Friday, February 27, 2009

The Ol' Weekend Section

There's no video this week for a variety of reasons that include lack of time, forgetfulness, online never coming to find me, me never finding online, going to the bathroom one too many times, butterflies in my tummy and so much more.

Not all of those reasons are true, but that's OK. Anyway, here are the main stories from today's Weekend section:

Todd Lyon stopped in at Heirloom
, the new restaurant on Chapel.

As you may have expected, here's my notebook about the Oscars.

If you know Joe Amarante, maybe you knew he likes Tom Selleck. Or doesn't.

My good friend Harris McCabe gives us a review of "Two Lovers."

You want a set of album reviews?

How about a column about poker strategy?

Oh, and if you want to plan your week of concerts, here's a list.

Here's our weekly pieces on video games and DVD releases.

And, lastly, Arts Editor Donna Doherty checks in with her weekly Pick of the Arts feature.

That's all I got for this wonderful Friday morning. I'm going to drink my coffee and prepare for my trip to Vermont in a few hours. Yes, I am heading north to drink a whole lot of beer at Magic Hat's Mardi Gras weekend. My good buddy Ryan Thomas Dixon and I plan to fill our tummies with a lot Lucky Kat. I'll be blogging throughout the event, hopefully. And maybe you'll be able to understand my drunken entries.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ticket News

No Doubt is coming to Mohegan Sun Arena. The band will stop June 24 in Uncasville, and it's bringing Paramore and Janelle Monae along with them. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 7 for $67.50 and $87.50.

I have to admit, I consider this is a surprise. I thought No Doubt would never make another record, that Gwenny would do things herself from now on. I stand corrected.

Wednesday Warbles

I type this entry as I listen to Kevin Devine's "Brother's Blood" for the second time today. It's a step forward for the singer/songwriter, a really, really good record. Musically, it's a real change, and I'm totally digging it. Be on the lookout for the album when it gets a proper release on April 28. So to celebrate this, that's his video for the tune "Brooklyn Boy" above.

But now let's get down to some fun news. OK? Will that make you happy? You know, I just want to make you happy. I live for making you happy. Sorry, but that's actually not true. I live to do something else. I just don't know what that is though.

Buried in all the baseball news about Alex Rodriquez and his quest to figure out what best sounds like the truth on a given day is how many baseball players can't get at their money. It makes you feel bad for some of these guys. I mean, they invested money and now it's frozen, and some may have to ask teammates for a loan. I feel bad for everyone except Johnny Damon. I don't even care that he became a Yankee, just that he went to a soulless team that made him shave and cut his hair. Sellout.

This is another scary story for the industry that I work in. Yes, if you didn't know, I work for a newspaper. We write news stories and distribute them on paper that will leave ink on your hands sometimes.

For a variety of reasons, I thank God that I am not a woman. The biggest reason? Well, now it's this one.

This story is entirely not objective. You know how I know? Because it is not fair and balanced to say that "as if anyone could be mad at Jimmy Fallon." I am mad at Jimmy Fallon. Why? Now whenever I turn on NBC at 12:30 a.m. on a weekday, I'm going to see his dumb grinning face kissing the arse of some celebrity guest. This does not make me happy. Why not give that job to someone who's even a tiny bit funny?

Need more proof that Britney Spears knows how to pick 'em?

Maybe there was a time when you liked Barenaked Ladies. I can say that I have always enjoyed the band's live show, even if some of the records weren't the best. Now BNL will become an entirely different animal with the news of Steven Page departing. He's always written the bulk of the group's best tunes.

This would make for one messed-up superhero movie. But it would make me quite happy.

Speaking of making me happy — which should be everyone in the world's main goal in life — this one also brings a smile to my face.

As many of you know, I laughed at the whole Bruce Springsteen ticket flap of last month, but I do agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment of this story.

And now that we've mentioned The Boss, I just want to say that I'm actually kind of sad that his show goes down April 24, the same day The Decemberists play Amherst and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart come to Wallingford. Seriously, that's a real tough decision.

Oh, by the way, the Dinosaur Jr. show has been confirmed.

Now this story, this is something that made me laugh out loud. They had to say sorry? Really?

At the small Oscar party I hosted Sunday, we actually noticed and discussed this.

I know that whenever I get sad, I always turn to Alanis Morissette too.

And that's all I got for today. Let's call it a day and we can all watch the "Top Chef" finale tonight. Doesn't that sound nice? You know it does. Of course it does.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dinosaur Jr. News

One of my favorite bands in the world, Dinosaur Jr., signed to Jagjaguwar, one of my favorite labels in the world, recently.

But that's not all of the news. That story says the band is putting the finishing touches on an album. That's true, but I also have it on good authority that J Mascis and company will be heading out on a small East Coast tour in the near future. On said tour, the band will be giving out a free 7-inch to everyone who pays admission.

And one more thing: The tour comes to Daniel Street April 1. Now, I can't absolutely confirm this, but it'll be an all-ages show and it should be announced later today. Should be quite a fun show. I can't wait.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Day

Besides the Super Bowl, there's not a bigger television event each year than the Oscars. And, to be honest, I enjoy watching the Oscars more than the big football game unless, of course, the Pats are trying for another championship.

I'll be writing a notebook tonight, and I'm really excited to see if my predictions play out as well as I think they will. I hope so because it looks like my friends and I will be doing an Oscar pool. Good times.

So to celebrate the big event tonight, here's a video of one of Oscar's most notorious moments.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Can't Wait

I don't know what I consider my favorite beverage, but I know this will soon be it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not Quite A Week ...

... But I have taken too much time between blog entries. It's those damn classes I'm teaching. Sorry. By the end of any day, I feel like someone's kicked me in the head and made me very exhausted. What can you do? I'm not complaining. I kind of like it when someone kicks me in the head. If you ever see me and feel like kicking me in the head, go for it. Just let me know first so I can take off my glasses, OK?

Let's start by saying that the video above is from the band Goblin Cock, which thanks to Manic Productions, is playing at Cafe Nine tonight. Seriously, this is a show not to miss. I know the name sounds dumb, but it's a good one.

Anyway, let get down to some good ol' entertainment news or something. I haven't even posted about The Grammys yet. You're going to get a notebook in tomorrow's Weekend section, but let me just mention what I found most appalling: Producers were clearly so afraid of putting Lil Wayne on stage to sing by himself, they had to make it a duet with the Crown Prince of No Talent: Robin Thicke. If someone were to just grab and squeeze the testicles of most any man, they too could sing like Robin Thicke. But, seriously, Wayne got the most nominations of anybody, yet we couldn't just see him show why?

No, because we need to sanitize the performance of a tattooed black rapper by having him perform with a good-looking white soul singer. Jeez. Oh, and did anyone find it surprising that voters chose the most milquetoast album ever, "Raising Sand," as album of the year over Wayne, Coldplay, Radiohead and Ne-Yo? I sure hope not.

I don't know about you, but opera is usually a little too high-brow and, really, unnatural for me to enjoy. Oh, sure, I've seen a couple that have been enjoyable and I can appreciate the art of it all, but it's not for me. With that said, I'd love to see how the story of Anna Nicole Smith translates into an opera. I mean, if this isn't tragic comedy, much like "Happy Gilmore," it'd be a waste of stellar source material.

I haven't bothered to listen to the new U2 record yet, but if the band's stint on Letterman features only songs like "Get On Your Boots," which it performed at The Grammys, I feel bad for viewers. That song stinks like poo — diseased poo.

This story makes me real queasy inside. I feel like I may vomit from sadness.

I don't know about you guys, but I love "Top Chef," which is kind of odd since I probably wouldn't eat much that the chefs whip up on the show. Well, last night's episode was particularly fun to watch.

Wow, some folks would like Miley Cyrus to pay out a cool $4 billion for making that controversial face recently. How come nobody did the same to the Spanish national basketball team?

If you don't think I'm buying this book on the day it comes out and have plans to laugh hysterically for days, you don't know me very well.

That's it. I'll end with a video clip. This is seriously one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. I know it's probably a hoax, but please check out this Joaquin Phoenix appearance on Letterman.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wednesday Warbles

There's a lot going on in the news today, but I want to start with a story that ran right here in the good ol' Register this morning. Basically, the point of the whole thing is that there have been about 90,000 sex offenders on MySpace.

About 50,000 of these people were removed from the site over the last two years, but 40,000 remain. Because of this, Attorney General Blumenthal, who is on a committee about social networking sites, says, "For there to be double the number that existed there six months ago is a powerfully damning statistic."

Is it though? Don't get me wrong, there's nothing OK about committing a sex crime. Nothing at all. But I'm not exactly sure why it's wrong for a convicted sex offender who did his or her time to have a MySpace account. This seems to me like Blumenthal and company playing to the fears of ignorant people. Either that, or he's ignorant himself.

First of all, everyone's profile on all social networking sites should be viewable to friends only. Secondly, if your teen can somehow be lured to meet a stranger that they met through one of these sites, then maybe we need to teach them better.

Look, for someone to use any social networking site to be a sex predator, then that's wrong. But we as parents (well, not me since I have no babies) need to educate our children about talking to strangers, in person or online.

When I was a kid, people were always concerned about a stranger stopping his or her car, offering children candy and luring them into the automobile. Nobody tried to make sex offenders not drive then. Or not buy candy. My parents just told me what to do in that situation and that was it.

That's all I really have to say about this, but, come on, are commissions like Blumenthal's really what we want to spend our money on in this economy? A commission that studies social networking sites? Really? Give me a break. There's nothing worse than politicians who play on our fears ...

Here's a story on this year's "American Idol," which I only include for the lovely photo that accompanies it.

Is this the way we want to spend our time? Again: Really? Did anybody have this problem purchasing Springsteen tickets for the Hartford show?

If I was running the MLB Network, I would hire Bob Costas just to shut him up about his thoughts on baseball. I've read "Fair Ball," and to call it purist drivel is an understatement. Nobody should ever try to convince me that the designated hitter and the wild card aren't good things. I will yell at you. I don't want to see a pitcher who hasn't faced real pitching since high school try to hit. Where is the strategy in deciding how the pitcher can best make an out? And I certainly don't want to go back to two divisions. Dumb.

This isn't a big deal: I am sure the women of the world will still go wild at Joe Francis' house.

Pardon my French, but this story pisses me off. You won't find me siding with big business very much, but pushing back the DTV transition is just dumb. We've known about this for more than two years. It was coming. You should have done something about it. If you use rabbit ears or a house antenna, pay the $40 and get on with your life. You've had years to save up. And when did television become a right?

With all the furor around because people are finding out that, gasp, Springsteen's halftime show was prerecorded minus The Boss' vocals, here's a most-definitely live take on "The River," one of my favorite tunes from the man. And check out that shirt and bandana.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


It's been a long time, huh? More than a week, to be not-quite exact. I'm a sorry boy. You see, I started teaching again last Monday and doing two classes in one semester has turned out to be a second full-time job. It's been an adjustment. Good times.

Oh, and for one class I have to get up at 6:15 a.m. That might seem normal to some of you, but it's really hard for me. I usually get up at 9:15 a.m., so it's a significant change. I want to pound my head against the wall when the alarm goes off. And then I want to hook up an IV of straight caffeine directly to my brain. Unfortunately, I can't do either.

So I don't have much to say right now. I just wanted to write and say I'm sorry for not posting and that I will begin doing regularly once again tomorrow. But I did want to share one thing.

On Sunday, a little bit before the Super Bowl, I was doing some work and watching a basketball game when Little Nicholas called me. He desperately wanted to know if I had seen Journey's performance on the Super Bowl pregame show. I hadn't it. He told me to YouTube it. He said I wouldn't be disappointed.

I have to admit something, I kind of like Journey. I also need to admit that I've seen the band live a few times, never with Steve Perry, only with the two singers that followed him. Neither of those guys were Arnel Pineda, who is absolutely hysterical. I mean, he's the Filipino Steve Perry. It's amazing how much he sounds like Perry. He even kind of looks like him, even though he is the Filipino Steve Perry. Wow. Watch for yourself: