‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’ Meets ‘One Trick Pony’…

Posted in Cinema, Rock Und Roll at 9:51 pm by

…but with a younger cast. From the NY Times’ Robert Levine.

(the Hanson Brothers, before it all went wrong. Actually, long before it all went right, too. Pic courtesy Kim Fowley.net)

Plenty of bands have written songs complaining about their frustration with record labels. But Hanson, the band of three brothers that helped usher in a teenage pop craze with the 1997 hit “MMMBop,” has made an entire documentary film about its dismal experience on the label Island Def Jam.

Originally signed to Mercury Records, Hanson found itself with Island Def Jam as a result of major label mergers. In the fall of 2000, Hanson began recording what was to be its third major-label album of new material and hired a director, Ashley Greyson, to film the process. “About eight months in, we realized there was going to be more difficulty than we thought,” said Taylor Hanson, 22.

The movie, “Strong Enough to Break,” follows the band’s disagreements with label executives – over the choice of producer and the need for an upbeat single, among other things – and ultimately its decision to leave the label and found its own, 3CG Records. The album, “Underneath,” finally came out on Hanson’s own label in April 2004 and sold 130,000 copies, a healthy figure for an independent release.

Between concerts on its current tour, the group is screening the film at colleges. The brothers, who have made it into their 20′s without attracting much attention from tabloids, say they would like to educate students about the music business; they take questions after the screenings. Of course, Hanson is also hoping to arouse interest in its new live album and its current tour. “We’re not unaware that we’re reconnecting with people and a few of them might come to the concert,” said Zac Hanson, who is 20.

Mets Jettison Looper, Mientkiewicz

Posted in Baseball at 8:07 pm by

From the AP:

Closer Braden Looper’s $5.5 million option was declined Monday by the New York Mets, who will pay the reliever a $250,000 buyout.

New York also exercised right-hander Steve Trachsel’s $2.5 million option and declined a $4 million option on first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who gets a $450,000 buyout.

And now the attempts to overpay BJ Ryan or Trevor Hoffman can begin in earnest.

The White Sox have exercised a $1.2 million option on reliever/Journey lover Cliff Politte, along with declining the club option for ’06 on noted paleontologist Carl Evertt.

Silverman : Theo Was Fed Up With Lucchino’s Sneaky Leaks

Posted in Baseball at 6:55 pm by

From the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman :

Theo Epstein stunned the Red Sox and the baseball world this afternoon by walking away from his job as general manager.

Just hours before his deal was set to expire at midnight, Epstein told his bosses and associates at the Red Sox™ Yawkey Way offices that he had decided not to accept a three-year deal worth $1.5 million a year, an extension for the contract he signed on Nov. 25, 2002.

Epstein had done some agonizing soul-searching the past few days, torn between staying at the job he had always coveted since his childhood days in Brookline and leaving because of intra-organizational politics and power struggles that he ultimately decided he could not live with any longer.

Epstein had come close to agreeing to a deal Saturday evening but had not officially conveyed acceptance of it. On Sunday, he began having serious misgivings about staying on. A leading contributing factor, according to sources close to the situation, was a column in Sunday™s Boston Globe in which too much inside information about the relationship between Epstein and his mentor, team president and CEO Larry Lucchino, was revealed — in a manner slanted too much in Lucchino™s favor. Epstein, according to these sources, had several reasons to believe Lucchino was a primary source behind the column and came to the realization that if this information were leaked hours before Epstein was going to agree to a new long-term deal, it signaled excessive bad faith between him and Lucchino.

Interestingly, Toronto’s J.P. Riccardi is not included on Silverman’s short list of candidates for Boston’s new opening.

CSTB Obituary Department Fired – The Crusher, Dead At 79

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 6:07 pm by

Turkeynecks around the world are in mourning. Or at least they were, last week.

Thanks to Dave Martin for the link. Needless to say, I’ve been reading the wrong newspapers.

Theo Later: Epstein Resigns as BoSox GM

Posted in Baseball at 5:39 pm by

The Associated Press is reporting that Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein has resigned:

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein resigned Monday, surprising Boston and the baseball world just one year after he helped build the franchise’s first World Series championship team since 1918.

The team said in a statement that Epstein will continue working for several days to assist in the transition and prepare for the offseason.

The Boston Herald, which first reported the news on its web site, said the Yale graduate has told associates that he may leave baseball, or at least take a year off.

Searching For Bobby Fischer’s Fist

Posted in Boxing, Chess at 3:16 pm by

Chessboxing : not since Gymkata have two disparate sporting endeavors made for such a hot combination. From the Guardian’s Georgina Turner.

The brainchild of Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, chessboxers alternate between board and ring, engaging both brains and brawn through 11 rounds (four minutes’ chess, two minutes’ boxing), to see who comes out on top. Contests are won by checkmate, knock-out, retirement, exceeding the time limit at the board or a refereeing decision. If the chess game ends in stalemate, the highest scorer in the boxing rounds wins. Ties are won, for no apparent reason, by the player with the black pieces.

On first inspection, there are probably no two sports that are more ill-matched: one minute you’re having your skull battered, the next you’re sat down trying to work out why you appear to have 48 pawns, let alone what to do with them. Wrong again, apparently.

“The combination is just fascinating,” says German fighter Andreas Dilschneider. “There are parallels. Both are about giving and taking, reacting to the move your opponent just made, whether they’ve thrown a punch or moved a piece.

“You always have to think about the end goal, what you want to do.” The World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) highlights this philosophy in its motto: ‘Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board’.

Gunning For Frank McCourt…

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 1:05 pm by

…with a zeal that would make a rational person (well, Harris Bloom at least) wonder “what’s the big deal?”, presenting DePodesta For President.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery Dept.

Posted in The Mailbag, Will Leitch Sucks at 12:36 pm by

Easily excited reader Gawkastalka writes,

Thought you might go completely overboard (as usual) when you compare the following Will Leitch quote from this morning ;

“If there™s one team that has more luck than Air Force at recruiting the type of athletes DeBerry was talking about ¦ it™s totally Brigham Young.”

To your own comment from Saturday afternoon, “In other happy news, Air Force are currently trailing those masters of urban recruiting, BYU, 31-7 in the third quarter.”

It isn’t that Will is plagerizing you, of course. It just seems like your brand of topical humor improves 48 hours later when someone else says the same thing.

Hmmm, interesting theory GS, but if that’s the best he can come up with two days after the fact, somebody should demand a refund.

Bulls, Pistons Prepare To Break The Bank For Big Ben

Posted in Basketball at 11:53 am by

Along with predicting that Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire will miss the entire 2005-2006 season, the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky looks ahead to Ben Wallace’s impending free agency.

Keep your eyes on the Bulls next July, when they take the $20 million in cap space they will have and start wooing free agent Ben Wallace (above).

The Bulls were a playoff team with Eddy Curry in the middle. With Wallace, they could be a title contender.

The Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks, the franchise closest to Wallace’s home in Alabama, will be the two teams that come after Wallace the hardest.

But rest easy for now. The Pistons aren’t going to let their foundation, the face of their organization, simply walk out of the door.

The Pistons have been prudently preparing for Wallace’s eventual free agency the past few years. They should be in a position to reward him with the most lucrative contract offer in Pistons history.

The Pistons have signed defensive wiz Tayshun Prince to a 5 year, $47 million extension.

Daughtery Tolls The Bell For Brett

Posted in Gridiron at 11:44 am by

That Green Bay’s Brett Favre almost pulled a comeback out of his hat amidst a 5 INT day with a botched fake-spike ala Marino finale either says something about his being a gutsy gamer, one of the all-time greats, guh-guh-guh-guh-guh….or perhaps the reality is that sans Ahmad Green, the ’05 Pack really suck and Favre ought retire. From the Cincinatti Enquirer’s Paul Daughtery.

The Bengals beat Green Bay on Sunday because Favre™s skills and Favre™s supporting cast are no longer a perfect match for his forever-brash mentality.

Credit Cincinnati™s ball-aware linebackers and secondary. Rookie Odell Thurman swiped two passes. Deltha O™Neal took two more. Props to the entire defense, which, as offensive tackle Willie Anderson noted, œplayed their tails off today.

Favre helped. His appearance at Paul Brown Stadium was equal parts swan song and swan dive. The quarterback who never knows when to say when tried to make some impossible throws. All it cost him was five interceptions, including four in four possessions. In a 21-14 game, that was the difference.

Either that, or it was the fan who ran across the field with 28 seconds left, swiped the ball from an astonished Favre™s hand, and sprinted some 60 yards to the opposite 15-yard line. Cops stopped him there and buried him in a pile. If you get in the red zone, you have to score. Everybody knows that.

In the closing moments, helped by a ridiculous pass interference call, Favre moved the Packers from his 5-yard line to the Cincinnati 28, with no timeouts remaining. As bad as Favre had been to that point, he appeared poised to be Superman once more.

The Bengals have been good at beating the teams they™re supposed to beat. As coach Marvin Lewis put it, œWe™ve taken care of business when we had to.

They did it again Sunday, beating the overmatched and undermanned Favres, who live and (mostly) die on Favre™s audacity.

He™s still fun to watch, though. Then again, so was the fan on the field.

œThe 12th man, Robinson called him, jokingly. œIt takes that kind of effort to win.

Added Chad Johnson: œI might streak next week.