...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, January 31, 2007

Deerhoof's John Dieterich

Just thought I'd pass along this interesting little interview fresh from Pitchfork, with Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich:

Scroll to the bottom of that same page, and you'll find an mp3 off of their latest EP, titled +81. The full length, called Friend Opportunity, was released last week. I picked up +81 last month, and if it's any indicator of what Friend is like, it sounds like Deerhoof is continuing on the same wave length as Runners Four, which some folks find to be more "accessible" than their earlier stuff. Pitchfork rates it an 8.9.

Looks like they're hitting the East Coast (DC, Baltimore, Carrboro) in February, but unfortunately will be passing up a second visit to the Burgh. And seeing the brutal turnout they had last fall at the Warhol, I don't blame them.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Get, Don't Get

Oscar time is approaching. We'll be playing catch-up on some of the 2006 releases for the next few months, and I'll try to get some recommendations out here in the process.

Here's a couple STRONG recommendations, 1 good...1 bad. Let's start with the BAD. DON'T GET:

The Black Dahlia:
More like The Black Suckia. BRUTAL!!! I know this one got bad reviews, but being a long time Brian DePalma guy, I just had to go see for myself. Please don't make the same mistake. It's a complete waste of 2+ hours.
And it really pains me to rip DePalma. I love so much of his early stuff: "Dressed to Kill", "The Fury", "Body Double", "Carrie", "Obsession", "Sisters." 1984's "Blowout" with a young John Travolta is one of my all-time favs. Shit...I even liked "Carlito's Way", which appears to be his last good effort (way back in '93).

But with "Dahlia", DePalma really hits the bottom of the barrel. We already knew that Josh Hartnett was a useless face as an actor. He's basically a better looking Keanu Reeves. But the disappointing thing about "The Black Dahlia" is the performances of otherwise brilliant (more often than not) actors like Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson, and Hilary Swank...who I all respect. They sucked, too. The writing is terrible, it's incredibly boring, it's too long. It's just a big pile of junk that you need to stay away from.

"Dahlia" is supposed to be about one of the most brutal murders in history, which leaves you thinking halfway thru, "this HAS to get better." It never does. Trust me on this one. I took the bullet for you, and wasted 2 hours of my life. Don't make the same mistake.

"The Black Dahlia" gets: The Finger

For the very GOOD, GET:

The Devil and Daniel Johnston:
At the risk of losing what little indie street cred I had, I'll admit I knew very little about songwriter/artist Daniel Johnston. I knew he was a respected songwriter from Austin (which isn't actually true, finding out he was actually born in West Virginia), and I knew he wrote the song "Speeding Motorcycle," which Yo La Tengo covered on their 1991 album Facebook.

But as far as Daniel's mental problems, I knew nothing. "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" takes you on the amazing, yet sometimes heart-wrenching, journey of Johnston, from his early childhood to current day.

Not sure if the filmmakers knew about the insane amounts of actual footage that Daniel had of his life, but they must've wet their pants when they found out exactly how much raw stuff they had to work with. It's all incorporated into the film very nicely, along with countless interviews of Johnston's friends and family.

This will easily get the nod as my Favorite Doc of 2006, and in a year that's struggled for good movies (imho), "Johnston" will most likely be in the Top 5 of my Favorite Films of '06 as well.

Trust me on this one, here's the trailer:

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

And here's that YLT cover of "Speeding Motorcycle," an oldie but goodie:

(left to click to play; right click to download)
Yo La Tengo - Speeding Motorcycle

Thursday, January 25, 2007

NFL Takes Stronger Stance on Drug Policy

The NFL and its player union yesterday announced a tougher stance on its drug policy. The league will now test for EPO, a performance enhancing drug that provides more stamina by increasing the users' number of red blood cells.

Also added to the list of banned substances is TO, the drug that makes you act like an ignorant ass bag.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Electrifying Conclusion on STARZ

HUGE NEWS, kids...so mark this down:

USA Today reports that Guided By Voices' "The Electrifying Conclusion," will be shown in its entirety on STARZ Cinema on Monday, January 29th as part of its new 'Musaic' series. For the clueless, "The Electrifying Conclusion" is the DVD showing GBV's final show ever, on New Year's Eve 2004 at the Metro, in Chicago.

Now, the listing says it will be airing "completely uncut" with all 63 songs (approx. 4 hours of rawk), but it also shows the air time as 10:00pm - 11:09pm EST, so something doesn't add up to this long-time numbers crunching guy. I will try to clarify.

But anyway...set the TiVos, the DVRs, the VCRs & Betas. You don't wanna miss this.

self-interest sidenote: I hope they don't cut the credits, because you will see yours truly under the "photographs supplied" part. Very trivial indeed, but kinda cool nonetheless. Although this may further irritate Jess, since she was the one who actually took most of our pictures (I merely sent them to the editor :)

Here's a full listing of show times that I found on the Starz website, all times EST:
  • Monday, Jan 29th - 10:00pm

  • Tuesday, Jan 30th - 8:00am

  • Friday, Feb 2nd - 6:00am

  • Saturday, Feb 10th - 8:30am

  • Wednesday, Feb 14th - 6:30am

Here's a setlist, which appropriately starts with "Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox", and never looks back:

The Electrifying Conclusion setlist, courtesy of GBVDB.com.

And here's the trailer (using Quicktime):

Electrifying Conclusion trailer

Speaking of the trailer, and the credits, this gives me a good opportunity to promote a music blog we enjoy. The gentleman who edited both of these is a friend of ours from LA, Kevin. If you haven't checked out his blog yet (listed under the links in the right sidebar here), give it a peep:

Pop Zeus

Kev throws an mp3 out there every week to enjoy, and I believe if you e-mail him, you can politely ask him to put you on his group list. He's a nice guy, so I'm sure he will. He's also a Bears fan, originally from Chicago...so he's got that going for him. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nick's Picks - Oscar Nods

Long time friend of the program, Nick Lumley, will be joining the EC over the next few months to bring us his amazing and dazzling Oscar Award insights (ok, dazzling may be a stretch). Wanted to get this out there before they're named, but here's Nick's Picks for the 2006 Oscar Nominations, which will be announced in about a 1/2 hour:


  1. The Departed
  2. Dreamgirls
  3. Babel
  4. The Queen
  5. Little Miss Sunshine

* Dark Horse - Letters From Iwo Jima


  1. Scorcese - The Departed
  2. Eastwood - Letters From Iwo Jima
  3. Inarritu - Babel
  4. Condon - Dreamgirls
  5. Del Toro - Pan's Labrynth

* Dark Horses - Fears - The Queen; Cuaron - Children Of Men


  1. Whitaker - Last King of Scotland
  2. O'Toole - Venus
  3. DiCaprio - The Departed
  4. Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
  5. Gosling - Half Nelson

* Dark Horses - DiCaprio - Blood Diamond; Cohen - Borat


  1. Mirren - The Queen
  2. Dench - Notes on a Scandal
  3. Cruz - Volver
  4. Winslet - Little Children
  5. Streep - Devil Wears Prada

* Dark Horses - Bening - Running with Scissors; Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby


  1. Murphy - Dreamgirls
  2. Nicholson - The Departed
  3. Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
  4. Pitt - Babel
  5. Walhberg - The Departed

* Dark Horses - Haley - Little Children; Affleck - Hollywoodland


  1. Hudson - Dreamgirls
  2. Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
  3. Kikuchi - Babel
  4. Barraza - Babel
  5. Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine

* Dark Horses - Blanchett - Babel; O'Hara - For Your Consideration


  1. Babel
  2. Little Miss Sunshine
  3. The Queen
  4. Volver
  5. United 93

* Dark Horses - Stranger than Fiction; Pan's Labrynth


  1. The Departed
  2. Dreamgirls
  3. Notes on a Scandal
  4. Little Children
  5. Last King of Scotland

* Dark Horses - Children of Men; The Painted Veil


  1. Volver - Spain
  2. Pan's Labrynth - Mexico
  3. The Lives of Others - Germany
  4. Days of Glory - Algeria
  5. Water - Canada

* Dark Horse - Avenue Montaigne - France

Monday, January 22, 2007

How I Met Your Mother

A quick note:

Tonight on CBS, 8:00pm EST, GBV's "Twilight Campfighter" will be appearing in the show "How I Met Your Mother." I've never watched the show personally, but we'll check it out tonite. All I know is that Doogie Howser is part of the cast.


Congrats to all my pals back home. Jess & I were rooting on the Beloved from Chicago. Wish we could've been there. Despite the fact I bleed Black & Gold, I couldn't be happier for all the Bears fandom.

Then I woke up this morning, and saw some Bears playing the "No respect" card after the game. It's bad enough that every underdog to win a frickin game nowadays claims they get "no respect," but when a FAVORITE actually claims "no one thought we could do it," I find it rather lame. C'mon Urlacher...you're better than that!! I'll be cheering on the Bears in Superbowl XLI, but please don't ruin it for me by using the "us against the world" thingy. Just go out and kick ass.

I can't wait for the day, when the "No Respect" thing actually becomes the "Anti-No Respect" thing, and we hear a winning QB say at the press conference:

"Ya know, all week long, everyone was saying how we could do it. Everyone in the world gave us way too much respect. And all 60 guys in that locker room believed it, just like you all did. We just wanted to come out, and prove that we deserved all that respect."

Anyway, don't wanna rain on the Bears parade...so Go Bears!!!!


So with New Orleans losing, does that mean we won't get our eardrums torched with "America's Team" talk for 2 weeks leading up to the Big Game? That's disappointing.


Speaking of "better than that." Reggie Bush. I love ya. And I won't go burning my replica jersey anytime soon. But act like you've been there before.

(confidential to 1 good pal: Trung Candidate never made a play like that :)


Last week, we were told the Patriots had no class. This week, Peyton Manning tells us they have a lot of class. I'm confused.


Football game of the day on Sunday was actually played in the English Premier League, at Emirates Stadium. Trailing Manchester United 1-Nil in the final 7 minutes, Arsenal gets the equalizer from the left boot of Robin van Persie (who actually started the game on the bench).

Not long afterwards, 3 minutes into stoppage time, all-world Thierry Henry proved why he is just that, heading in a gorgeous cross from Emmanuel Eboue, giving the Gunners an improbable 2-1 victory.

The Arsenal win keeps them within 1 point of 3rd place Liverpool, who had a huge win of their own over 2nd place Chelsea Saturday, 2-Nil. And more importantly, it prevents Manchester United from taking a commanding 9 point lead atop the table.

Game of the year in the EPL. Here's the highlights, 3 goals of the absolute highest quality (the 1st by Wayne Rooney is incredible as well). Check out the backwards heel-flick from Henry on Van Persie's goal. Orgasmic! Non-soccer fans: do yourself a favor and give this 2 minutes, keep an open mind, and you'll see why this is such a beautiful game.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Straight outta Brooklyn


Hey kids. Just found out about a couple of shows hitting the Burgh in early February, sure to get your boxer-briefs in a bunch. So get out your little daytimers, calendars, trinklets, and what not:

The Essex Green
Club Cafe
Tuesday, Feb 6th

Get tickets here (sorry, it's Ticketbastard) $10 Cheap (well, before the crazy fee from said Bastard), still well worth it:


The Essex Green is a bunch of fun, despite what my good pal Nick says. See...I like "fun." Nick likes to hate. Quit hating, Nick...you hater. Here's some Essex Green to wet yer whistle on:

(left click to play; right click to download)

Go over to Merge Records for a bunch more streaming mp3's:

The Essex Green - Merge Records

While you're there, pick up a copy of their last record, Cannibal Sea. Merge is so cool, they even let you bundle it with the new Camera Obscura release. Neat!

Be sure to check out more Essex Green on their MySpace page. And then join me at the intimate, beautiful setting that is Club Cafe.

Also, the following week:

The Apples in Stereo
Diesel Club Lounge
Monday, February 12

Get tickets here from Ticketbastard:

Now I believe Diesel is what used to be Nick's Fat City. And from the looks of the Diesel website, it appears it has turned into some type of club type environment. Just as well, because Nick's never booked any good acts anyways. Perhaps Diesel will start booking some better shows like the one above, because it (Nick's) was always a pretty decent venue. Never understood why they didn't do better. Oh, well. I'll be there for this one.

Check out the Apples in Stereo website or go over to their MySpace page for some samplings.

Here's some kick-ass video. I love this tune...called "Please":

In between these 2 shows, I'll be traveling to Baltimore for 1 night only to see the great Yo La Tengo at Sonar. Who's coming with me?!?!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

But it Sucks

This one goes out to my good pal Jon, and our lovely 5 a.m. discussion about what music sucks. Good times with the Kids in the Hall. HILARIOUS....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mocking Merriman (Steroid User)

I love LaDainian Tomlinson, and think he's one of the classiest guys in the NFL. But dude, your teammate Shawne Merriman (Steroid User), makes a mockery of himself every time he does that stupid little sack dance. I'm not only OK with the Patriots poking fun at Merriman (Steroid User) after the game, but I think it's pretty hilarious.

Instead of defending Merriman (Steroid User), perhaps LT should be more upset at the rest of his teammates and coaches who gift wrapped the game for New England.

Stay classy, LT.

And lights out on your season, Merriman (Steroid User).

Monday, January 15, 2007

I Am the Walrus

Watching the Bears / Seahawks game yestersay, I witnessed something I thought I'd never see...Mike Holmgren crying about a call that the officials got right. Immediately after the game Sunday, the Puffy HC was heard blaming the loss to the Bears on the Superbowl XL officiating.

As much as I can't stand Devin Hester, I'm happy for all my pals back in Chicago. Da Bears, da Bears, da Bears, da Bears, da Bears.

I'm with Stupid...

Runner up to Drayton Florence (aka "Dumb Guy" in many a San Diego living room) for the Idiot Award, has gotta be Marty Schottenheimer. Nice challenge, bean bag.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Big Boring NFL

Another weekend of football. Since it was the playoffs, I gave the NFL its proper dues. But I tuned away during 1 of its 200 commercials to watch my Inter Milan boys take down Torino (on tape delay, mind you). Every time I switched back to CBS, I found another commercial.

F&^K it. Getting tired of yawning, I finally decided to stay on the Fox Soccer Channel.

This has happened countless times this year. Thank you, Futbol.

BTW...Inter won its 12th straight, 3-1.

Oh, and a prediction on the NFL: I say the Baltimore Ravens win it all. Their defense is SO intimidating, and they hit SO hard. Not sure anyone can cope with the intimidation and fear they strike their opponents with.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

THE Ohio State Asskicking


Or at least last night he did. The long layoff theory is just a lame excuse. Florida was off for over a month as well. Last year, OSU had 40+ days off before their trouncing win over Notre Dame. The offensive gameplan sucked, and even worse was the fact that Tressel never adjusted. The Teddy Ginn injury definitely didn't help, but the defensive gameplan was vanilla as well. Try something other than the Prevent perhaps. Major props to Urban Meyer, who thoroughly owned the Sweater Vest last night.

Note to Florida: stop with the "No Respect" thing. That's so last year.

Also curiously of note: for the Final AP Poll, some dope voted Boise St. #1.

HEY..one last note: I often talk here about the vast amount of jagoffs in sports, and don't mention the good guys enough. I hope everyone got to hear Troy Smith speak last night in defeat. TRUE CLASS. Best wishes to Troy in the future. I'm a big fan.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ohio State!!!

Let's go Buckeyes!!! Win by at least 7 you bastards!!!!

Speaking of Ohio State, gotta click on this little gem right here. Funny stuff, courtesy of Tony B. Just click the link and the vid should play (don't worry, it's family friendly):



HEY!!! A quick shout out to the Bobby Mo hockey squad, who beat #2 ranked Notre Dame yesterday in South Bend, 4-2. HELL F'N YEAH!! The Colonials return to Neville Island Friday, January 19th to host Wayne State. The Colonial Crazies should be in full force when they return home.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Toast to The Jaw

**** Sorry for the delay on this. All weekend, every time I sat down to write this, I started sobbing wildly. Needed to step back for a moment, dry the eyes, have some soup, and regain some composure.****

As brutal a season it was for the Beloved, and as evident it was that he was leaving all year, the sad reality finally set it on Friday when Bill Cowher officially announced his resignation.

Of course there were times of bitterness this season towards Cowher. You couldn't help but place part of the blame on the head coach for such a disaster. And he's had his share of critics in the Burgh because of his handful of AFC Championship losses. But ultimately, Cowher goes down as the one of the greatest HC's in the NFL over the past 20 years. Unless he comes back in 2 years, and pulls a Joe Gibbs, Cowher is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Reaching the playoffs in 10 of his 15 years, the Stillers have been a picture of consistency under his reign, an accomplishment that rates even higher in today's cap structured NFL. Sure, he never had the run that Bill Belichek has had in New England with 3 Super Bowls. But consider the fact that Cowher has NEVER had a good QB during his 15 years (and that includes Big Ben, sorry Ben fans), yet Cowher's overall winning % is higher than that of Hall of Famer Chuck Noll's.

Throwing out all the numbers, Cowher was the type of coach that makes me proud to be a Steelers fan. A hard-nosed defense, a smash mouth running game, old school football - that's what I love about the game, and Cowher's teams always resembled that physical brand. I seriously doubt that I'd be as passionate about the Steelers if they played some bullshit chuck-and-duck, finesse style offense (i.e. the Colts, or the Rams from a few years back), and lacked a defensive presence.

The majority of Cowher's teams have all played with the same passion that the coach wore on his sleeve. His players loved playing for him. Anger or joy, there was no guesswork with Cowher's emotions. Football is a passionate game, and while his tenure had its share of disappointments, it was rare when his players lacked that passion.

While much of the talk about last year's Super Bowl was "winning one for the Bus", I felt all along that Cowher was more deserving of the 'win one for someone' thingy. I was out in Tempe for the last Steeler Super Bowl, and my most memorable image from that Neil O'Donnell give-a-way was that of Cowher hunched over in near-tear at the end of the game. Then telling one of his daughter's near the tunnel, "sometimes you win, sometimes you lose." I tear up every time I see that.

That time he shoved the photo down the ref's shirt. That Monday nighter when he looked like he wanted to punch the Jacksonville player running down the sideline. So many great memories.

So...here's to you Bill. It's been a great run, and you will be forever missed by this fan. I hope you enjoy your time with the fam in North Carolina, and best wishes in the future. I'd still love to sit down and watch a game with you someday. If you take over as the Head Coach in Miami, I will hate you.

btw...just for those outside of Pitt to get a glimpse into this city's passion for the Black & Gold, the picture above was taken on Friday at my local grocery store, Safrans in Sewickley. Pittsburgh is without a doubt, a Steeler town.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Who's the Kid?

OK, the very first installment of the fun and exciting "Who's the Kid?" Obviously, many visitors will not have a clue. But for the friends back home, here ya go. First person to respond correctly gets a special prize from the EC (seriously).

Hopefully, one day when the EC is in its 15th year of existence, one of these kids will grow up to say, "Hey dad, who's your dorky blogger friend who put this picture on the net?"

Hey...that's a good looking kid. Parents of said kid (and future kids) are ineligible for special prizes. This is exciting.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Another Drubbing for Notre Dame

Michigan = Loss 47-21
USC = Loss 44-24
LSU = Loss 41-24

Hey, what a surprise! Notre Dame plays another team with talent, and gets their asses handed to them again. The next quality win by Charlie Weiss will be his first. So far, his claim to fame as a HC is his almost win against USC last year.

Hanging your hat on a LOSS. Must be proud of that.

Irish faithful should start to realize that you have a slightly-better-than MEDIOCRE program. You are Boston College Midwest. You have as much "mystique" today as Utah. Your little NBC contract doesn't lure athletes. Your golden dome doesn't lure athletes. Your proud holier-than-thou tradition from 50 years ago doesn't mean crap to recruits. Get used to it. Touchdown Jesus can't help the fact that your football team is tremendously SLOW. Join a conference and get rid of Stanford, Army, Air Force, and Navy on your schedule...and you're a .500 program.

But why join a conference when you're Notre Dame? You're better than that. In your on mind, at least.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It Is What It Is

I was already getting super sick of hearing people say:

"It is what it is"

Then I heard Kenyon Martin describe the murder of Denver Bronco Darrent Williams as, "it is what it is."

Maybe that was just taken out of "contents" (unlike "context") as some like to say, but describing the murder of someone who attended your birthday party as "it is what it is" seems a bit...uh...insensitive? A tad ignorant, maybe?

I could go on about some of the characters in the NBA, but I'll just stop here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year Fantastic Bastards!!

Ned & Michelle visit the Burgh and get the full treatment. Michelle's Maple Leafs go down to Pens, and Michelle (wearing her Bryan McCabe Toronto jersey) gets heckled by some trashy yensers at Dee's Cafe. All is well when GBV is found on the juke. Primanti sandwiches follow, which makes things right for the night. Except for moi, who loses his sandwich the next morning (if you know what I mean by lose). We've all got stories.

Saturday night, a visit to the Brillo Box on Penn Avenue, where Shit Mayor & Amoeba Knievel play. More Miller Lites are consumed. Shit Mayor hits the stage promptly followed by a befuddled "what the hell is going on up there?" response from Ned. Not quite sure how I felt about Shit Mayor, and I don't know how it would translate to CD or vinyl, but it was definitely interesting to say the least. I would surely check them out again. LET'S GET ORGANIZED! Ned is in love, and promptly signed up for the Shit Mayor fan club.

Check out Shit Mayor here on myspace.

Also appears that DJ Gregg Gillis from Girl Talk, who I admit to have never heard of, is pumping up Shit Mayor over at Pitchfork's 'Guest List.'

Greg describes Shit Mayor as a "wonderful train wreck." I guess that's a good description. Definitely see these guys live if you get the chance.

Tommy Amoeba and his new band hit the stage next. What follows is one of the most amazing spectacles I've ever seen on stage. And I forget my camera like a dumbass. Sorry, no photos folks, but here's an oldie fav of mine from Amoeba Knievel that got played live:

(left click to play; right click to download)
Amoeba Knievel - Indigo Sandwich

Go over to Tommy's myspace page to hear the new one "Cowboy Ed and His Caterpillar." (I believe that's the name of this tune, if it's not I really suck). And it looks like Tommy's got a couple more shows lined up here in the Burgh:

  • Friday, January 9th at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern
  • Saturday, February 3rd at the 31st Street Pub
I highly recommend checking them out. Bring your happy face.

Sunday: beers, booze, food, football, futbol, GBV, rawk. All day, all night. Oh...and some fresh tattoes to remember the occasion. Best NYE ever. Then we got drunk and dialed.

No animals were harmed (except for Stiffler's new toy that he ripped to shreds). Just one beer soaked tee-shirt and one soar back courtesy of a botched Bob leg-kick. After 5:00am, the memory gets a little fuzzy, but I seem to recall some conversation about how "Little Guitars" was the 2nd best song ever after "Game of Pricks."