08.28.14

CSTB’s Greatest Hits (?) : Remembering A Classic Moment In Vandalism History

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 2:12 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : yesterday marked the 24th anniversary of the death of guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughn. In keeping with memorial notices around the world, your  favorite barely extant blog is republishing the following entry from December 24, 2005, “Stevie Ray Vandalized”, though you might want to visit the original to revisit some of the pithy reader commentary – GC)

Time-Warner Cable’s News 8 was on the spot early this morning, spicing up an otherwise slow local news day with the story of the 8 foot statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn being defaced.

A local correspondent who will remain nameless (in case he or she ever wants to do the weather at News 8 ) comments below :

Subject: My new hero(es)
Body: Some beautiful person and/or persons defaced the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue at Town Lake in Austin last night.

This ugly, overbearing, bronze statue has been a blistering eyesore for the tasteful masses for years now. News 8 (Time Warner’s sad 24 hour news station) covered it early this morning, revealing that the word “POSER” was painted on the front, “See you in Hell” at the base, and some unnamed profanity on the reverse. Some passerbys’ quotes include a woman in her late 40s with fashionable jogging gear: “I’m an artist, too, and I appreciate what that is, and everyone does, and — well — obviously some don’t.” (Um, what “real” “artist” is jogging at 8am?) An even older fellow, looking very confused: “I don’t know what they’re protesting against.” (I would wager that they were drunkenly protesting against mediocre, Hendrix nutsack-swinging, drug-fueled GARBAGE that is pervasively revered by the small “c” local celebrities who speak for Austin.) And finally, a random, ugly, bearded tourist from Florida: “No respect for the dead…All he did was make good music and make people happy.” (Many people take exception to this — people like myself, who, as a sign shop employee, was forced to hear his poisonous aural carrion day after fucking day on KLBJ-FM.)

I’m not glad the motherfucker’s dead, but bitches, please, this is the most overrated guitar player of all time, a product of a pissant city that thinks so highly of itself to call itself the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” His wanky, artless garbage encouraged many other morons to pick up an axe and continue the suffering he started, and make places like Antone’s be able to book filth like this 7 nights a week.

I love the Blues. I love these drunks who did this in the middle of the night. I love News 8 Austin for getting their cameras down there to shoot and record it before the City sent out their underpaid minions to wash it off around 10am. It shall live in eternity on my DVR (until I get it burned to DVD, at least).

This shall be the best Christkkkmas ever. My heart races with joy.

06.26.14

Guest Editorial : Austin Is A Wonderful Place And Luke Winkie (If That Is His Real Name) Could Not Be More Wrong

Posted in Austin, Free Expression, non-sporting journalism, Norman Wanklord, Tourism at 7:03 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, Austin music blogger / fledgling independent label operator Norman Wanklord takes a break from his own unique brand of trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary to grace the pages of CSTB with, well, even more trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary. Upon Vice’s publication of “REASONS WHY AUSTIN IS THE WORST PLACE EVER” by noted urban planning expert Luke Winkie, Mr. Wanklord politely asked….well, actually, he begged for equal time – GC)

It’s hard for me to understand why some people who have the opportunity to bring the Austin community together, a chance to foster a greater understanding and sense of harmony, instead choose to hurt others with their elitist attitude and “I’m so fucking cool” bullshit. But enough about this blog — I hear the Pavement back catalog sales aren’t what they used to be, so perhaps it will disappear, soon.

(if Austin sucks so bad, why do artists this good looking keep moving here? Answer me that, Mr. Vice Column Person)

Instead, I’d like to turn my attention to local journalist Luke Winkie, who today took to the pages of my very favorite website (after this one) to blast the people of Austin, TX as a group of smug, insincere creeps with no greater purpose beyond novelty-drink guzzling and making fun of people who are trying to make something of themselves. Certainly, I can relate to some of Luke’s claims — no one knows better than me what it is like to sacrifice for the greater good only to be roundly ridiculed. But there’s a number of cruel, destructive arguments of his that I wish to refute. Or repudiate. Or refudiate.

“Nobody Has a Clue What His or Her Job Is”

I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. When I’m not posting several dozen Soundcloud links a day, I’m teaching kids at one of Austin’s wonderful schools. If it weren’t for people like me, your future leaders would grow up with zero knowledge of the Declaration Of Independence, how many states there are in Canada and which was the best song on Belaire’s “Exploding Impacting”.

“Everyone Hates the Festivals That Pay Their Rent”

WHAAAT? Did Luke not read our comprehensive coverage of the Austin Psych Fest? Were my previews of cutting-edge talent playing SXSW some kind of secret that no one on the UT campus could access? What about the time Best Coast played Chaos In Tejas and I was the first to applaud that particular event finally booking a band I’d heard of? I LOVE FESTIVALS, and when I eventually organize my own, this entire beautiful city is invited. Except for Luke! But you won’t need an invitation because I’m not a fucking elitist!

“Barton Springs Is a Giant Toilet”

I’m sorry, but Luke’s copy-editor at Vice has let him down. I’m pretty sure that was supposed to read, “Beerland Is A Giant Toilet”.

“Emo’s Sucked”

“This awful little club had some of the best shows in the whole city, which means you were at risk of catching hepatitis every weekend.”

I guess even a smug San Diego-transplant looking to make a name for himself can’t be wrong all of the time. But why fixate on the negative, Luke? Emo’s closed years ago. Now we’ve got terrific, clean venues like Holy Mountain, Metal & Lace, the Swan Dive, etc., and like me, they’re totally committed to musical diversity and the highest standards in hygiene. In fact, we co-hosted a terrific show at Holy Mountain just last Friday that featured a number of well-groomed performers strumming guitars no harder than you’d handle a new born kitten. And unlike a new born kitten, the entire event was thoroughly germ free. No hepatitis, not even the slightest hint that sexual congress might’ve occurred anywhere in the entire world, let alone Austin.

But would Luke Winkie know the first thing about this? Of course not. He was too busy writing a hatchet job about the city that’s given him so many great opportunities.

Anyhow, I’d love to go on, but I’ve got a meeting with the parents of a kid who was caught spray-painting “fucktarded” on the side of my car (and that doesn’t even make sense, right?). The bad news is, he’s suspended from school. The good news is, he’s just been offered a column with Vice.

SEE, I CAN BE FUNNY TOO.

Thanks for your time, and keep on rockin’

04.11.14

If You Can’t Send A Boy To Camp This Summer, Can You At Least Send DJ Bud Light To The Hozac Blackout?

Posted in Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 9:12 pm by

For a variety of reasons, I’ll not be able to attend this May’s Hozac Blackout in Chicago featuring The Boys, The Dictators, Shocked Minds and A Giant Dog amongst others, but I hope to be able to live vicariously through the exploits of the gentleman pictured above.  That is, provided you do the right thing and chip in towards his travel expenses.  PERCY ROSS IS DEAD, people, don’t make Ben resort to something desperate.

10.29.13

Latroy Hawkins Shines In Audition For “Passenger 57″ Remake

Posted in Baseball, Total Fucking Terror, Tourism at 7:52 pm by

The New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert reports Mets reliever Latroy Hawkins assisted American Airlines crew in ejecting an unruly passenger from a DFW to Santiago flight Sunday evening.

“We had to subdue a guy who was upset about not being able to sit in an open seat in business class. He and flight attendant started wrestling and fell into my lap. The (flight attendant) said he needed help,” Hawkins told the Daily News via text message.

Two of Hawkins’ friends, Rodney Carter and Leonard Whittenberg helped assist the flight attendant. They held down the unruly passenger as restraints were applied. Carter and Whittenberg are part of Hawkins’ traveling group that is hunting doves.

According to a report, the flight made an unscheduled stop in Lima, Peru, then continued to Santiago; the hunting is taking place across the border in Argentina.

Not only has Hawkins proven heroic, but he’s to be applauded for his discretion ; “a guy who was upset about not being able to sit in an open seat in business class” sounds an awful lot like Jeff Wilpon.

07.03.13

Re-Welcoming Manny Ramirez To The Cultural Hotbed That Is Williamson County

Posted in Austin, Baseball, Tourism at 5:32 pm by

The Texas Rangers announced earlier today the signing of veteran outfielder/space cadet Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract.  Ramirez, most recently of Taiwan’s ED Rhinos, signed a one-year deal with Oakland in 2012, but managed just 16 singles and 3 doubles in 17 games with the A’s Sacramento affiliate before being cut.

It was during that short tenure in the Pacific Coast League that I graciously composed the following for Manny, knowing that he’d be visiting my neck of the woods.  His stay in Round Rock should be a little longer than 3 days this time, but that’s hardly guaranteed.   From CSTB, May 21, 2012 :

(possibly the only Manny who’d find himself less welcome in Round Rock, TX)

If a few hundred more fans than usual fill the stands at the Round Rock Express’ Dell Diamond tonight, it might have something to do with the presence of Manny Ramirez in the starting lineup for the visiting Sacramento River Cats (PCL, AAA). Ramirez, preparing to make his Oakland A’s debut after serving a 50 game suspension for PED usage, is not unaccustomed to enjoying the minor league experience. Since he’ll be spending a few days in Williamson County — just a stone’s throw (well, 35 minutes in shitty traffic) from CSTB HQ —- I thought it might be proper to offer some guidance on the amazing,world-class city that is Round Rock, TX.

1) HEB PLUS.

This is the biggest supermarket I’ve ever visited. They’ve got an impressive “ethnic foods” department, so if Manny needs matzoh, he’s in luck.

PROS : Fully stocked pharmacy, open til 9pm
CONS : If Manny’s wearing a hoodie, he might get shot.

2) Little Red Wagon Burgers

LRW is almost certainly one of the region’s top 250 burger establishments, and compared to the fare on offer at the Dell Diamond, Manny is far less likely to encounter food poisoning.

PROS : Several 2-3 star reviews on Yelp. Withing walking distance from HEB Plus’ pharmacy.
CONS : if Manny is seen leaving the establishment wearing a hoodie, he might be shot.

3) Ikea.

Manny will be spending a lot of time at the Emeryville, CA location, but what better way to get an early start on picking out new furniture than in the relatively calm shopping environment of the Round Rock Ikea?

PROS : Within walking distance of the Round Rock Factory Outlets
CONS : Pretty good chance Manny is getting tased in the parking lot, hoodie or not.

4) Terravista Golf Club

Chances are, Manny’s already made plans to take his River Kings teammates out for an afternoon on the links.

PROS : “This 18 hole Clifton-Ezell-Clifton design has captured the hill country beauty with views that reach 30 miles to the west. The rolling hills provide a challenging 7,200-yard layout whose 5 different tees will challenge golfers of all ages and abilities. ”
CONS : Are you kidding? They’ve got snipers on the clubhouse roof, ready and waiting.

5) Guided tour of the SST Warehouse in nearby Taylor, TX

I realize basketball is more up Greg Ginn’s alley, but I’d like to think one deeply misunderstood icon would welcome another with open arms. And perhaps Manny can snag a copy of B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?

PROS : Having earned more than $200 million in his baseball career, Ramirez might be looking to diversify his portfolio. And what could be a better investment than SST’s exciting new projects?
CONS : Have you heard B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?

And that’s pretty much it. Once upon a time, Manny could’ve sought out free wifi at Sandoro’s Coffeehouse & Cafe, but that’s no longer an option.

03.17.13

True Tales From The Depths Of SXSW Desperation

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 8:03 pm by

Late last night, internationally acclaimed rock musician Chris Lutzko and myself set off on foot from Trailer Space to try and catch the Cheater Slicks’ set at Beerland.  We were well aware we’d be running the Red River gauntlet of horrible crowds and random noise coming from all corners, but it was either that or sit around and wait for the passed out guy in the Sid Vicious tee to piss himself (trust me, it was a coin flip).

At some point around the Sheraton on 12th Street, we were accosted by a young gent who said he didn’t know the area, seemed thoroughly unfamiliar with SXSW, and claimed he’d been separated from a band that was playing somewhere downtown.

“Have you guys heard of Immortal Guardian?” No, we hadn’t.  Our new friend claimed the band in question were practitioners of “portable metal”, and were masters of the burgeoning genre known as “intense shredding”.

This was all sounding a little Faxed Head for my tastes, and when he asked if could use our phones, we both declined.

About 5 minutes later, we came upon a quintet who’d set up shop in the narrow bit of real estate between Red Eyed Fly and the Hot Dog King. Though they seemed to playing through the equivalent of an Easy Bake P.A., “intense shredding” (or at least shredding) would be an apt characterization for the path they chose to trample.  And as you might’ve already guessed, the big, light-up sign above them read, “IMMORTAL GUARDIAN”.

What can we learn from this episode?  For starters, if there’s any justice in the world, these guys passed the Red Eyed Fly audition (if not the Hot Dog King’s).  Secondly, just because a young fella is jabbering mindlessly on Austin’s busiest public thoroughfare, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to run away with your smartphone.  Or mine.

03.14.13

This Afternoon At Beerland : Our Annual Salute To The Music Indusry Scales New Heights Of Insanity

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 10:23 am by

TODAY : During an action-packed SXSW, I will contain to maintain this is the stacked bill to beat. The Austin debut of Protomartyr (!)… a victory lap for Spray Paint after a middling ‘Still Single’ review…The Golden Pelicans’ first Red River show (of the day)…the Maytag dependability of Minneapolis’ Blind Shake…the more unpredictable-than-Johnny Rodz stylings of Lafayette, IN’s TV Ghost…the two biggest things to come out of Ohio since Greg Oden, THE UNHOLY TWO and OBNOX…an early afternoon patio set by NOLA’s BUCK BILOXI & THE FUCKS…and the whole mess is topped off with a 6pm patio performance by Tempe, AZ’s masters of truth in advertising, Destruction Unit.

There’s no cover. Wristbands, badges and RSVP’s are as useful as a print edition of The Deli Austin (ie., not at all).

03.08.13

Austin Persons I’d Sooner Trust With ‘Things To Do’ Tips Than The Sword :

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 4:24 pm by

(above : the late Paul Bearer and ‘Taker, both dismayed to learn TV Torso are keeping a low profile this SXSW)

The Undertaker
Art Acevedo
Leslie’s corpse
Dan Rather
Boner Sludge
Andy Langer
Rick Perry
Luke Winkie

In all seriousness, it should come as a huge blow to Kerby Lane to learn one of history’s lamest bands believes their service sucks. Only a TV outlet owned by James Dolan would characterize The Sword as “madmen”. Though I understand they’re miffed about the late night service at Kerby Lane.

01.08.13

If You Happen To Find Yourself In The Alleged Live Music Capital Of The World This Mid-March (2013 Edition)…

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 12:20 pm by


Once upon a time, this blog was actually updated more than once every 12 hours.  Traffic rivaled that of Dino Costa’s Tumblr. Advertising revenues were routinely cracking triple figures each month, and there was even an abortive discussion with a rep from Entercom about all the profitable ways CSTB could be neutered.  Heady times to be sure, but rather than bask in cheap nostalgia, I’m instead going to drag this motherfucker into it’s 2ND DECADE OF AWESOMENESS with our 5th annual not-at-all-affiilated with SXSW free event.  Past participants have included such rock legends as Endless Boogie, The Muffs, Puffy Areolas, the Homosexuals, Wiccans, Wounded Lion, Dikes Of Holland and many others who used the occasion as a launching pad to semi-obscurity random mentions on blogs with even worse traffic than this one.

At the risk of, well, telling the truth, this year’s lineup is not only the strongest to date, it might be the greatest collection of talent ever assembled under one roof.  Think of it like a reverse version of Laurie Gallardo’s Good Music Club.   In addition to return performances from past CSTB “don’t provoke the SXSW legal dept.”show vets TV Ghost, Unholy Two and Obnox, we’ll be hosting the Texas debut of Detroit’s Protomartyr.

Spray Paint (Austin)
Protomartyr (Detroit)
TV Ghost (Lafayette, IN)
The Blind Shake (Minneapolis)
Unholy Two (Columbus)
Golden Pelicans (Orlando)
Obnox (Cleveland)

As always, there’s no cover charge, RSVP or rock biz credentials required for admission.  Just bring your shitty attitude and be prepared to spend several hours complaining about the huge clusterfuck on Red River that you willingly attended (again).

08.01.12

What’s A Little Rat Shit Between Friends? – Existence Of SF’s Tu Lan In Jeopardy

Posted in Food, Tourism at 12:55 pm by

(image taken from SF Photorama)

“Though their imperial rolls are exquisite,”  SFist’s Brock Keeling calls 6th & Market’s venerable Tu Lan Vietnamese, “a dank shit hole wrapped in rice paper and wafting piss fumes”.   It’s also one of the great cheap eating experiences in Northern California or anywhere else, but the SOMA fixture’s very existence is threatened this week by the overzealous food-gestapo calling themselves the San Francisco Health Department.  From the San Francisco Chronicle’s Craig Lee :

Health department inspectors found that Tu Lan, the famous and sometimes infamous establishment nestled in the gritty Sixth Street neighborhood south of Market Street, stored food at improper temperatures, didn’t have proper hand-washing stations, was crawling with cockroaches and mice and wasn’t bleaching its cleaning cloths.

Hungry customers calling for $5 lunch takeout Monday instead reached an answering machine message that said the restaurant had closed for a month and asked them to call back after Aug. 20 for an update.

A notice of violation dated Friday was taped to the front of the restaurant and said that Tu Lan’s permit had been suspended due to “serious or repeated” health violations and that the restaurant was closed until further notice.

Health-violation shutdowns are old news at Tu Lan, said Stephanie Cushing, a city health inspector. Tu Lan was shut down for a day or two at a time in January 2011, September 2011, April 2012 and on Friday.

Each time, inspectors found different combinations of the same health violations, including live mice and cockroaches in the cooking areas, standing water in the kitchen, improper refrigeration and unsanitary food handling.

“They had eggs sitting out for three days, four days,” Cushing said. Workers “weren’t washing their hands – they were scratching themselves and handling food.”

05.27.12

No Offense To The Lovely City Of Milwaukee, WI

Posted in Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 12:47 pm by

….but this was the first time I wished I spent the holiday weekend there. Above, Die Kreuzen reunion, Turner Hall, Saturday May 26.

05.21.12

Manny Ramirez’ Tourist Guide To Round Rock, TX

Posted in Baseball, Tourism at 2:24 pm by

(possibly the only Manny who’d find himself less welcome in Round Rock, TX)

If a few hundred more fans than usual fill the stands at the Round Rock Express’ Dell Diamond tonight, it might have something to do with the presence of Manny Ramirez in the starting lineup for the visiting Sacramento River Cats (PCL, AAA).  Ramirez, preparing to make his Oakland A’s debut after serving a 50 game suspension for PED usage, is not unaccustomed to enjoying the minor league experience. Since he’ll be spending a few days in Williamson County — just a stone’s throw (well, 35 minutes in shitty traffic) from CSTB HQ —- I thought it might be proper to offer some guidance on the amazing cultural hotbed that is Round Rock.

1) HEB PLUS.

This is the biggest supermarket I’ve ever visited.  They’ve got an impressive “ethnic foods” department, so if Manny needs to stock up on matzoh, he’s in luck.

PROS :  Fully stocked pharmacy, open til 9pm
CONS : If Manny’s wearing a hoodie, he might get shot.

2) Little Red Wagon Burgers

LRW is almost certainly one of the region’s top 250 burger establishments, and compared to the fare on offer at the Dell Diamond, Manny is far less likely to encounter food poisoning.

PROS : Several 2-3 star reviews on Yelp.  Withing walking distance from HEB Plus’ pharmacy.
CONS : if Manny is seen leaving the establishment wearing a hoodie, he might be shot.

3)  Ikea.

Manny will be spending a lot of time at the Emeryville, CA location, but what better way to get an early start on picking out new furniture than in the relatively calm shopping environment of the Round Rock Ikea?

PROS : Within walking distance of the Round Rock Factory Outlets
CONS : Pretty good chance Manny is getting tased in the parking lot, hoodie or not.

4) Terravista Golf Club

Chances are, Manny’s already made plans to take his River Kings teammates out for an afternoon on the links.

PROS : “This 18 hole Clifton-Ezell-Clifton design has captured the hill country beauty with views that reach 30 miles to the west. The rolling hills provide a challenging 7,200-yard layout whose 5 different tees will challenge golfers of all ages and abilities. ”
CONS : Are you kidding?  They’ve got snipers on the clubhouse roof, ready and waiting.

5) Guided tour of the SST Warehouse in nearby Taylor, TX

I realize basketball is more up Greg Ginn’s alley, but I’d like to think one deeply misunderstood icon would welcome another with open arms. And perhaps Manny can snag a copy of B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?

PROS : Having earned more than $200 million in his baseball career, Ramirez might be looking to diversify his portfolio. And what could be a better investment than SST’s exciting new projects?
CONS : Have you heard B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?

And that’s pretty much it.  Once upon a time, Manny could’ve sought out free wifi at Sandoro’s Coffeehouse & Cafe, but that’s no longer an option.

11.15.11

At One New York Steakhouse, There’s A Chance (Albeit Slim) That Jerry Sandusky’s Portrait Might Someday Adorn Their Wall Of Fame

Posted in Food, New York, New York, Tourism at 3:32 pm by

At the risk of sparking a real life version of Earles & Jensen’s “Ed Asner Strongest Related Idea On CD”, I wonder how the members of Cheap Trick must feel about a framed 8X10″ glossy of themselves, circa ‘In Color’, hanging adjacent to the Joseph Brooks-autograph sheet music on the back corner wall of New York’s Palm Too? The disgraced Academy Award winner would probably find himself unwelcome in many of the city’s finer eateries had he not offed himself earlier this year, but it appears that either the Palm Too is shrugging at his sex crimes, or perhaps they’ve just not considered changing the decor in several years.

06.29.11

This Saturday In Austin : A Benefit For Waxeater’s Elliott Turton

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 3:08 pm by

As you might’ve read elsewhere, Elliott Turton (above) of the touring Indiana band Waxeater was hospitalized this past Sunday night after suffering a severe electric shock while onstage at Austin’s Beerland.  As of this writing, Turton is conscious and hopefully on the way to a speedy recover at Brackenridge Hospital, just a stone’s throw from Beerland.  The venue was given the all-clear by electricians on Monday, reopened for business last night and is hosting a fundraiser for Turton this Saturday afternoon at 2pm.

CRUST ROYALTY by Wiccans

Contributing artists include Denton, TX’s Wiccans, whose fantastic new LP, ‘Skullduggery’ is out this week, local duo Air Traffic Controllers (guitarist looks familiar but I can’t quite put my finger on it), breatherholes, the new project helmed by former Wild American vocalist/guitarist Lew Houston, Quin Galavis (whose new Threadpull LP, ‘Should Have Known You’ is an early frontrunner for Austin Album of 2011) and Eric Static.  If you can’t attend, donations are being accepted via Paypal (TurtonBenefit@gmail.com).

05.24.11

Would “Those Guys” Have Had So Much Fun In A Town Not Nearly As Dull?

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV, Tourism at 3:22 pm by

“Those Guys Have All The Fun : Inside The World Of ESPN”, James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ widely leaked oral history of the 24/7 sports network hits bookstores today, and what better time could there be for the Bristol Press’ Steve Collins to consider whether or not Bristol, CT — perhaps a city lacking the sort of cultural stimuli to satisfy the likes of Steve Phillips and Sean Salisbury —  deserves such a bad rap? ““ESPN has chosen Bristol for its home even if some of its cast of characters haven’t,” declares Bristol Mayor Art Ward, a man too humble to point out his lovely town has both a Quizno’s and a Domino’s.

ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said Monday the “Bristol bashing was done by former ESPNers, many with egos larger than our small city.”

Former ESPN Chairman Steve Bornstein, for example, told authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales that Bristol is “one hundred miles from real civilization.”

He said that the result was “the kind of testosterone, jock mentality, frat house approach that’s pretty much a recipe for stupid decisions being made.”

Bornstein pinned the blame for many of the questionable activities among ESPN hotshots on Bristol itself.

“I think part of the sexual harassment stuff was location,” Bornstein said.

Ward said that blaming the company’s location for any employee issues “totally baffles me.” “That’s at best shirking the responsibility for stepping up and addressing the atrocities” that Bornstein should have been clamping down on, Ward said.|

“People locally can be assured that ESPN is appreciative of Bristol,” Soltys said.

05.18.11

If You Think This Statue Is Ugly, Wait ‘Til You See How NJ Honored Bobby Ebz

Posted in History's Not Happening, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 9:32 am by

Suddenly, Austin’s attempts to memorialize Stevie Ray Going Going Gone seem relatively tasteful by comparison.

03.20.11

The Flesh Lights’ Jeremy Steen Provides The Pithiest Commentary To Date On SXSW 2011

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 11:54 pm by

You’ve heard about the Ben Weasel impersonation of Brett Myers. You’ve read about the Vevo/Kanye/Seaholm Power Plant disaster. Maybe someone told you that SXSW organizers hope to shift the blame from serious security problems at big, splashy events and attempt to crack down on the only things keeping the fucker interesting or relevant (ie. the sort of unofficial parties / house shows that were a thousand times more fun than the lemming-fests that took place through much of downtown). And perhaps you had to listen to me moan for far too long about how The Unholy Two destroyed what’s left of my hearing / mental acuity and it’s gonna be their fault when I’m shot during a dispute at Whole Food’s.

(photo swiped from Richard at Super Secret)

But none of that really measures up to Jeremy’s take on The Week The Circus Came To Austin. The Flesh Lights’ debut LP on Twistworthy is coming soon, and I can promise you it will go down better than whatever Mr. Steen consumed Saturday afternoon.

10.28.10

Disappearance Of “Hannah Storm – The Ride”, The Least Of ESPN Zone’s Problems

Posted in Food, Sports TV, The Marketplace, Tourism at 1:31 pm by

For starters, I’d like to point out that Dave Zirin bears no responsibility for the unfortunate headline above. The closure of Disney’s ESPN Zone restaurants was already noted in this space some months ago, however, it’s The Nation’s Zirin who points out the “human collateral” involved.

 

ESPN’s mother-ship, the Walt Disney Company, made the decision to engage in some creative destruction and the ESPN Zones were just part of the fat that was trimmed. This included the very popular locale in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. But there was one problem with this hard-nosed business decision: the 150 workers in Baltimore, shocked that their high-traffic restaurant closed, were told with less than a week’s notice. Federal law, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires sixty days of notice and severance. Instead, the workers at ESPN Zone were given the bum’s rush. Even worse, many didn’t hear the wrenching news through their boss. Instead, many found out their jobs were yesterday’s news in the Baltimore Sun or even on Facebook.

Now the workers are fighting back and fighting mad. On Monday, October 25, the former employee filed a class action lawsuit against ESPN’s parent company, Disney, to get the Mouse to comply with the penalty associated with violating federal labor law. The penalty for violating the WARN Act requires that Disney pay workers for sixty days at the rate of their last paycheck. The severance that Disney offered, which is shameful, is separate from this penalty. Their attorney, Andrew D. Freeman said, “Disney’s severance payments were inadequate as a matter of law and as a matter of human decency.” The lawsuit also shines a spotlight on the most vulnerable people in today’s economy: people who live day in and day out working non-union, service industry jobs that can be here today and gone tomorrow.

10.22.10

CSTB NYC Field Trip = Garish Tourist Pics

Posted in Fashion, New York, New York, Racism Corner, Tourism at 11:00 pm by

1) Endless Boogie, Thursday afternoon at Max Fish.  Your editor used to live in a tiny closet  above this bar.  The old, ‘well, I’ve got a huge living room downstairs” line worked slightly more often then, “well, I’ve got a room upstairs.”  Back in the mid ’90′s when he wasn’t beating the skins for a far less heralded Ludlow St. rock band (or watching NY Giants exhibition games when he should’ve been onstage), E.B. drummer Harry Druzd was slinging drinks in this very tavern.  For one afternoon, anyway, the vibe was awfully familiar at the Fish, though I’m certain the influx of NYU kids and the more-money-than-brains crowd filled the room to capacity many hours later (which, to be honest, was exactly the sort of thing some of us were bitching about on the weekends 17 years ago).

2) How many people do you know who were the subject of a Solex song?  Pittsburgh’s Randy Costanza, ladies & gentlemen, shown here at the WFMU Record Fair paying tribute to an era in which the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting QB had more Super Bowl rings than rape accusations (apologies to Randy, who didn’t know I was gonna come up with this caption)

3) Randy says, “hey, you like sports, right?” Well, I used too….

4) As seen at the WFMU Record Fair, The Offense Newsletter, Jan. 29, 1988. TKA always had great taste and he was smart enough to recognize the burgeoning genius of the Leeds-based Dustdevils long before certain NYC dilettantes hopped on the background.

5) (New Era Flagship Store, West 4th St.)  Since I’m OLDER THAN DIRT, I have no idea what this cap is supposed to mean.  However, since I’m a Jewish-American, I’ll just guess the worst and declare that I support the message, however crude.

10.05.10

Never Let It Be Said That Las Vegas Isn’t A Very Glamorous Place

Posted in Internal Affairs, Tourism at 9:20 am by

Finding the above establishment didn’t totally make up for my disappointment at not securing any Las Vegas Locomotives merch at the airport gift shop, but at least I got to meet some really cool new friends. Now that I’m back in Austin, normal (?) service will resume shortly.

02.03.10

If You Happen To Find Yourself In The Alleged Live Music Capital Of The World During Mid-March (Pt. II)…

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 5:22 pm by

(clockwise : The Muffs, photo taken from Deana Flows, The Spits, TV Ghost, Awesome Color)

….you’ll be thrilled to learn that after last year’s universally beloved CSTB-sanctioned 7 band bash at Beerland, we’re returning to the scene of the crime with yet another star-studded bill. On Wednesday, March 17 from noon onwards, America’s 37th most popular sports blog is presenting The Muffs (first Austin appearance since 2004), The Spits, Woven Bones, Awesome Color, TV Ghost, Cruddy and Denton’s fantastic Uptown Bums. Admission is free and all we ask in return is that you TRY NOT TO BLOCK THE DOORWAY when a certain publisher is carrying large boxes to and from his vehicle. Is that too much to ask? Can you please attempt not to stand right in the fucking path of persons pushing inhumanly heavy objects thru the most narrow of corridors? For once in your lives?

Thank you.

12.15.09

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers From Tower Records, Nagoya

Posted in Basketball, Tourism, We Aren't The World at 11:30 pm by

Photograph by James McNew.  Assuming the shop’s action/drama section is as well stocked as their sports DVD dept., maybe there’s a laser disc of this Abel Ferrara classic?

11.13.09

Finally, I’ve Found Suitable Companions For My Brian Bannister Bobblehead

Posted in Boxing, Tourism at 1:14 pm by

I’m in Las Vegas on one of my annual (ahem) fact-finding missions this week, and though I’ve yet to secure a ticket for tomorrow night’s welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, I can happily report bobbleheads of the two combatants are available in most of the hotel gift shops for a measly $40. That’s a pretty good deal compared to the $10 commemorative Pacquiao/Cotto cans of Tecate.

05.01.09

A 49 Second Homage To The Metropolis Of The Western Reserve

Posted in Free Expression, Tourism at 12:12 pm by

 

video link courtesy Derek Erdman.  ”Our main export is crippling depression.”  Or Braylon Edwards, same thing.

04.12.09

Woodland, CA : Not Presenting Dustin Pedroia With The Key To The City

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior, Tourism at 2:12 pm by

Can you really blame the citizens of Woodland, California for being pissed off? The only time their fair city seems to make national news seems to be when members of the Pedroia family are either badmouthing the burg or facing charges of molesting children.  No further word from The Real Townie News, however.