...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.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

NFL Draft

I can't believe the draft is here?!? Surprisingly, I'd heard absolutely zero hype about it. It just snuck right up on me. I think there needs to be more media coverage. That being said...

With the 15th pick, of the 1st round, of the NFL Draft...the Pittsburgh Steelers select:

from Ronald McDonald Land:


Friday, April 27, 2007

Peter Bjorn & John

Little late on this, but damn those Swedes make some catchy tunes...

(left click to play; right click to download)
Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks

I'd luv to hear what the rest of the album is like...

pretty lame ass video, however (imho):

They're playing live at the Empty Bottle May 8, Fujiya & Miyagi to open. So that could be fun on a Wednesday. Of course, they're not coming to Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Colossal!! (i believe he said)

So Jess, 9 months later, we finally get a post.

I didn't know you wanted to get involved in the conversation Mr. Helper.
- Professor Terguson

Funny, I believe Kurt Vonnegut (r.i.p.) made a cameo in that movie I'm quoting above. Bonus points for whoever gets that first. (hint: stars another dead dude.)

moving on...Jess: for a brief moment there, it sounded as though you worship Colin Meloy more than Bob. BLASPHEMER!!!!

Anyway, you forgot 1 thing in your post: No mention of futbol.

As the title of the video states, the following may be the greatest goal ever, Barca vs. Getafe last week. And what a coincidence...Lionel Messi's Argentine jersey just showed up today at my door step. (and I would love for someone to interpret the "colossal!!!!!" or whatever he's saying...it's beautiful)

Other footie news: my Inter boys finally lost a Serie A match; Man U comes back to beat AC Milan 3-2 in one of the best Champions League matches I've seen (the Kaka goal was a beaut as well); Chelsea downed Liverpool 1-nil today. I can't wait to visit Piper's Pub, which just reopened, for the remainder of the semi's and Champions' final.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Decemberists in Chicago

So, it's definitely been almost a year since we've started Empties Crushed, and this is my absolute FIRST entry ever. Oops. Been accused of neglect, but that's not what's important. Let us talk about the Decemberists in Chicago...

December in Chicago isn't the most pleasant of climes, though I'll tell you...the Decemberists in Chicago starkly contrasts the latter. Wow. In a heedy and boozy moment I bought tickets to The Decemberists Riviera show on April 19, 2007, not even considering the two sick days I'd have to take in order to be there. It was more like this, "...but who cares, it's the Decemberists!!!"

When I first saw the Decemberists live, it was probably around 2004 at The Metro in Chicago. A phenomenal
show. And at that, I was certainly sold. The ability to entertain as well as dance, sing, and harmonize was The Decemberists's forte, though I'll tell ya', Colin Meloy's lyrics were unstoppable, too (...and cute, in a nerdy way).

I know I sound like a sappy English buff when I pour over the lyrics of one, Colin Meloy, though I've never heard
anything quite so melodic, eerie, sweet, and silly all wrapped into one (ballad).

My sis, Em, and I travelled to Chicago on two weeks notice to what was my fourth Decemberists venture; and Emily's first. I'd just seen the quintuplet of musical funsies in Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo (long story) and was so overcome, I wanted to see them again as soon as was humanly possible.

After a Coach bus trip--yeah, Megabus.com! (just watched An Inconvenient Truth), Em and I found ourselves in the heart of Wicker Park awaiting the show, and thrift shopping in the meantime (thanks Jen!!!), but really, Colin and his crew were to be the highlight of the three day tour.

Thankfully, after some careful consideration, since there was absolutely no indication of an opening band, Em and I ran to the Riviera from a cool dive called the Green Mill accross the way. Might I add, just in time to make the opening of The Wintry Clan.

The band opened with many of their Crane Wife hits, which I've played out on my "tour" to Butler and back daily, but the kicker was the band's addition of July, July! (and old fave), the finale, Sons and Daughters
(had been waiting to hear this one since Buffalo), and their the encore which included the must...Mariner's Revenge.

The diverse sounds that range amidst the tunes July, July! (a poppy fun tune--which I happen to adore based on my day of origin and the storming of the Bastille), Sons and Daughters (a Revolutionary War song with a sort of
death and melancholy undertone) and The Mariner that wreaks of revenge and angst ...who could argue the band's uncanny ability to traverse the human condition--more-or-less-the ambivalence of mankind. More negative and sad, sometimes but great, nonetheless.

Colin Meloy's voice can't be touched in any realm, so far as I know--some may comment on its nasally bellow, though it's so sincere, it's scary.

This is a video clip from Messiah College in rural PA, not far from the place of my rearing...Colin's comments remind me of the same thoughts I had as I attended Grove City College in 2000. Agh! Go Colin! Yeah, July!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Racking my cranium over this Statistical Thinking final, I just wasted a fricking hour on question #1 (an inference about the comparison of 2 populations) before I realized that my sample size (n) calls for a t-test...not a f#*&in z-test!!! So now, not only is my critical value off (at a confidence level of .05) because of that whole "degrees of freedom" thingy, but I need to come up with a pooled estimator of the polulation variance....BEFORE I figure out the point estimator. Thankfully, I've got the problem set up correctly and nothing changes with the null or alternative hypothesis...it is still a two tail test. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Even better, with both sample sizes at 20, I completely further waste my time by using the pooled estimator of population variance formula, when I could have just added the 2 variances together and averaged them. I'm so STOOOOPID!!!

No problem, it's only the nicest day of the year...on a weekend.



just saw an info for this....

"bloody one-on-one battles"

2 collector DVD's for the low, low, low price of $19.99.

this is the life i live.


Friday, April 20, 2007

End of a Season, End of an Era

So the Pens go down in 5. Kinda disappointing. We all knew the Cup was a reach, but it would've been nice to win 1 series. It also would've been nice to attend more than 1 FRICKIN HOME GAME with my ticket package I was so proud to have bought.

But it was a nice run. Exciting season, so thanx to Sid and crew for that. Also...thanks for the game 2 winner, probably the most intense playoff game I've seen since the 5 OT'er vs. Philly a few years back. I think Tirpak and I wore a whole in my carpet pacing the living room last Saturday. Speaking of Tirpak...

(and the "end of an era portion"), another CSC era has come to a close. Glad I got to see the last show of the year up at RMU-TV. Very touching moment...seeing Brian & Nick, my 2 protegees bring close to their CSC anchoring days. Seems like only yesterday I was watching Nick's very 1st audition tape, and thinking, "look at this poor gentleman here." We've all got stories.

No pictures to speak of, but the CSC finale brought back this fond memory of a few years back:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Game 3 Buzzkill

Kind of a funny sign we saw at the Souper Bowl prior to Sunday's game. Not funny: the trash that was booing the Canadian National Anthem. But hey, every city has their contingent. I've grown to loathe Ottawa just like the next sensible person, but have some class in your disdain.

So unless the Pens win tonight in Game 5, looks like Jess & I went to our only playoff game on Sunday. I hate losing. Worse yet, I hate losing to the f$^%in Senators...those whiny little turds. Brian Murray's the chief crybaby. I can't stand Mike Comrie. And after Jason Spezza's little crying spat about Colby Armstrong's pummeling of Patrick Eaves, he goes into the bitch-bin as well.

*** BTW, our newly acquired seats were kick ass!! (see more pics here) ***

The hit on Eaves was perfectly clean. Here's a tip, Spezza: tell your boy to keep his head up. He was playing the puck, and Armstrong lit him up. No penalty called. That's part of the game. End of story. Speaking of...here's a shot of Eaves after that hit. Thankfully, he wasn't seriously hurt, so I've got no qualms saying I enjoyed seeing it live:

The following fight ensued which I got most of on vid (I believe that's me obnoxiously yelling "YEAH, CHRIST STICK HIM!!!", I think I was a goon in a previous life):

As far as the Pens go, a lot of blame's been shifted to Fleury, but he needs some major help on D. Joe Melichar's a turnover waiting to happen. Gonchar's had a brutal series. Oh...and Malkin: quit skating around in circles and PUT THE PUCK ON NET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*** Oh...and thanks to LG and Tyler for Game 4 festivities. Send more shots***

Anyhow, if they do go down in 5, my only other regret will be Michel Therrien benching Georges Laraque for the Games 2-4. Seeing Laraque pound on a couple Senators would've been a little redemption. But judging by the looks of Game 1, when Laraque was running over people at the end of the game, it doesn't look like any of the Sens were gonna man up anyway.

*** and off the subject...my apologies in advance to the 3 devoted readers I've got out there for the lack of posting. i promise to pick it up a notch. I've BEEN BUSY!! ***

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pens Win!! Pens Win!!

OK...promised I wouldn't do another post until the Penquins won a playoff game. The posting strike is over...

Talk about yer all-time Hockey Heart attacks. Tirpak and I almost had multiple conniption fits (sp?, is there such a medical term?). Pens tie the series at 1-1. Gary Roberts is a frickin STUD! We're celebrating!!!

More in the coming up days: Jess and I are going to Game 3, we got to check out the Decemberists in Buffalo a couple weeks ago, I was back on the CSC desk courtesy of Scott Golmic, Tirpak, and RMU-TV, and lots more stuufffff. Oh...and Joe Corvo's a major puss. When you get slapped in the face, stick up for yourself, dude. Very un-hockeyesque.

Back to celebrating...or something like that...


Monday, April 02, 2007

Tell Me Do You Miss Me

"Leeds is the Omaha." (confidential to Skip & Mike: despite what Luna's Lee Wall may think of your lovely town, we still wanna visit :))

Very nice little film about Luna's last tour, which ended in NYC in 2005. Good for the fan and non-fan alike. So the life of a modestly successful indie band on the road isn't all that peachy, I guess? "Tell Me..." is an honest take on the band's last days together...with the full array of moments...humorous and sad and everything in-between.

Kinda similar to the Pixies' loudQUIETloud (also a nice watch), in that you get to hear each member's feelings (for better or worse) regarding their band mates, (minus the reunion of course).

Think Dig, minus the Dandys, with an upgraded band (Luna over the BJM, that is)...complete with band inner-frictions that aren't quite as fake and contrived.

Beautiful cinematography as well with some great scenery shots from around the globe.

Put this in your Queue asap. Trailer...

And here's one from Luna's 2002 Romantica album. I believe (not positive) this was the last song they played at that final NYC show:

(left click to play; right click to download)
Luna - Black Postcards