...randomness surrounding Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard, and other great indie rock bands; a quasi objective look at "my" sporting teams; the random horror film; plus other crap as we see fit...all with a Pittsburgh based feel.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bloated Stiffs Victorious

This is the post that absolutely no one will care about (unlike the majority of posts where only 1-2 people care about).

On Xmas night, the Bloated Stiffs secured a Windy City Fantasy Football League record 3rd Championship, beating the Assmunchers 57-56. YEAH BER BER!!!!!

Kudos to commish Joe Nardi for running one of the 3 best leagues in Chicago.

confidential to Big Jim & the Twins: Cough it up Chompers!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Stocking Stuffers

Our little buddy loves Christmas:

This guys does, too:

One more of Stiffler. Yes, he's a little spoiled:

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Or Happy Holidays, if that's more politically correct and less offensive to some. I would hate to come off as "offensive." This is fookin funny:

Who ever said I wasn't into the whole Xmas thing?!?! Here's another treatie from Holly Golightly, who appears to have another album coming out this March. Enjoy:

(left click to play; right click to download)
Holly Golightly - Christmas Tree on Fire

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Dark day for the taxpayers of the Burgh yesterday, in what has to be one of the biggest political shams in the city's history. For those not familiar with the whole Slots Gaming License, I'll break it down as simple as possible. These are the bare facts:

  1. Pittsburgh was awarded a "gaming license" that will allow 1 sole applicant to build a casino in Pittsburgh. That casino will have Slots Only.
  2. Pittsburgh is in dire need of a new events center type facility. Mellon Arena is 45 years old, and is no longer an option to host 15,000+ capacity events (i.e. Icecapades, wrestling, monster truck stuff, big shitty concerts, whatever). Mellon Arena is also the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  3. This new building WILL be built within the next 10 years, whether or not the Penguins are still residing in Pittsburgh.
  4. The Penguins long-term lease is about to expire in June of 2007. The current owner (Mario Lemieux's group) has been trying to sell the team, but the club's current price is too much for a team without a home.

Now here comes this gaming license, and right behind it is this big contingent of political scumbags, just waiting to get their pockets greased before their terms run out. This party of pond scum, the leader (or biggest pile of useless fungi) of which is Governor Ed Rendell, organizes this "gaming commission" that will ultimately decide on WHO gets that ONE gaming license.

There are THREE groups competing for this ONE license, one of which is the Isle of Capri. The Isle of Capri pledges this:

"If you give us the gaming license, we will give (GIVE!!!!!) the City of Pittsburgh $290 million to build a new arena."

The new building will become the new home of the Penguins as well as host events that no longer come to Pittsburgh. The other 2 applicants make no such promise. Instantly, and for good reason, the Isle of Capri becomes the public favorite.

Think of that. A city who has just built TWO new stadiums (PNC & Heinz) with the taxpayers' $$ is now offered a TAX FREE $290 million dollar building. Seems simple, but the 2 other applicants must be considered, right?

If it was that simple, the "gaming commission" would no longer have a decision to make, and their enormous salary paid by the taxpayers (and $100,000 cars) would be unjustified. So the other 2 applicants' bids must be weighed against the Isle of Capri's. And we must take years to make this decision, because it's a fairly difficult one.

Let's review what the other 2 applicants bring to the table: They offer NO building.

Instead, if they get the Slots License, then the tax payers will pay for the new $300 million facility. No problem, we've already paid for 2 others. Instead of a TAX FREE $290 building, we get the people of Pittsburgh to finance it. Makes sense to me.

Well, this type of decision was very difficult to make, or so says the dirt bags of the gaming commission. So, a new term was introduced by all of the Scum Politicians who ultimately wanted their pockets greased. That new term:


Here's what Plan B essentially says:

If Isle of Capri does not get the Slots License, then we (the crooked scumbags) will work with the winning applicant to build a new arena. And whatever that applicant doesn't pay towards that building, and then we'll get the taxpayers to pay for it. There's nothing in writing, or no actual plan, hence we call it Plan B.

"Plan B" is a nice little way to say: "Well, we tried." Ask what Plan B actually consists of, and there's nothing. It's an excuse. It's a lie. It's a complete SHAM.

But taxpayers in Pittsburgh are used to getting screwed. For example, before I'd moved to Pittsburgh, I'd never heard of an "Occupation Privilege Tax." Everyone in Pittsburgh pays $52/year out of their 1st paycheck for the privilege of having a job so that they can pay more tax.

Yes...it's a Tax for the Privilege to Pay More Tax. Seriously.

Property taxes in Allegheny County are astronomically high, despite consistent promises every year (from those same scumbags) that they will be lowered.

But that's Pittsburgh, PA. Ran by old stale slime, in a state ran by the King of Slime, Ed Rendell…slime that could care less about anything that happens outside of Philadelphia, as long as he gets his kickbacks. Between greasy Ed, the smooth talking cover-up guy County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, and 26 year old (no, that's not a misprint) Mayor Luke Ravensthal, this city continues to get driven into the dirty mucks of the Three Rivers.

Droves of young people are driven out of this decaying city every year. If you're a young goal-minded individual, chances are you'll be leaving Pittsburgh within the next few years. There are more transplanted Pittsburghians than any other kind. Hopefully, we’ll be able to join them soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We Are Marshall

Got to see the premier of "We Are Marshall" last week, courtesy of Dallas and Rivals.com. Must admit, I was a little apprehensive due to the presence of Matthew McConaughey, since he can be somewhat of a blowhard. But don't let that stand in your way of seeing this film, which I thought was wonderfully done.

And McC (not to be confused with McG who is the director) actually plays the perfect role for himself. I'd be curious to know a little about the actual Coach Lengyl, just to see how closely his character is portrayed in the film. I'd suspect McConaughey embellishes the character a little, but his quirky wack-a-doo-ness offers some well needed comic relief to this tear jerker. Yeah, I was near tear. Swelled up within the 1st 15 minutes, so kudos to 'Marshall' for that.

Must admit, I knew very little about the Marshall plane crash tragedy of 1970. But that's not entirely what this film is about. 'Marshall' deals with how the entire college campus and surrounding community was rocked by the crash, which killed 75 team members, coaching staff, supporters, and flight crew. The central focus is the resurrection Marshall's football program in the midst of this tragedy, which only had a handful of team members left (who were fortunately left behind for their final road game due to injury). 'Marshall' also presents the morale dilemma of when is it appropriate for those left behind to return to 'normalcy.'

As most know, I'm usually not a fan of these big mega-movies, and there are some of your typical sports movie cliches here, but overall I say bravo to 'We are Marshall.'

Bring tissue.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Speaking of Gangstas

This is HILARIOUS...

You Go Girl

I thought most of these NBAers were supposed to be all gat lugging gangsta-gangsta like. I'm no fighter (I'm a luva), but the above makes Carmelo Anthony look like a little beeaatch. Talk about your all time "stick and move."

I think David Stern gave him the longest suspension because of how embarrasing "Melo" looks running away. Does the NBA also have the authority to take away his man card?

Reminds me of that scene from The Holy Grail...."RUN AWAY!!!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Terms to Describe T.O.

After spitting in DeAngelo Hall's face tonight, and admitting he did so because "he kept frustrating me", you can now add SCUM BAG to the long list of expletives to describe the animal that is Terrell Owens. Is there anyone left on this earth (with any credibility) that still defends this jag off?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

GBV Live in Austin 2001

Courtesy of Rich T (which means courtesy of Bob I presume), and via GBV Database wizard Jeff W comes this little live GBV treatie. Go over to the amazing site that is the Guided By Voices Database and download the entire show (2 zip files), or listen and download individual tracks. Recorded originally on Minidisc by Albert C.

Here's just a few to wet the whistle

(left click to play; right click to download):
I Drove a Tank

Get Under It

for jim joll:
The Brides Have Hit Glass

from the 1st Encore:
Psychic Pilot Clocks Out

Thanks Rich, Abert, & Jeff!!! Entire show is over there, minus the 2nd encore (47 of 51 songs!!)

Sebadoh Reissue

Just picked up the Sebadoh III reissue a couple weeks ago, complete with the bonus "extras" disc. When "III" originally came out in 1991, it was about 2 years after Lou Barlow had been kicked out of Dinosaur Jr. I probably prefer Sebadoh's '94 record "Bakesale" over "III", but what do I know.

I've seen Sebadoh labeled "the quintessential lo-fi band of the 90's." Well, no matter what your opinion on that label is...perhaps you prefer GBV or Pavement...you still gotta admire the do-it-yerself mentality of a lot of these early indie bands, and Sebadoh rightfully deserves its lofty place in the hierarchy of early indie rock bands. At least in my humble opinion.

Anyway...here's a couple from that "extras" disc. The first is a clean remix of "Violet Execution", probably my favorite of the Eric Gaffney contributed songs. The 2nd one is the original 4-track demo of Lou Barlow's "The Freed Pig", which has Eric switching over to drums. I believe "The Freed Pig" is an ode from Lou to his angry departure from Jay Mascis & Dino Jr. Unlike his former band, Lou was allowed to contribute songs to Sebadoh, and this is one of those gems.

(left click to play; right click to download)
Sebadoh - Violet Execution

Sebadoh - The Freed Pig

There's also an interesting little "showtape '91" track on there, as well as the improvised classic "Gimme Indie Rock", and a bunch more demos. Go over to Domino Records and pick up a copy here:

Also, be sure to check out Sebadoh's site for a bunch of mp3's and other goodies. Looks like they're planning a reunion tour, with the complete classic line-up of Eric, Lou, and Jason for Spring 2007. Kick ass!


nothing to do with nothing side note: AOL's City Guide is taking votes on the Best Live Music Venue in Pittsburgh:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Position. A Memo to the Experts

Here's one from the Getting So Sick of Hearing This file:

Note to ESPN football analysts and "experts." It does NOT make you sound any more intelligent to refer to any position on a team as "The Position."

For example:

"The Tampa Bay Bucs are really struggling at The Quarterback Position."
"The Cincinnati Bengals have a lot of depth at The Wide Receiver Position."
"The Houston Texans need somebody to step up at The Running Back Position."

Just simply say...Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back. It's easy. There's no excess verbage. Adding "The Position" does NOT make you sound like any more of an expert. It pretty much makes you sound like a pompous ass.

Cc: Sean Salisbury, Mark Schlereth, Joe Thiesmann, Ron Jaworski

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Loves Me Some Me

Y'all need to notice ME!! This ain't about Ro-Mo. It's about T-O. Now pay attention to ME, please.

There's no "I" in Team. But there's a couple in Narcissism.


For those still playing the Steelers Making the Playoffs Game, here's what you're rooting for this weekend, complete with spreads & game times for the multiple TV set-DirecTV households. I retired from this game a few weeks ago, but you're still welcome to play along:
  • TENNESSEE (+3.5) over Jacksonville, Sun 1:00
  • MINNESOTA (-3) over NY Jets, Sun 1:00
  • ARIZONA (+2.5) over Denver, Sun 4:15
  • SAN DIEGO (-8) over Kansas City, Sun 8:15
  • INDIANAPOLIS (-3.5) over Cincinnati, MNF
Okay, if the Steelers win at Carolina (as a 2.5 fav), and all 5 of the above win out, I'll get more involved and we'll dulge further into the scenarios next week. Shit...they're all home teams, including 2 short dogs, so it's not that far of a stretch. Whose crazy enuff to think this can happen?


Took 3 days for me to thaw out from the Steelers / Browns game last Thursday. And once I did, I realized that Kellen Winslow Jr. is still a little punk-ass bitch boy with zero credentials to back up his forever going mouth. Nice cheap shot on Farrior, dickhead.


YO!!! The Pens / Caps game Monday was the SHIT!!!!!!!!!! Midway through the 2nd, down 4-Nil, I remarked to Jess: "Well, so much for the hype about this game." But we're true fans dammit! And besides, the only other thing on was the boring MNFer featuring the great mind of Joe Theismann.

Pens rally...Evgeni Malkin ties it at 4...stays that way to the shootout...Malkin again puts puck in net for organization...winner winner beef stroganoff dinner. I love this game.

At intermission, there was a classic interview where Alexander Ovechkin translated for Malkin. Good times.

And this just in...the Penguins beat Philly tonight....AGAIN. Sid the Kid with a 6 point night. He's only NINETEEN!!


The Red Sox just signed Hideo Nomo to $52 million over 6 years? Let's move on.


Speaking of MNF, I'd heard that Devin Hester is a prodigy of one dorky Deion Sanders. Great. I loathed the overrated clown act that was "Prime Time," and I'm sure I'll be just as fond of "Prime Time Junior." Is it really necessary to go through this whole schpeel again? At least his return skills make up for his lack of CB coverage skills.


The Chelsea / Arsenal match was the best football game of the day Sunday. Kick ass in every way, and it was a 1-1 tie.

This weekend, we get the knockout stage draw for the Champions League, to be resumed in February. My Inter Milan boys will get paired up with one of the following in the 1st round:

Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Valencia, or Lyon


Must see goal of the week, from that Chelsea/Arsenal match...less than 10 minutes left to play...Chelsea's Essien ties it 1-1 with an incredible strike. Fantastic stuff, or as Ray Hudson would say: "Orgasmic"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Frozen Tundra

If y'all don't hear from me by this weekend, that means I froze my noots off at the Steeler game tonite.

It's been fun.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Hey kids. Need to put this at the TOP of the old Netflix queue ASAP. Or go ahead and make a purchase here:

loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies

Whether you're an old skooler Pixies fan, or a young'en looking to learn a little about one of the most influential bands ever, this is must see stuff. It basically chronicles the Pixies reunion tour from 2004, but also does a great job at looking into the personal lives of Charles (aka Frank Black), Kim, Joe, and Dave. Beautiful camera work on the live concert footage.

Being a big fan, I'm probably a little biased. But this is a very nicely done piece of film. Serious Hi-Fives recommendation.

Don't skip out on the extras and deleted scenes, one of which includes a visit by Kim & Charles to the recording studio of Sigur Ros...a subtle, yet interesting encounter.

Here's a trailer:

When the Pixies last album came out (albeit, we didn't know it was the last at the time), I was renting a room off campus at Loyola University in Chicago. One of my roommates bought "Trompe le Monde." (dang, I forget that dude's name...not Tony whom I went to high school with, but the other dude). Anyway...to this day, it's still my favorite of all their stuff. Here's a couple off that album:

Pixies - Subbacultcha

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lava Lounge Thursday

This just in...Moodsickness is going back to its original name, The Moodswingers. Which means...I am the proud owner of the one and only set list from the only Moodsickness show EVER, at Folino's (Young's) a few weeks back. I will treasure it for the rest of my days.

Anyway...Jamie, Dennis, and Martin are back as The Moodswingers, and will be playing again...THIS Thursday at Lava Lounge. Word on the streets is that they'll be going on stage first @ 10:00ish. They definitely won't be playing another 2+ hour set, so get there asap.

Also playing...another band under a new name...The Hi-Speeds. Check them out over at myspace here:

Glad to see the talented Trym Killi playing again, despite the fact my good pal Ryan Moore has moved ship to Atlanta and is no longer playing with the band...formerly known as the Last Times. Rumor has it he's disappointed I didn't do my little boozy fist-point enough at their last show at the 31st Street Pub, so Ryan doesn't call or write anymore. :)

Also departed from the former line-up is their bass player Jack, so now playing bass is Martin Kantoryzk...the same Martin who plays with the Moodswingers. High demand for bass players in the Burgh.

Anyway....Trym and The Last Times kicked ass, so I'm sure The Hi-Speeds will be a rawkin good time as well. Sans Ryan.

Headlining the night, another band from the Burgh....the Cosmo Sonics, featuring former members of the The Science Fiction Idols.

Should be good times. Get out, have a piece of booze, and support local music. $4 CHEAP. 2204 East Carson. Thursday!!!

College Football is FIXED

Shamed to say it, but my favorite of all sports is rigged. Like boxing. Like professional wrestling. Like figure skating. We already knew the BCS “Championship” was a sham, but for the 1st time, the human pollsters set their own agenda, and FIXED the participants of the title game.

What’s the goal of the BCS? It’s to place the “Two Best Teams” in the Championship, no? I understand if you didn’t want to see a rematch between Michigan and Ohio St., but that personal preference is not part of the equation. The pollsters obviously didn’t want it either, which is why they rigged the final poll so that Florida would leap frog Michigan. How else do you explain Florida jumping Michigan after being behind them for 7 straight weeks?

Ask yourself this. If USC would’ve won Saturday, do you think the voters would’ve still swapped Florida ahead of Michigan from #4 to #3. Shit no, because it wouldn’t have mattered. Florida was placed ahead of Michigan because the voters didn’t want a rematch. PERIOD.

Some voters placed Michigan 4th & 5th in their ballots, just to insure they wouldn’t get into the Championship. Some coaches didn’t even vote. That my friends, is setting your own criteria…and your own agenda…to get a predetermined result = FIXED. Brenston Buckner, a voter in the Harris poll was shown on ESPN Sunday night explaining that Michigan didn’t win its conference, so that’s why he put Florida ahead of Michigan. “Not winning your conference” does not eliminate you from the formula. Just ask Nebraska from a few years ago. That precedent was already set. But Mr. Buckner, as well as countless others, set their OWN criteria to the voting process to achieve a desired result = FIXED.

Major kudos to Florida for a great season. Never would’ve thought they’d make it through that schedule in the SEC, the #1 Strength of Schedule in the land. Michigan ranked a distant 3rd in the nation…TWO whole spots behind Florida.

The fact of the matter is Michigan was clearly a better team than Florida. Just ask Vegas, the people who REALLY know the strength of a team. The line that would’ve been set for a Michigan vs. Ohio St. rematch on a neutral field:

Ohio St. -1 over Michigan

The line for the actual game, Ohio St. vs. Florida:

Ohio St. -7 over Florida

It’s clear that Michigan is a BETTER team than Florida, with a similar resume warranting a spot in the BCS Championship. But the voters didn’t want a rematch, so they rigged the voting so they wouldn’t get one.

So once again, the BCS fails. Anyone who thinks this will ever change is kidding themselves. The Major BCS Conferences own the Bowls. The Bowls have Money. And that money will never see the NCAA’s hands. So get used to it. THAT’s what this is all about. It's not about "the student athlete" playing too many games.

Oh sure, you’ll still get the BCS Committee to “tinker” with the system, as they do every year. And every year, they sell a couple people on the “better and new improved system.” But until the championship is settled on the field, there will be nothing but paper champions in NCAA Football.

I also get a kick out of the argument that this type of controversy is “good for the game” because it entices us to talk about it. If I decided to run naked down Ohio River Boulevard, I’m willing to bet it would be controversial and “people would talk about it.” Not exactly a “good” thing for me, however.

I’m not a fan of Michigan, Ohio St., or Florida. Personally, I think this was the best scenario that could’ve unfolded because it further demonstrates what a complete joke and atrocity the BCS is.


On a lighter note: BOBBY MO!!!! Rolls over Duquesne Saturday night at the Chuck 73-72, just like I predicted here last week.

Okay, I said “pummel.” Maybe a 1 point come-from-behind victory doesn’t qualify as a true “pummeling.” But a win is a win is a win. Coach Schmidt’s got the Colonial off to the best start in school history.

The sad news: I was not in attendance, as I was among all the animals and craziness looking for a Christmas tree.


TODAY: Less than 1 hour to kickoff:

2:45pm: Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich. ESPN Deportes. If you don’t get ESPN Deportes, call your local cable company and bitch them out.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pictures of You, DK

You ask and you shall receive. My long time good friend seems to like Empties Crushed, but "there are no pictures of me."

DK. I love ya. I miss ya. Next time you're taking in the rays, make sure I don't have my camera.

Nothing to do with nothing, but this song's been stuck in my head all fookin day. I don't why. Who cares. It's old skool. It rocks:

(left click to play; right click to download)
The Saints - (I'm) Stranded

Not sure what the deal is with the '(I'm)' in the title. Feels like sort of a diss to be included in parenthesis, while you're actually part of the lyrics. Would it've been too much trouble to incorporate the 'I'm' into the title without the ( )?? I think '(I'm) got jipped, personally.

More nothing to do with nothing...and courtesy of Ned's bro Tony, who I thank for the reminder of this little quote from Noel Gallagher:

"I don't ever attempt anything unless I can make it look effortless."

Well, alrighty then.

Back tomorrow with our little update on Sabina Sciubba and the Brazilian Girls, who we saw tonite at the Rex Theatre. Hell yeah Sabina!! You go girl.

editors note: that's not actually DK above. The sleepy jackson above is much too studly. Diane...don't be mad at me. Your hubby asked for it. You mess with me or the EC, you get the horns. Or something like that. I think. Whatever. I guess.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Who you Crappin?!?!

Central Michigan frosh QB Dan LeFevour
, after beating the Ohio Bobcats in the MAC Championship Thursday night, said to ESPN sideline chic Erin Andrews:

"This program's had a great tradition for a long time."

Dude. You just won the MAC Championship for the 1st time since 1994. You guys need to play on Thursday night, just to get some of us football diehards to watch the frickin game. Programs with great traditions go to the Rose Bowl. They play on New Years Day every year. They play on SATURDAY!! Just because the NCAA let you keep your "Chippewas" monacher, doesn't mean your program has a great tradition. Perhaps the Chippewa tribe does, but that's another story.

Central Michigan is about the halfway down the totem pole when I think of MAC programs. I think of that big chubby guy that coaches Toledo. I think of Urban Meyer coaching Bowling Green. I think of Miami, Ohio and Randy Walker (R.I.P.). Northern Illinois and the Huskies for chrissakes. WE ARE MARSHALL!!! But Central Michigan?!?! Are you kidding me?

Maybe someone needs to enlighten me on the long storied tradition of Central Michigan. Hey God Bless...you're going to the Motor City Bowl. I'm not ripping that, because I'm 'that guy' who will be tuning in and investing most likely. And thank you for covering the 3 last night. But that doesn't give Central Michigan a great tradition.

I know you're just a freshman coming off a fantastic year, and you had a great game, and you won this guy some $$...but Dan LeFevour...


disclaimer: the opinions of Gary on Central Michigan (and Notre Dame) do not necessarily reflect those of Empties Crushed, despite how right he is.