...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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ass Hat: Michael Vick

"Ass Hat" just may be too endearing a term for Mike Vick. Perhaps "Scum Bag" or "Piece of Garbage" would be more appropriate. I used to enjoy watching Vick play, and the all-world athleticism he showed on the field. Now Vick is one of the reasons I am getting completely turned off by the NFL.

I don't want to single out Vick. The same thing could be said for the entire contingent of trash that are involved in this type of activity. Engaging in this "hobby" doesn't make you a "player." It makes you a low-life pimp. It doesn't make you a "man." It makes you inhuman. And the fact that these people, including Vick, don't get the public outrage makes them ignorant (i.e. dumb), not only to the law, but to the ways of human life. If you want to get your gamble on, go to the race track. Go to the casino. Play poker. Breeding and pitting two dogs against each other to fight until death is simply barbaric.

None of the following crimes are excusable: stealing, assault, drugs. But people steal because they need money. Arguments and fights that escalate to physical abuse happen. People have addictions to drugs. What's the excuse for dog fighting? Your need to prove you're a gangsta? All it proves is that you're the scum of the earth. It proves that you are incapable of acting like a human being.

And sorry, the "it's his dogs and his property" argument doesn't work (we'll call this the Clinton Portis argument). It's a crime for a reason. It's a felony for a reason. That argument simply makes you sound uneducated. (what's that say for Clinton's education at the "U"?) I understand Vick has yet to be charged. Those people who want to exonerate him because of this are the same people that claim Barry Bonds hasn't done steroids. I'm sure the whole story is fabricated and it's probably just a big conspiracy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Speaking of the Ponys

real jacked to see these guys (and gal) at Pitchfork Fest. Appears that Sunday's line-up is a real doozy...the Ponys, New Pornographers, the Sea & Cake, Malkmus, Deerhunter, De La Soul.

And the can't miss show at the Metro this summer...mark yer calender:

Wednesday, June 20th:

The Ponys
The Mountain Goats

Being a Wednesday, this sucks for moi. Otherwise, I'd fly back in a heartbeat for this one-nighter. According to the Metro Website, there are amazingly still tix available for this. I can't believe that this show won't sell out...if not real soon. Go here for tix:

The Metro - Eff Cancer Benefit show TIX

As you can see, proceeds are going to a good cause. Appears 4 years ago, a good friend of Superchunk was diagnosed with Chordoma. For $20 cheap, you get a pretty rare performance from Superchunk, Chicago's own the Ponys, and another great band in the Mountain Goats. So support the cause, and get yer rawk on at the same time.

Here's some Ponys, from their last album, Turn the Lights Out. Great album, front to back...go buy it from Matador.

(left click to play; right click to download)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Infield Insanity

Last weekend, Jess & I made the trek out to Baltimore, so we could witness 1st hand the craziness of the Pimlico Infield during the 2007 Preakness. Insanity puts it mildly. Fortunately (or, unfortunately depending on how you look at it), working undercover as part of the "Special Security" of the Infield, I had to remain sober so I could monitor any obscenely drunken activity. Luckily, my immediate crew of patrons remained relatively sober as well, so revealing my identity was not necessary. Here's my partner, who shall remain nameless in order to protect his identity:

I know what you're thinking if you saw me on this lovely day: "hey dude, you didn't appear to be sober." It's all part of the disguise, my friend. It's an art I've mastered over the years. Moving on...

Now I was not around the part of the infield that this video was shot from (I was busy apprehending a white male youth who had exposed himself to a "Black Eyed Susan" vendor while simultaneously enticing a riot by chanting "here we go Steelers, here we go"), but this will give you a nice indication of the atmosphere:

From what I'm told by my inside sources, the object of this little game was to get from one end of the urinals to the other without getting knocked off by flying beer cans. Interesting concept.

Two of my comrades eventually came to break up this little fight, saving me the need to reveal my true identity. This video was shot using a miniature camera that was hidden within my beer coolie. Pretending to pound beers, while not spilling on the pen-sized camera is an art I have mastered. A tougher challenge was pretending to do a beer bong, without actually drinking any beer. Again...it takes years of practice...

for part 2, more of the same, go here:

part 2, bloody face, others sing

for more pics of crazy-silliness that I pretended to partake in, go here: Preakness 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ass Hat: Brett Favre

As reported, directly from The Onion, May 17, 2007:

GREEN BAY - Three-time MVP and undisputed future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, disappointed with the Packers' refusal to aggressively pursue receiver Randy Moss and frustrated with his team's apparent indifference to making immediate improvements on offense, is demanding a trade to the team he feels will give him the best shot at winning a last Super Bowl ring before his retirement: the 1996 Green Bay Packers.

"I just don't think this Packer team, and GM Ted Thompson especially, is thinking in terms of winning with me," said Favre, speaking to reporters at his charity golf tournament in Mississippi Sunday. "On the other hand, 1996 Packers GM Ron Wolf is committed to building the team completely around me. I don't think it's out of the question to say that with me behind center, the 1996 Packers are looking at going all the way to the Super Bowl."

"Nothing against Donald [Driver] and Greg [Jennings], but if I can't throw it to Randy Moss, then I want to throw it to Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, and Don Beebe," Favre said. "I bet with them, I'd have more of a chance of throwing for, say, 3,899 yards and 39 touchdowns, with maybe as few as 13 interceptions. Who knows? That kind of production could even get me another MVP award, although of course that's much less important than leading the '96 Pack to another Super Bowl victory."

~The Onion

My view:

Dude, last year, it took you 9 months to decide if you were going to retire or not. This year, you whine about not getting a washed up Randy Moss, whose greatest asset (speed), is no longer there. What's the use of having a down field threat when he can't get down field? At this point in his career, do you really expect Moss to grow a pair and start going over the middle? And when he starts to realize he's a former shell of himself, he'll take it out on your clubhouse and locker room. Here's betting Oakland gets the best end of that deal, albeit obtaining a measly 4th rounder for the has-been Moss.

It annoys me when players like Favre think they've become bigger than the game. Throw another interception you bean bag.

BTW...If the Ass Hat had a chin strap, you could also bet yer ass that Favre would unbutton it between every play. What the hell is with that anyway?? Reminds me of the ole Jeff George syndrome, when a "player" isn't comfortable wearing a helmet.

Great article outta Boston showing how one of Randy's former coaches felt about him last year. These are pretty much the same sentiments that John Clayton had at last year's ESPN Fantasy Camp in Bridgeville:

The Boston Globe - Divided They Stand

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stiffler's 1st Pirate Game

Missed out on Young Galaxy last night. Family comes first...got to take the little guy to his first semi-pro baseball game Thursday Night, Bucos vs. Florida. Good times...

Notice who's sporting the Italia World Cup Champs tee, in honor of the day's final leg of the Copa Italia. In the end, it was all hugs and kisses...

...and I think the Pirates actually won.

speaking of the Copa Italia, gotta give my Inter boys props for a valiant effort at Guiseppe Meazza Stadium yesterday. Chasing an insurmountable 6-2 aggregate from the 1st leg, they came out absolutely flying - a full on assault on the Roma net for the first 30 minutes. Probably most impressive effort I've seen outta them since the first Milan derby in which they won 4-3 last fall.

Playing without stud striker Ibrahimovic (inj) and my boy Materazzi (susp), Inter fans had to be impressed with the effort. Luis Figo was running around like an 18 year old, Hernan Crespo was the inspiration leader again, Ray Hudson providing the passionate commentary...it was truly fun to watch.

Read Captain Javier Zanetti's comments, here.

And here's some pretty stellar pictures of the match, via the Inter website.

I'd LOVE to get another year outta Luis Figo. Dude's the MAN, and I hardly got to know him.

If we would've got a bit of luck, perhaps a bounce or two in that 1st half...or if they would've called the PK on Roma's mugging of Stankovic inside the box, maybe it would've been a different story. So in the end, they came up a bit short, but hats off for the brave, gutsy effort boys.

A win this Sunday against Atalanta, and they take down Torino's 60 year old record of most wins in a season (29). Viva Nerazzuri!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

25th Annual 3 Rivers Film Fest

Trying to finalize my Top 10 Films of 2006, I was reminded of the many great movies that were shown at this past year's 3 Rivers Film Fest, which had somehow slipped by these pages, oh...close to 6 months ago. Oops. Looking back at the list of films from the 25th Annual, there's a slew that I really enjoyed (13 Tzameti, The Aura, The Lives of Others, Old Joy, The Motel), albeit seeing them months after the Fest.

The 2006 Fest came at a bad time this year for me personally, wrapped around a Pollard weekend in November. But we were still able to get out and see the following 3 films, one of which will surely be Top 5 for me. Somehow, I can't seem to find the winner of the "Audience Award," but I'll assume it was The Lives of Others, since it was probably the best of this bunch.

Requiem - Easily, the best film that we saw at the Fest. Based on a true story about some German chic, played by Sandra Huller, who appears to be battling epilepsy. But she's battling more than that. It's her religious parents, psychiatrists, and her friends who all insist that her problems are psychological. A local priest seems to think differently, and believes that she's possessed.

Unlike your typical excorcism films, like the Excorsist series, or The Excorsim of Emily Rose, Schimd uses zero special effects in Requiem. Actually, the Excorcism of Emily Rose was based on this exact same story. Where Emily Rose uses your typical horror-scare monster type techniques, Requiem uses no effects and no scary, suspenseful score. But don't let that fool ya..it's incredibly creepy how realistic the possession is portrayed in this film. Kudos to Schmid, as well as Huller, who is phenomenal.

5 outta 5 stars. Serious Hi-Hives.

Brothers of the Head
- I was most psyched to see this one, and probably came out of it a little disappointed. There's some great original music, with Pete Shelley, the ex-Buzzcock helping out. But for some reason, I came out of it a little underwhelmed. Perhaps just a victim of its own hype.

The question I keep asking myself, could it have been better if it wasn't done as a narrative-documentary? When I first saw how it was done...Spinal Tap style...I thought it sounded intriguing. But afterwards, the style almost comes off a bit hoaky. Would it have been better served as a straight narrative? I don't know.

Great performances by the conjoined twins, Luke and Harry Treadway. And the morphing of their distinct personalities as they become rock stars is central to the film's worthiness. I don't want to steer anyone away from it, and perhaps I just had a bug up my butt that night.

I'll say I enjoyed it, just not as much as I thought I would. 3.5 stars outta 5.

La Moustache - French psychological thriller that keeps you thinking throughout..."what the FOOK is happening here." Not as good as my Best of 2005, Cache, but then again...that's a lot to live up to.

4 outta 5 stars.

Here's a trailer:

One more recommendation. Not from the 3RFF, but got this one recently from Netflix:

The Sea Inside - for some reason, I'm over a year late on this one. I think it just kept getting bumped down in my Q. Another one based on a true story...a heart wrenching one. Yes, this one's a tear jerker. Incredibly well done. Beautiful cinematography. I cried. You will too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


continuing along that 6 degrees of Pitchfork Fest thingy, it has been confirmed via the Pitchfork website that Malkmus will be playing alone, without the help of his band the Jicks. That sucks...even more so because former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss (far left) is now a Jick.

Of course, the "on hiatus" Sleater-Kinney will not be at Pitchfork. Damn I miss these ladies...here's some old S-K, both tracks off of the 1997 record, Dig Me Out.

(left click to play; right click to download)

unfortunate nothing to do with this post side note: I did not get to see Pretty Girls Make Graves at Mr. Small's last night. So nothing to report there. Next time, I guess.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ass Hat: Stephen Jackson

Last month, when the beautiful people from Colonial Sportscenter asked me to co-host a "Retro Show," I forgot to mention that they had managed to get all-time RMU leading rusher Sam Dorsett as our guest. Sam's a fun guy...and props to him for landing a gig on Joe Walton's staff as the new Colonial RB's Coach.

So anyways, Sam got to witness first hand, the delivery of an Ass Hat (nicely played by AJ I might add), which was a staple on the show circa 2004-05. At the end of the show, Sam came over to the big desk (he was on a separate set), and politely asked: "If I mess up this year (football wise), please don't give me the booty hat."

Frickin Hilarious. I need to find a way that I can YouTube some of those CSC clips, and get them out to the kids. Moving on...the very first Ass Hat on Empties Crushed goes to (insert drum roll here):

Jackson, after falling down 2 games to Nil in their series against Utah, gave us this enlightening piece of wisdom:

"It's just 2 losses. I've been hit by a car."

Don't believe much else needs to be expanded on here. I think we'll find that the NBA will be an easy target for future Ass Hats.


La Liga update: holy crap...Barcelona could only manage a draw yesterday against Real Betis, so they're now tied w/ Real Madrid atop the table with 66 points (but down in the goal differential tiebreak). Sevilla's 2 back at 64. Valencia got back into the mix with a win, down 4 points from the top with 4 rounds left.

All La Liga UEFA Cup final on Wednesday: Sevilla vs. Espanyol

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mom's Day

nothing says Mother's Day like the Jerky Boys.

I think. Maybe not. Oh, well.

for Jon:

(left click to play; right click to download)
Jerky Boys - Auto Mechanic

Saturday, May 12, 2007

La Liga

I'll admit the EPL is hands down the best league from top to bottom, but the race to the finish in La Liga has been frickin fantastic. And I'd pit any of Spain's Top 4 up against Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Arsenal any day.

Real Madrid comes back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Espanyol today, 4-3, and for the time being takes a 1 point advantage over Barca...who needs to beat Real Betis tomorrow to regain a 2 point lead. 3rd place Sevilla also won to keep pace:

After Saturday:
  1. Real Madrid 66 pts
  2. Barcelona 65 (1 game in hand)
  3. Sevilla 64
Only 4 weeks left. If you're interested in La Liga, I've found a pretty kick ass site (in English) that gives you the complete low down...and it's much better than Fox's Spanish section:


Ray Hudson watch: he said "orgasm" again today (said in Butthead voice)

Tomorrow morning, it's back to Piper's Pub for salmon boxtys and the West Ham / Man U match. Yeah ber ber.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pitchfork Looms

Lots of exciting stuff coming up here shortly. Preakness next week at Pimplico, a bunch of local shows coming, the very 1st Asshat will be handed out in the next day or so, and I'll have my much anticipated Top 10 Films of 2006 list posted here within the next week or so (ok, maybe just 1 person is anticipating this...don't get yer panties in a bunch, I'm working on it). But what I'm reaaaaally pumpt about...heading back to Chicago for another Pitchfork Fest.

Nothing says rawk like 3 days of long pee lines, getting bloated on beer and festival food, and having the occasional frisbee land in your lap like Pitchfork Fest. The music and friendly camaraderie with some good friends makes the sweaty man-boobs and Sunday morning swamp ass all the well worth it.

Friday night is key (I don't believe there was a Friday last year?): Sonic Youth is playing their entire Daydream Nation album, which I imagine will be the headliner. Another blast from the past: Slint will be reunited once again to play 1991's Spiderland, perhaps one of the more under appreciated albums of the past 20 years. Oh...and GZA (pronounced "gizza" for you less-than-hipsters) from the Wu-Tang Clan will be performing his entire record, Liquid Swords. I confess I'm not the biggest Wu-Tang connoisseur, but I'm game for this as well.

Anyway...to celebrate the upcoming festivus, I'm gonna start throwing a bunch of Pitchfork stuff up here within the next few months. Some old, some new, some stuff you've probably heard before...anything 6 degrees of Pitchfork Fest.

Yesterday, I was told (by a fellow fan, thanx Ned) that Stephen Malkmus will be playing solo...as in the only guy on stage...acoustic style?!?!? WTF is with that? I hope not, but if that is indeed the case, I'll be a little disappointed. I've already accepted the fact that I'll never hear any Pavement material live again (although the same person told me he has played Pavement stuff...I dunno), but I'd prefer a little more rrrrrr in my rawk from Steve.

So, to embark on this little journey, here's some early Pavement. The first track was one of those that really made me gaga for Pavement and the early lo-fi stuff, "Box Elder" from Westing (by musket and sextant). BTW, this is probably the last record I'd recommend to someone interested in hearing some Pavement (like, is there such a person who hasn't yet?) The second track, in honor of summer, the 7" Inch version of "Summer Babe." I call Jess my "summer babe," but she gets offended as if she's not my "every-season babe." Women.

(left click to play; right click to download)
Pavement - Box Elder

Pavement - Summer Babe (7" version)

For more info, updates, and fun little tidbits, make sure to check the Pitchfork Site. Make sure to check out the little "video/photo" page they've got set up from the 2006 show.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Huge Post of the Day

About a month ago, I discovered the Jim Rome Show was now being broadcast in Pittsburgh on Fox, 970 AM. I'm fortunate that I can listen to some sports talk radio during the day, but I have gotten WAY tired of listening to the whiny voiced, tabloid-ever-searching Dan Patrick on ESPN Radio. The "Big Show", as they call it when the pompous Keith Oberman joins in, only exponentially increases the brutalities to these ears. Patrick alone sucks. The two together are unlistenable.

The pleasure I get at 1:00 pm everyday now when I turn the dial off of that turd is (in Rome voice): Phenomenal.

The only bad part: at 3:00, Rome is OUT, and in comes local ass bag Tim Benz. That's when I switch back to ESPN and listen to Mark Madden (a fellow Liverpool fan) rip on some moronic yensers.

Speaking of Rome, this is funny...Frank Caliendo, who is more known for doing his John Madden impersonation, on the Randy Miller show imitating Jim Rome...baking an Apple Bavarian Tort. FUNNY, FUNNY STUFF:

(left click to play; right click to download)
Frank Caliendo - Jim Rome's Apple Tort

Speaking of Caliendo, Frank's coming back to Pittsburgh, July 12-15 at the Improv. I highly recommend it. And don't hesitate, b/c these tix (especially the Fri. & Sat. shows) will sell out quick.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mr. Small's Upcoming

hey kids...quick note on a few upcomings at the lovely Mr. Small's theatre:

starting with, TONIGHT!!! They Might Be Giants. 8:00pm. Unfortunately, I will not be there. I've got better things to do...like go to class.

Make sure you check out the following video, linked directly to the TMBG site. Click on "Pittsburgh" for the "Mr. Small's" venue song, complete with an introduction from that dorky dude on the PC vs. Mac commercials:

TMBG - Mr. Smalls (and other Venues if you feel adventurous) Video(s)

Also: this coming Monday: Pretty Girls Make Graves. 8:00pm. Good News...I do NOT have class. I think I'll be there. I thought these guys/gals broke up a few months ago. I guess not. Go download some stuff here:

Pretty Girls Make Graves Download Page

And if you were planning on going to see Ween on June 14th, the good news...I don't have class. The bad news...it's SOLD OUT. FAAAAAAAAACK!!

And confid to Tirpak: your ole pal from Girl Talk is playing there Friday.

And finally, thanx to one of my Chicago peeps, JJJ, for giving me the heads up on a relatively new band who'll be playing at Diesel Thursday: Young Galaxy. I guess they opened up for The Dears last winter (here's the test to see if Lumley's reading. I'm looking at you NICK!). I'm planning on going to this next Thursday. Go check out some Young Galaxy stuff here:

Young Galaxy (Arts & Crafts site)

and here for a little review from the Speed of Dark Blog

and here's a Pitchfork review (thanks JJJ)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pound for Pound

the biggest Bitch Boy in Boxing: Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Nice win for Mayweather, who consistently ran and hid from a more aggressive, 7 years past his prime, Oscar De La Hoya. If this was the fight that boxing wanted to bring its sport back into the limelight, it failed miserably. Kudos to Mayweather for winning the split decision and out-pointing Oscar, but who wants to pay $55 pay-per-view duckets to watch a guy stick and run away all night.

After watching how scared Mayweather was to mix it up Saturday, is there any surprise that he cashed in, and immediately announced his retirement after the fight? So Mayweather's crowning achievement, as the self proclaimed greatest fighter ever, is out-pointing a 34 year old Oscar De La Hoya?

You look at Oscar's resume, and you see fights against:

Bernard Hopkins, "Sugar" Shane Mosley (twice), Fernando Vargas, Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey, Pernell Whitaker, and Julio Cesar Chavez.

Looking at Mayweather's, you see: Arturo Gatti (who Oscar also beat).

Bravo to De La Hoya for a great career and taking on all comers. Bravo to Mayweather for chucking and jiving your entire career. Gotta give him props...he's lightning quick and a great defensive fighter. But I'd never pay another dime to watch that crap again. What a huge disappointment.
Now I see there's a possibility of a rematch?!? Frickin spare us, please!! At least match De La Hoya up with someone who wants to actually fight. I'd rather see a De La Hoya / Trinidad rematch.

And a final note on "The World Awaits" - Is Floyd Mayweather Sr (who actually said he thought Oscar won the fight, I sheet you not) going for the Predator look?

I believe Floyd Sr is sporting the world's first ever Dreadlocks-Mullet doo.


The rest of the sporting weekend was good times. Buffalo scores a last second goal on Friday night, vaulting them to the semi's; Street Sense won the kids some money on Saturday; and Chelsea / Arsenal (what I saw of it) and Real Madrid / Sevilla both delivered.

Ray Hudson quote of the week, commenting after Real's Rubinho got a game clinching late goal Sunday, and was given his 2nd yellow for excessive celebration:

"Little Rubinho couldn't control himself. He basically had an orgasm."

This Wednesday:

Inter Milan vs. Roma, 2:30 est on GOL TV

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Bottle of Bucky

Not quite sure what that contains, but to celebrate the end of a LONG semester, perhaps a bottle of something is req'd this weekend. Here's a couple from Ted Leo's new album, Living With the Living, including the Bottle of Buckie tune:

(left click to play; right click to download)

I've given Living With the Living a few spins, and while it's grown a little on me, I must say it's a little weaker than his previous two LP's, Shake the Sheets and Hearts of Oak. A little more filler in the new one, including the annoying "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb" song. Still a nice listen overall.

Looks like Ted is doing the Euro tour thingy for the summer, but he is playing Lollapalooza in Chicago later this summer.

Off the subject kids: what a sporting weekend we've got on tap: Playoff hockey starting tonight with the Sabs / Rangers, Kentucky Derby on Saturday (1st mint julip's on me Dan-o!!), De La Hoya vs. Mayweather Saturday night, and Chelsea / Arsenal followed by Real Madrid / Sevilla on Sunday afternoon. Kick ASS!!