Of newly hired Cubs manager Joe Maddon — he of the sudden exit from Tampa after Rays mastermind Andrew Friedman landed a lucrative new deal with the Dodgers — The Tampa Times’ Tom Jones writes, “wanting more financial security, wanting to call Wrigley Field his office, wanting the challenge of turning baseball’s lovable losers into champs doesn’t make him a traitor…(Maddon) gave the Rays nine good years and left the organization in far better shape than he found it. He’s not, suddenly, a bad guy.” Except Jones — who has clearly turned down dozens of opportunities to ply his trade in markets more exciting — proceeds to portray Maddon as, y’know, a very bad guy.
There’s the ugly business that Maddon appeared to have gone after a job that was already filled by someone else. It’s hard to blame the Cubs. Epstein correctly pointed out that he had an obligation to do what was best for the Cubs and, in his mind, firing first-year manager Rick Renteria and hiring Maddon was the best thing to do. Frankly, you can’t argue with that.
But did Maddon break some sort of code? Did he betray a member of the fraternity?
Yeah, it feels like it. Put it this way: I’m guessing Maddon would not have appreciated someone going after his job when he lost 101 games in his first season as a major-league manager.
It took him until the 36th and last minute on the podium during Monday’s news conference to finally get around to thanking the Rays. He spoke almost exclusively about his future with the Cubs and very little about his past with the Rays. There were no apologies, no regrets, not even an acknowledgement that many Rays fans are upset to see him go.
Indeed, you’d think Maddon could’ve managed to thank all the Rays fans individually. That would’ve taken, what, an entire 90 seconds?
I realize that most of you are feeling overwhelming with non-stop media coverage of Michael P.S. Hayes’ new single, “Why Can’t The Children Pray In School?”, so let’s take a trip back to simpler times — a DIY era before Twitter and Tumblr and Twatter ruled the day (this is sort of like the missing episode of “Sonic Highways”) (link courtesy Shawn Carpetbagger)
Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin was fined $15,000 on Monday by the NBA for making an “obscene gesture” during the Wolves’ 106-105 loss to Chicago on Saturday.
With 1:37 left in the game, Martin made a 26-foot three-pointer to give the Wolves a 102-100 lead. Running back on defense, Martin extended his arms underneath his private parts in a rhythmic celebration.
The move was reminiscent of what former Wolves guard Sam Cassell used to do after big plays during his stint in Minnesota from 2003-05.
– Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Or something like that. Curious how Hunter invokes the name of one of history’s great civil rights activists while stumping for a candidate on the basis he’d deny others their civil rights.
FC Rostov’s recently ensconced manager Igor Gamula (above) spoke to journalists following Friday’s 1-0 win over Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast, and perhaps found himself oversharing when it came time to discuss future acquisitions. From The Guardian :
Igor Gamula told local media the club had “enough dark-skinned players. We’ve got six of the things,” when asked on Friday about rumours Rostov would sign Cameroon defender Benoît Angbwa.
Gamula also said that five of his Russian players were ill and “I’m already worrying it’s Ebola”.
Rostov midfielder Moussa Doumbia is from Mali, which has seen sporadic Ebola cases, but there is no suggestion he is infected. Indeed Doumbia played for Rostov in Friday’s game.
You might remember that earlier this autumn, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon found himself the target of a discrimination suit filed by former Citi Field sales executive Leigh Castergine, who claimed the genetic lottery winner was canned after a series of in-house accolades soley because she was pregnant out of wedlock. On Friday, Wilpon — in court papers obtained by the New York Post’s Rich Calder — claimed he’d been mischaracterized :
Jeffrey I. Kohn, a lawyer for the thrifty team’s chief operating officer, said Wilpon has always shown “ long-standing support” for ex-Mets executive Leigh Castergine and that she was fired in August from her post heading ticket sales strictly because of workplace “issues and conflicts” with her immediate supervisors who didn’t include Wilpon.
“The termination of her employment was based on legitimate business reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with her gender, marital status, pregnancy or leave,” wrote Kohn, refuting allegations Castergine raised last month in a blockbuster Brooklyn federal court suit, including that Wilpon was “morally opposed” to her being pregnant and unmarried.
The suit claims that the son of Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon warned Castergine’s co-workers to refrain from taking any interest in her unborn child and even stated “in a meeting of the team’s all-male senior executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby without being married.’”
(pic courtesy Twolves Blog)
While Sixers GM Sam Hinkie continues to bet that Philly’s best chance of a future championship requires sucking-in-the-present, former head coach Larry Brown takes considerable umbrage at Hinkie’s choice of strategy, telling the Inquirer’s John N. Mitchell, “what they are doing to that city to me is mind-boggling. That’s the greatest basketball city in the world with its fans and you want them to sit back and watch you lose.”
“These analytics, they don’t mean squat to me,” Brown said. “Throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. To say that these analytics guys have the answer is crazy. It doesn’t apply to basketball. Everybody uses the data you get, but that’s what coaching is. Maybe it will work, I don’t know. But it’s a shame what those fans are going through waiting to see if it will.”
“Can you imagine telling Allen Iverson that this is a rebuilding season so we’re going to be bad on purpose?” Brown continued. “I love [Nerlens] Noel, I love Joel [Embiid]. But you can’t put that stuff into them. Again, it boggles my mind. I understand you have to get assets to get better. You get assets by developing young players, draft picks, and moving contracts. But how much teaching is going on?”
I know you’re overcome with excitement over the upcoming print editions of Bull Tongue, Fuckin’ Record Reviews and Dynamite Hemorrhage, but if you’ll indulge me for a moment, there’s a new contender for the crown of Dean Of American Rock Critics (if deans wore crowns) and that contender’s name is Bridget Clerkin of The Times Of Trenton.
On Wednesday, Clerkin made an audacious debut on the national stage with the trenchant, biting, “Hamilton metal band Lit By Darkness to headline Halloween show”. Copyright considerations prevent me from cutting and pasting the entire thing, but after reading this scintillating excerpt, I am fully confident you won’t be able to resist reading it yourself. Over and over again. And then, perhaps, to your children someday. (link courtesy Jon Solomon)
Formed by Hamilton High School West students Kyle Karaffa on drums, Chris Baughman on vocals and Tyler Maynard and recent West graduate Mark Gibbs on guitar, the band wanted to initiate a creepy vibe from the get-go, which is why they picked a mysterious name.
“It was one of those things where I was just laying in bed, trying to think of names, and I thought of this,” Maynard said. “It sounded creepy – like stinkface creepy.”
And, according to the boys, the creepy strategy paid off, helping the band secure the headlining gig on Halloween despite having only played one other show before. That show earlier this month – also at Championship – was filled with ups and downs, they said, including one of Maynard’s guitar strings snapping during the first song.
“It wasn’t the first time I had been on stage, but it was the first time I was with this band, playing original material,” said Maynard, who had previously been in a metal cover band. “I was confident in our ability.”
That self-assurance didn’t come as easily for some of the other band members, like Karaffa, who had never performed live before.
“I was definitely nervous before the show,” he said. “But after we got on stage, and the crowd was there, there was just so much energy. It was awesome.”
Prompted by Jets GM John Idzik’s Monday press conference, the New York Post’s Justin Terranova compiled “The best, worst and most bizarre press conferences in NY sports”, a top ten that included such historic moments as Omar Minaya accusing Adam Rubin of coveting a Mets job and Mike Piazza publicly declaring I LIKE GIRLS. One memorable address that Terranova somehow overlooked, however, was ex-Mets speedster Vince Coleman expressing contrition (sort of) for throwing an M-80 at a small child. From The New York Times’ Joe Sexton, June 30, 1993 :
Vince Coleman, although never specifically saying, “I’m sorry,” read a prepared statement in front of television cameras and reporters in which he termed his actions in last Saturday’s firecracker incident “very inappropriate.” It was Coleman’s first public comment since three people were injured in Los Angeles after the left fielder for the Mets threw a firecracker in a parking lot.
Bud Selig, speaking on behalf of major league baseball in the absence of a commissioner, said in a statement that the sport “deeply regrets” the incident, which sent a 2-year-old girl to the hospital with injuries to an eye, cheek and finger. Selig, the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and the chairman of baseball’s executive council, said baseball was “actively monitoring” the situation in California, where it is expected, but not certain, that criminal charges will be filed against Coleman. Selig also said baseball was “gathering information into recent alleged incidents in the New York Mets clubhouse between players and media.”
Meanwhile, Darrell J. York, the attorney for 2-year-old Amanda Santos, termed Coleman’s statement a predictable attempt to “mitigate their damages.”
Warriors co-owner Peter Guber (above) is the latest NBA exect forced to explain the contents of an internal email, after replying to a message from Golden State VP of communications Raymond Ridder who found the club’s melting pot roster (featuring Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic) a cause for celebration. From the San Jose Mercury News’ Diamond Leung :
“I’m taking rosetta stone to learn Hungarian Serbian Australian swahili and hoodish This year. But it’s nice,” Guber wrote Monday in the response obtained by Yahoo Sports.
Guber, who is Jewish, later explained that he meant to type “Yiddish” in his phone rather than “hoodish.”
The Warriors on the eve of their season opener at Sacramento threw their support behind Guber, who was part of an ownership group to purchase the team in 2010.
“I know him personally and talk to him, and it doesn’t sound like something he would say,” guard Stephen Curry said. “I know that to me it sounds like an honest mistake. I’ve read a couple emails from him, and he has a little quirkiness about how he types and that kind of deal.
Wrote Guber in a follow-up email: “Someone just brought to my attention that an email I responded to earlier contains the word ‘hoodish,’ which I don’t even think Is a Word, and certainly not the one I intended to use,” Guber wrote. “I intended to type Yiddish. Either my mobile fone autocorrected or it was typed wrong. In any event I regret if anyone was unintendedly offended.”
No credit whatsoever for the Jets’ role, however minimal, in cementing the career revival of Kyle Orton?
(above : actually a photo taken at ABC No Rio, but this seems to be how one businessman recalls the old Maxwell’s)
Hoboken, NJ’s Maxwell’s was eulogized in this space last year (“The Place That Ran Contrary To (Almost) Every Negative Rock Club Stereotype : A Fond Farewell To Maxwell’s”) thusly : “even before CBGB’s booking turned into an orgy of indifference, Maxwell’s took a curatorial approach to the old & new in a manner that respected the intelligence of the audience & performers alike. In stark contrast to barns like City Gardens or The Ritz, Maxwell’s felt like a place that was owned & staffed by persons who thought the players and paying customers were friends and peers. As opposed to, y’know, targets & tools in the all-important struggle to sell more beer.” Of course, times change, neighborhoods get pricey, and a new generation of monied types have their own ideas of what does or doesn’t constitute quality entertainment. Enter the co-owner of the new Maxwell’s, Peter Carr, whom the Hudson Reporter’s Carlo Davis credits with turning what used to be a tremendous performance space for 30 decades + of pioneering bands of local and international import into a home for “trivia, stand-up comedy and fantasy football.” For better or (mostly) worse, Carr’s decided to reintroduce live music to the mix (a random assortment of “American Idol” runner ups, cover bands and would-be Blues Hammers), though he hilariously claims, “we’re trying to get back to some of the roots of Maxwell’s”. I wonder what he thinks those roots are?
In the old days when Maxwell’s was at its height,” said Carr, “it was primarily punk rock and grunge, and that was kind of back in the day when the artists could afford to live in Hoboken. Some of that’s changed and the demographics are a lot different than they used to be so we’re trying to cater to the demographics that we see in the town.”
“It’s not an old broken down stage with PA systems and your feet sticking to the floor because the floor hasn’t been washed in two weeks,” said Carr. “The old place was a dive.”
In seeking a new upscale concept, Carr holds little nostalgia for the Maxwell’s that was. “The place has been completely redone,” said Carr. “It’s nice, it’s clean, it’s open, the food’s good, so it’s a whole different type of atmosphere than the old Maxwell’s, where you would have the people…come in and have a hamburger and drink and spill stuff all over the floor and go into the back room and jump up and down and get their ears blasted out. This is a lot higher quality.”
Alright, this (dopey) entrepreneur is more than entitled to try and make a buck however he sees fit, but any characterization of the old Maxwell’s as either a) a punk/grunge HQ or b) biohazard-central is pretty off, especially the “dive” comments. By the standards of real dives, Maxwell’s was one of the cleaner, best maintained, more hospitable live music venues in the entire country. It’s mostly the booking that made it special, but the room itself was great (the P.A., especially). Was it a “punk” club, you ask?.Only the hardest of the hardcore. I nearly sprained my ankle trying to stage dive at a Richard Thompson show ( because the entire audience was sitting quietly on the floor and I kept tripping on people).
The irony is that Carr is dissing a place that by most rock’n'roll standards (at least those for clubs too small to have VIP viewing decks) was pretty upscale (yet very welcoming to all who played or attended). It’s very likely there’s been enough turnover in Hoboken that there’s few persons remaining who’d be offended at Carr trashing a local institution that generated so much goodwill (and curiously, a brand name he still wants to milk). But it’s not great P.R., and the Hudson Reporter’s willingness to let Carr’s claims run unchallenged isn’t great journalism, either.
Alright, that’s not exactly what Barcelona/Uruguay striker Luis Suarez writes in his newly released ‘Crossing The Line : My Story’, but in an excerpt that appeared in yesterday’s Guardian, the prolific scorer/serial chomper of opponents is equal parts contrite (“I had just become a father to a young daughter, Delfina, and the thought that she would grow up to see that I had done this upset me more than anything else,”) and weirdly defiant (“banning me from all stadiums worldwide? Telling me I couldn’t go to work? Stopping me from even jogging around the perimeter of a football pitch?…I was an easy target”).
After my 10-match ban in 2013 for biting Branislav Ivanovic, I had questioned the double standards and how the fact that no one actually gets hurt is never taken into consideration. The damage to the player is incomparable with that suffered by a horrendous challenge. Sometimes English football takes pride in having the lowest yellow-card count in Europe, but of course it will have if you can take someone’s leg off and still not be booked. When they can say it is the league with the fewest career-threatening tackles, then it will be something to be proud of.
I know biting appals a lot of people, but it’s relatively harmless. Or at least it was in the incidents I was involved in. When Ivanovic rolled up his sleeve to show the referee the mark at Anfield, there was virtually nothing there. None of the bites has been like Mike Tyson on Evander Holyfield’s ear. But none of this makes it right.
Thursday’s Toronto Sun attempted to chronicle Jermain Defoe’s tricky, injury-plagued transition from the EPL to Major League Soccer, essentially calling the former West Ham/Tottenham striker a malingerer and even worse, a mamma’s boy. And what a mamma! Defoe’s mom, Sandra St. Helen (above), stands accused of having engineered her son’s previous transfer deals and allegedly, has a return to England already in the works for Toronto F.C.s very pricy acquisition. Even worse, she’s compared to Vince Carter’s mom!
Perhaps it was the specter of the Raptors-eschewing VC that drove TSN’s Kristian Jack to distraction, arguing that TFC’s burial of Defoe’s mother proves the 8-year old franchise, “still has many things to learn”.
So much for an amicable parting.
It didn’t have to end like this. Defoe’s commitment and health has been questioned by fans and many members of the media but this latest report will hurt him the most. By targeting the woman who he loves the most, the club will mean nothing to him from now on. There will be many that will be disappointed with the allegations made against his mom in the report but they should be more alarmed by the story itself.
Defoe is weeks away from becoming an ex-TFC player. Meanwhile, the club will carry on and has a reputation to rebuild. Leaks to the press about what a player has been up to when he is already leaving is nothing more than a childish way of trying to win the battle of public opinion.
Currently ensconced in Cleveland’s frontcourt, C Kevin Love makes his first person debut at Derek Jeter’s Players Tribune, taking the opportunity to salute Timberwolves fans (“thanks for not burning my jersey, you guys,”) and explain his departure in a essay that makes it clear he never believed Glen Taylor would surround him with the necessary talent.
I grew up a lot – personally and professionally – during my time with the Wolves. I’ll be the first to tell you that I didn’t always handle things perfectly. We are all unfinished products. It’s not easy to handle the disappointment of losing when you’re in your early twenties. There were times when I wasn’t easy to be around in the locker room. It’s hard to be a leader when you don’t have the model — and when you don’t have a blueprint for what winning in the NBA looks like.
But I make no excuses. I posted my best personal numbers last season, and we still didn’t make the playoffs. Some of the backlash was pretty hard to take — I learned that there is apparently such a thing as an “empty stat” (I’ll try to remember the importance of that the next time I am boxing out for a rebound against Tim Duncan).
In the end, I was given the opportunity to move on, and I took it. My decision was about wanting to win. When I think back to being a kid shooting on an eight-foot hoop in my Shawn Kemp jersey, I never dreamed about putting up a triple-double or signing a max contract. I dreamed about holding up a championship trophy. In order to get to that place, I knew that I needed to move on.
After a ten game OHL losing streak, any suggestions that Fixter chill (the fuck) out are unlikely to be well received.
After serving half of a 5 year sentence for rape, former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans celebrated his recent release from prison with a cunning alternative to a press conference ; free of pesky journalists asking tough questions, Evans instead posted a video to his website in which he a) apologized to his girlfriend for an act of infidelity (as oppposed to, y’know, a sexual assault on someone else), b) continued to insist he’d merely engaged in a consensual sex act (for which he’s also, very very sorry), and c) pledged he’d be a great guy in the community if once again, allowed to lace ‘em up as a professional soccer star.
(illustration by Ike Turner)
“We Americans, need our Crass, our Mekons, our Billy Childish, our Billy Bragg, our Chumbawumba,” so declares former “Noise The Show” host/musician/VH1 contributor/A&R fella Tim Sommer, who takes to the Brooklyn Bugle to call the new Foo Fighters song, “the most vapid, despicable, corrupt and unentertaining piece of crap I have ever heard” (“let’s use all our energy and all our connections to find a Steve Ignorant or Jon Langford or punk rock Steve Earle to climb on the cardboard Golgotha sitting on the John Varvatos cash-pile consumerist rock has become and tell this rock’n’roll Herod that his time is over.”) Lest you think these are the ramblings of some random crank as opposed to, y’know, a genuine crusader, Sommer writes, ” I owe it to every great band I ever saw, to do everything I can to call this piece of sad decay exactly what it is: a sign of the absolute rotten corruption of this genre.”
Just to be perfectly clear, it’s not Pat Smear or Taylor Hawkins that Sommer singles out for special ridicule, instead lambasting American’s Sweetheart, Dave Grohl ;
Yes, Dave Grohl, I am looking at you, because you are spewing out your ugly sub-Soul Asylum-meets-Desmond Child belch-fuel masquerading, cruelly, as PUNK ROCK… I prefer the flagrant, blatant, numbskull fakes to the vile subtle ones; any Adam Levine, proud of his Douche Fiefdom, is preferable to some half-assed watered down version of REAL.
Sommer certainly knows of what he speaks — during a previous life signing bands to major labels, he inked Levine’s pre-Maroon 5 combo, Kara’s Flowers, to an MCA deal (a factoid strangely missing from the Bugle op/ed), so he’s certainly played an active role in fashioning the Douche Fiefdom. And while Tim is hardly the first or last person to take exception to the current overload of all things Dave Grohl, it is somewhat telling what certain individuals do when they’re in a position of power and influence. Sommer sneers at Grohl hobnobbing with Chelsea Handler, but the former Dain Bramage guitarist has also used his notoriety to (for instance) shine a bright light on artists including but not limited to Ian MacKaye and Tim Kerr. I mean no disrespect to the wonderful Chubawumba back catalog when I say the rest of the world would be very, very lucky to have an Ian MacKaye or Tim Kerr.
In contrast, what did Mr. Sommer do when blessed with an opportunity to use the vast resources of a Time-Warner property? While Grohl opted for the longest EPK in music biz history (albeit one featuring interesting content that isn’t entirely about self-promotion), Sommer signed HOOTIE & THE FUCKING BLOWFISH. And he’s pretty darn pleased with his role in their ascent, too, writing in the same Brooklyn Bugle (“20 Years Ago Today I Started A Spectacular Voyage With Hootie & The Blowfish”), “we achieved the impossible, but it never seemed impossible to us. We never doubted we were doing the right thing; we simply followed the instincts in our practical and artistic hearts.”
(above : the artistically pure Darius Rucker)
“I have been asked many times how someone (uh, me) whose past musical history was so entwined with extreme forms of the artful and/or noisy could have ended up working with something so intrinsically linked with the mainstream,” because in case you’ve not been keeping track, Sommer’s musical history also includes playing in 2015 Rock & Roll Hall Fame inductees Even Worse, and a celebrated stint in NYC’s mind-blowingly pretentious Hugo Largo, a group whose old records currently crowd bargain bins not populated by the recordings of AmRep hopefuls Surgery.
(*-he’s also boasted of being a founding member of Swans, despite not having recorded or played any shows with the group. So this is right up there with my founding The Ramones and inventing Facebook).
I bring Surgery up not because I think being less of a footnote in history to that band is a special sort of insult, far from it. Rather, Sommer cites the fellow NYC quartet with no prompting in his Hootie reminiscence, claiming the Blowfish scaled the loftiest of commercial heights despite being a far lower commercial priority for Atlantic Records than the “emminently second division ‘grunge’” offerings of Surgery.
So there you have it — not only is Surgery’s Sean McDonnell (a tireless supporter of exactly the type of bands that never made the radar of Sommer and pals) no longer here to defend himself, but his band sold SIXTEEN MILLION, NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE fewer records than those terrific dudes in Hootie & The Blowfish.
Classy stuff, Tim. Y’know, I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere more than once that Dave Grohl — once dubbed a minor talent by that excellent arbiter of taste, Courtney Love — has gone awfully far in show business because of an uncanny knack for surrounding himself with iconic players and the general presumption by public & media alike that he’s an OK guy.
He’s certainly surrounded himself with a lot of talented people (which is probably preferable to surrounding yourself with schmucks). But there’s much worse things than being an OK guy. You could instead be someone nursing a bizarre 20 year grudge against an alleged grunge hegemony that made it terribly difficult for cutting edge artists like Hootie and Maroon 5 to make their important social statements.
Media critic Anita Sarkeesian recently bailed on a public speaking engagement at Utah State University after one nutcase — angered by Sarkeesian’s examination of misogyny/sexism in video game culture — promised “the deadliest shooting in American history.” I know, I know the EMP Pop Conference doesn’t get that kind of feedback. Saddened by further attacks on Sarkeesian on social media, former Minnesota Vikings punter and self-described video game enthusiast writes Chris Kluwe writes, “I hope every #Gamergater, picks up a debilitating case of genital warts.” From The Cauldron :
I am a gamer. I’ve had 24-hour LAN parties, fragging people in Duke Nukem and Quake, pounding Mountain Dew to stay awake, WinAMP playlist blasting my favorite songs at high volume. I’ve traded Nintendo Power facts and tips with my friends on the playground, and tried to figure out where the next boss was, or the best strategy to use (complete with horseshit stories from that one friend who just loved making things up and —NO!?—?you cannot save Aeris, goddammit). I’ve been made fun of by the jocks, even when I was on the football team.
Every time I see one of you slackjawed pickletits link me something like “I’m a moderate #Gamergate’r,” or “#Gamergate in sixty seconds YOUTUBE CLIP,” or “Here’s an anecdotal story from this one woman we found that completely negates an entire history of misogyny and abuse of woman, not just in videogaming but in the entirety of human existence so support the REAL GAMERS,” it pisses me the fuck off because you are ruining something I enjoy. When people?—?everyday people who watch the coverage on CNN of Anita Sarkeesian having to cancel a speaking engagement due to death threats?—?think of “gamers,” they are going to think of you, and that irritates me. It enrages me.
You, #Gamergaters, with your bilious Internet rage, you think you’re speaking for some core demographic, some historic legacy, but you’re not. You’re speaking for a lie trapped inside your mind; a lie that one somehow has to be “hardcore” in order to appreciate games; a lie formed by social ineptitude and too much time spent picturing yourself as the only creature that matters in the universe. A lie about male power and privilege, and how dare those women try to ruin your fun? (No matter whose expense you’re having it at). The lie you tell yourselves is one completely incapable of recognizing just how far society has come?—?that equality is important, and that the tech industry has been misogynistic for a very long time, and that we need to change that, and we’re in the process of doing so, despite the mouthvomits you like to pretend are logical trains of thought.
Deep apologies to Michael Jordon for paraphrasing a quote widely attributed to him that had nothing to do with Kobe Bryant. But man, how many times a calendar year do Bayless or Smith stare across the table at each other in silence and think to themselves, “man, glad I didn’t say anything nearly that stupid this morning”?
One of our more respected cultural critics recently observed that lots of couples seem to have their breakup moments on the Hotel Vegas patio, and while that’s probably the case, maybe this can be the night they realize the utter futility of their doomed relationships INSIDE while several of Austin’s finest players provide the accompaniment?
Despite John Schooley’s impressive recorded resume, his recently concluded global travels and genre-smashing skills on guitars electric and otherwise, I would be very hesitant to say that he’s “better than you”. Not even the occasion of a new John Schooley album on the Voodoo Rhythm label would cause me to make such an audacious statement.
However, as it turns out, Mr. Schooley, has not one, but TWO new full length albums to flog, the second being an acoustic collaboration with storied harmonica demon Walter Daniels. Despite this record being issued by a label that typically specializes in artists who can neither play or sing, all of the above qualify as cause(s) for celebration, and indeed, I feel very confident in saying John Schooley Is Better Than You and you’d better fucking turn up to glorify him.
Shawn David McMillen is nothing short of the Troubadour Of Tomorrow — even if I’ve been saying that since yesterday. Shawn’s songs and performances are like a goddamn life raft in an ocean of faux-psych / doofus-experimental charlatans who aren’t even qualified to make this guy a sandwich let alone pass judgement on this undiscovered/unburied national treasure.
Someon once asked me to explain what was so fucking great about Hoosier transplants turned omnipresent houserockers Church Shoes, and I’ll admit, I struggled to find the right words for a minute or so. “Great songs, crack musicianship, zero self consciousness and they’re pretty lovable.”
“But other than that, I don’t see what the big deal is”