06.08.16

Feds : The Mets’ Most Annoying Radio Sponsor Is A Crook

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio, The Law at 7:27 pm by

Norman Seabook, President of the New York Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (AKA COBA) and a fixture on New York Mets radio broadcasts for the last 2 seasons may soon find himself facing no-foolin’ imprisonment. Just a day after 5 of Seabrook’s union members were convicted of assaulting a Riker’s Island inmate, Seabrook himself was arrested and charged with accepting bribes in exchange for investing union money with a New York-based hedge fund. From New York’s Jen Kirby :

FBI agents busted Seabroook, who’s led the 9,000-plus-member Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association for 21 years, at 6 a.m. today at his Bronx home. Another defendant, hedge-fund manager Murray Huberfeld, was also arrested in connection with this case. Seabrook is accused of steering $20 million from the corrections’ union’s pension fund into Huberfeld’s Platinum Partners firm. Huberfeld allegedly returned the favor by giving Seabrook as much as $150,000 in kickbacks, according to the New York Daily News. Both men are formally charged with honest wire fraud and conspiracy to commit honest wire fraud.

Another person — identified by sources as Jona Rechnitz, a businessman who’s also at the center of one of the inquiries into de Blasio’s fundraising — has already pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case, and is cooperating with authorities in exchange for leniency. According to the criminal complaint, Rechnitz, who was cozy with Seabrook and other high-ranking NYPD officials, introduced the two men in late 2013, after Seabrook had complained that he got no financial perks from his work investing the unions’ retirement funds. (It’s time “Norman Seabrook got paid,” he allegedly told Rechnitz.) Rechnitz acted as the go-between to deliver the alleged bribes from Huberfeld, including buying a Ferragamo bag — Seabrook’s “favorite luxury goods store,” according to the complaint — and stuffing it with $60,000 in cash to deliver to the union chief.

Mayor de Blasio condemned Seabrook in unequivocal terms Wednesday, calling the allegations “disgusting.” “It means he took money that was meant for his workers’ retirements and put it in his own pocket,” he said. Seabrook has been suspended from his post, according to the mayor’s office.

06.07.16

Tucson’s Methra : Taking “Peavey-Powered” To A Dangerous New Conclusion

Posted in record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 11:34 pm by

My first amp was a Peavey Backstage 30. I know this will come has a huge surprise to those familiar with my universally recognized virtuosity, but once upon a time my parents were fielding phone calls from aggrieved neighbors who didn’t quite understand that my pioneering attempts at turning all of the amplifier’s knobs to 10 and playing the same chord over and over again with the assistance of an MXR Distortion Plus and a guitar very similar to the one shown here deserved greater patience, if not a worldwide audience. Those days have long passed, of course, and now I’ve learned a second chord. However, the unique solid state tones of this nearly indestructible creation of amp/instrumental creator Hartley Peavey made a lasting impact on my hearing and without question that of millions of less-decorated players around the world.

Still, much as the unique sonic properties of Mr. Peavey’s amps have influenced and informed generations, I was not aware until today that there’s an active religious group worshiping him, as Gear Gods’ Trey Xavier explains (thanks to Jacob Schultz for the link) :

Methra’s new EP Acolyte is based on persistent online rumors that a cabal of top amplifier manufacturers had Hartley Peavey killed and replaced with a doppelganger in the late 80s to stop the company from collapsing the industry due to low price points on the highest quality original amplifiers in the world.

In their official video for “Hartley’s Cult”, they take the concept to new heights (lows?) by sacrificing amps made by other manufacturers and performing dark ceremonies to the lord of affordable US-made amplifiers.


Sunn O))) were unavailable for comment. Mostly because I don’t have their phone numbers.

The Flying Fists Of Manny Machado : He’s No Roughned Odor, But Not For Lack Of Effort

Posted in Baseball at 11:12 pm by

Here we go again, conflict-resolution Yordano Ventura-style.

06.06.16

Ali Vs. Inoki : The Real Entertainment Happened Before The Match

Posted in Boxing, Professional Wrestling at 10:21 pm by

In recalling Muhammad Ali’s lucrative boxer vs. wrestler clash with Japan’s Antonio Inoki in 1974, a New York Times headline writer calls the bout, “Ali’s Least Memorable Fight”. That’s some insult considering Ali’s fight history includes defeats of such non-icons as Jurgen Blin, Jean Pierre-Coopman and Rudi Lubbers, though given that Inoki spent 15 consecutive rounds crawling around on his back, perhaps it’s not too surprising. But while the Ali/Inoki meeting was an aesthetic disaster in the ring, as you’ll see from the clip below, Ali was nothing if not fully invested in the promotion of the fight :

06.05.16

No One At The Venue May Look Moving Units In The Eye

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll at 10:01 pm by

From Ovrld‘s Facebook page, 6/5/16 :

We booked a show with a trio of local acts we love supporting and SNUFF REDUX, a Seattle band we also love, and we made the call to merge it with Moving Units’ show after their opening acts had to cancel. We did this to help The Sidewinder and because we felt it would offer our bands a chance to play alongside a veteran act we greatly admire. A member of one of the local bands, schilling, took issue with this change, calling the increase in ticket price “bullshit.” We can respect someone’s frustration at a last minute ticket price change, and we even used some of our own guest lists spots to make sure all of the band’s friends got in free, but how this person behaved once he got to the venue was disrespectful and disappointing. This musician insulted Moving Units from the stage and also insulted the bands we had booked. He then ended his meltdown by smashing a venue mic against one of his amps. When we asked him to apologize to the sound personnel, he refused, then vomited all over one of his band mates in front of the venue.

Wait a minute, someone insulted Moving Units? THE Moving Units? Moving Units are gracious enough to bring their internationally acclaimed collection of haircuts to a mid-sized Austin venue and some bunch of local nobodies have the unmitigated gall to INSULT them?

I think we’re all pretty goddamn lucky Moving Units managed to look past this colossal display of immaturity and unprofessionalism and still perform at Sidewinder. At least I presume they still performed as there’s not enough money, drugs or bullets in the gun you’d have to put to my head in order to get me to ever see them again. I might’ve stopped by had I known somebody was gonna hurl over the rest of his or her band, but I’m gonna presume that was a more spontaneous gesture than talking shit about Moving Units.

Either way, we’re also super fortunate there’s a local music website devoted to upholding decorum and defending honored guests in our city. Can you imagine the fallout if word got ’round about Moving Units being verbally abused? You might think I’m kidding, but take it from a genius showbiz vet, there’s a chilling effect of sorts. One day you’re turning a blind eye to someone ridiculing Moving Units, the next you’re finding out that Sixx:A.M. can’t play the weekend of Formula One due to a “scheduling conflict.” Maybe it’s all fun and games for the rest of you puking, posturing assholes, but thank fucking christ there’s a music blog looking at the big picture and doing their part to make Austin an important destination for world-class talent.

06.04.16

Muhammad Ali

Posted in Boxing at 5:59 pm by

(photographic evidence the heavyweight division isn’t what it used to be — how come no contemporary sluggers have beat up The Libertines or The Strokes?).

As you’ve probably read, well, everywhere, 3-time heavyweight champion and civil rights advocate Muhammed Ali passed away last night at the age of 74.

Even the best Ali obits — of which this most certainly isn’t in the top 2000 — are gonna struggle to fully put the former Cassius Clay’s social and political impact in perspective because the world is so different today. Ali’s embrace of the Nation Of Islam — and insistence he be addressed by his new name wasn’t merely polarizing, it was downright terrifying to much of white America. His refusal to fight in Vietnam — a stance which cost him several of his prime fighting years — further served to vilify him in the eyes of much of the sports world, media and fans alike.

That Ali would ultimately be vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court and fight in some of the most memorable bouts of his or any generation (the first and third battle with Joe Frazier, the first of which might’ve been the most hotly anticipated sporting event in modern history) is remarkable enough, but Ali would also recapture his title against a heavily favored George Foreman in 1974 amidst a backdrop far more unique than your typical modern PPV.

None of which is to say Ali was infallible. Unquestionably of the great trash talkers of all-time, Ali’s treatment of Joe Frazier was in retrospect, inexcusable and deeply hurtful to man who also earned an important place in sports history. His 1975 battering of Chuck Wepner, despite inspiring the name of this blog, Sylvester Stalone’s creation of “Rocky” and Howard Cossel’s retirement from boxing commentary, probably never should’ve taken place. On the evidence of his losses to the lightly regarded Leon Spinks Jr. and Larry Holmes, Ali should’ve left the fight game far sooner. However, he wasn’t the first pugilist to hang around too long, and he was hardly the last, either.

It’s almost impossible to imagine any athlete — let anyone a prize fighter — meaning nearly as much to people around the world in 2016 as Muhammed Ali in his heyday. His combination of charisma, conscience, courage and wit set a bar that’s awfully high ; watching him fight was only one part of the equation.

06.02.16

You Don’t Know Shit About Selling Yourself (And NAME REDACTED Is Here To Show You How It’s Done)

Posted in record collector disease at 1:34 pm by

(above : a prior generation’s mastermind of media manipulation)

“(NAME REDACTED) is a New York-based power electronics / death industrial project, that aims to express the fatalism of all generative processes and the supremacy of death.

I am being 100% serious when I say this is the single greatest pitch for ANYTHING I have ever read. Talk about checking off ALL THE BOXES  :

1) NY Based.
This is important. New York has produced crucial musical acts ranging from Billy Joel to Murphy’s Law to Fischerspooner. Citing the NYC connection firmly puts the artist in question in a rich pantheon that includes but is not limited to Dee Snider, The Great Kat and Vatican Shadow.

2) “power electronics / death industrial”.
Many performers are loathe to paint themselves into a corner but in this instance you’re only talking about a hybrid of the two best things ever. I’m reminded of Reese’s wildly successful, “you got peanut butter in my chocolate” / “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” television spots from many years ago.

3) “the fatalism of all generative processes”.
This is something most of today’s chart toppers and critics’ faves don’t even want to address. Cowards, every one of ‘em.

4) “the supremacy of death”.
Impossible to argue with. I mean, you had me at the fatalism of all generative processes but adding the supremacy of death is just gravy. Grim, life-hating gravy.

In short, there’s somebody out there who managed to say more about their view of the world in twenty-five words than most spiels manage in thirty-five or forty. I’m in love (with these twenty five words).

06.01.16

The Licki (TM) Brush : A Sure Fire Way To Get Your Roommates To Move Out, Instantly

Posted in Cats, The Marketplace at 8:05 pm by

If you’re like me, and I suspect a few of you are, you’ve got no shortage of friends who are contending with troublesome roommates. Since you can’t simply dump a co-tenant’s shit on the sidewalk, consider the advent of the Licki Brush.  Imagine the look of sheer terror on the face or Mr. or Ms. Thing That Wouldn’t Leave when they stumble thru the front door at 1am and find you GROOMING A CAT WITH YOUR MOUTH on the living room floor.  PRESTO, you’ve got plenty of space for more records.

Or cats.  Because after word gets ’round the neighborhood, they’re all gonna be lining up for licking.

05.31.16

The Spitter’s Good : MLB’s Camo Fixation Honors No One

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, The Marketplace at 10:46 pm by

(above : despite an impressive rebound from his recent pitching struggles, Matt Harvey disrespected America’s fallen heroes yesterday by failing to wear camo sleeves)

As you probably noticed, all 30 Major League Baseball clubs donned camouflage caps and jerseys with camo lettering during Monday’s Memorial Day contests. Aside from the obvious aesthetic atrocities (not nearly as bad as Randy Myers modeling for the Cabela’s catalog, but too close for comfort), The Spitter’s Keith Good finds the camo choice, well, inappropriate.

The camo-splashed designs ignorantly disregard the spirit of Memorial Day. Dating back to the Civil War, families set aside a day to commemorate those who died in service of their country. Nothing in MLB’s camogasm costumes commemorate the fallen.

The uniforms instead fall back on the tired trope of blind military glorification. Memorial Day isn’t about glory but the somberness of men and women who left families and never returned. If baseball truly wanted to Memorialize fallen soldiers, their caps and jerseys would feature traditional memorials like poppies, gold stars, and black ribbons.

The truth is a tasteful cap, embroidered with black and poppies, probably wouldn’t move as much merch for Dick’s. Camo is a proven, profitable design. Yes, MLB is donating the profits from their camo caps to charity, but what about the countless sales partners?

Miami Sportscasters : You Want Marlins Coverage, You Got It

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 9:02 pm by

Marlins pregame host Craig Mierveri went on something of a Twitter tear last week, suggesting his colleagues in Miami sports media weren’t doing nearly enough to trumpet the accomplishments of the city’s 3rd place baseball team. New Times’ Ryan Yousefi responds, “What Minervini either misses or is incapable of seeing through his Marlins-employee goggles is that the baseball team should be thankful it gets any coverage at all. The Marlins should kiss the ground that each fan walks on,”(“the Miami Marlins as a franchise are a disgrace to the city of Miami, and most people that don’t directly work for them would much rather go about their day simply forgetting they exist.”). WPLG sports anchor Will Manso, as you can see from the video above, shares some of those sentiments.