Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Roky Tuesday

Since I'm heading to the Big City after I leave work today to see Roky Erickson with Okkervil River, I'm going to talk a bit about the show. There are still tickets available, you know ...

Anyway, the Roky Erickson story is told well by NPR in this story. Sure, you can find his whole tale in longer form, but NPR does a great job summing it all up succinctly. The record, "True Love Cast Out All Evil," is seriously good. If you don't believe me, check out this review by a seriously smart dude.

I know I'm a little biased about this album and show because they involve Okkervil River, which I've really made no secret about being my favorite band of the moment. Anything Will Sheff does, well, I just think it's great. With that said, I obviously knew who Roky was long before I ever heard Okkervil back in the early part of this century. And I've always known "You're Gonna Miss Me" as one of the most influential rock songs ever written. I've also heard a lot of the crap Roky's put out over the last couple decades. I didn't expect too much out of "True Love." Boy was I wrong.

The 12-song disc is truly great, and getting a chance to see this tour, with Roky backed by Okkervil, might be a one-time-only chance. The mini tour ends tonight, and I can only assume that after the summer, Sheff and Okkervil will concentrate on their next record. So, that means you might want to buy some tickets now ... An absolute legend backed by a truly great band? No brainer.

Here's "Goodbye Sweet Dreams," which will surely be played tonight:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Missives

There was a point last night, while I was flipping back and forth between the Yankees-Mets game and the Lakers-Suns contest, I was also texting a friend and theorized that we were the only two people around our age, in the United States, not watching the "Lost" finale.

I just have never been able to bring myself to watch that show. I caught the pilot six years ago or whatever, just because I read so many good things about the plane crash. But I really don't like sci-fi, and I have no faith in J.J. Abrams to write something that ends well.

For some reason, people like this guy's shows, yet he always changes the plot on a whim, decides bulks of episodes don't mean anything and, in my opinion, generally doesn't give a crap about his viewers. He's done this with all his television programs. It's why I could never watch "Lost," despite how many friends that have told me it's amazing.

Did anyone on here watch the show? Thoughts on the finale? There's a lot of debate right now ...

Sean Hayes is going to host the Tony Awards. I'm not sure if this will be believable, since he's gay and all.

All of this brings me to the "Celebrity Apprentice," which Bret Michaels won last night. Now, I, like everyone else in America, watched the first "Apprentice" back in 2004 or whenever that happened. I haven't really seen the show since. But when I woke up this morning, and I was reading the news, I saw that Michaels won. It all kind of got me thinking.

Not too get too far out there, but it really made me feel old. I mean, this is quite embarrassing, but Poison was one of my first favorite bands. Mock as you will. I was young and dumb and my dad liked arena rock. It was a foregone conclusion.

Anyway, I always listened to music, but it wasn't until like third or fourth grade when I started forming my own — however misguided they were — opinions about things. I remember when my parents first got cable installed in my bedroom, in what must have been like fourth grade, I got home from school, turned on MTV and just sat on the floor waiting, for hours, until "Fallen Angel" came on.

It was my favorite song at the time. And, besides Belinda Carlisle, the woman in the video was one of the first times I remember independently finding a woman attractive. I was like 10 at the time. The woman in the video was no Belinda, but, hey ...

So, yeah, this morning all got me thinking about how a guy who made bad hair metal while dressed like a chick could, 20 years later, win a game show based on business acumen and watched by a demographic that would have never looked at what the cat dragged in back in 1989. I've seen Bret Michaels' whole career arc. Wow.

I've got to mentally prepare myself for a softball game now. Thanks to all the people who asked about Little Nicholas. He's doing well.

Since it would obvious of me to leave you with the "Fallen Angel" video, I'm not going to do that. Instead, here's Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth." Please check out the camera shots from above to know what got my attention as a wee fourth-grader.

Josh Ritter Review

BOSTON, Mass. — There are numerous examples of great musicians who just aren’t that good live. But there are even more examples of great songs that just don’t work on a stage, in front of people looking for entertainment.

On Friday at the Orpheum Theater, singer/songwriter Josh Ritter experienced some of the latter. An accomplished and celebrated live performer, Ritter’s recent record, "So Runs The World Away," easily the best work of his critically acclaimed career, is a subtle and nuanced masterwork, the kind of album best appreciated through headphones and over the course of repeated listens.

So with the bulk of the first half of Ritter’s two-hour set coming from this disc, he dulled the energy level of a crowd that just couldn’t wait to rise to its collective feet at this almost-homecoming show.

With a little more care put into the setlist, Ritter could have given the audience a performance that would have been impossible to forget. Instead, the thousands in attendance, folks singing along to virtually every word, had to settle for a very good, not great gig.

Opening with "Change of Time," the first song off of "So Runs The World Away," the singer/songwriter began a 10-song opening heavy on new music that featured predominantly slow tunes. New songs "Southern Pacific" and "Folk Bloodbath" didn’t receive nearly the same applause as "Monster Ballads" and "Good Man," two older tracks that while slow, got the crowd involved a bit.

After performing the Bruce Springsteen classic "The River" as a solo piece, without his five-man band, Ritter launched into "In The Dark," after imploring the venue to shut all the lights off. The tactic got the house a bit excited, and Ritter then followed with the crowd favorite "Kathleen," which found his band joining in the middle. This began a spirited run of songs that finally got the audience to stand up, dance and shout along.

"Right Movies" and "Girl in the War" kept the momentum, and then, after a dramatic reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem "Annabelle Lee," the group captured beautifully the controlled chaos of "Another New World," the climactic centerpiece of "So Runs The World Away." Ritter then closed with three bona-fide favorites, the folk rocker "Harrisburg," the newbie "Lantern" and the Dylanesque stomper "To The Dogs Or Whoever."

An encore that featured openers The Punch Brothers let the bluegrass band put its impressive plucking skills to work on "The Next to the Last Romantic," a tune that's always begged for fiddles and banjos and mandolins. An appreciative Ritter closed the show with "Wait For Love" alone on his acoustic guitar, with the members of his band and The Punch Brothers providing backup vocals. It ended a two-hour gig that closed well, leaving the audience wanting more, but wishing the beginning was a wee bit more livelier.
"Change Of Time"
"Southern Pacific"
"Folk Bloodbath"
"Monster Ballads"
"Good Man"
"Rattling Locks"
"The Curse"
"The River" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
"In The Dark"
"Right Moves"
"Girl in the War"
"Another New World"
"Harrisburg" (played Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" in the middle)
"To The Dogs or Whoever"

"Snow Is Gone"
"The Next to the Last True Romantic"
"Wait For Love"

Now, I'm a crappy videographer, and I was trying to drink a beer at the same time, but here's Ritter doing "Right Moves." The video was shot from a bit far off, but the sound is pretty good. Enjoy:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Me On The 'Project'

If you've been living your life yearning to hear my sweet, sweet voice on the radio, well, you're in luck. I'll be my friend Vinnie Penn's guest on his radio show, "The Vinnie Penn Project," tomorrow morning at around 8:35 a.m.

Vinnie's show runs from 6-9 a.m. on WELI NewsTalk 960 AM. I have no idea what we're going to talk about, maybe a mixture of Neil Young, the Red Sox and whatever else. It should be fun, so why not listen?

What else? Well, with "MacGruber" opening tomorrow, you're going to hear a lot about other "SNL" movies. Here's a cool little feature on them.

MTV is actually green-lighting a show based on the old "Teen Wolf" movies. Can you believe this? Next thing you know, someone will remake "The Karate Kid." The only thing I'm left wondering, since the story doesn't provide the answer, is who's going to play the title character, Michael J. Fox or Jason Bateman?

I just don't understand this "Scott Pilgrim" flick. Maybe I'm getting old, but the trailer made me vomit in my mouth. Yep. It did.

By the way, if you haven't noticed, I've been back to doing Weekend preview videos the last few weeks. They don't have anywhere near the same production value as they used to, and they're only about 40 seconds each, but you can check them out at the Register website, with my column or in our video rail come Friday.

Since I'm going to see Josh Ritter tomorrow, I leave you with a video of him performing a song off his new, amazing record.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That Was Still On The Air?

As I write this lil' ol' blog entry, my brother, Little Nicholas, is, last time I heard, having a lil' bit of surgery on his intestine. Let's wish him well because, you know, being well is good.

One thing I do know is that Little Nicholas would agree with me about something: These fall-television announcements are full of surprises. Who the heck knew that "Numb3rs" was still on the air? I mean, really?

I think that dumb thing's been on since like 2002 or something. Who the heck is watching at 10 p.m. Friday? Anybody with a life is out. Anybody with kids is busy and anybody old, the folks who usually watch procedural dramas, are in bed, right?

Oh, and "Gary Unmarried"? Did anybody ever watch that douche Jay Mohr (that's him in the photo)? No way.

CBS axed a total of seven shows, most of which I didn't even know existed. I mean, I know Julia Louis-Dreyfus has had like 12 sitcoms since "Seinfeld" ended, and I'm not sure which one "The New Adventures of Old Christine" is, but, you know, now it's too late. Thankfully.

On the other hand, ABC got rid of less shows, but they did ditch "Scrubs," which started when I was in high school or something, and has sucked for at least the last five years. But, heck, I'm not sure the CW won't pick it up now. Isn't that what happens with "Scrubs"?

In other TV news, James Franco will return to "General Hospital" soon. I kind of find it funny that a film actor likes being on a soap opera, but, you know, why not?

How about we talk about something going on around here now? Well, local filmmaker Gorman Bechard will present a double feature of his work at Anna Liffey's tomorrow evening.

Yep, Gorman will show the excellent "You Are Alone" (2005) and his camp classic "Psychos in Love" (1987). "Alone" will start at 8, while "Psychos" begins at 10. Admission is $5 for one flick, $8 for both. The event is part of the run-up to Ideat Village, everyone's favorite local fest. This is a killer double feature. Gorman will be on hand to talk about the movies, too.

I guess that's it for today. Now that classes are all finished, you're going to see a whole lot of posts on this here blog. Promise. And, like I said before, think about Little Nicholas when you eat food or whatever today since he's losing some intestine. I will leave you with the trailers for Gorman's films:

"You Are Alone"

"Psychos in Love"

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Free Porn!

I got you excited, didn't I? It's OK to admit it.

Really, I just wanted to pass on this new video from The New Pornographers, which releases its fifth studio record, "Together," today. It's a killer disc, and you can read the full review in Friday's Weekend.

Monday, May 03, 2010


I just got an e-mail from a public relations firm. The first line of said message? Here it is:

"Considered one of the biggest rock bands of all time, Limp Bizkit, announced today they will blaze a trail across the U.S. this summer in their first major concert tour in more than nine years."

Um, by who? Really, the only people that would ever consider Limp Bizkit one of the biggest rock bands of all time are the mentally deficient and folks with horrible, horrible bad taste, the kind of bad taste that would preclude me from being friends with you.

Limp Bizkit, really?

Oh, by the way, the tour comes to Hartford, the Comcast Theatre, on July 30. If this gig sells out the old Meadows, my faith in humanity will be severely shattered. And I'd also realize that frat boys with too much testosterone in the late '90s didn't grow up to be productive members of society.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Great News

I'm sitting here in my office at SCSU, getting ready to impart oodles of wisdom on the children, and I thought it was also best to pass on this piece of great news: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will return for an eighth season sometime next year.

Simply put, there is no funnier show on television, try as hard as "Modern Family" does.

Anyway, that's it. Woo hoo for good news.

Tuesday Tidbits

Let's have a moment of silence to remember last year, the time when very few major records or even good ones hit stores. OK, done?

Well, that was really important to do because 2010 is slowly turning into of the best years for new music in recent memory. We just finished a little lull, but, starting today, the next few Tuesdays are chock-full of killer releases.

If you're smart today, you'll head to your favorite retailer to purchase Roky Erickson and Okkervil River's "True Love Cast Out All Evil." Yes, the legendary psych rocker joined forces with my one of my favorite bands to make a truly great record. You can read all about it come Friday in the wonderful Weekend section.

Speaking of records, or, I guess, record labels, it seems Rascal Flatts' home closed up shop without telling the horrifically awful country band. If I owned a record label with them on it, I'd have a closed and not told them too. If this decision to close delays a new Rascal Flatts album by even a day, Disney, the owners of the label, deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. Who's with me?

In the other bit of news that interested me today, it seems that the Emmy Awards are no longer going to give out an award for best theme song. This saddens me more you can imagine. I don't even remember certain shows from my childhood, just the theme songs. I know most programs don't have them anymore — for some dumb reason — but I love them. And I'm mad about this. I'll get over it, but not until I've finished crying for a few days. To help me mourn, here's the "Mr. Belvedere" theme, one I loved as a wee Patrick.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Will You Double Down?

So there I was, last Friday, helping to judge the first installment of the semifinals over at The Space's Battle of the Bands. One of the folks judging with me was Joe Heafy of the local pop-rock band Shut Up and Deal.

Well, over the course of the evening, we got to discussing something way more important than the bands performing: The Double Down.

If you don't know what the infamous Double Down is, you've been living under a rock or in a corner or on Pandora for the last week and a half. The sandwich is an invention of amazing proportions, something that will be written about for centuries to come as one of the most important inventions of our time. When the history of the 21st century is written, things that we think of as history will be passed over in favor of a bunless sandwich that contains more sodium than humanly imaginable.

Joe and I couldn't stop talking about the Double Down. In fact, we soon had another judge partaking in the conversation. I mean, what genius decided a sandwich needn't have a bun, but would be better off just using two pieces of fried chicken as the bread substitute? This man deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. I want to meet this man. I want to hug this man. I want to know this man. And, oh yeah, I know it was a man. More importantly, I know it was a genius.

In all seriousness, I've yet to experience the Double Down, but I will. I promise. Something like this needs to be consumed. Joe said it changed his life, that it was amazing. Now, I'll have to run like seven miles to feel like I deserve the thing, but, oh, I'll have one soon.

One of my favorite baseball writers, Nate Silver, now writes about politics. Anyway, even though Silver's been one of the most influential baseball writers of all time, and a biggie in the political world lately, he published his most important and essential piece of journalism today. Silver has statistically analyzed the Double Down. Enjoy it folks.

Why People Hate The Media

As I do every day, I was just going through some entertainment news. You know, I check all the normal places, then I hit up the mass aggregators, the sites that just compile stuff from various newspapers and wire services. Well, here's my new favorite headline of the day, from Yahoo:

"Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend to help Chernobyl kids"

Now, I know this woman is probably doing a good thing, helping people who were hurt from a disaster. But, with that said, first it says "Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend," which is just hysterical. Who gives a poop about what this woman does? Only sad, sad folks who care about prurient things. Those folks are sad. Did I mention that?

And, also, victims of the Chernobly disasters are not kids anymore. Heck, people who were born the year of the disaster have been able to drink legally in the United States for three years now. That ain't a kid. And I don't care about Mel Gibson's ex.

Why is The Associated Press wasting time writing a story like this? Where's the news judgement? I actually would like an answer ...

Old Favorite, Sort Of

As I was sitting here at my desk at work, for the first time in more than a week, I went through my mail. Yep, that happens. Well, one of the discs forming the intimidating pile comes from Justin Currie.

It's been a long while since I last thought about Mr. Currie. Back in high school and college, I used to really love the non-ballad tunes from Del Amitri, a Scottish band featuring the songs of one Justin Currie. It seems, the songwriter will release "The Great War" on May 4, which is also the day a whole boatload of cool discs hits stores.

Anyway, I haven't listened to the album yet, but it made me think of Del Amitri, which made me go get this video:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Excuses, But ...

Man, once again I'm here to apologize. It's a pathetic excuse, but, just like last year, this part of the spring is a killer. Teaching two classes is like a second full-time job, and by the time Tax Day comes around, I feel like I don't even have time to sleep, much less blog.

It's not a good reason, and I'm a pathetic excuse for a human being ... or, er, a blogger ... but I'm going to give it the ol' college try from here on out to mid-May, when things will get better.

Anyway, I'm on vacation right now. Does that mean I'm in some sunny location, sipping alcoholic beverages with umbrellas in them and eating jerk chicken or something?

Nope. I'm on my couch. It's comfortable. No foam is filling up the room, though. But this vacation isn't exactly a vacation. What do I mean? Well, I have to get up at 6 a.m. tomorrow to teach the children. Then I have to teach a different set of America's Future at 7:30 p.m. Poop.

That's OK, though. We're in the homestretch and school will be over soon enough. What will that mean? Well, I'll have more time to blog. And of course the children will be so much smarter. Oh, and I'll also have more time to watch baseball. I like baseball.

Speaking of my favorite sport, I'll be heading to my second Red Sox game of the season on Saturday. I caught John Lackey's first Sox start last week, but that didn't go so well. Nope. Here's hoping the Laptop Warrior will fare better.

Over the last few weeks, I've had so much I wanted to mention on this here blog, but now I can't think of anything. Nope. Not a thing.

But I do want to talk about something. I'd like to discuss the Rychalsky family of Seymour. This group of four, who I'm sure are all nice folks, have been sending me countless e-mails over the last few weeks. You see, as a family, this group calls and votes for Katie Stevens on "American Idol" thousands of time.

This isn't just because she's from Connecticut, though. These people choose someone each year to call in about. We wrote a story about them around four years ago. So far, we've been refusing to do the story again. Clearly, other media outlets are not like us.

Anyway, the dad, Konnie, sends out a message each week, with a PDF attached, detailing the group's calling patterns and how often their calls connect. Or something like that. I refuse to read it that closely.

So basically, this guy, his wife and their two 20something daughters spend a night (or two, I don't know anything about the "Idol" voting process) frantically calling Fox. I kind of find this odd.

Well, actually, let me be more specific: I enjoy some weird things. I'm not making fun of them because they get together as a family, watch a show they love and call in and vote. Whatever. I like to drink beer and argue about fantasy basketball or something.

Who am I to judge?

Of course, I don't chart my arguments, make a PDF file and then basically beg for press about my fantasy basketball arguments. That's the part I'm mocking here.

Why are these folks so hellbent on publicity? Every year? And, more importantly, at what point is this not a story? I feel like some of our local media is pretty lazy to do this story over and over again. Go click on that link above and see the Google search. And that's just from this year.

I'm going to make a sweeping generalization right now, but this is another example of how reality television is killing us. Heck, lord knows I like some of these shows, but it's helping bring about this culture of how we all think we should be famous for nothing. If you like to do a family activity, then do it. Awesome. Families all around the world should spend more time together. But don't beg for publicity.

As the editor of the New Haven Register's entertainment coverage, I don't care that you're voting a gazillion times for someone on "American Idol." I especially don't care because we wrote about you before. I also especially don't care because you're begging for this publicity from each and every media outlet possible. That's not news. It's your odd hobby.

When the final basketball game ends tonight, I will have won my fantasy basketball league, and my friends Harris, Jay, Rob, Eric and I won't have anything to argue about. I'm not going to have the newspaper write a story about this. Who gives a poop?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The New 'Avatar' Trailer

I didn't realize there was a new trailer for the blockbuster. Apparently, though, there is, and my friend Cracker Barrows found it for me. Enjoy:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Drive-By Rudy's Tonight

Before I moved to this area, my former colleague Jeff Petrin, who loves Counting Crows, booked Drive-By Truckers to play Rudy's in New Haven. Of course, Jeff was way ahead of the curve, because that was before tons of big-time places were calling the group the best American band and stuff.

Boy, I would have liked to see that show. Well, tonight DBT returns to Rudy's, sort of. You see, a local woman, Sarah Henderson, won a contest to host a listening party to celebrate the release of the band's "The Big To-Do," which comes out tomorrow.

I've had an advance of the disc for a little while now, and let me just say that I think it's the band's best record in a while, since 2003. I won't say too much because you need to read Weekend Friday, of course.

Anyway, so this party goes down from 8-11 tonight. I assume they'll just play the record through three times, since it's about 54 minutes long. And you'll get to drink all the good beer that Rudy's always serves. Fun stuff. From what I gather, you won't be able to buy "The Big To-Do" at the bar, but you can get excited for buying it tomorrow. Woo hoo.

If you want to hear "Birthday Boy" from the disc— and that is one of my absolute favorite tunes on it — well, you're in luck:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

$10 Million? Really?

This is what's wrong with America:

From The Associated Press
NEW YORK – A former model says she's appalled that her nearly decade-old bikini photo became a randy prop in the film "Couple's Retreat."

Irina Krupnik filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit Thursday in a New York City court against NBC Universal. It distributed the 2009 Vince Vaughn comedy.

Krupnik acknowledges she gave rights to the 2001 picture to a stock agency, which apparently sold it to the filmmakers. The lawsuit says a character in the movie uses her photo as a sexual aid.

Krupnik's lawsuit says she never would have allowed the picture to be transformed from "a commonplace swimwear ad to softcore pornography." The 30-year-old makeup artist says it's hurting her reputation.

NBC Universal says it had the rights to use the photo.

OK, so let's start with the obvious. If anyone wants to buy a photo of me in my swimsuit and then use it in a movie, let's start the bidding at $2. And if you miss out on winning, don't worry because I can always take more pictures. So everyone wins!

But, more to the point, in the last few days, I've seen more wire stories about frivolous lawsuits than I care to think about. How you can claim that Vince Vaughn or whoever pretending to masturbate to a photo of you in a bikini is worth $10 million? I just don't get it. If that was the case, I'd be sneaking Vince Vaughn photos of myself in a bikini. I might even not wear the top. Wow. Don't get too excited out there.

Seriously, who wakes up and thinks this? My favorite part is the woman admits she sold the photo. Then what the hell do you have to complain about? People ... I went to the World Wide Web to try and find a photo of this woman .... Sorry, I failed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not The Same Without Haim

Corey Haim never won an Oscar. Corey Feldman never won an Oscar.

Corey Haim hasn't been in a movie that didn't go direct to video since I was about 12. Corey Feldman hasn't been in a movie that didn't go direct to video since I was about 13.

Corey Haim's done a lot of drugs. Corey Feldman's done a lot of drugs.

Corey Haim liked drugs. Corey Feldman liked drugs.

Corey Haim was never as popular as Corey Feldman. Corey Haim wasn't in "The Goonies." Corey Feldman was in "The Goonies."

Pat Ferrucci really likes "The Goonies."

Corey Hain is dead. Corey Feldman is not.

I have no idea what I'm going on about, really. I just thought it was important to mention Corey Haim dying. I think I was probably about two years too young to really grasp the popularity of the two Coreys when I was a wee child, but that doesn't mean I don't have distinct memories of watching "License to Drive," "The Lost Boys" and, especially, "Lucas" when I was like 8 or something.

There was definitely a period when "Lucas" was my favorite movie. And I still have nightmares about "License to Drive" because Little Nicholas used to watch the damn flick over and over and over. I can still remember very specific scenes and lines, even though I haven't seen it since 1991 or something. "Lucas" is also responsible for the film debut of Winona Ryder, who, in 1994 or thereabouts, was the best-looking woman to ever walk on this planet.

So anyway, here's the "Lucas" trailer, in memory of Corey Haim who, while not having made a good movie since the NES was popular, was a whole lot of young people's favorite actor in the late '80s. Him and Feldman were kind of like the casts of all those crappy vampire and goobly-goblin flicks now. Sort of.

Yeah, um, here's "Lucas":

And since this entry is about mourning someone, I'm going to pass on the link that Little Nicholas sent me this morning. It's a touching and soulful song from Macho Man Randy Savage about the pain he'll always feel when he thinks about the late, great, Mr. Perfect.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I Have To Charge And Wear What?

Tomorrow, a couple major electronics companies will begin selling 3-D televisions to consumers. If you read this story, buried in the middle of the piece, you'll find this nugget:

"The 3-D effect requires viewers to wear relatively bulky glasses that need to be recharged occasionally. They're not like the cheap throwaways that have been used in theaters since the 1950s. When you're wearing these 3-D TV glasses, room lights and computer screens may look like they're flickering, making it difficult to combine 3-D viewing with other household activities."

Um, really? Does this sound exciting to anyone?

I know "Avatar" made mountains of cash, but does this mean I want to watch Charlie Sheen in 3-D or something? I don't want to watch Charlie Sheen and his crappy TV show in 1-D. Maybe I'm missing the point, but this all seems like a sure-fire failure. Who's going to buy this but the same people who ran out and got LaserDisc machines?

I like to do other things when I watch TV. You will rarely ever find just propped on the couch staring at the television. I'm reading, eating, surfing the Web, contemplating alcohol ... I'm doing something else. I feel like I'm in the majority. I won't be able to do any of these things with bulky glasses.

I'm sorry. I don't understand.

Well, actually, are they going to make porn in 3-D? I feel like that might work ... some of those shops will have to open more rooms in the back.

New Of The 'World'

I'm more excited than you can imagine for that wonderful day when I walk into the office, sit down at my desk and find that the fine people at Pytheas Recordings have sent me a review copy of Josh Ritter's upcoming "So Runs the World Away." As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Ritter, and picked his last record, the impeccable "The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter," as the best album of 2007. The last few months have just been an absolute onslaught of great music. There's honestly so many amazing CDs hitting my desk that I feel like I'm neglecting some. It's kind of sad. But, anyway, here's a preview of the Ritter record:

Monday, March 08, 2010

Oscar's Finest Moment

I don't think there's any doubt that the funniest moment during last night's Oscar ceremony came when some woman dressed as Barney stormed the stage and Kanye-ed an acceptance speech.

I mean, I liked Charlize Theron's dress and all, but Barney crashing the party was clearly the best part of the evening. You can read all my thoughts on the show in Friday's Weekend, but here's Barney running on stage. After you watch the video, read the story about why it happened.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

In Like A Lamb, Out Like A Lion

The headline for this entry is my motto for this blog, this month. We shall see if I'm able to follow through. As you all know, this is the semester when I teach two classes, which makes me feel like I have two full-time jobs. Come to think of it, I do have two full-time jobs.

Oh, I'm making excuses again. Stupid me. Anyway, the Oscars are tonight. Woo hoo. I'm very excited to write a running diary of the 13-hour show. Here's hoping there are some funny moments. If there aren't, I'm sure my friends and I will mock enough people that it'll be funny either way. Here are my predictions.

This week's Weekend was really tight, and I don't mean that in a mid-'90s hip-hop kind of way. Well, I guess it was still tight in that way, but I would never call it tight like that because, you know, that's not how I roll or something. When I say tight, I mean that there wasn't much room, which meant I didn't run my album reviews. I just want you all to know that I think Peter Gabriel's "Scratch My Back" is just wonderful. Honestly, it's the best covers record I've heard. Gabriel makes all the tunes his own, and the results are startlingly beautiful. Seriously.

That's about all I got for today. But, I absolutely promise I'll be updating every day this week. You ready for it? What I'll leave you with is this two-part review of "Avatar." It pretty much sums up what I think about the gloriously mediocre film. My friend Matt told me to check this review out, and he's a smart boy. Also, keep in mind, there's some bad language in this, so kiddies, don't you click on it. Here it is:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday Tale

Honestly, it's kind of sad that I'm getting too old to remember certain things. It seems like only yesterday that I turned 21. But, actually, that was almost a decade ago. And today I'm not sure if it was seven or eight years ago that I experienced the poopshow that is Mardi Gras. The more I think about it, the more it had to be 2002, my first year in grad school. I wouldn't bet any money on that, though.

I didn't think about Mardi Gras today because of it being Fat Tuesday or anything, though; I started to think about my time in New Orleans when a King Cake (that's one above) appeared in the newsroom today, seemingly out of midair.

I can still remember being in the Big Easy, visiting one of my college friends - who at the time was at Tulane Medical - and him giving a bunch of us pieces of King Cake and talking about how there was a baby inside. I mean, I know I was drunk as crap at the time, but I thought this was the most random thing in the world, and certainly did not believe him.

But, gosh darn it, Dan Arnold was not lying, and, I think, my friend Jacqui ended up being the one who got the baby. Yep, I can remember who got the baby, but not what year this all happened.

I get the whole Christmas connection, but doesn't it seem odd as anything that we eat cakes with plastic babies in them to celebrate the beginning of Lent? And isn't it even more odd that these are popular during Mardi Gras, when the people eating them are bombed and really can't concentrate on whether they're about to choke on a plastic baby that happened to be inside their piece of delicious cake? This all makes sense. Totally. Why wouldn't a plastic baby be inside cake? I'm totally stupid for even asking the question.

I don't really remember much about my time at Mardi Gras. I know I drank a ton. I know I ate more oysters in one sitting than I have at any other time in my life, and I eat a lot of oysters. I know I enjoyed many a shrimp po' boy. I know I visited Cafe du Monde for beignets a couple times. Did I mention that I drank a lot? I also searched in vain for the Ignatius J. Reilly statue; I desperately wanted my picture taken next to the statue of my favorite literary character. I even collected beads at the ridiculous amounts of parades. And saw boobs at them. I remember feeling like the days were one long parade. I don't like parades. They make me bored. It takes me longer to get bored when boobs are involved, but I still got bored.

My friends Brandon and Shiloh Kinne are actually heading to New Orleans later this week, just in time to experience the remnants of Mardi Gras, which means loads of litter and streets with rivers of vomit, pee, poo and discarded hurricanes. I could only think of a few recommendations for them. The biggest one was to eat tons of oysters. Brandon and Shiloh won't have any problem doing that.

Anyway, that's all I really got for now about Mardi Gras. I don't think I'll ever go again. Oh, sure, I'd enjoy a trip back to the Big Easy, but Mardi Gras is something to do once. It's a drunken, disgusting and altogether forgettable experience. It's something everyone should do once, but not twice, unless you enjoy a week-long hangover and vague recollections of forcing cab drivers to pull over so you can pee and vomit on ATMs. Or unless you want to eat cakes with babies in them.

Even though New Orleans has a well-deserved reputation for wonderful music, sadly the first thing I always think about when the subject comes up is how Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner relocated to the Big Easy to record his only solo album, as of now, with local musicians. Here's a performance of a song from that record, which came out around the time I went to Mardi Gras (depending on what year I attended). I wish I could remember such things.


Here's the first video from Miles Kurosky's simply great record "The Desert of Shallow Effects":

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Ditties

As I sit here on my couch, watching the second half of this riveting NBA All-Star Game, I can't help but think about what somebody posted in the comments section of this ol' blog.

I cannot believe we live in a world where "Valentine's Day" makes more than $50 million in a weekend. I'm sorry if you watched it this weekend, I just can't get past the fact that enough people thought this sugary crapfest was worth shelling out some cash to see.

I mean, I know that critical opinion isn't everything, but the flick earned a whopping 16 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Sixteen percent! Seriously. That's horrid.

That site counts all those crappy Internet critics who give anything good reviews, and the movie still only earned 16 percent good reviews. That's pathetic. Awful. I bet I could have written that movie in a few hours. Yep. With that said, the Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke "Training Day" sequel looks even worse. Why? Because it's sole point isn't to just make 16- to 60-year-old women turn to cliche mush.

What else is going on? Well, here's a cool article that talks about '90s female rock. It caught my eye because it mentions Riot Grrrls and Liz Phair early on. When I was a kid, I tiny crush on Liz Phair. That's not true. I don't lie. It was a big crush.

We'll call it a night on a sad note. No, I'm not just going to mention that tomorrow's Monday. I like work. And, hey, I worked today.

No, the sad thing is that Knack singer Doug Fieger died today. People think of the band as a one-hit wonder with "My Sharona," and that's kind of off-base. I mean, I hear that tune and only think about Winona Ryder in "Reality Bites." That's quite possibly the finest performance ever put on film. But, seriously, the entirety of The Knack's debut, "Get the Knack," is a fantastic piece of music, a true power-pop treasure. And I hope that point isn't lost with Feiger's death in the news.

And, hey, that's it. I hope you had a good Hallmark Holiday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland Wednesday

I guess you could say this snowstorm has been a little bit of a letdown so far. I mean, listening to the newscasts, I thought we'd all be stuck in our homes for weeks on end. I even went to the grocery store yesterday and bought thousands of containers of water and canned goods. I'm prepared to be stuck in my apartment for the next three weeks.

Oh, I'm kidding. I just always find it funny how everyone over-reacts when snow's coming. And, you know, it's not like we're living in San Diego, a place people aren't used to the snow. We're coming off a year - winter 2008-2009 - that featured a big snowstorm every week or so, it seemed.

Besides the snow, though, we do have a big piece of news. Former Texas Rep. Charlie Wilson died. I can't really speak to the man's political career since I was a tiny little Patrick when he had his biggest impact, but I can speak to the underrated greatness of "Charlie Wilson's War," the 2007 comedy starring Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman (that's him above). I thought Hoffman deserved the best supporting actor Oscar that year over Javier Bardem, but, hey, what do I know? If Mr. Wilson's death does anything good, it's that people should go out and find this movie that too many folks overlooked around the 2007 holiday season.

Anything else going on? Well, yeah, actually. One of my favorite television shows, "Friday Night Lights," has announced that it will end after its fifth season, which will air at some point next year. NBC hasn't even begun to air the fourth season yet, but let me just say you will not find a better-acted or better-written show on television. Not one.

That's about it. I leave you with a video. I've been listening to some Refreshments lately. Here's "Down Together," a tune from, like, an eon ago.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

As I sit here on campus at Southern, waiting for the perfect time to leave my desk and visit my classroom, I feel like there are some things we can talk about. I mean, it'd be kind of odd for me to just sit here in an otherwise empty room and talk to myself. What if someone walks by? They might not let me believe the children are our future or teach them well so they can lead the way anymore.

Anyway, there are few things I don't want to talk about. I have no interest in rehashing anything about Brittany Murphy. The way idiots fall for the whole "she wasn't on drugs" thing is ridiculous. I've seen very few people who looked worse than her. She was barely older than me and could have passed for 50, or a diseased 12-year-old. I also don't want to talk about "Avatar" anymore. It makes my heart bleed to think about it.

What else? I could give a poop about "American Idol." Sorry. Ellen seems like a wonderful lady, but I'd be more likely to watch her talk show. Does she still have a talk show?

There are some things to talk about though. I mean, Lil Wayne! Come on, the dude doesn't have to go to jail because he's got a chipped tooth or something. So Plaxico Burress shoots himself and goes to jail for a long-ass time, while Lil Wayne is running around with a semi-automatic in the same city, but only gets eight months. And he can delay it for dental surgery. Heck, the guy belongs in jail simply for forcing me to listen to "Rebirth." Every critic in America was the victim of a felony assault by the guy for that piece of poop. I think a class-action lawsuit is in order. Who's with me?

What else? Shouldn't we be giving anybody who punches Perez Hilton a medal, not suing them and making them settle a civil lawsuit? I mean, I don't condone violence or anything, but ...

Speaking of courts, can't we just say the heck with Charlie Sheen at this point? The guy can't act for the life of him. That TV show he does is only funny if you were born before 1950, and he's never made a good movie ... unless you count the "Major League" series, but I give him no credit for that. But, seriously, the guy is a walking danger to women, but people still love him. I don't get it.

You want some great news? Jeff Probst has signed on for two more years of "Survivor" and - yes, and! - the new season of all-stars starts Thursday. As most of you know, I just love "Survivor." I don't watch much TV, but, for some reason, the show is like crack to me. Now, I've never actually had crack, but I assume, from public-service announcements and "Intervention," that it leaves you naked, sweaty and shaking, always needing more. That's me after a season of "Survivor" ends.

Want the Bonnaroo lineup?

I hope to one day marry Joanna Newsom. Here's her new record's tracklist and purchasing information. That's her in the photo above.

That's all I've got for now. It's time to prepare to show the children all the beauty they possess inside.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

And, It's February

So I woke up last Monday, and I just felt horrible. I was sick. I felt like poo. Heck, I felt like ass. It was no fun.

Honestly, I still feel kind of crappy, but I'm doing better. I'm not working at peak capacity, but close to it. I bet that makes you all feel happy. Also, keep in mind, I did not break my no-sick-time streak. I have never called in sick for work in my time as an adult.

Oh, I've dragged myself into work feeling awful and I've worked from home before, but never have I taken a sick day. I feel like this is like a conversation from "Seinfeld." Like when Jerry goes on and on about his no-vomiting streak. That's what I feel like right now. And I'll be just as depressed if I ever break my run.

In other news, this story on Gov. Mark Sanford makes me laugh. Look, no BS, I always feel bad for people who have been cheated on, especially in marriage. I would honestly never cheat on someone. Now, with that said, I no longer feel even a little bad for Sanford's wife. In fact, I think it's kind of great she got cheated on. I mean, he wants fidelity removed as a vow? To quote my colleague Jim Shelton, "That's not just a red flag, that's like having your other girlfriend wave the red flag."

This photo of Katy Perry is wonderful.

Now we know why Jay Reatard died. If you're surprised, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.

I've got nothing else right now. I just wanted to give quick hello and tell you all I'm getting better. You can look for a diary on the Grammys Friday in Weekend. Oh, and I hate "Avatar." That's it. Let's talk for real tomorrow.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We've Been Rocked Like A Hurricane For The Last Time, Sort Of

What's that old adage about a tree falling in the forest? Or, better yet, what exactly is news?

That second question, it's something I try to answer two days a week teaching a First Amendment course over at Southern Connecticut State University. Why am I talking about all of this today? Well, this story says that '80s German metal group The Scorpions is disbanding. It's a shocking development; shocking, I tell you.

To be honest, I interviewed guitarist Rudolf Schenker about two years ago and he went on and on, in a thick accent that I didn't completely understand, about how the band could keep going forever. But was anybody listening anymore? Don't get me wrong, I know there are people out there who worship at the alter of The Scorpions, who think that "Wind of Change" singlehandedly brought down the Berlin Wall, and who wake up every morning singing "Rock You Like A Hurricane" as a way to get ready for the day. I know that dude exists, and his name is probably Klaus or Adolf. I understand. But do enough folks care for the AP to do a story on this, and for various online news outlets to pick it up?

And, more importantly, The Scorpions think they are Cher. Go re-read the story I linked to above. It says the band is calling it a day. But then it says a new record will come out in March. Then it says the band will tour for the next "few" years.

Um, so The Scorpions are breaking up, possibly in 2014 or something, and that's news? Heck, telling me Coldplay's breaking up in a few years is something I'd hardly consider news. So much can happen before then.

In the case of The Scorpions, the members are in their 60s. Yes, their 60s. So telling me they are going to break up in the next few years just makes me say, "No sh*t." I mean, really, this is news? Some 60-year-old dudes who haven't had a hit in two decades are breaking up? Oh, golly gee, someone get me a chair to sit in; I'm so damn shocked.

Anyway, here's the reason the Berlin Wall crumbled:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dawn And Justin, Justin And Dawn

If people needed a reason to see more live music, Thursday night at Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne should have provided an ample one for the 100 or so folks in attendance. With Dawn Landes opening and Justin Townes Earle headlining, it was a heck of a show.

As many of you know, I've been a big Landes fan for a couple years now. Ever since I first popped "Fireproof" into my CD player, I can't stop listening to her. The singer/songwriter's new disc, "Sweet Heart Rodeo" is even better, says my review. Well Landes certainly didn't disappoint last night. It may have been the best 25-minute set I've ever seen. Seriously.

Flanked by her backing band, The Hounds, Landes delivered a sometimes stark and poignant and sometimes loud and immediate performance. She gave the crowd eight songs, three ("Young Girl," "Money In the Bank" and "Sweetheart of the Rodeo") from "Sweet Heart Rodeo."

I hadn't seen her perform in more than a year, and what I found most striking was the way she commanded the audience's attention. The two previous times I caught her, Landes was a more timid live player. That's no longer the case. She seemed far more comfortable, and results showed that.

The highlight of the set came at the right time, when she closed the show with "Kids In A Play." Always leave the audience wanting more, right?

Justin Townes Earle headlined, performing two sets. He played solo, but what's always so amazing about seeing Earle - the son of famed country icon Steve Earle - live is how adept his guitar playing is. Throughout one of his performances, it always seems like there are two guitar players, but it's just him.

Earle's best moment came on the poignant and immediately grabbing "Mama's Eyes," which is off his thoroughly excellent "Midnight at the Movies."

Lucky for you guys, I used this show to try my hand at adult filmmaking. Um, that doesn't sound right. Let's try again: Lucky for you guys, I used this show as an opportunity to try out my new mini camcorder (it even made that photo above!). Here are two Dawn Landes videos, and one from Justin Townes Earle. I think they came out so good, I'm going to start doing this at most gigs. Enjoy.

Oh, Conan, You Poor Guy

With today being the last evening we'll ever be able to see "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," it's vitally important to the world for me to have my say. Vitally important, like the world-won't-continue-to-spin-and-orbit-the-sun important.

Exaggeration? Nope.

Let me start off this possibly incoherent and positively unnecessary ramble by saying I'm a big Conan fan. I like his show more than Jay Leno's. I like his show more David Letterman's. (I do, however, dig Jimmy Kimmel's more, but that's besides the point.)

Two of my favorite days in the last 10 or so years involve going into New York to see Conan's old show get taped.

OK, so I've made that clear. I like Conan. I like his show much more than Jay's.

With all that said, I can't stand all the columns being written about how unfair this whole situation is, about how Conan is a victim. Screw that.

If Conan's a victim, please sign me up to be a victim. Heck, you can let me host "The Tonight Show" for a few months, give me $40 or so million and even kick my ass and I'll take it.

Look, NBC messed this situation up royally. There's a reason nobody watches NBC anymore. The network's management is stupid. It acts as if it doesn't understand what the country watches. And, hell, with the move of Leno to 10 p.m., it basically took a huge dump on its audience. They wouldn't want to see adult dramas, right? Heck no.

But Conan's ratings have been pathetic. I know part of that is NBC's fault for making Jay the lead-in to the news. Let's be realistic, though: Conan's jokes aren't necessarily made for 11:30 p.m., when the audience is much older than it is at 12:30 a.m. A masturbating bear? Hilarious, but maybe not for everyone.

No matter the reason, though, NBC is getting its ass kicked up and down the late-night ratings highway by David Letterman. If it wants to give Jay Leno his show back, because Leno regularly won the ratings war against Letterman, it can do that. Firing Conan is fair. If his ratings aren't good, well, then, that's NBC's choice.

When the network decided to stupidly cancel something like "Southland," do you think they gave all actors millions of dollars and paid for their moving expenses, etc.? Um, nope.

So Conan got fired. He still gets more rich. His profile is much larger now, so when he inevitably shows up at 11:30 p.m. on Fox or ABC in September, more people will watch him than they did over the last few months. And NBC gets Jay back, puts all those "Law & Orders" back on at 10 p.m. and looks incredibly stupid in the process. Everyone wins. Sort of.

Conan is not a victim. Conan is a big winner in all this. His show sucked in the ratings, he got fired and he stills gets a bajillion dollars.

That seems like a sweet deal to me. And making NBC look incredibly foolish? That's just gravy.

Icky Kris

You know, I've been meaning to make this post for a long time. And, I know I can be prone to a little hyperbole, but it's time to make a grand statement:

I haven't heard a song as bad as Kris Allen's "Live Like We're Dying" in a good five or so years.

Yes, we live in a world where Nickelback and Hinder and crappy metal bands and, of course, hundreds of "American Idol" crapsters exist, but this song just hits all of the low points in music. It's trying oh so hard to please everyone. There's some Jason Mraz in there. There's some Jack Johnson in there. There's some of the least edgy rap I've ever heard in there. In short, it's positively god awful.

I was at the gym yesterday and was forced to endure the song, and that's what drove me over the edge, what drove me to this post. I just can't believe someone would put that tune on a record, even if Kris Allen is an "American Idol," a star born of a show that's determined to ruin music's reputation. But, seriously, this dude is 24. He's supposed to know what's good and what's just embarrassing.

As many of you know, I've killed David Archuleta a lot in this space and in print, but give him credit for one thing: His music is aimed at middle-aged women and it's not trying for anything else. It's over-the-top pap meant to make the ladies gush and wish he was their kid. I get that. Kris Allen should go that way or make bad folk-rock like Mraz or something. Don't try to be everything. Don't try to make me want to put pencils in my ears Please.

You don't believe me? Here's the video:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Crap

You'll get to read a whole lot of my thoughts on last night's Golden Globe Awards come Friday in Weekend. For the most part, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did its typical horrendous job of picking winners, but, of course, I took the time to complain and make bad jokes. Be on the lookout for that.

The only thing I will say about it is that for James Cameron's "Avatar" to be such a big winner is one of the biggest jokes in the history of the awards show. Coming on the heels of nominating "Nine" for some many trophies, the HFPA just looks like a bunch of star-struck idiots this morning. Idiots. And, now, I'm done with that.

Dinosaur Jr.'s show at Daniel Street on Friday was really good. It wasn't the best I've seen them over the last few years, but it was pretty damn good.

And, lastly, in case you missed it, I wrote a feature story on Dawn Landes for today's paper. Check it out here. Here she is performing the new tune "Romeo" a couple months ago:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

'Avatar,' Really?

Most science-fiction is polarizing. There are some people that worship at the alter of George Lucas. He could animate a piece of poo, give it a sword and make it fight goobly-goblins and there'd be a legion of fans who loved, loved, loved the movie. (I might actually like that film.)

I understand this. But I still can't believe the legion of people who simply loved James Cameron's "Avatar."

I will never get those three hours of my life back. I could have slept. I could have watched TV. I could have run. I could have listened to music. I could have drank beer. I could have hung out with friends. I could have done a whole lot. But I didn't.

Two Saturdays ago, I watched "Avatar" and was completely disappointed.

Clearly, I'm not a sci-fi fan, and that obviously contributes to my disdain for the film. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good movie when I see it. Cameron's own "Aliens" and "The Abyss"? Those are great sci-fi films. "Avatar" is an overly long piece of crap that looks really cool, but has a storyline that only the dumbest humans would find meaningful.

It's practically a fable for morons. I've never seen a movie that attempts to beat its audience over the head — repeatedly — with its "message." We get it. The dialogue is so laugh-out-loud worthy, I actually did howl in the theater a couple times.

Yet when you try to have a rational discussion with a fan of the movie, they find it simply amazing that that you don't like it. Now, I admit that some of the people I know who liked it simply have absolutely no taste in the arts. That makes sense. If you like Staind or something, you and I are never going to be on the same page artistically. That's OK.

But what about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association? I know that if I threw a huge party and boozed up the foreign film critics, my old Weekend videos could have received a Golden Globe, but, seriously, "Avatar" as a best-picture candidate? Even in a down year for film, this is simply unconscionable. I guess those buffoons did nominate "Nine" for five awards and then had the audacity to claim all American critics are dumb and that the film would be seen as a "classic" in a few years, so ...

Why am I going on about "Avatar" today? Well, besides yesterday's story about the Vatican's reaction to the movie, or the one that says the frivolous flick might be racist, I got sent this story.

You want to see my favorite couple graphs? Here you go:

On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

"I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ," Baghdassarian said. "But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."

Um, really? Those couple hundred words make me fear for the human race. I saw "Avatar." I paid attention. I don't want to live on Pandora. I mean, for God's sake, if anything, it's a world that condones bestiality. I don't about you, but I don't want to have sex with flying dragons and then also jump in the sack with those blue cat people, too. Sorry dude.

Seriously, though, can we all admit that the movie was cool to look at and bad as a film? Please, please, please?

And can we all admit that while, yes, Cameron was trying to deliver a message about the environment and peace, he did it in a way that a friggin' squirrel could have figured out?

Nothing subtle. Nothing intelligent.

I'm still sore from the hammer beating me over the head with the stupid point.

Where's my animated poo?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

For those of you who may like to hear the sweet and amazing sound of my voice, I will be the guest on tonight's "Local Bands Show" at 10 p.m. on WPLR. You can listen at 99.1, or online. James, Rick and I will discuss the best local music of the year. We play about seven of my favorite tracks. Good times. Good music. Listen.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Too Awesome

I can't get enough of this song and dream about the day next week when the record arrives on my desk.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Um, Really?

The director of PR for the XL Center in Hartford e-mailed me a press release today. The title of it is "XL Center Hub For Top Tours."

Am I missing something? The first paragraph then says that the venue secured four of the top 14 touring acts in 2009. Four out of 14? Is that a hub? These are the kinds of questions that keep me up at night.

Happy New Year

How's it going, everyone? I hope we're all doing well. Now that the holidays are in the rearview mirror, I have to admit I'm a bit happier.

Oh, sure, I love Christmas and everything, but I'm a creature of habit. I'm oddly anal about my schedule. And when things are forced to change, I don't really like it.

For the last couple weeks, I've had odd deadlines, long drives, days off (but with the same amount of work), crazy hours, etc. This week? Well, everything's back to normal, in its right place, and I couldn't be happier.

I hope you all feel the same way. Oh, and last weekend, I saw three movies: "Sherlock Holmes," "Avatar" and "Up in the Air." "Sherlock" was better than I thought, but nothing special. Of course, I'm a Guy Ritchie hater, so take my opinion for what it's worth.

I wanted to die throughout "Avatar." Did it look cool? Yep. But I didn't need to waste three hours of my life, either.

Now, "Up in the Air" might be my favorite movie of the year. In a couple weeks, I'll publish my 10 best movie story right here on this here blog. The Register's official list will be in Weekend Friday. I didn't write it because there are far too many movies not here in New Haven yet, and publishing said list in the newspaper, in February, would look dumb. Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

What else? Well, good ol' Santa Claus brought me some mini camcorder thingie. Once I figure out how to use it properly (this weekend), you can expect plenty of video stuff on this blog, both of me talking and bands performing, etc. It should be fun. My New Year's resolution is, of course, to break posting records on this here blog. Wish me luck.

The most exciting part of the new year is all the upcoming CDs that I'm super excited about. Some I already have, some should be in the mail. We're talking Vampire Weekend, Peter Gabriel, Miles Kurosky, Midlake, Dawn Landes ... the list goes on and on.

If we want to look back, though, you can read my selections for the best records of 2009 here. It took me a while to figure them out, but I'm very happy with the list.

By the time this post gets published, a new batch of Hall of Famers will be nominated. Let's go Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Robbie Alomar, Mark McGwire and, um, I'm not sure.

What else? Not much. You may also have heard that Wilco and Trey Anastasio have both confirmed Connecticut dates.

Oh, and I'll be watching the People's Choice Awards tonight, so expect a diary in Weekend Friday.

That's it. I leave you with a video for Vampire Weekend's lead single off their new record: