10.07.14

Music’s Hottest Way-One Feud, UPDATED

Posted in non-sporting journalism, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 7:51 pm by

it’s almost impossible to fathom what would provoke an accomplished songwriter — an adult! — to launch an unprovoked attack on a fellow artist he had no prior beef with…and a group that had done absolutely nothing to hurt anyone else. Is he completely out of ideas? Is he desperate for attention? Is it a cynical scheme designed to stir the pot on social media?

Anyhow, I have no idea what Randy Newman’s fucking problem is. But I hear Mark Kozelek’s got a new song about the War On Drugs.

(fun fact : the original title of John Lennon’s “How Do You Sleep?” was “Paul McCartney, Suck My Cock”)

10.06.14

It Really Doesn’t Sound Worse Than “Rent” : SOE’s Ford On Stephon Marbury’s (Way) Off-Broadway Debut

Posted in Basketball, The World Of Entertainment, We Aren't The World at 10:52 pm by

Earlier this year, plans for a Chinese musical loosely based on the life story of former NBA PG Stephon Marbury (“Coming Soon To A Stage (That Probably Isn’t Anywhere Near You) : ‘I Am Stephon Marbury’”), were mentioned in this space, but suffice to say, the finished product might’ve exceeded your wildest expectations and mine.  Bejing based American journalist Will Ford took to Sports On Earth to weigh in on the opening of “I Am Stephon Marbury”, calling the show, “unlike anything I have ever witnessed.”

The story, which follows a pair of aspiring musicians trying to make it in Beijing, is a bizarre, comedic tale which forces basketball metaphors and wisdom from Marbury’s life at every chance it gets. The protagonist duo is inspired to enter a musical competition after playing a game of pickup basketball with a completely random assortment of friends. The production’s star, Mike Sui, an American actor in China with impeccable Chinese, implores, “We all have to work together, just like a basketball team.” Moved by basketball’s life lessons, the group of friends choreographs a musical dance performance with cheerleaders, basketball players dressed in Hawaiian-style uniforms, and an odd assortment of traditional Chinese costumes.

Throughout their Beijing journey, starting at the airport when they arrive on the same day as Marbury, the musicians sporadically cross paths with the All-Star. At one point, in a pedestrian underpass, Marbury asks the two broke musicians for some spare change to buy, appropriately, a subway ticket. Each time the dulang passes, his face is covered by a hoodie, leaving our aspiring musicians unsure whether the figure is Marbury. In the finale of the play, Marbury reveals himself to our two musical hopefuls, one of whom is reeling from the tragic death of his father, as was Marbury once in his own career. Like an omnipotent force of the universe, Marbury tells them he has been watching over them all along. He appears first in Mike Sui’s dream on a projector, head floating in the picture, which makes Marbury look more like a devilish overlord than an inspirational figure. But never mind: he delivers a speech, one inspirational catch phrase after another (often translated incorrectly depending on the phrase), that touch on overcoming various challenges of human existence.

Later in his recap, Ford mentions the last time he attended a play on Broadway, the Tony-award winning cast of “August Osage County”, “received many standing ovations, but not nearly as many, or as loud, as the applause that is being showered on Marbury.”

The Hillbilly Hating, War On Drugs-Baiting Mark Kozelek : Sadistic Ingrate Or Simply True To Himself?

Posted in non-sporting journalism, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 11:07 am by

(got mine in size extra surly)

Alright, I just read a long essay on a semi-popular website opining that Mark Kozelek’s War On Drugs baiting is especially undignified (he’s accused of “monetizing” the one-way feud) and represents an embarrassing, low ebb in a mostly storied career.

Keep in mind, this same internet outlet has been all too happy to publicize most of Mark’s recent outbursts on pages that feature extensive advertising.

The author seems particularly aggrieved that his personal thank-you for DECADES of obsessing over Red House Painters records, worrying about Mark’s well-being and ability to pay back taxes, etc. is the following : “his shows seemed to me increasingly sadistic in other ways: He was playing for well over two, sometimes well over three hours, which I found to be a physically punishing experience when I could neither sit down nor move in any way to the music. He refused to play large chunks of the Red House Painters catalog, and the songs he did play were reworked to the point of being unrecognizable, often stripped of their melody and sometimes, seemingly, any melody.”

Yes, how dare Kozelek torture his loyal fans by playing for a long time? How can he be so arrogant to ignore the music of a group that’s been defunct for 13 years (after having released a dozen new albums since, not counting live recordings or collaborations)?

Y’know what other songs Kozelek sometimes renders unrecognizable? Those he’s released under his own name (or that of Sun Kil Moon). Not to mention his covers of songs by the Misfits, Godflesh,Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Husker Du, John Denver, Bruno Mars, Genesis, Modest Mouse…and I don’t need to go on because the Red House Painters’ self-described “biographer” knows this laundry list as well as I do.

(if someone’s biggest takeaway from ‘Among The Leaves’ is being bummed out about the “guys in tennis shoes” line, jesus fucking christ, that’s really sad. Kozelek should title his next album ‘You’re A Very Special Person (And I Cannot Live Without Your Support)’.

But reinterpreting/dismantling his own material and that of others….to paraphrase that other great American artist, Mark Henry, that’s what Kozelek does. Whether the surliness is schtick or sadism or a little of both is open to conjecture and probably only Kozelek knows for sure. But to give him grief for not being a fucking jukebox / pro entertainer is pretty wack. Dude’s grown as an artist — doesn’t seem all of his superfans have grown as listeners.

10.05.14

Jaggar : The NFL’s Breast Cancer Intiative Is Dumb, Dangerous

Posted in Gridiron at 5:08 pm by

The National Football League’s annual month-long barrage of pink-themed merchandising to raise breast cancer awareness has been criticized in the past for a number of reasons ; for starters, the actual amount of money raised for cancer research is rather modest. And it’s been suggested more than once that such p.r. efforts serve to distract from the NFL workforce’s propensity towards, y’know, domestic violence. Writing an op-ed for Sunday’s Guardian, Karuna Jagger declares, “the NFL can add one more embarrassing oversight to its mistreatment of women: bad medical advice.”

The mainstay of the NFL’s so-called Crucial Catch program is the promotion, on-air and in stadiums, of annual mammography screening for women age 40 and over. By repeating an overly simplistic and disproven promise that “annual screening saves lives”, the NFL isn’t just failing to improve women’s health – the league is doing us a grave disservice full of medical misinformation.

By partnering with the American Cancer Society to urge women to undergo tests, the NFL is veering from professional sports empire to public health advisor. Why is the NFL giving women medical advice in the first place? The league’s claim that “annual screening saves lives” has been widely discredited by numerous studies showing that it’s not mammograms that save lives: regardless of whether breast cancer is found through an annual screening or by a woman herself, the best way to prevent death from breast cancer is by providing accessible, high-quality, evidence-based healthcare and treatment in a timely, sensitive way. Imagine seeing that on a pink NFL billboard.

In 2009, when the NFL started Crucial Catch, the evidence was clear that mammography screening had been overhyped as a solution to breast cancer. In that year, the US Preventive Services Task Force changed their recommendation that women have mammograms every one to two years starting at age 40 to every two years starting at age 50. Now, five years into the NFL’s outdated and inaccurate campaign, the evidence is even more overwhelming that early detection is a flawed strategy that distracts from meaningful solutions.

10.04.14

Colts Sponsor Refuses To Let The Atheists & Muslims Push Her Around

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 8:09 pm by


(video link courtesy Politicusus.com)

Speaking on behalf of my fellow atheists (and our partners in destroying America, the Muslims) I would like to sincerely apologize to Mrs. Lucas for forcing our beliefs on her family, friends and neighbors. You’ve probably heard about all the urinating-on-bibles us atheists have made mandatory in Indianapolis public schools, followed closely by introducing the Quran as required reading once those same students have finished pissing (that would be the handiwork of those mischievous Muslims).I feel pretty guilty about that stuff, but it’s a little late to call off the unholy dogs (so to speak) as we’ve now taken over the entire Midwest.

10.03.14

Telander To Epstein : You’re Full Of Shit

Posted in Baseball at 6:01 pm by

(sorry, any excuse to drag this clip out again)

With a roster featuring such young stars-in-the-making as Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler — not to mention the soon-to-emerge Addison Russell and Kris Bryant, one could be excused from expressing optimism in GM Theo Epstein’s long-term plan for the historically hapless Chicago Cubs. Unless, however, you buy into the cynicism of the Chicago Sun-Times’ Rick Telander, whose patience is exhausted to the point where he says of Epstein, “he’s a genius, and everyone else is dumb.”

What are three years with a record of 80 games under .500 when, by 2019, the Cubs will have a new TV deal for lots of money?

Hey, hey! That’s only five years from now. Watching Triple-A players is awesome! Anybody can win the World Series, but watching guppies develop, priceless!

Epstein said the Cubs will be better next year (worse than 73-89 should be off the table), but “we’re not going to sell out to win in 2015.’’

Why should they? Cubs fans will take anything. They are more loyal than comfort dogs. And hope? Faith? They eat that like dirt-gorging amoebas.

“I feel like most fans have put their trust in us to get this thing right and bought into the vision that we have,’’ Epstein said. Correctly.

Because that vision is out there, on the horizon, moving like the sun. Just a little farther. Always. And the Cubs fans lurch toward it, arms outstretched, half-insane with desire.

“Even if we win the World Series next year, I don’t think it represents the apex,’’ Epstein said.

Imagine that! A Cubs franchise that hasn’t won a world championship in 107 years will someday be tossing trophies around like marshmallows.

Can’t A High School Football Coach Walk His Dog In Peace?

Posted in Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten, Lower Education, Mob Behavior, The Law at 5:38 pm by

Yesterday, it was mentioned in this space that Sayreville High School (N.J.) had cancelled a Thursday night clash with South Brunswick following the arrest of defensive coordinator Charles Garcia on charges of steroid possession.  As it turns out, Garcia’s legal woes might be the least of Sayreville’s problems, as the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating alleged hazing practices within the Sayreville football program.  From MyCentralJersey’s Greg Tufaro :

Schools superintendent Richard Labbe released few details about the allegations during a news conference Friday afternoon, declining to either confirm or deny reports of hazing.

“Because this is an investigation being conducted by law enforcement, I have signed a memorandum of agreement with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, which prohibits me from conducting my own investigation until they are done with theirs,” Labbe said.

“We take a zero tolerance approach on harassment, intimidation and bullying,” he said. “The allegations are of a very serious nature. We will not stop until all of our students’ safety and welfare are established.”

“It’s not fair to the kids who had nothing to do with this,” said John Williams, father of junior DB Coray. “They worked all summer to get ready. The season just started. You’ve got seniors on the team, some preparing to go to college. This is their last season, and now they don’t know if the season is going to be canceled.”

Amy Bailey’s Mail Bag : Packer Backer Stuns World, Credits Geldings WIth Tolerance

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 3:35 pm by

The Green Bay Press Gazette’s Amy Bailey wrote on Tuesday about attending a viewing party for last Sunday’s Packers vs. Bears tilt and being privy to some less than effervescent conversation (“as the TV broadcast showed a scrum for a loose ball, a man watching with our group said, ‘It’s a big ol’ (N-word) pile’”). Today, Jim Romensko reports Bailey’s received a bit of reader mail, with the following passage composed by someone who mysteriously forgot to include his full name and address  (link courtesy : Paul Lukas) :

I am not alone in hoping the above missive was not penned by Ray Romano.

10.02.14

South Brunswick Will Play Sayreville When The Bombers Take The Needles Out Of Their Rears

Posted in Gridiron, Lower Education, Medical Science at 7:03 pm by

With apologies to Ric Flair for the above headline, it seems tomorrow night’s scheduled South Brunswick (NJ) High versus Sayerville game has been called off following the arrest of the latter’s defense coordinator.  From NJ.com’s Barry Amaral :

Charles Garcia, a South Plainfield resident, was arrested and charged with possession of steroids, testosterone and syringes after he was pulled over in Bridgewater last week, according to the report, which cited a criminal complaint in Superior Court in Somerville.

Garcia did not respond to requests for comment from NJ Advance Media.

Sayreville High cancelled the game, but did not explain why. The game, between the two Middlesex County football powerhouses, was scheduled for tonight. The freshman game today and junior varsity game on Monday were also cancelled.

“While we understand that this action causes great disappointment for the Sayreville community and that there’s going to be a curiosity to want to know more information, at this time we’ve been advised that it’s just not in the best interest of the students or the district to share more information,” board vice president Beth DePinto previously said.

10.01.14

One Man’s Battle Against (The Great) Depression

Posted in Austin, Professional Wrestling at 7:05 pm by

Tickets for Inspire Pro’s Battle Wars this Sunday night — featuring a plethora of visiting superstars from Chikara Pro are in short supply but still available here.

Move Over, Thought Catalog : Jeter’s New, Unfiltered Web Venture

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, The Internet at 6:03 pm by

Former Yankee SS Derek Jeter, whose glittering big league career was littered with uninteresting, noncommittal replies to media inquiries, has announced he’ll be the front man for an internet publishing venture, “The Player’s Tribune”, which the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir reports will feature, “first-person accounts, videos, podcasts, photographs and polls on the site.” Kind of like most other sports sites, only without those pesky journalists (and their qualifications) throwing their ugly biases into the mix!

“I realize I’ve been guarded,” Jeter wrote. “I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer. I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions.

“I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows.’ Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions.

“We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.”

Who Knew “Carmelo, You Fucking Suck” Was Grounds For Ejection At MSG?

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression at 2:05 pm by

The New York Post’s Julia Marsh reports a former ING broker claims he was ejected, arrested and eventually lost his job over taunting Knicks F Carmelo Anthony last January. Anthony, who yesterday called himself the NBA’s “most underrated” superstar, must be pleased to know he’s stayed with an organization that values his feelings/concentation above the paying customers’ free expression.

Anthony Rotondi said he was within his rights to yell, “Carmelo, you stink!” during the final minute after the Knicks squandered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons last January.

The Knicks eked out a 89-85 win, but the financial broker from Brooklyn didn’t get to see the victory.

Security guards removed him from his fourth-row seats behind the basket, where he was watching the game with his supervisor and two clients.

Then, the MSG employees tossed him out and had him arrested for interfering with the Jan. 7 game.

A Knicks fan told The Post that Rotondi said “Carmelo you f—ing suck!” Two other fans flagged down security, who then removed Rotondi to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Word to the wise — unless you’re retired or independently wealthy, you might wanna zip it when and if you have the misfortune of seeing The Straight Shot perform.

09.30.14

I’m Getting The Distinct Impression Mike Leach Isn’t On Grindr…

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, The Internet at 5:48 pm by

…or a hetero/Juggalo equivalent.

Nets Marketing Department Found A Way To Make A Preseason Game Memorable

Posted in Basketball, We Aren't The World at 3:15 pm by

“Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), Maccabi USA, Maccabi World Union, and Maccabi Tel-Aviv will host a VIP reception before the Brooklyn Nets take on the Israeli and European hoops champions Maccabi Tel-Aviv in their first pre-season game on Tuesday, Oct. 7,” read the press release at Jewish Political News & Updates earlier this month (“the VIP reception will pay special tribute to Israeli soldiers wounded in the recent IDF Operation Protective Edge and, at the same time, to the Guest of Honor, NBA Hall of Famer, Dolph Schayes, 86, the only Jewish player to be selected as one of the 50 all-time NBA best”). Lest you think an event honoring IDF Operation Protective Edge is no big deal at a major North American sporting event, The Nation’s Dave Zirin warns, “the specter of a pro-Palestinian protest at an Israeli sporting event” is coming to Brooklyn.

I spoke to Tsvia Thier, an Israeli citizen now living in New York, who plans to be a part of whatever protest assembles outside the Barclays Center on October 7th. She said to me, “Israel dropped thousands of pounds of weapons on Gaza. More than 2,000 people died. More than 500 children were killed. There has been no justice for this. We cannot allow for these games to go forward without bearing witness…as if these criminal acts did not just take place. Our memories cannot be that short.” Thier was on her way to a meeting of the group Jewish Voice for Peace to raise plans to protest when I spoke with her.

The NBA has made no announcements to signal any effort to bring a Palestinian basketball team to the United States, despite the league’s popularity in both the West Bank and Gaza. The absence of an invitation is somewhat understandable, because, if international soccer is any guide, even if invited the players probably would not be able to attend. Surrounded by armed checkpoints, attempting to journey to the United States would be a frustrating if not fruitless act. Commissioner Adam Silver, who acted with great moral clarity during the Donald Sterling debacle, should make it his mission to invite a Palestine club team to the United States, and apply pressure to make it a reality. It would be a sign that he is willing to do what so many will not: recognize the humanity of the Palestinian people. He should also tell Maccabi that they will be delinking these NBA preseason games from Friends of the IDF

09.29.14

Not Coming To An Episode Of “Olbermann” Anytime Soon : Why Dale Berra Isn’t One Of Top 10 All-Time Yankees

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 9:10 pm by

Friday, a caller asked why Derek Jeter wore No. 2. Francesa gave a windy, condescending, expert answer: The Yankees always have given single-digit numbers to those projected for greatness.

You know why you never before knew that? Because it’s Francesa-fabricated bunk. In fact — and thanks to reader Brian Murphy for No. 2 research — between Bobby Murcer and Jeter, the Yankees issued No. 2 to Tim Foli (1984), Dale Berra (1985) and Wayne Tolleson (1986-90). All played for the Yankees after extensive careers with other teams.

Francesa, who never admits an error — in his case that would be admitting that he falsifies facts, that he’s full of it — won’t make good on this. Why should he? The tape’s lost. And either way, he’s so much better than us. – Phil Mushnick, New York Post, September 29, 2014

Much as I hate to take issue with Phil, it should be noted the Yankees have yet to award number 62 to any member of the major league roster since Joba Chamberlain’s departure for Detroit. That is, with the exception of Austin Romine, who’s changed numbers 4 times in 3 seasons because the club can’t decide which all-time great they’re modeling him after!

Jeff Kent Thinks Detroit’s Fauria Needs To Come Up With A Better Excuse

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron at 6:24 pm by

Not to get all Darren Rovell on you, but there’s a huge endorsement opportunity here.

09.28.14

Lance Stephenson : Reducing Racial Slurs By Nearly 60%

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop at 9:38 pm by

Newly acquired Hornets SG Lance Stephenson, “wants to do more than just play basketball,” writes the Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones, pointing out that Stephenson’s cover of Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” is not entirely faithful to the original :

Stephenson took the beat to the song and says in four hours he came up with his lyrics. He stripped Shmurda’s lyrics of misogyny and gun violence and replaced them with rhymes about his basketball talents, endorsements for his And 1 shoe company, reminiscing about watching Allen Iverson, his excitement to play with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and more.

Brooklyn-bred now I’m out in N.C.,” the end of the song’s first verse goes. “Me and Kemba in the backcourt n—as as dead meat/Pops held me, down kept me out the streets/They wonder how the rose grew up out the concrete…

“I’ve been ballin’ hard since like the fifth grade/Watching A.I. gettin’ 40 with the French braids/Love Indiana, I’m gonna miss some good days/Charlotte Hornet, M.J. that’s a new way.”

The song uses the N-word nine times, down 13 from the original song. Although the word is commonly used in rap as well as in many professional sports team’s locker rooms that are predominantly African-American, Stephenson said he was cognizant of the message it might send to kids who view him as a role model.

This week he released the music video, which includes him driving a Rolls Royce, wearing a retro Larry Johnson jersey and doing a dance he created called the Born Ready Dance. He blanked out the nine times he used the N-word, acknowleding its offense to others.

The Swingin’ A’s Decidedly NSFW Wild Card Celebration

Posted in Baseball at 7:46 pm by

Gertrude Stein once famously said of Oakland, CA, “there’s no there there.”  Conversely, teams merely securing an entry into a one-game playoff for further marbles are often advised to “act like you’ve been there before”.   So this might explain some of the confusing scenes that took place above.

09.27.14

Bobby Abreu Will Be Fondly Remembered…By One Big Fan In Particular

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 7:55 pm by

Incredibly, this weekend marks the final games prior to retirement for another active New York player that probably shouldn’t have been in the lineup nearly as often this season. Congrats on a nice, 18-year career, Mets OF/PH Bobby Abreu, who also holds the high honor of being the subject of one of the most visited/regurgitated CSTB posts of all-time. From July 6, 2007, “We Have No Reason To Believe Michael Kay Placed The Following Advertisement”:

On the bright side, at least somebody is doing something to ease tensions between Venezuela and the United States.

Looking for a ‘Bobby Abreu type’ ass – 30 (Upper East Side)

09.26.14

Even At 70 Years Of Age, The Funkster Is Stretching The Boundaries Of Semi-Retirement

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 7:41 pm by

I don’t know how they do things in Thunder Bay, but in Amarillo TX you don’t insult a young child’s artistic chops, and you certainly don’t diss Terry Funk. Though Hannibal’s been doing exactly that for the last two years.

Lee Elia Wants To Know : Does Hunter Pence Kiss His Mom With That Mouth?

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 3:37 pm by

One of the great orators of the modern age unburdened himself last night after the Giants clinched an NL Wild Card berth. Can you imagine how (fucking) excited Pence would be if San Francisco had actually won the division?

09.25.14

Another Important Message From The Entertainment Division of Cumbucket Media

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Internal Affairs, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 8:22 pm by

fleshlights2013 (21 of 31)

(photo by Autumn Spadaro Cali, l-r : Ussery, Steen, Vandever)

Flesh Lights‘Free Yourself’ (12XU 069-1)   In Stores November 4.

Guitarist/vocalist Max Vandever and cousin Elissa Ussery (drums/vocals) migrated from San Antonio and began their assault on Austin’s live music dumps in 2008 playing as a duo under ill-advised names including but not limited to Candle Shop & The Psychic Reader, Dead Ledger and Carousel Images. After poaching bassist/vocalist Jeremy Steen from an early lineup of The Gospel Truth, the newly dubbed Flesh Lights (this name being approved by a focus group — A PERVERTED FOCUS GROUP), the trio quickly became a fixture on whatever you-got-songs-in-my-punk / you-got-punk-in-my-songs circuit that began to coalesce around the alleged live music capital. A pile of records soon followed ; 7”’s for Twistworthy and Super Secret, a killer debut album for the former imprint in the form of 2012’s ‘Muscle Pop’, this past summer’s “No Longer” single, etc. There’s also a 2013 national tour at the behest of The Hive which briefly elevated The Flesh Lights from subterranean spots to the sort of rooms that have bouncers who lift weights, but feel free to consider that an aberration (until The Hives come back, HINT HINT)

image

Pretty early on, this trio established themselves as being songcraft devotees without much self-consciousness (and that’s not meant to be an allusion to Steen’s brief projectile vomiting streak). And while those of us who bought ‘Muscle Pop’ consider it a bona fide classic, LP #2, ‘Free Yourself’ functions as so much more than a sequel ; the band claim they told producer Evan Kleinecke to make it sound like ‘Heaven Tonight’, but they could’ve thrown in the Exploding Hearts, Dictators, Only Ones or Teenage Fanclub while they were at it. Fortunately, they didn’t — he’s being paid by the hour.

I could go on about Vandever’s ridiculous development as a guitarist, about how following this band onstage is a great way to look super feeble, but I trust a good looking, super intelligent person like yourself to eventually figure it out. Because I hate hyperbole with every bone in my body (in yours, too!), I’m dead fucking serious when I say the best things about living in America right now are universal health care, the advent of driverless automobiles and the Flesh Lights. Not necessarily in that order.

Hoping Against Hope A Rather Litigious Resident Of Taylor, TX Has No Issues Here

Posted in Baseball, record collector disease at 8:19 pm by

Kevin Niemann’s B— F— inspired stickers hailing the 2014 Orioles’ pennant chase are available from Accidental Guest.

Letha Rodman Melchior

Posted in goodbye at 3:10 pm by

Most sensible persons under the age of a thousand don’t wanna hear about how awesome things were in downtown NYC in the late ’80′s / early ’90′s. For one thing, not everything was awesome. For another, there’s actual real-life-shit happening right now all over the place that’s also worth obsessing over. But if you’ll allow me a brief bit of looking-back-indulgence, I consider myself crazy fortunate to have known so many amazing people from that era. And it never ceases to amaze me how many of those same persons have made colossal artistic strides (in more than one medium) in the decades since.

Letha Rodman Melchior
was one such person. I got to know her back in the days when my not-entirely competent band was fortunate to play several times with her far more accomplished Ruby Falls ; she without question had the kind of soul + creative mind combo that made everyone in her orbit incredibly happy to share her company.

Years later, after I’d left New York and before she’d relocated to North Carolina, Letha did the virtual elbow-in-the-ribs thing on me concerning the musical output of husband/collaborator Dan, whom at the time I was barely familiar with. People love to throw words like “prolific” or “adventurous” around (ok, maybe they don’t actually love the throwing of “adventurous” but they do it anyway) but none of that is ample warning for the dizzying amount of musical terrain he’s covered. I’ve got a shelf full of Dan’s recordings and there’s awesome surprises on every one of them.

Later still, Letha’s own works as a visual and sound artist began to emerge and no diss to Ruby Falls (whom I loved) is intended when I say she’d honed her respective crafts to a staggering degree.

Letha passed away yesterday after a cancer fight she chronicled with incredible courage, grace and wit. For those familiar with her work, the loss is big. For her family and friends, it’s incalculable. My thoughts today are with everyone who knew her and cared about her.

(donations to Letha’s health care expenses can be made here)

(addendum : though the fundraiser linked to above appears to be down at the moment —- and I’ll post a new link when or if one’s available — there’s a November 9 benefit at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade featuring a host of Letha’s New York friends and former bandmates including Versus, Antietam, the Thalia Zedek Band, the Rogers Sisters and Cynthia Nelson)

09.24.14

Leeds Owner Cellino : We’ve Got Our Watermelon!

Posted in Football at 10:24 pm by

Darko Milanic stepped down as Sturm Graz manager over the weekend after having been poached by Leeds United.  The latter’s owner, Italian businessman Massimo Cellino expressed great enthusiasm over the acquisition, with the following quotes culled by The Guardian :

The Leeds owner confirmed the former Slovenia international and “very cool guy”as the club’s manager. “Yes, we agreed a two-year deal,” Cellino told Sky Sports News. “He’s just arrived today. We’ve been waiting for him about 15 days. I don’t know [why I’ve chosen him]. The coaches are like watermelons. You find out about them when you open them. His particularly qualities? He’s good-looking, what can I tell you?

“He was a very good counterattacking defender with Partizan Belgrade and Sturm Graz, and a good coach with Maribor for four years and took the club to the Champions League and Europa League, and he made it good as player and coach and he likes the Premier League.

“He gave up his place in the Premier League in Austria to come to the Championship with Leeds, and we hope that the club in Leeds is a good chance for him to have a good team and an important club to run, so he can make us proud. He does not talk much and is very pragmatic. I like him. He is a very cool guy.”