Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brian Jonestown Massacre. Dig it.

Love the train wreck that is Anton Newcombe and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Beautiful disaster . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MSB "My Town"

In the early to mid 80's in the greater Cleveland area, a Michael Stanley Band concert tee, cut off jeans and a Tribe hat was the uniform de rigueur of the youth set. I was but a wee lad at that time but can vividly recall hearing MSB's "My Town" all over the place and as we get ready for another season of Browns Football I deemed it appropriate to share my love for the city of Cleveland along with this video.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Memories of being in the 8th grade in Northeast Ohio, having no clue about where Brooklyn was or what makes it the preferred borough in Gotham. Now, many years later, as a resident of the County of Kings I have a whole new appreciation for the two original white rappers (what? Beastie Boys? Meh.)

Watch more MTVM videos on AOL Video

Friday, July 17, 2009

It Takes Balls to Be a Browns Fan, It Takes Nothing to Be A Steelers Fan

I just realized this morning that we are only about two weeks from the opening of Browns training camp. At last we can lay to rest the disappointment that has been Indians baseball and get ready for another year of disappointment on the gridiron. Yet every year I hope, I pray, I plead to God that this is the year that we break through . . . that this is the year we beat the Steelers and make the playoffs. So with that thought in mind, I found this tear jerking video on the excellent Browns blog No Logo Needed ( I am verklempt. Browns Highlight Video - Watch the top videos of the week here

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mark Farina. House Music Legend.

I spent many a night in SF grooving to this legend. Still my favorite DJ . . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Paging Employee #8 . . . The Casinos Want Their $$$ Back

This just in: an arrest warrant has been issued for career underachieving power forward/turnover machine/machine gun Antoine Walker in Las Vegas. Seems that "Employee #8" was loaned a ton of cash by several Vegas casinos (including my favorite, far off of the strip Red Rock Casino) and has not paid back over $822,000.

He does kinda look like Chuck Barkley, doesn't he . . .

Here is the story via the Boston Globe

Gambling woes for Walker

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / July 15, 2009

Former Celtic Antoine Walker owes $822,500 to three Las Vegas casinos, according to a criminal complaint filed this week with the district attorney’s office. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting Walker, 32, is charged with three felony counts.

In addition, a warrant was issued for Walker’s arrest late yesterday.

Walker took out gambling markers at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, and Red Rock Resort worth $1 million from July 27-Jan. 19. Walker paid back $178,000 of the markers but now also owes $82,550 in fees to the district attorney’s office for executing the criminal prosecution requested by the casinos.

The complaint notes Walker obtained markers by writing 10 checks totaling $1 million from an account with insufficient funds. Six checks worth $100,000 each were signed to Caesars Palace and four worth $100,000 each were signed to Planet Hollywood and Red Rock Resort. By Nevada law, gambling debts are considered bad check cases.

Walker earned nearly $100 million in a 12-year NBA career, leaving the University of Kentucky to join the Celtics as a 20-year-old for the 1996-97 season. The next year, Walker was named an All-Star. After two more All-Star seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03), Walker was traded to the Mavericks in 2003. He was traded to the Hawks in 2004 and returned to the Celtics for a 24-game stint at the end of the 2004-05 season.

Walker then was dealt to the Heat and served as a reserve forward as Miami won the 2006 NBA title. He played the 2007-08 season with the Timberwolves but did not hook on with a team last year although he hasn’t officially retired.

Walker averaged 17.5 points in 893 career games. With the Celtics, Walker averaged 20.6 points, fourth on the team’s all-time list. Walker played in 552 games for Boston and holds team records for 3-pointers attempted in a season (645) and in a game (17) and 3-pointers in a season (222) and in a game (9, twice).

Two years ago, thieves took a car, cash, and jewelry from Walker’s suburban Chicago home while he and a relative were bound at gunpoint. In January, Walker was arrested on charges of drunken driving in Miami Beach.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wilco. July 13th. KeySpan Park. Coney Island. BK

At the Wilco/Yo La Tengo show last night at KeySpan Park in Coney Island (home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, Single A Mets affiliate) I was shocked when two different guys seemed to have either seizures or straight overdosed. I guess that at any given show people can go down but at a Monday night performance by a crew of late 30's/early 40's practitioners of a feedback drenched type of Americana I thought the crowd would be a little restrained.

The first kid fell victim to what seemed to be "a case of too much weed and nerd" and collapsed during a spirited rendition of the 1999 song "Shot in the Arm." As happens at many rock n' roll shows, the moment that the first chord was struck there appeared a spontaneous cloud of thick skunky smoke. Most of it found its origin from a huge joint held by the bespectacled kid in right front of us. Nope, he didn't pass it to anybody or even pause to enjoy the tunes. Just keep inhaling like an extra on the set of "Dazed and Confused."

Then he did a funny dance, stopped to look confused and down he went like a bag of green bricks.

The second kid, well, he was carried out from the front of the stage and looked like he might have had a date with Samael and Arturo Gatti. Pretty bad.

Regardless, the show was a good one. During the Yo La Tengo set, who I have seen countless times, we sat outside the minor league stadium on the boardwalk eating falafel from Zaytoons taking in the sweet scent off the sea. From our place behind centerfield, we could clearly hear Ira and company crushing "Tom Courtenay" and We're "An American Band" with some real sonic panache.

Once Wilco took the stage they opened with "Wilco (the song)" off of their new album before setting into a YLT inspired "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" where the absence of Jay Bennett from this spiritual plane infused a bit of poignancy into the night. I can't say that there was one song that I didn't enjoy but "Jesus Etc," "I'm Always in Love," "Handshake Drugs" and "At Least That's What You Said" really stood out. Oh, and they led the crowd on a sing-a-long of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" which was awesome.

The fact that we left before the encores (yeah, waking up at 6:30am makes going to bed at 1am seem late) and missed what I am told were epic second and third sets where Feist, a member of Grizzly Bear and the aforementioned Yo La Tengo came on stage, makes it difficult to write much more . . .

Besides the fact that I am sure I'll find a way to check out Wilco live again.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chambers + Mark Jackson = Poster

No description necessary. This dunk drives white boys like me into spontaneous orgasm.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

NYPD vs. Critical Masser

While I have ridden in my share of Critical Mass rides in SF, I have found that a large portion of the participants, with their bombast and confrontational actions, only make cyclists look bad. However, this guy didn't deserve what this cop did to him last year. Good thing that the cop was indicted and the NYPD is now being sued for $1.5 million . .

Stuntin' Like My Daddy

Never understood all the hype around Lil' Wayne . . .until I heard this track, courtesy of Greg Gillis of Girl Talk . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Inside Job at Swensons

Its surprising just how calm I was while a gun was being held, a silver one, sideways—gangsta style—in my face at 2 in the morning. That August night in the late 90's, there was a hollow mist hovering over West Akron and the Honda CRX that my fellow Swensons employee, lets call him Greg, and I sat in smelled like stale grease and fetid cheese. After a night of running around serving burgers and shakes to unappreciative cars of menacing young men there was a palpable sense of freedom. We were done for the night. No more Galley Boys to be returned half eaten, no more ten cent tips.

We were laughing as we pulled up to the bank and I opened the car door. Some customer had asked us what was bigger, a half pounder or a quarter pounder. I asked him if he would rather have a quarter or fifty cents. The plan was to speed through, drop off the nightly take for the restaurant at National City Bank’s night deposit and then try to make last call at Annabelle’s in Highland Square.

Summer nights in Akron have a cruel tendency to extract the most uncaring elements that a person has deep in themselves and expose them to the world. Perhaps the pent up depression of the long winters are at fault. Regardless, there is an unfettered beast that shows itself in the eyes and mouths of young people during the summer in that part of the world. I once fell off of a highway overpass on Route 8 in Cuyahoga Falls after drinking too much only to be laughed at by a passing car full of kids with dangling earrings and hats on backwards. Obviously I lived but I never forgot the leering faces suddenly becoming animated, twisted into high pitched laughs and devilish in their schadenfreude.

Such was this night.

When the other car pulled up I was just about to swing the door completely open but paused in confusion. There was never anybody else in the NCB parking lot when we made the Saturday night drop. I thought somebody was playing a joke on us, like Matt Bailey. Standing up erect and fully out of the car, it became apparent that I did not recognize the muted gray, late eighties Cutlass Supreme that was partially blocking the front of the CRX. A tinted window obscured my vision into the drivers side. Things speeded up like a Spike Jonze video—slow then hyper fast—and a short fat black man in a ski mask was in quickly front of me with a silver pistol aimed between my eyes.

Then everything slowed down again and I was in a zen moment, not unlike in basketball, when angles and spatial relationships are clear and relevant. I knew exactly how far the gunman was from me and how far it was to the bank exit . . . How there were no stars in the Midwestern sky and no way out. I was trapped behind half court, about 80 feet from the basket.

“Give me the bag mutherfucker!” The gunman’s voice was a low and guttural and I believed that he didn’t want me to recognize it.

For a split second, I didn’t know what bag he was talking about and just opened my eyes as wide as they would stretch and semi-shrugged my shoulders. This did not amuse him.

“Bitch I will knock you the fuck down if you don’t re-ack. Give me the mutherfuckin’ bag!”

I recall being relieved that he did not say he would shoot me and this paved the way for my sudden understanding that he wanted the restaurant’s take. About $2500 that night.

“Yeah sure, no problem. Its not my money,” I expectorated sharply. “Its in the car.”

At this point Greg tossed the bag out of the car and it landed with a metallic ping next to me on the pavement. This seemed to unnerve the gunman as he shifted his weight back and forth nervously and looked down at it.

The car window of the Cutlass rolled down enough for the driver to yell. “C’mon nigga, les go. Break these white boys off!!”

With the gun still in my face and the bag on the ground the gunman motioned me back into the car. I hated being called white boy and this pissed me off. Not only was a gun in my face but I was getting the white boy treatment. Once I had sat back down he kicked the car door close and cautiously picked up the deposit bag.

“Reach over and get the keys out. Move mutherfucker!”

At the time, I was the proud owner of a 1974 Dodge Dart where the keys to the ignition just simply came out. They just pulled straight out. I didn’t know that with 90’s Hondas one had to twist and push the ignition key to remove it. I pushed and pulled to no avail. This did not make the man with the silver gun happy and he moved closer. I prepared to be at the best pistol whipped.

“You, driver, Get the fuckin’ keys.”

Greg swiftly removed the keys and handed them to me, I guess to hand to our assailant.

“Throw em in the bushes over there, put your fuckin’ heads between your legs and count to 1000 and this will be over. You feel me?”

I did what he said but watched exactly where the keys landed in the shrubs that were next to the drive through teller window.

He got back into the car and as they drove towards us to drive away out the exit behind us, onto West Market Street, with passenger side windows sliding next to each other, I looked up and saw the gun still pointed at me. That was the only time I really became nervous. He saw me look up. There was a hate in his eyes, the hate that James Baldwin describes so well in his novels. But, as we would later find out that this was an inside job and the gunman was one of the grill guys at Swenson's, he didn't shoot.

We found the keys quickly. Very quickly. Driving back to Swensons the truth filtered into the car and all of the pent up panic put a cold sweat on my back. We were just held up. That could have been it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Rights Versus Yours

This song makes me happy . . . just like the weather in NYC this past weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dando Diddy from ABBA

As evidenced from earlier posts, I am a big fan of Evan Dando. Awesome cover of ABBA's "Knowing Me, Knowing You" here for your listening pleasure . . .