Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes

Well, hello everyone. If you're not a dolt, you probably notice that I made a few changes to this here blog. It was actually by mistake. And now I can't go back. I'm OK with that. I'm not sure if it's OK for me to get rid of the corporate stuff, but I'll be a rebel for now.

Anyway, so let me know what you think of the look. I guess I can change colors and all that stuff. And I'll be looking for a better photo to go behind the header, but, for now, this is what I'm sticking with ... barring some great suggestions from you.

I'll get going by saying I just started reading David Halberstam's "The Breaks of the Game" yesterday, and it might end up being the best sports book I've ever read. And I've consumed hundreds, literally. It's great. It's sad I didn't get to it sooner.

Anyway, in other news, I just saw my friends Brandon and Shiloh off. They are moving to Dallas, as Brandon is going to be teaching political science to the impressionable young minds that attend the University of Texas at Dallas. This stinks because they'll be gone, but it also smells bad for another reason: I won't be able to use them as characters in my stories anymore. Poo. Goodbye Brandon and Shiloh.

What else? Well, tomorrow I'll be making my annual trip out to the Newport Folk Festival, so be on the lookout all weekend for blog posts and stories online. I'll be updating and writing quite a bit. You can read my story about the fest in Weekend tomorrow. Right now, I'm not sure how it's all going to work, but you can bet on me writing more than necessary. Here's the AP's preview piece on the event, which I totally recommend attending. Right away.

Unlike every other year, though, my very long vacation won't start right after the fest. I'll be in next week; I'm going to Missouri in mid-September so I'll be working next week, off the next two, and then on Pilot Pen duty that next one. Then things will be back to normal, at least till the week of Sept. 20.

I'm being serious when I say it's impossible not to feel bad for what Erin Andrews is going through. Now, with that said, I'm used to getting taped through a peephole. Heck, it's happening right now. Look out for this on YouTube.

If Wal-Mart makes Foreigner relevant again, I'll begin to believe that America is even more stupid than I thought.

I guess that's all I've got for today. I'm going to take a nap or something. I leave you with a video of Elvis Perkins in Deerland performing at the 2007 Newport Folk Festival. At one point, I think you can see my head. Perkins and company are back this year, and I can't wait.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Maybe I'm a bit conservative. I mean, nobody's ever said that about me, but it's possible. I'm all for doing whatever makes you happy, but if this New York Times Magazine story is true, then the fine folks over in Japan need some help. Some serious help.

If you were to click on that link, you'd find the adorable story of Nisan and Nemutan (that's the them to the left, thanks to the NY Times), the tale of the love between a 37-year-old Japanese man and a, um, pillowcase.

Basically, this is the equivalent of me walking around with an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy and calling it my girlfriend. Of course, that'd be much cooler than this guy. You don't believe me? Here's the stories money quote:

"Nisan is part of a thriving subculture of men and women in Japan
who indulge in real relationships with imaginary characters. These 2-D lovers, as they are called, are a subset of otaku culture— the obsessive fandom that has surrounded anime, manga and video games in Japan in the last decade. It’s impossible to say exactly what portion of otaku are 2-D lovers, because the distinction between the two can be blurry. Like most otaku, the majority of 2-D lovers go to work, pay rent, hang out with friends (some are even married). Unlike most otaku, though, they have real romantic feelings for their toys. The less extreme might have a hidden collection of figurines based on anime characters that they go on “dates” with during off hours. A more serious 2-D lover, like Nisan, actually believes that a lumpy pillow with a drawing of a prepubescent anime character on it is his girlfriend."

Really Nisan? That's what you believe? Register Arts Editor says Nisan is this way because "he eats too much sushi." Now, I love sushi, but I've never fallen in love a wrestling buddy or a can of Play-Doh.

Now, what I did fall in love with is "Orphan," which just so happens to be the greatest love story of our time. Please go see it. Maybe have a beer first. You will love this fine piece of American cinema. I promise.

Besides a few technical glitches, my live chat went OK earlier today. Thanks to everyone who participated. I'll be doing again next Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. We'll have a grand ol' time.

That's all I got for now. We'll talk again tomorrow. My next post will be the 500th entry for Blog Like an Egyptian. Woo hoo. Champagne will be uncorked.

Getting Chatty

For anybody who may be interested in spending 30 or so minutes talking about random bits of nothingness, I'll be doing my first live chat here at 11:30 a.m. By then, I hope to have finished my coffee. I need coffee. We can talk about music or whatever else is on your mind. Orange juice? Where you should go get food for lunch? What kind of soap I use? Anything at all.

Anyway, that's it for now. Later I'll be back to talk about the sheer genius that is "Orphan."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Deer Tick Canceled

It's a sad day to live in America. Or just New Haven. Or the New Haven Area. It's OK to cry. Let the tears flow. Sadness is expected.

What am I talking about? Well, tonight's Deer Tick show at The Space has been canceled. Or, I guess, postponed. Here's the note from Manic Production's Mark Nussbaum:

"Hey everyone. We just got word that the Deer Tick show scheduled for tonight at The Space has been postponed due to illness. We are as bummed as you are! The show has been rescheduled for November 5th. All 7/23 tickets will be honored. Ticket refunds are available from point of purchase up until 8/23. Thank you all for understanding. "

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bad Idea

I like to think I know my audience. I mean, I don't know you in a literal sense. Most of us have never shared a beer or thumb wrestled together.

But I think I know what most of you like, which is why I think I can say, with a fair amount of confidence, that you probably dig The Pixies. You may not love the iconic and critically adored band, but you at least like them.

Well, as you would imagine, I'm a big fan of the Frank Black-led act, too. I own all the records, have caught the band live a few times, etc. But with all that said, this newest comment from Black suggesting that the Pixies may make a new album if it's done with a Hollywood director is just plain scary.

One of the hardest parts of seeing a band you love reunite after a long hiatus is the very real chance that it will make a new album, one that just doesn't live up to the old stuff. I've heard Black's solo discs. Let's not go there. I don't want a new Pixies record if it may sound like those.

But, see, the other issue is that you can't fault a band for wanting to make and play new songs, instead of just touring as, essentially, an oldies act. Of course, according to the story linked above, it seems like the Pixies don't have any issues being an oldies act.

I don't know.

One thing's for sure, though: Making your comeback record a score to some movie is not going to work. It's going to get a whole lot of buzz and, ultimately, be incredibly disappointing. It's an unwinnable prospect. What the members should do is spend tons of time crafting some great new songs and then make a disc. It's very possible for legendary Massachusetts bands to break up and then, after two decades, come back with the best records of their careers. There's a precedent. Just look at Dinosaur Jr. or Mission of Burma.

Anyway, that's my spiel. There are a couple more things I'd like to mention, though. First, Aeroplane 1929 is at Cafe Nine tonight. Do not miss it. Secondly, next Tuesday I'll be doing something new, taking part in an online chat. I think we're doing it at like 11:30 a.m. We'll see if it works. If you're around, please participate so I'm not bored.

I've been on a Mojave 3 kick lately. Because of that, I leave you with a video for "Breaking the Ice," a tune that I can't get out of my head.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Warbles

I've had a busy last few days. How about you? Well, either way, it's time to write something here in this ol' blog's space. You see, I've got much to report, and it'd wrong not to share. I think if I didn't type of some nonsensical paragraphs and call them an entry, I'd be damned to hell. There's that much to say. Yep.

OK, where do we start? Well, normally I would have popped out at least one blog entry this weekend, but my computer pooped out. It just died. Like Walter Cronkite and Frank McCourt. Dead. I even tried CPR, but the ol' hard drive said, "F you, Pat. I'm dead." The thing's under warranty, which means a new hard drive is on the way to the Elm City, but, alas, it'll be a few days. I feel naked without a computer at home. I feel like it's 1996 or something, a time when I never wanted to go online; I just wanted to play outside. Of course, I occasionally do want to use a computer. I'm so lost and confused.

On Wednesday, I went and checked out Man Man, like I said I would. Boy am I glad. I've seen them play about four times before, but this was the best set yet. Daniel Street sounded great and the setlist was varied and alive. And as with any percussion-heavy act, the timing needs to be down cold to work, and this was. Woo hoo.

MT Bearington's opening set even came close to matching that local band's best performance ever, the one where it opened for Mates of State in like March of 2008, I think.

Here's the one question I came away with after Wednesday though: At what point does having fun just become ridiculous? Look, I don't really dance, unless I'm totally trashed and, usually, at a wedding. But I understand some people like to dance at shows. Well, at this gig, there were four 20something women dressed oddly (like Man Man) and dancing completely ridiculously. For a few minutes, it was really funny. For 75 minutes, it was pathetic. They even moved around the venue doing it, making it clear, to me at least, this was a cry for attention. Why do people like to be the center of attention? You're at a show. The band should be the center of attention. It's OK just to have fun and watch. Dance even. But, that? Really?

Yet the best show of the weekend went down Saturday in Northampton. My friend Jay and I took the 75-minute drive across the border into the greatest state in our union to see Magnolia Electric Co. (that's them above), and what a gig. The band sounded, for lack of a more mature word, awesome. They killed. And, of course, the Iron Horse always helps. Great venue. Great band. Great new album. How many times can I use the word "great" in paragraph? You don't want to know.

I also found the time — because it's impossible to put down — to take in Dave Eggers' "Zeitorn." You're going to want to read it. Yep. It's true. Honestly, it's a harrowing and, ultimately, uplifting take on Hurricane Katrina-torn New Orleans. It should be a must read for all, especially those who haven't seen the city since the disaster. And "Benjamin Button" doesn't count.

So let's recount: In the past two weeks, I've been on a very good stretch with books. Besides the Eggers work, I finally got around to reading Joe Torre's book, which was way more interesting than I expected. And then I got through "American-Made," which is really just the story of the New Deal and, more specifically, the WPA. It's been a good run for me. I hope to keep it going when I grab something from "to read" stack tonight.

So, as you can see, besides the Red Sox losing two out of three to the Blue Jays, it was a pretty good weekend. I even watched the wretchedly bad "The Haunting in Connecticut" because, you know, it seems like something I should see.

Oh, one more thing, we've got a good run of concerts coming up. I'll write more as the week progresses, but, come on, you have to be at Cafe Nine Wednesday and The Space Thursday. It'll just look bad if you're not there.

Since I just mentioned Thursday, here's Providence's Deer Tick performing "Art isn't Real" in a random kitchen in Providence. Enjoy it. You can see it live Thursday. Yep.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Man Oh Man Man

Psst: There's a great show tonight. I didn't want you to forget that always-fun Man Man plays Daniel Street in Milford.

It's a Manic Productions gig, and local act MT Bearington from Safety Meeting Records is opening. To me, that's a pretty killer gig.

First, let's talk about Man Man. Lord knows I wasn't as fond of 2008's "Rabbit Habits" as I was the Philadelphia band's first two discs, but, still, it's a pretty good record. Live, you never know what you're going to get with the experimental act. I've seen them in these parts three times, and the performance has varied from OK to spectacular. Let's hope tonight leans toward the latter.

What else? Well, MT Bearington is the moniker Matt Thomas uses for his solo stuff, and let me say that I'm a huge fan of Matt. His music is, sort of, a kind of psychedelic folk, and I'm looking forward to his set just as much as Man Man. And those are big words, my friend.

Here are a couple videos to get you as excited as I am:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lobster Or Liquor

Sometimes, things just don't make sense to me. Maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I don't watch enough television. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how ridiculous it is that Donte Stallworth can drunkenly drive a car while being about double the legal limit, kill someone and only get 30 days in jail. I mean, it seems to me, like he should have gotten at least 31 days.

But, seriously, think about. Thirty days in jail for killing someone. Now here's a story about a Jersey guy who stole 91 lobster tails. Well, he just got four years in jail! Think about that. Let it set in. Four years for stealing some lobster. I mean, really?

And the biggest crime of it all? The story says the lobster tails were destroyed. Nobody ate them. Give them to me! I'll eat each and every one. Please. I will. I can do it. My stomach can handle it.

So what else is new? Well, I'm not sure anyone wants to see it, but Sandra Bullock claims she will strip for money. With that in mind, I would like to announce on this here blog that I, Patrick Richard Ferrucci, will also strip for money. You want to give me a few quarters, the pants are coming off. Whether you like it or not.

Tonight over at Cafe Nine is Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women. This is a show you probably want to check out. It'll be a good one. I, though, will be at Branford's Cue and Brew, to play in a setback tournament with my boss. Wish us luck.

Oh, also, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" will be screened at Criterion at midnight tonight, if that's your thing. My friend Susannah recently said this to me, "Harry Potter fans, they like everything." Now, since I'm not a Harry Potter fan, I wouldn't know. But I trust Susannah, even though she's the biggest 98 Degrees in "the whole world."

I'll leave you with a live performance of a song (from an album) that I'll write more about tomorrow. I don't know why, but I've been listening Ken Stringfellow's 2001 record "Touched" a ton again. It just came up on my iPod and I haven't stopped in a couple days.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun For Friday

So I've been away from this here blog because I've up to my neck in tissues. But now I'm feeling a bit better, have the day off and am ready to blog away again. I guess antibiotics really do work. Woo hoo.

So here's hoping your Friday's going well so far. Mine's been relatively uneventful. I woke up. I walked and got some coffee. Then I watched an advance copy of the first two "Entourage" episodes of the season. The HBO comedy's sixth season premieres Sunday on the pay channel.

I've been a fan of the show for a while, but let me just say it's gotten worse and worse with each season since the fourth, the one all about the production of "Medellin."

Anyway, I've got to say the beginning of this season is kind of sad. It's not funny at all. It's the same ol' stuff. And what's even more ridiculous is how dated it feels. Why have a scene on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno? Why talk about becoming an agent for "My Name Is Earl"? It just seems weird that a show about the entertainment industry couldn't have planned a little better. I mean, we've known Leno's been gone for a while and the cancellation of "Earl" was pretty predictable. Oh, and there's a whole conversation about "Knocked Up." Really?

So that's my mini review of the beginning of the season. Let's hope the show dies a quick death and doesn't ruin its own legacy. Oh, and we can still look forward to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

My New Favorite Commercial

You know, in print, I've called Kansas a guilty pleasure many times over. Now State Farm is stealing my thoughts. Actually, I think they may have filmed me in my car, and then recreated the moment, shot by shot, with some other, less attractive dude driving the car.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Quotable Quotes

Thanks to a friend for passing this one on. Why do we thank her? Well, if you read something closely, you never know what kind of good humor you may find. This here quote is just great. Read on:
“Back in his Bachelor days, Ginuwine's thoughts ran mainly to giving ‘Pony’ rides to as many hotties as he could, on new album A Man's Thoughts, he's more subtle, and relationships now tend to last beyond last call at the club. Ginuwine has always been a smooth purveyor of steamy slow jams, but here the sex involves more emotional entanglement, and that can lead to complications.”

Wee For Wednesday

So, if you're not from New Haven, this may not be as exciting, but there's some older woman who rides her bike around the city a lot. You can usually see her at concerts and stuff, and from very brief interaction with her, she seems really nice. But now I think she's Kevin Cronin.

You see, I got back from an REO Speedwagon show a little bit ago and it became obvious that the singer has been posing as a woman and riding a bike around the Elm City, checking out local bands. Maybe he's trying to sign a new act? Maybe he wants a new sidekick for those TimeLife music commercials he does? Maybe he's just messed up in the head? I don't know; there are plenty of reasons, but Kevin Cronin is definitely Older Woman Who Bikes And Goes To Shows In New Haven.

With that settled, I saw something fun at Mohegan Sun tonight ... besides the show. So Speedwagon takes the stage to "Take It On The Run" and this gets some 50ish woman in the crowd incredibly excited. She can barely breath. She's hyperventilating. Oh, wait, she has enough energy to pull her boobs out of her top every 10 seconds or so, though. Yep. She does. And then she does it again. And again. There's no way the band can see them. There's no way the band would want to see them. Yet she keeps putting them out there for the world to see. But then a lady -- no wait, let's call her a saint -- a couple rows back has had enough. She goes right up to Boobie Exposer and tells her to stop. A verbal brawl erupts. I couldn't hear and don't know who won, but since I didn't see boobies again, I can safely say that everyone was a winner.

What else? Well, 38 Special opened the gig. Styx closed the show, but, to be honest, we did not stay for Styx. Unless the band was only going to play "Renegade" over and over, I'd rather have some stick toothpicks in my eye than watch Styx. I'm exaggerating, by the way. But not a lot.

All in all, and it's probably wrong as a critic to say this in print, but it was a good show. Speedwagon didn't play enough of "Hi Infidelity," a splendid rock record, but, you can't have everything, can you? You, though, can have this video of "Keep On Loving You":