05.27.13

Burying Bob Schneider : With Defenders/Fans Like These, Who Needs Haters?

Posted in Austin, non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 4:17 pm by

Veteran Austin music scribe Michael Corcoran tackled the subject of local snooze-rock fixture Bob Schneider this weekend, and while the former might’ve intended to praise the latter for his improvisational skills, transition to adulthood or career tenacity, the end result comes off like an indictment that even Schneider’s biggest detractors would struggle to match.  Amongst the highlights :

a) “if you’re a hipster and you’re seen at one of my shows, your credibility is shot”

Trying to pin down exactly what Schneider or Corcoran think a hipster is in 2013 could be a pretty scary article all by itself, a reverse Onion if you will.  But it’s a curious badge of honor for Schneider (the piece is titled, “Bob’s Burden”, as if anyone should feel bad that Saxon Pub residences have cost him cool points) and the sort of manufactured motivation that Kobe Bryant would find embarrassing.  Can the artist or author ID one single “hipster” (or for that matter, a credible person) who has expressed fear of attending a Bob Schneider show, or more to the point, experienced being shunned as the result of doing so?  Couldn’t it be more likely that despite being quite popular by regional standards, Schneider is polarizing and many of those who’d sooner guzzle draino than listed to his horrible music are from more than one easily ID’d demographic?  Couldn’t it be as simple as hip-or-not, some people just think he sucks?

b) Schneider doesn’t owe his career to Sandra Bullock because he was in loads of terrible projects before and since.

I’m OK with this, actually. But it doesn’t help Corcoran’s case that Bullock’s name is dropped no fewer than 3 times in the article (there’s a picture of her, too).  Look, I can totally believe that Bob Schneider didn’t sleep his way to the middle.  But it’s kind of grim that someone trying to make a case for him can’t do so without bringing it up.

c) he’s a responsible 46 year old because he turned down a chance to nail “the sexiest, most overserved woman in the joint” (described by Michael Corcoran, as “tonight’s Tara Reid”)

That the author thought this was a noteworthy moment says a little more about him than Schneider.  Would it have been more or less noble if Schneider had turned down someone who didn’t remind Corcoran of Tara Reid?

d) Eschewing meet & greets, watching opening bands or hanging around a merch table like some kind of boob,  Schneider tends to show up for gigs minutes before taking the stage (“these days he barely says a word to bandmates…because he wants the conversation to happen musically…like a boxer who abstains from sex before a big fight to conserve his savage energy”)

OK, there’s a music journalist living vicariously through Bob Schenider’s cock. That has already been established.  That he’d like to characterize, y’know, being an asshole, as some sort of intense- artistic-focus, is not doing the object of his admiration any favors.

VIDEO : The Gopsel Truth – “Hud”

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 1:47 pm by

Over the years, I’ve tried to maintain a Chinese Wall between Cumbucket Media’s sports division (CSTB)  and brutal exploitation of recording artists division (12XU).  Not because I am an especially ethical person, but mostly because it is fun to drop expressions like “Chinese Wall” into conversations with people who born sometime in the last half century.  How better to create an “you can’t possibly argue with me” vibe to persons complaining no one knows their new record is out than by invoking something that sounds as ominous as “CHINESE WALL”?

In this instance, however, I’ll make an exception.  Trustees guitar wiz Mike Melendi has stepped behind the camera to shoot The Gospel Truth performing “Hud” at Austin’s beloved Trailer Space, and it’s a near perfect colison of performance, composition, location and genuinely alarming images of the record store’s ceiling.   “Hud” is culled from The Gospel Truth’s forthcoming LP, ‘A Lonely Man Does Foolish Things’ (12XU 054-1), available at finer (ie. slightly cleaner) record shops on June 18, or at your doorstep just prior if you preorder from 12XU.

05.26.13

Not Coming Soon : Tony Parker’s Yelp Review Of Restaurant Iris

Posted in Basketball, Food at 3:26 pm by

Spurs PG Tony Parker famously suffered food poisoning from a dodge crème brûlée during the 2003 Western Conference Finals, and as such, the Frenchman is rather wary of dining out in opposing cities. Which makes the accusations of Memphis chef Kelly English somewhat suspicious, with Yahoo’s Marc Spears reporting the former claims Parker was denied a table at Restaurant Iris.

English, a Grizzlies fan who has the team’s “Grit, Grind” slogan written on his arm in his Twitter profile photo, then explained the decision in a subsequent tweet, saying Parker wasn’t given a table at the restaurant because he didn’t have a reservation.

Parker, however, said he ate room service dinner from his hotel while watching the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers play Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals that night. Parker said he never even left his hotel room.

“I don’t know what is going on with that, man,” Parker said before the Spurs’ practice on Sunday. “I did not do that. Can you stop doing promos? Is that a new way of doing promos? That’s a new way of doing promotion now, using my name? I did not do that.”

“I stayed in my hotel room, never called or anything,” Parker said. “…I don’t know why you [media] keep fueling that. I guess he’s going to have a lot of people now going to his restaurant because you guys keep talking about it. It’s a great way to promote it with a fake reservation.”

Because There’s Never Quite Enough Tennis Content At CSTB

Posted in History's Not Happening, Tennis, The Marketplace at 2:54 pm by

Photo courtesy the Tim Hinley Archives.

05.25.13

No One Ever Started A Sports Blog Called Kissing Tony Sirgusa…

Posted in not just a piece of meat, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 11:04 pm by

…but maybe you’d like to give it a try? Partial inspired by Duncan Keith and Don Cherry’s dual dismissal of radio reporter Kaen Thompson, The Daily Beast’s Isobel Markham muses, “As an aspiring sports reporter myself, I have often wondered where I would fit on the spectrum. Am I beautiful enough for on-camera work? Am I ugly enough to be taken seriously?” ESPNW columnist and ESPN 1000 (Chicago) mouthpiece Sarah Spain doesn’t consider these crazy questions (“society’s first way of valuing women is beauty,”).

Being attractive can cause almost as many problems for female sports journalists as being unattractive.  Spain had barely been reporting two weeks from the Blackhawks locker room in Chicago when a male veteran reporter on the same beat insinuated that she must have been sleeping with one of the players. Another mentioned to the PR department that he found her breasts “a distraction.”

Spain now works in one of the toughest fields for female sports journalists to break into: talk radio. Despite being closeted in a recording booth, her presence reduced to just a voice, she still received tough criticism that her looks got her the job. “I’m on the radio,” she said drily. “You can’t even see me.”

In fact, Spain believes the very thing that most critics find offensive about a female sports journalist on talk radio is that you can’t see her face. “A lot of men are happy to get their sports from women if they’re beautiful and they get to watch them at the same time,” she said.

This is where the sideline reporting jobs—the one spot in sports journalism increasingly reserved for women—come into the picture. “That role is either filled by actual journalists,” said espnW reporter Jane McManus, “or Miss Florida, who is, you know, an attractive young woman.”

While Spain admitted that the atmosphere today is a lot less hostile toward female sports reporters than it used to be, there’s still a struggle to find the right balance between looks and qualifications. “You can’t win either way,” she said. “Either you’re too beautiful and you don’t know what you’re talking about, or you’re too ugly and I don’t want to watch you.”

Raissman’s Annual Tease – A Yankee Universe Without Sterling & Waldman

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 10:16 pm by

Does the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman think he can just regurgitate the same column and no one will notice? In September of 2011, Raissman suggested Yankee radio rights moving to a terrestrial outlet other than WCBS would open the door to replacing play-by-play commentator John Sterling and color analyst Suzyn Waldman. Sadly for the non-deaf, WCBS remained the Yanks’ flagship station, and the Sterling/Waldman Reign Of Error continued.   In today’s paper, however, Raissman essentially makes the same prognostication.

Sterling continues messing up routine stuff (like the score or where a ball is hit) and Waldman continues cleaning up after him. This produces uncomfortable, sometimes cringe-inducing radio. It also makes it impossible to follow the game.

Sterling doesn’t paint the word picture — he finger paints it.

Still, this is their ninth season together and there’s a segment of Yankee fans that feels Ma and Pa are like family. They don’t care about the rough spots. And when it comes to baseball on the radio, the likability factor is huge. It cannot be manufactured. While it doesn’t drive the ratings, it plays a factor in keeping them healthy.

If we were calling the shots, we would keep them (we readily admit this is also because we dig writing about them).

For Sterling and Waldman, the Yankees factor is key. Despite some of the embarrassing on-air moments, the organization has always stood by them. Does that still hold true? Or as time passes has it already changed?

05.24.13

There’s A Time & Place For The Uncouth Treatment Of Nate McClouth

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior at 6:08 pm by

(insert obligatory, “who says Toronto’s not a baseball town?”)

…that time and place, of course being the NBA Playoffs and the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

Monty Hall – Former Chronicler Of NY Rangers Historic Moments

Posted in Hockey, Sports Radio at 5:44 pm by

Perhaps you’re unaware that prior to his long-running stint as host of TV game show “Let’s Make A Deal”, Monty Hall toiled for two seasons as the NY Rangers’ radio analyst on WINS.  Or maybe you already knew — and any time you wanna take over the editor’s chair, just say the word, genius. On the eve of Hall receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys,  Newsday’s Neil Best quizzes the former about his more sensational moments in the MSG booth.

Hall recalled a between-periods interview he did with coach Phil Watson early in the 1959-1960 season during which Watson ripped several players, saying of goalie Gump Worsley, “He drinks so much beer he can’t stand in that cage.”

“When the next period started, I noticed he wasn’t behind the bench,” Hall said. “[GM] Muzz Patrick fired him between periods.”

Upon Watson’s death in 1991, Patrick told The New York Times that he had to fire his old roommate and friend not because he was losing but because he “sometimes talks too much.”

Also that season, Hall was working on Nov. 1, 1959, when Jacques Plante of the Canadiens left a game against the Rangers bleeding profusely after being hit by a shot from Andy Bathgate.

Hall correctly predicted during the break while Plante was stitched up that he would return wearing the mask he had worn in warmups. So he did, and the history of goaltending changed forever as “15,000 people jumped up and booed him.”

05.23.13

Zirin On DePaul’s New House Of Hoops

Posted in College Spurts, politics at 2:31 pm by

Describing those who do the bidding of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as, “an army of zombie pigs who know how to do nothing but feed”,  The Nation’s Dave Zirin takes a dim view of Emanuel’s plans to gift DePaul University with $100 million for a new basketball arena, at the same time Chicago is closing scores of public schools and health clinics.  All of this, Zirin points out, “for a non-descript basketball team that has gone 47-111 over the last five years” (“These aren’t the actions of a mayor. They’re the actions of a mad king.”)  But hey, at least that Lollapalooza radius clause seems pretty solid.

If you want to understand why Mayor Rahm has approval ratings to rival Rush Limbaugh in Harlem, you can point to priorities like these. The school closures are taking place entirely in communities of color while the city’s elite feed with crazed abandon at an increasingly sapped trough. As Karen Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union chief who led a victorious strike last September fueled by rage at Mayor Rahm, said, “When the mayor claims he is facing unprecedented budget problems, he has a choice to make. He is choosing between putting our communities first or continuing the practice of handing out millions of public dollars to private operators, even in the toughest of times.”

It’s hardly just the labor-left of Chicago pointing out how breathtakingly heartless these priorities are. Rick Telander, the lead sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, penned a piece subtly titled, “With Rahm’s DePaul plan, we’ve entered a new arena of stupidity.” After making clear that DePaul’s team is hardly a magnet for city hoops fans, Telander wrote, “But forget that. Guess who will have to cough up about $100 million to build the thing for the private Catholic university of 25,000, through bonds and the usual sneak attacks of wallet-siphonage—Yes! Taxpayers! Ta-dah!”

The fact that Rick Telander wrote these words matters. The wine is out of the bottle and the horse is out of the barn. In 2013, it’s no longer a few of us cap-wearing Cassandras shouting that the end is nigh if we keep hollowing city budgets to pay for these monuments to corporate welfare. It’s Rick Telander. It’s the Chicago Sun-Times sports page. It’s all of us.

To Whomever Is Advising (Ft. Worth Cat) Jose Canseco :

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 2:21 pm by

….you’re doing an absolutely terrible job.   Not for the first time, Jose Canseco has forfeited the right to claim his account was hacked.