe Mauer is having a historic season ... There are too many to list.

But maybe none of these matter to you. Well, if you have any taste whatsoever, this will: Many Yanks, led by Johnny "I Have Crappy Road Stats And Am Babe Ruth At Home This Year" Damon, are in Hartford tonight to see Scott Stapp and Creed. Seriously.

Do I need to write anything else? The Yankees and Creed, now that's a match made in Corporate Crap Heaven.

Some Random Springsteen Thoughts

So if you weren't at Bruce Springsteen's show at the Comcast Theatre last night, you missed a hell of a concert. Besides it being too hot to live, it was the best I've seen The Boss: the best setlist, the best venue, the best sound, the best crowd ... the best everything. Here's my review of the night.

Because of deadline purposes, I had to file the review by 10:30, which meant there was another hour. The man played for just about three hours. In that kind of heat, at his age, it's honestly amazing. The set ended with plenty of classics including "Dancing in the Dark," "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road." At the bottom of this entry is the full setlist.

Anyway, any time I go to a concert, I write down little funny notes about things I see. Here are some random thoughts about last night. I'm just trying to be funny, and there was plenty to laugh at last night.
  • Springsteen ended with a cover of "Twist and Shout." Between cover bands, wedding acts and the tons of bands that have just played a version, I've seen this song live a gazillion times. The Boss' take was the best, and it included a bit of "La Bamba." Now here's my problem: The great LDP, Lou Diamond Phillips, isn't doing anything. And Ritchie Valens is up somewhere in that big plane in the sky. Nobody should ever sing that song except Valens or LDP. Why not hire LDP as part of the E Street Band just for this song? Seriously, there's like 4,321 members already. What's one more?

  • I heard a woman, sitting right beside me, ask, "Where is the lawn?" Really, lady? The lawn?

  • When I got there, my friend Eric was already sitting in his seat. There was a guy behind him that looked like a little older and odder version of Philip Seymour Hoffman. I guess when Eric sat down, the guy turned to the person next to him and said, "Oh, great, we're sitting behind a tall geek." Now, here's the thing: This guy was about 50 and was the person he was talking to? His mother! And he clenched his tickets throughout the entire show, like someone was going to steal them.

  • I know one of the things that appeals to people about Bruce is the everyman appeal, but Springsteen fans take it to a new level. One of the people behind me was just going on and on about how "amazing" the between song instrumental breaks were. Basically, when the band was tuning up, this guy was saying, "This is what the show's all about, not the songs. These moments." Of course, his lady friend just kept screaming "Thunder Road." Stop please. The songs are good. I don't know what was worse: saying just stupid things or screaming "Thunder Road" over and over again.

  • Springsteen fans are quite dedicated, but how come they've never been told you're not supposed to wear the T-shirt of the band that you're seeing to a show? I mean, seriously, it's a rule. You can't do it, yet about 40 percent of the crowd did it. Do they not know the rule? Should I have told them they looked dumb? And The Boss' shirts are pretty horrid, too. I love the music, but if you ever catch me wearing a T-shirt with Bruce's head on it, just shoot me.

  • Speaking of shirts, when did it become OK to wear Under Armour as regular fashion, outside of the gym? I must have missed that news bulletin.

  • You want to know how much the band members love each other? During the time between songs, at one point, Springsteen gave Max Weinberg a sponge bath of sorts. Yep.

  • I never noticed how much the beginning of "Rosalita" sounds like the "Radio Nowhere" intro. Was I the only sad he played "Rosie" and not "Radio"?

  • Lots of people were holding up signs. Unless I'm an idiot, I didn't understand one, yet it was also my favorite. It said, "Flew to Stockholm to see you. How's your ass?" Um ...
  • Oh, and yeah, my other favorite sign said "We're Jack & Diane." Um, wrong everyman songwriter?

  • When we were leaving, the fine people at Axe were giving out free samples. Of course, I didn't take one, but I wonder if those folks should just concentrate on men wearing Livestrong bracelets? Axe, really?

That's all I got. Have a good one guys. Here's the setlist:

1. Sherry Darling
2. Badlands
3. Out in the Street
4. Outlaw Pete
5. Spirit in the Night
6. Working on a Dream
7. Seeds
8. Johnny 99
9. Murder Incorporated
10. Something in the Night
11. Raise Your Hand
12. Mountain of Love
13. Sha La La
14. I'm on Fire
15. Be True
16. My Love Will Not Let You Down
17. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
18. The Promised Land
19. American Skin (41 Shots)
20. Lonesome Day
21. The Rising
22. Born to Run
23. Rosalita
24. Thunder Road
25. Hard Times Come Again No More
26. American Land
27. Dancing in the Dark
28. Twist and Shout/La Bamba

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back In The Wonderful New Haven

Woo hoo. That's all I can say about the big news. What's that news? I got back home a day or so ago. That makes me happy. I like home. And, yes, New Haven is home, even though that feels weird to write. Whatever. Oh, and yeah, Bruce Springsteen plays Hartford Wednesday.

I've got to say, I've seen Springsteen like five times in the last couple years, but, for some reason, I'm really excited about this gig. I think it's just the outdoors thing. It's going to make an already-sure-to-great show better.

Anyway, One of the first things I did when I got back here was, oddly, go to the gym. And while there, I heard the worst song ever made. Of course I'm exaggerating a wee bit, and I usually just blast my iPod, but while I was changing, I had to listen to whatever satellite system they use at good ol' LA Fitness.

I've got to admit, at some point I've heard basically every Red Jumpsuit Apparatus record. I've reviewed one, too. But nothing ever struck me as good or bad. To me, until today, they were always another in a long line of faceless, mediocre post-hardcore pop-punk bands. But then today happened. I don't know how I missed it before, and maybe it was because today I heard an acoustic version today, but, man, "Face Down" is horrid.

I know this sounds mean to say about a tune that's supposedly about the singer's abused mother, but the songwriter needs to take a writing course or something. Show don't tell. Show don't tell. This song is so over-the-top, so melodramatic that it pained me. I feel like I needed to point that out. Thanks for letting me vent. It's a track Nickelback would be proud to pen.

What else? Well, I'm still on vacation. Woo hoo. I do, however, hate the kind of heat we're experiencing right now. I went outside for a while today, but it made me cry. Or maybe that was sweat. Or maybe it was something someone dropped on me. I don't know.

Today is also a sad day for me personally. I finally caved. I hate myself, but today I ordered a Blackberry. This makes me sad. It makes me want to vomit. It makes me feel like an adult or someone who thinks they're more important than they are ... I don't know. But it will make reviewing concerts so much easier, and with Springsteen coming up Wednesday, I felt like I had to bite the bullet ... after years of not. I did it. Wish me luck. Self hatred can destroy a person, or so after-school specials lead me to believe.

One of the greatest rock producers of all time has died. Read the obit and you'll understand why it's easy to give Jim Dickinson that compliment.

I have no problems admitting that I like some Kiss records. It's good classic rock. I feel like you're lying to yourself if you don't dig some Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons tunes. With that said, the band hasn't released anything relevant in a very long time. Successfully reuniting and touring doesn't mean the new music was any good. And this is why I just can't help but laugh about this story. Good luck Wal-Mart. I know you sell crappy, crappy music to people everywhere every day, but this will take extra work.

I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard people I trust tell me wonderful things about "District 9," the No. 1 movie in America.

I leave you with this: If you're a fan of really good Appalachian folk, then Cain & Annabelle at Cafe 9 tomorrow is something that should really interest you. I've got to admit that I've been listening to the duo incessantly for the last few days. It makes me happy. Oh, and local singer/songwriter Lys Guillorn is opening. And she's always great; every time I see her I'm reminded of this fact.

I got a bit sidetracked last week, so I never got around to writing about Wye Oak at the Middle East. Let's just say it was a great show. They're just a powerful live act. The records are very good, especially "If Children," but live it's just something else, something so much more visceral. I don't think I'll ever miss an opportunity to catch them.

With that said, the opener that night was JP Hasson. I'd never heard of him. Apparently, he has a record on Comedy Central's label or something. I only caught the end of the set, but this video was just about the funniest thing I've seen in weeks. Here it is (just keep in mind there are a couple bad words in this, so, kiddies, don't press play):

Crap Factory

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dispatch From The Bay State

Well, hello, friends.

I'm typing this from the couch at my folks' house, watching the Red Sox look lifeless against Justin Verlander. Let's hope that changes. I mean, Clay Buchholz is pitching a hell of a game; they can't waste this. Although, literally while I was typing that sentence, someone just homered off him.

Anyway, so vacation hasn't exactly started out the way I would have planned, and that's why I haven't exactly updated this here blog. But that's OK. Since I'm here in Boston, I'm going to check out Wye Oak tonight at the Middle East. I love Wye Oak and I love the Middle East. Good times.

Wye Oak (that's the them above) has played New Haven three times over the last year or so. They're the only band I've seen get forced to do an encore at BAR. They opened for The Broken West at my favorite concert of 2008 (that was at Cafe Nine). And then they came back to Cafe Nine a couple months ago. I missed that show because of a previous engagement, so I'm really excited about tonight.

What else? If you rush over to Live Nation, tickets for Springsteen at the Comcast on Wednesday are available. It won't be for long, that's for sure.

My little brother sent me this link a little while ago, but I kept forgetting to put it up. If this isn't one of the funniest stories you've ever read, I don't know what to say. Well, I guess you could just think of it as ridiculous. I don't know. My favorite part is that she carries around bolts and it's implied that she gets off while on the ride. Too weird and funny.

As someone posted in a comment, if you head over to NPR, you can download every Newport Folk Festival artist's set from the concert. I went over to that there site last Monday for the Josh Ritter set, and it only gave me half the performance. That's been fixed, thankfully.

My friend Noah, who lives in Hipster Haven, was walking down the street earlier today and walked by Will Sheff. Why Noah didn't tackle and kidnap him, I have no idea. He's clearly dumb and regrets it now.

I'm not sure if this story about Daughtry is flattering or not. I have no idea. I do know the band's recent CD is bad. That's one thing in life I'm sure of. Yep.

If that new Jay Leno show still does those funny headlines segments, then this should definitely be on there. I mean, replace "20" with, um, "two" and it'd be accurate.

And with that, I'm about done. I'll post again very soon, like tomorrow with a review of Wye Oak. Don't you worry.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Battle Of The Sexes

I used to give women the benefit of the doubt. I've always been under the impression that women were just naturally smarter than us men. I'm starting to reconsider.

No doubt you're wondering what brought on this sudden change of heart. Well, no doubt I'm going to tell you.

For the last few years, let's just say 2002-2008, about 97 percent of the people I saw wearing Bluetooths were men. Now, we all know that anyone who wears a Bluetooth or a Live Strong bracelet is an, um, what's that word I'm looking for that ends in bag? You know what I mean. This is just common knowledge.

Bluetooths are dumb. They look stupid. They make you look like a moron. I immediately know you and me just wouldn't get along. I mean, OK, there's an exception for using one in a car, but barely.

Come on. Cellphones are small. You can't hold it in your hand? You seriously need that other hand? You seriously feel the need to talk without a phone and make people think you're batcrap nuts? Is this something you feel deep inside you?

And this brings me to my new point: I always thought women were better than this. But over the last few weeks, and especially this weekend, I saw more women wearing Bluetooths than ever. Is this a sign of the apocalypse? Is this proof that maybe women aren't smarter than men?

I don't know the answers to all these most important questions. What I do know is that anyone who uses a Bluetooth might want to reconsider. We're all laughing at you. Everyone in the room sees you and basically thinks you're an ass right away. It's the truth. Sorry to break it to you.

I once had to explain this to an uncle of mine, but I just thought it was because he was a guy. I wish I didn't give women such a benefit the doubt. I feel had. Maybe hair was just always covering up that stupid little thing on their ear?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Newport Folk Festival 6 - Arlo, Deer Tick, Etc.

Sometimes some of the best moments at festivals like these are when you're not even seeing music. After Neko Case, I had a couple hours before Deer Tick, and this meant some wandedring was going to happen. I was able to see some of Arlo Guthrie, some Del McCoury and some Tim Eriksen. All were pretty good, although I definitely liked Eriksen the least. Just walking around the harbor and looking at the boats and tents is pretty cool. It's somewhat relaxing. And, amazingly, we've gotten no rain here even though we're enjoying 98 percent humidity and complete overcast.

But when this festival is written up in the history books (who knows who writes them), there are going to be multiple paragraphs about the local acts. The Low Anthem put on a good set yesterday, and today, Providence's Deer Tick drew a more than capacity crowd to the Waterside Stage, clearing outdrawing Eriksen, who was playing to a half-empty space at the bigger Harbor Stage.

This was probably a good thing since this was, by far, the best I've seen Deer Tick. As many of you know, they've played the New Haven area about three times in the last year (and it should have been four, but the show a couple weeks ago was canceled). They just killed. This is a band that's slowly becoming a band. It all started as a solo act with just a name, but now it's a group, a strong quartet.

As you can imagine, the songs from 2007's "War Elephant" went over the best. Singer/songwriter John McCauley jokingly referred to set closers "Ashamed" and "Art Isn't Real (City of Sin)" as the band's "MySpace greatest hits," and it was clear the audience knew them the best, singing along loudly enough McCauley could just sit back and play guitar.

Before Deer Tick started, I was able to eat some Thai food. Mmm. Well, now I'm on to see some Joan Baez before Elvis Perkins in Dearland begins. We'll talk soon.

Newport Folk Festival 5 - Guy Clark/Joe Pugg/Neko Case

There's a delicate balance that must be struck to have a successful set. Oh, sure, you need good music, but little things can really upset. A few years back, I caught an Okkervil River show in Northampton with a friend. Singer Will Sheff was clearly drunk and playing his guitar way too delicately. This bothered my friend so much, she couldn't enjoy the set at all; she just couldn't get past it.

Well, I'm a huge Neko Case fan. "Middle Cyclone" may be my favorite record of 2009, so far. With that said, I found her performance incredibly annoying. The songs were killer, so why did it annoy the poop out of me?

Well, the backup singer just wouldn't stop talking, or making noises. There's a value to silence, to hearing people tune their instruments. Well, this woman just couldn't let a second go by without making a noise. And we're not talking about stage banter either; she just kept saying random phrases or laughing or making odd noises. It was so, so annoying. I couldn't deal with it.

It was so bad, I'm currently in the press tent, typing this entry and only hearing "This Tornado Loves You," one of my favorite tunes in recent memory. Oh, man. If, by chance, anyone knows this singer - who has a great voice by the way - tell her she needs to stop. She doesn't have to be an emcee that doesn't stop. Say interesting things. I don't know. Please, just stop.

But, again, the music was great. I've seen Case before, and it wasn't ever like this.

Anyway, on to other artists. Guy Clark really killed. I only saw three-fourths of his set because I wanted to at least see Joe Pugg since others have told me he's good. I wish I didn't take those people's advice. Pugg is folk music for teenage girls, the kind of performer you can see at any open mic. Oh, he writes good songs, but it's nothing that goes above the norm.

And that's all I've got for now. I'm going enjoy the rest of my Narragansett beer and then head over to see Deer Tick and Elvis Perkins in Deerland. We'll talk soon.

EDIT: I've just learned Case's backup singer is none other than Kelly Hogan, a singer who's made some very good alt-country records. Heck, I've interviewed her about a show I saw at Cafe Nine a handful of years ago. She wasn't like that when she played solo. I don't get it. Maybe the thousands and thousands of people make her nervous?