...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.

Friday, July 27, 2007

You Have Bad Taste in Music

First heard about this site a few years ago from a fine young gentleman from LA, who I believe now works for iFILM. I kinda put it on the back burner, until I heard the Jim Rome show mention it last week. If you've never seen this site..go now and check out the Quicktime vids under "Video Documentation." Knee slapping stuff...

My fav is the "Hoobastank" ridiculing, where he asks the Hoobastank fans to rank the band's 5 best songs. "Evanescence" and "Nickelback..." are also a hoot.

Off to my 1st ever Toronto FC game this weekend kids!!! OOOOO...DANNY DICHIO!!! DANNY DICHIO, DANNY DICHIO, DANNY DICHIO!!!

So. Pumpt.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Steeler Nation

My inside sources have informed me that Steelers training camp started earlier this week in Latrobe. Must see video (for Steeler fans, at least):

NFL Films presents: Steeler Nation

Gets me all tingly and stuff. Since it's pretty essential video, and a little longer viewing time, we'll leave this up in the dorky ESPN-ish "Right Now" section so it doesn't get lost in the EC shuffle. Thanks to Tirpak for this.

More good news!! Not only did the Steelers sign their entire draft class previous to training camp (#1 pick Lawrence Timmons signed earlier this week), but Troy Polamalu was signed to a 4 year extension, making him the highest paid Steeler ever, and the highest paid Safety in the NFL.

This could be the 1st Steeler jersey I've ever owned where the player wasn't gone within 2 years of me purchasing the shirt. Those dubious shirts I've bought, where I was that guy, walking into the stadium with a jersey of a player whose NO LONGER ON THE FRICKIN TEAM...

Hardy Nickerson, Greg Lloyd, Levan Kirkland, Kendrell Bell

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cesar Izturis Hand Puppets

While not a fan, I found it comical that the Bucos traded for Mr. Cesar Izturis from LA last week. Will this make Jack Wilson, the 2nd highest player on the Pirate payroll (the highest being Jason Kendall), expendable?

Football season looms, so who really cares.

The funny part is, Cesar's dugout habits seem to conflict with the whole family friendly environment thingy going on over at PNC. I mean...was the Pirate brass aware that he likes to jam is hands up teammates'...

Izturis' Strange Celebration

Ok...I realize this just posted a few short weeks ago, but now that Mr. Izturis is invading our lovely city, I thought I'd throw it out there again. Hide the women and children.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sack Vick

So the NFL did the sensible thing, and told Michael Vick not to report to training camp. I love hearing morons who defend this guy by using the "innocent until proven guilty" doctrine.

News Flash: that's in the court of law. If you get arrested on felony charges, your employer has every right to dismiss you, without waiting for a court ruling. Fact is, he's an embarrassment to the NFL, and he's an embarrassment to the human race.

2nd News Flash: this isn't "the Duke Lacrosse case" with a rogue (and now former) prosecutor looking to gain votes. This is a Federal Indictment, which carries a 95% conviction rate. If you want to blindly defend this dirt bag because he plays football, that makes you a dope. What he has done is unfathomable to anyone considered to be a decent human being.

If you haven't read the gruesome details of indictment, GO HERE. Warning, it's pretty gruesome.

While it's appearing more unlikely that Vick will play in the NFL this year, and perhaps ever again, Nike has surprisingly decided to keep him as a representative (as of now). PETA has designed a nicely formed letter, which you can sign and send to Nike, requesting them to sack Vick. So if you're as appalled by this story as I am, CLICK HERE to submit your signed petition to Nike and join the fight against Mike Vick.

They've also got a petition to the NFL to suspend him WITHOUT pay. That sounds good to me, as well. CLICK HERE to join the protest against Vick, and order the NFL to suspend him without pay.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Copa America Final

So if you'd been paying attention to Copa America, you may be saying...HEY! What gives?! No closure?? You're right...but I was outta town during the final, a disappointing 3-Nil loss for Argentina to Brasil, and hadn't watched it until late last week.

Kudos to Dunga and Brasil. They swarmed my tourney MVP Riquelme the entire match, and the powderpuff Doni (despite how bad it hurts me to say it) was awesome in net. Best Match of the Final 4 - Uruguay letting one slip away vs. Brasil.

Here's my all All Copa America Team, for what it's worth, and from what I'd witnessed. I'm going with a pretty unconventional 11 right here (only 3 defenders, 4 forwards), but here's my best 11:

G Doni - BRA
D Zanetti - ARG
D Juan - BRA
D Marquez - MEX
MF Riquelme - ARG - MVP**
MF - C Rodriquez - URU
MF Mascherano - ARG
F Messi - ARG
F Robinho - BRA
F Humberto Suazo - CHI
F Nery Castillo - MEX

Honorable Mentions - Giancarlo Maldonado - VEN, Diego Forlan - URU, Roque Santa Cruz - PAR, Oswaldo Sanchez - MEX, J. Baptista - BRA, Jaime Moreno - BOL, Veron - ARG
Close call with the MVP going to Riquelme over Robinho (Robinho won the official MVP and Golden Shoe with 6 goals), but I just thought Riquelme was the better overall player...seemed everything Argentina did went through Juan Roman. This was confirmed in the Final as Brasil ganged up on him the entire match, and Argentina just shut down. Props to Robinho though, who had a nice little coming-out party.


Bad week for my beloved Italia. Francesco Totti retires from the National Team. And with the results of Copa America in, FIFA drops Italy to #3 in World Rankings. Disappointing, but objectively I can't disagree.

The fantastic performance of Brasil is even that much more glaring considering they were without their top 2 players in Kaka and Ronaldhino. They were also without vets Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos (both retired from Int'l play), and former in-form, now outta-form striker Adriano. Dunga should have this team primed to win another WC in 2010.

And about the only thing Argentina is missing is a Goalie. Throw in their U-20 World Cup win, and these guys will again be one of the favorites in 2010.
Off to Toronto this weekend to take in my very first live futbol match. PUMPT!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pitchfork Sunday

I was gonna make a joke about how this guy needs to mix in a cheeseburger, but word on the streets is that he has some sorta illness, so no poking fun. Fact of the matter is, Bradford Cox from Deerhunter is one of the skinniest humans I've ever seen in person. I confess, while I'm the proud owner of their album Cryptograms (which kicks ass, btw), I don't know much about the band personally. I did hear a freaky story about some blog posts Bradford had written (GO HERE for some scoop), but here nor there...Deerhunter blew me away Sunday. Being the 1st band of the day, I got a spot pretty close, so maybe that had something to do with it. But I thought they were better than anything we saw on Saturday.

Next was the Ponys. And the Aluminum Stage sound system sucked. But kudos to the Ponys, who played on, and never missed a beat. I love the Ponys. Highly recommend checking out their last album Turn the Lights Out from Matador.

Menomena was interesting. Junior Boys was sorta groovy for a moment. The Sea and Cake was OK, but blah. Jamie Lidell was ?? So this was the point of the day where we gorged on pulled pork sammies from Robinson's.

Next...Stephen Malkmus. I admit, I was pretty disappointed when I heard Malk was going to play a solo set, sans Jicks. That said...I enjoyed it.
No...the SM set definitely didn't RAWK, but something about hearing the songs stripped down got me all giddy. A week later, I can't recall the entire set list, but I believe he opened with "We Dance" from Wowee Zowee.

About halfway through, SM brought out Bob Nastanovich, and promptly went into "Trigger Cut." They also played "In the Mouth a Desert." This was cool.

Here's some vid of "Spit on a Stranger", which was played right before he brought out Bob N...

I believe we also got a Silver Jews song mixed in there..."Blue Arrangements." Yes...I'd have preferred to see Janet Weiss and a full band out there, but I was pleased anyhow.

No Neko, and no Dan Bejar, but the New Pornographers still put on one of the best performances of the weekend...

Sorry...we didn't stay around long for De La Soul. I'm pretty nostalgic when it comes to the brilliant Three Feet High and Rising, but 2 songs into their set we realized it just wasn't the same as back in da day.


QUICK NOTE on a BURGH SHOW: John Doe, from X, is playing at Club Cafe...TOMORROW, as in MONDAY NIGHT!!! Early show starting at 7:00 at Club Cafe. Word from Chicago about the Knitters show this weekend was pretty positive...so get on out to Club Cafe.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pitchfork Saturday

Saturday's line-up looked to be kinda weak. It was. Most of the acts I wanted to see were playing on the Balance Stage, or "B" Stage, and the "B" Stage sucked arse. The sound was pretty awful for the most part, and the viewing area was just way to narrow for most people to get a good glimpse. Throw in a few trees along Ogden Avenue, and it further complicated things.

Matter o factly, I missed two acts that I'd have liked to at least check out on the "B" Stage, Dan Deacon and later local Pittsburgh-er Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk, simply b/c I was tired of fighting the crowd to get there.

Here's who we did see...

Califone was nice...

Voxtrot. Almost sounded like a mixture of Ted Leo & Joe Jackson. Looking back at it, probably my favorite of the day...

Beach House. Dreamy. Perhaps not a great "festival band", but lovely none the less. I think I'd prefer a nice Pinot over a Goose Island IPA when listening to Beach House...

Battles. Why the f%$k did I not check out Battles?!?! From our view of the jumbo tron where we were sitting...it appeared to be good times. And I missed out. Speaking of jumbo trons...what a beautiful addition to Pitchfork Fest. Bravo!! Moving on...

Fujiya & Miyagi. Groovy. Wish we had more room. Wax on. Wax off...

Iron & Wine. I heard someone say if you want to kill the festival atmosphere, have Iron & Wine come play. OK...I'll admit I've listened to a little Sam Beam and Iron & Wine, usually during more somber moods. At this point in the day...it just wasn't doing it for me. Then came Mastadon. Wow. Talk about a punch in the face.

Somehow we made it back to the "B" Stage for Professor Murder. It was even more crowded. But good times for what it was worth. Make sure to check out the tune "Free Stress Test" (see July 6th post for sampling) It's a hit, I think...

Then I dragged a couple of friends back for the Oxford Collapse. "These guys are good...come with me!! You don't wanna miss this!!" Two songs in...they left. The sound system BLEW!! After a bunch of others left, we were able to move closer, and it got better. Trust me!! It got better, I'm telling you!!!

At one point...I'm not sure of the song, but they broke into "Tusk" from Fleetwood Mac. That was fun. Here's some video we took:

What else was there...oh...Cat Power. Eh. Enjoy some of the tunes, but again, not the greatest "festival act," let alone a headliner. Jess was able to snap some off of Chan, but she got booted from the front for using the flash. Hehe :)

And then came Yoko Ono. Only 3 people stayed to see Yoko. I was not one of them. And that's all I've got to say about that.

Overall, with some of the sound problems and limited size of the Balance Stage, probably not the greatest of days musically. Some would say it sucked, and I wouldn't argue that. Still a gorgeous summer day, not too hot, some drinks were consumed, friendly chat was chattered. I'd do it again.

Oh...and Dads who bring their kids to the rock show...rock.

For the rest of the pics from the fest: GO HERE!!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sonic Youth at Pitchfork

Friday: kinda tough to recover from blowout Thursday (see Tuesday's post), but nothing a Depth Charge, some Rehab, and a few Aleve couldn't handle.

Jess wins us V.I.P. passes, thanks to Boost Mobile. We'll probably get bombarded with spam now, but the free beers and burritos made it worth it (Yes...FREE beers!!!). Plus we got a lovely side view of the stage for Sonic Youth (see vid & pics below).

Slint started the "Don't Look Back" thingy off with the '91 classic Spiderland. From what I could tell, reactions from the crowd were kinda mixed, falling within these 3 sentiments:
A) This kicks ass
B) This blows
C) I loved the album, but it's just not doing it for me live

Put me in the 'C' group. I'll take Slint's advice: "This record was made to be listened to on vinyl." Or something like that.

Learning is fun: GZA is pronounced "jizza" with a "jay" not a "gi" sound. I think. Anyway...GZA was probably the best of the 3 Hip Hop acts of the weekend (the others being Clipse on Saturday and De La Soul on Sunday). For what that's worth.

And the best act of the weekend didn't disappoint: Sonic Youth ripped through Daydream Nation. When"Teenage Riot" started, I actually got goose pumps. After finishing up the album (sans the 14 minute "Trilogy" at the end"), Mark Ibold (ex-Pavement) came out and finished up an encore on bass, allowing Kim to do her little dance thing. You know the dance I'm talkin about...we LUV the Kim dance. Next time we meet, ask me...I'll do the imitation. Maybe not.

Anyway...Kim Gordon is the epitome of Rock. And Sonic Youth as a band continues to woo me every time we see them. They've been chalked up under the "do not miss" shows for a long time now, and there's no signs of them slowing down.

Here's song #4, "'Cross the Breeze", fresh from our little side stage nook. Sorry, it gets cut off b/c the song is so long, but the partial rocks:

For some more pictures of Sonic Youth...go HERE. And Jess is gonna kill me, but for some crazy reason, I can't find the close-up of Thurston that she took...ANYWHERE!?!?!?!? DAMN!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Culpepper = Gandhi, Vick Indicted

So the Dolphins released Daunte Culpepper yesterday, enticing this e-mail response from Culpepper:

"As I was going through this process, I heard about a quote by Gandhi that best expresses my thoughts about this victory," Culpepper said in an e-mailed statement. "He said, 'First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.'."

Alrighty then.

In other NFL QB news, scum bag Michael Vick was indicted yesterday in his federal dog fighting investigation. Here's the actual 18 page indictment: U.S.A. vs. Michael Vick (and 3 other barbarians)

Funny, Vick's a.k.a in the indictment as "Ookie." Not so funny, the actual details of the indictment. Pretty detailed stuff. Props to the Feds for stepping in and taking over for Surry County Attorney Gerald Poindexter, whose ineptitude and blatant laissez-faire attitude in the case was pretty disgusting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Noogies, Ice Nine, Jager Bombs, & Rooftops

Good times. Check that...Incredibly Good Times. Couldn't think of a better way to start our weekend (and Jess's B-Day) in Chicago on Thursday. We both had a blast. So good to see a ton of old friends, and major kudos to our host & chauffeur (who I know is readin this on his home page right now :)

here's some pics for those pals who ran the streets with us: Good Times in Chicago

Thumbs Up: Eggs Benedict at George's, the fascinating development of the Oak Park / Forest Park area, Caffe De Luca, Richie's new Final Cut, the institution that is Dennis & Ice Nine, McGaffer's and the Grinder I never had, Sully's, the crew that made it out Thursday, Eddie's Roof Top, Sub Tender and the Depth Charge, Bertolli's Pizza, the grub at Shanahan's, the mini-burgers at Northside, the gorgeous weather all weekend, pacing (sans Thursday night)

Thumbs Down: excuses, bus rides without A/C

more to come tomorrow and following days regarding Pitchfork Fest

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Willowz, Pens Schedule, Brasil

Hey kids...lots of shows coming to the Burgh here within the next couple months, starting with a rawker at Mr. Small's this Friday, that I will unfortunately miss:

It's a +21 show, so that's cool for the boozers. Admittedly, I don't know much about the Detroit Cobras, but here's some Willowz, from the only album I have. Kinda rawkin. Check 'em out. Enjoy:

(left click to play; right click to download)

That second one there, "Something", sounds like a tune from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Feel free to investigate on your own time. I'm too lazy right now, and I may be wrong.

More shows, which we can discuss in future weeks, like or not:
7/19 Neko Case - Bynum Theatre
I prefer my Neko with the New Pornographers, but to each their own
7/25 Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles - Club Cafe
on recommendation from Chicago
8/3 - TV on the Radio - Mr. Small's
I'll be at this one, fo sho
8/4 - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Mr. Small's
8/25 - Squirrel Nut Zippers - Mr. Small's +21
8/26 - Meat Puppets - Mr. Small's
10 / 2 - Andrew Bird - Carnegie Music Hall


Pens Schedule Released Today. 1st Home game vs. The Duck October 6th. Here's the rest.


If you have then means, check out the replay of the Brasil vs. Uruguay semi-final last night. Frickin amazing game. A real cracker :) That is all.

EC will be on hiatus the next few days, checking out Pitchfork Fest. So don't get yer panties in a bunch. We'll be back with pictorials and video evidence, hopefully.

Cubs Celebrate by Shoving Hands up Each Other's...

just a follow up to yesterday, compliments of Frank the Face, here's the child proof direct link to:

Cubs Celebrate HR by Shoving Hands Up Each Other's...


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Whiny Dan Patrick OUT at ESPN, plus other crap

I seriously used to like Dan Patrick. But something happened over the past 3-4 years that made me sorta loathe him. Maybe it's just a case of his head getting a little big. But once he started airing his whiny opinions, it appeared DP was more interested in creating stories, rather than reporting them. And whenever he teamed with Keith Olbermann, another gentleman I used to like on ESPN, the two together came off as one giant pompous ass.

I understand the whole journalistic "need to ask the right questions" thingy, but Patrick's obnoxious persistence towards some of his interviewees became somewhat annoying, and painted him more as a show-off than a journalist.

Perhaps the downfall of Patrick started after Rob Dibble left. Like or dislike Dibble, the show didn't have as much dead air as it started to once Patrick went solo.

Good riddance. Perhaps I won't have to turn the dial anymore.

Now if only the programming peeps in Bristol could bring back a real talent to the radio airwaves, like Erik Kuselias, that would be swell. It's a shame Kuselias is being wasted on something as lame as NASCAR.


Pens schedule comes out tomorrow, kids. Sid = Signed. Yeah Ber Ber.


Getting ready for Fantasy Football, I got this little tidbit from Football Guys:

Chargers rookie LB Anthony Waters was arrested Friday and is accused of hitting a man with his car after the man threw a rock at him. He was released on $1,000 bond and no trial date has been set. Waters is being charged with assault and battery. He was selected by San Diego in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft.

Chasing someone down with your car after getting a rock thrown at you. No....seriously.


I watched a whole 5 minutes of the Home Run Derby last night. Turned it off after the 1st 300 "Back, Back, Back's" from Chris Berman. I just heard someone suggest they should spice things up with a "Skills Competition." No...seriously.


Copa America resumes tonight. So if you're bored with the Meaningless 9-Man Stand Around All Star game (as opposed to Meaningful 9-Man Stand Around regular season games, which includes about 20% of MLB teams right now), throw on GolTV at 8:45 tonight:

Brasil vs. Uruguay


Argentina vs. Mexico

The Quarterfinal's loss of exciting close games should be the Semi's gain. Both these matches should be top notch, and arguably represent the Top 4 teams in the competition.


And this just in from Frank the Face. This is CLASSIC (there's no direct link, so you may need to Scroll Down to July 10th):

Cubs Celebrate Game Winning HR By Shoving Hands Up Each Other's Asses


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ass Hat: A-Rod

This one's kinda old news, but I couldn't pass it up. Plus...my Ass Hat Guy has been on vacation the past month. Some people just don't have any sense of priorities :)

In a game last month against the Toronto Blue Jays, while running the bases on a pop-fly in the infield, A-Rod tried to distract 3B Howie Clark by yelling "Mine!!!" as he passed him. Clark thought he was getting called off by the SS, and the ball dropped in the INF.

After the game, A-Rod told reporters that he was influenced by his former Little League team, who used to chant "Hey Batter-Batter-Batter, Swing Batter" when they were in the field.

When told that other MLB players typically frown upon this type of "childish" behavior, A-Rod was defensive and replied:

"Liar Liar, Pants on Fire."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Copa America: Quarterfinals, TFC on FSC

So for as exciting as the 1st Round of Copa America was with 24 Goals in 6 games, the 3rd Round kinda sucked arse. 7 Goals in the entire last round won't win over many new fans. And my "Match Not To Miss" Argentina / Paraguay equally sucked as neither team seemed to care. Oh, well...my bad. Intensity should pick up though...Knockout Stage starts today kids!!

Saturday's match-ups:

Venezuela vs. Uruguay

Brasil vs. Chile

Sunday's match-ups:

Mexico vs. Paraguay

Argentina vs. Peru

My crazy-silly not-so-much predictions sure to go wrong:

Home country Venezuela moves on, winning Group A. And they get, in my opinion, a pretty favorable match-up against Uruguay. The two teams tied Nil-Nil in the group stage, and Uruguay is struggling to find the back of the net (sounds like a certain red-white-and-blue). Despite advancing, they've scored only 1 GOAL IN 3 GAMES!! I'm taking Venezuela here, in what would probably be considered an upset. They'll get to the semi's and get knocked out by....

Brasil. Robinho is absolutely on fire, and could be considered the MVP of the tourney so far. Appears chemistry problems are simmering down, and they should easily handle Chile, who they've already beat 3-Nil. I'll take Brasil to move past Chile and then Venezuela...setting up the Championship that everyone wants to see, against....

Argentina. Hernan Crespo is officially out for the rest of the competition. That's okay (rest up, buddy...we need you at full strength this fall in Italy), Carlos Tevez only logged about 20 minutes in the 1st 2 rounds, so he'll be fresh and ready to go. Beating Paraguay Thursday will prove to be beneficial, as they'll easily handle Peru, and move on to set up the rematch against...

Paraguay. That's right...another upset (I guess). I'll take Paraguay to put an end to this little run Mexico's been on. Then they'll bow out to Argentina.

Argentina vs. Brasil in the Championship, July 15th. I'll have to set the DVR for this one since I'll be at Pitchfork. Argentina wins.


I FINALLY get to see my beloved Toronto FC tonight....Fox Soccer Channel, 8:30 EST vs. Chicago. Need a win, boys!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Drive-Ins are Cool, Killer of Sheep, Pitchfork Samplings

I watch my share of low budget, artsy-fartsy films, perhaps too many. But once and awhile, I don't mind dropping my indie guard, and taking in a BIG, bloated, senseless Hollywood summer blockbuster. That's where Drive-Ins come in handy.

Drive-Ins are perfect for these movies, because you don't have to worry about paying that much attention to it. We can park our lawn chairs behind the car, indulge ourselves in some tasty snacks (perhaps your finest meats, cheeses, and Jujyfruits), and uncork a couple bottles of wine. If a little conversation is necessary, you don't have to worry about missing anything. The next CG generated explosion will grab your attention back to the screen whenever necessary.

So if you're lacking some good 'ol American pop culture, and the US magazine in your doctor's office isn't sufficing, go check out a blockbuster this summer and pay minimal attention.

Speaking of drive-ins...Twin Hi-Way Drive In, in Robinson Twp. has just reopened after a couple of decades of closure. Now showing: Spiderman 3 and Surf's Up.

Twin Hi-Way only has 1 screen, and I guess we'll eventually visit for simple nostalgia sakes. But we're a little partial to the Dependable in Moon Twp. Yes, the Dependable is the same one that used to show porn in the late 70's, early 80's (I'm not exactly positive on that time period, but it's close). Also, while Twin Hi-Way does not allow booze or outside food to be brought in, it appears The Dependable is OK with my wine, cheese, and Jujyfruit thingy. The Dependable has 4 separate screening areas. Our tips:

- Don't go on the weekend...way too packed. And we've found that there's less riff raff on Thursdays.
- Don't go to the main screen (#1). Screens 2, 3, and 4 usually appear less crowded (4 is the smallest). Save the movie on Screen #1 for DVD, if you must.


Speaking of low budget films, we went to see Killer of Sheep last night at Regent Square. Unfortunately, it was the last night it was playing in Pittsburgh.

Check the scheduled screenings, and if you have the means, I highly recommend checking it out. Finished in 1977, it hadn't been released until now. Now it's been beautifully restored, and if your a fan of essential films...this one's a must.


Pitchfork Fest is exactly one week away...here's some more samplings. This particular sample is kinda all-over the indie realm, but that's what's kinda cool about the fest itself...so enjoy what you will:

(left click to play; right click to download)
:: Deerhunter - Strange Lights ::

:: Oxford Collapse - Prop Cars ::

:: Professor Murder - Free Stress Test (Harkin & Wolf remix) ::

:: The Sea and Cake - Up on Crutches ::

:: Dan Deacon - The Crystal Cat ::

:: Califone - Sunday Noises ::

And if you're really silly and ambitious, or not really, check out the FREE eMusic 2007 Pitchfork Music Sampler here. It's FREE. FREE is nice.

Oxford Collapse...me likeys...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

America's Pride Restored

So with the Round 3 results of the last two days in Venezuela, the U.S. Soccer team has been officially eliminated from Copa America. Sorry, but the U.S. vs. Colombia match tonight is relatively meaningless.

But don't fret fellow Americans. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut brought the back the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship yesterday, finally ending Takeru Kobayashi's 5 year reign atop the sport. Not only did Jaws take down Kobayashi, he shattered his previous world record at Nathan's of 53.5 HDB's, burying a total of 66 HDB's!!

According to Sportsbook.com, Chestnut was actually the favorite in the event at 10:13 odds (Koby was an even 1:1). Many had thought that Chestnut, who had a 1.5 HDB lead late last year, choked by not finishing off Koby when he had him on the ropes. In another event last month, Jaws actually downed 59.5 HDB's, so perhaps his role as the favorite were justified.

Major props to Koby for battling injuries, and even competing in the event. He'd just recently had a wisdom tooth extracted, and was experiencing pain in his jaw days leading up to the Championship. The proud champ battled Chestnut to the end, even bettering his previous career best (and previous world record) with 63 HDB's.

There are rumors that Koby appeared to puke up some dog / bun at the end, which would've disqualified him, but the experienced veteran was able to gather himself, and swallow anything that may have otherwise been regurgitated.

This is probably the best programming ESPN has done since NCAA Championship week earlier this March. Here's the last 5 minutes (I'm still looking for guerrilla footage of the supposed puking, which ESPN couldn't show on air)...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


HEEDFEST!!!!!!! From this past Saturday in Dayton...

FAAAAAAAACK!!!! I can't believe I didn't make it to Dayton for this. A lot of love in that room right there. Thank you "pocketspouringseeds" for this.

Bob with Nate and Chris. It's too dark to see...is that Jimmy Mac on drums!?!?!

Also...someone with the screen name "swinginparty" on YouTube has a slew of videos from the "Heedonists" doing a bunch of GBV. The best part...Bob's front and center in the crowd singing along!!!!! Unbelievable. TOO F*$KIN COOL!! Go here:

Heedfest Vids from "swinginparty"

Whoever "swinginparty" is, perhaps we've met, but I thank you.

And thanks to B. Seitz for the generous invite & Barth for the messages. I'm really kicking myself in the noots right now. DAMN!!!!

Copa America: After 2

One round left, and here's the updated standings after last night (the goal differentials are from my notes, read: unofficial, but I believe are they are correct):

Group A

1. Venezuela 4 pts +2
2. Peru 3 pts +1
3. Uruguay 3 pts -2
4. Bolivia 1 pt -1

Group B

1. Mexico 6 pts +3
2. Brasil 3 pts +1
3. Chile 3 pts -2
4. Ecuador 0 pts -2

Group C

1. Paraguay 6 pts +7
2. Argentina 6 pts +5
3. U.S.A 0 pts -5
4. Colombia 0 pts -7

Again, for those new in class, the Top 2 teams in each group advance to the Quarters, and the Best 2 3rd Place finishes advance.

What's this mean for the U.S.:

Basically, they're kinda F'd, but still have a slight shot. If you're holding on hope, here's the 1st game of importance:

Mexico vs. Chile: Wednesday, 4th of July, 6:30pm EST

As a U.S. fan, you once again need to cheer on your hated rivals Mexico. They need to not only beat Chile...but pummel them. The 1st tiebreak is Goal Differential, and Chile is +3 goals right now. However, with a 2 goal Chile loss AND a 2 goal U.S. win over Colombia on Thursday, Bob Bradley's crew would be in (provided Ecuador didn't pummel Brasil and surpass them in GD). The game on Wednesday will tell you what you need to root for on Thursday:

U.S.A vs. Colombia: Thursday, 7/5, 6:30pm EST

Other matches of interest:

Group A is pretty much still up for grabs. Uruguay, while looking better in the 2nd round vs. Bolivia, is still struggling to score goals. After Tuesday, they could either win group A with a win over home country Venezuela, or they could be ousted with a loss and a Bolivia win. Group A, by far, is the weakest of the bunch.

Mexico will clinch Group B with at least a draw against Chile. Hopefully, for the U.S., they won't settle for that. Watch Mexico forward, Nery Castillo. Although erratic at times, dude's a stud with a ton of ability. Hats off to Goalie Oswaldo Sanchez, as well.

Brasil got back on track as expected vs. Chile Sunday. Real Madrid's little Robinho was the man, and with the absence of guys like Kaka and Ronaldhino, he's taking the opportunity to shine. While known for their offensive skills, the Brasil back line was pretty solid as well. Veteran defender Juan has been rock solid in front of Doni (the "powderpuff").

Match to Not Miss in Round 3:

Argentina vs. Paraguay, Thursday, 7/5, 8:45 pm

With a -2 GD, Argentina must win against Paraguay if they want to win Group C. They are both locks for the Quarters, but there is a major difference in potential pairings, depending on who finishes 1st and 2nd...

The winner of Group C will play the 2nd place team outta Group A (the weak group). HOWEVER...the 2nd place team in Group C must square off with the winner of Group B...that being either Mexico or Brasil (most likely, Mexico). I would assume Argentina will be out to win, which will force Paraguay to play for the W as well. That should lend to an exciting end-to-end game.

Haven't seen a report on Argentina's Hernan Crespo, since he went limping off after last night's PK goal. No problem...Carlos Tevez is fresh and ready. How sick is that?!?!? The Argentina bench, with the likes of Tevez, Gago, Pablo Aimar, and Diego Milito, is maybe better than everyone else's starting squad.

A few peeps have givin it to me for my seemingly pro-Argentina rants, but with the U.S. not caring about this tournament, I've gotta root for my guys. With a heavy Inter Milan influence (Crespo, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Burdisso), and my favorite player in the world Lionel Messi playing for Argentina, I'd like to see these guys get their 1st international trophy since '93 (I believe). And my boy Crespo (with the freshly shaved hair-doo) has never won an international competition...so...let's go Argentina!!!!

Oh...and not having seen much of Riquelme this past year, it's been a pleasure watching him perform. Dude is lights out, top-notch, world class stuff.

And a final note on Team America...


You wouldn't have noticed it from the 3-1 score, but the U.S. pretty much dominated much of the play against Paraguay. A ton of chances inside the box, yet no one could finish. On the good side...Benny Feilhaber...I likeys. He's a keeper.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pirates Fans Prove Case, for Nuttings

So the Pirate fan protest Saturday night basically proved my point (see: Pirates Fans vs. Nuttings). But I'm just a dork with an opinion & an Internet connection. Worse for protesters, they proved the Nuttings point. Fans will attend PNC Park despite the game on the field.

I keep hearing this cry of, "they owe it to the fans." Here's the harsh truth to the matter: The Nuttings DO provide what the vast majority of PNC attendees want: family entertainment. 90% of people who go to Pirate games don't care about winning baseball. Another 5% care, but will continue to attend games, anyway. Sure people will get upset over a loss when they leave, but they'll get over it. The next Fireworks night, they'll be back. Because that's what they want. Sorry.

The attendance announced Saturday night was 26,000. Maybe 1,000 got out of their seats at the end of the 3rd as planned. Reports are that maybe 100 people left the park. Most everyone who left their seat returned an inning later.

Leaving your seat and hanging out in the concourse??? Isn't that what fans at PNC do anyway??

This is why I'm non longer a fan. Take notice of the teams I support, whether they're here in Pittsburgh (i.e. Steelers, Penguins), over in Europe (Inter, Barca, Liverpool), or upstairs in Canada (Toronto FC). They've got passionate fans who care about the GAME ON THE FIELD!! They don't give a sh*t about frickin Bobbleheads!! I want zero part of a fan base that have sold out their desire to win for a Bobblehead. I'd be embarrassed to still be considered part of that contingent.

Pirate games are what they are: a family night out. And I'm sorry for those, like me, who wanted the "We are Family" thingy and proud tradition of Pirate baseball to live forever. But times have changed and nobody cares...except for a small majority of you.

This is what they care about:

Yeah...I got a last minute offer to attend PNC Saturday night. I was not taking part of the protest because again, I don't care. They were free tickets in the very front row, so I wasn't leaving. I drank my beer, crammed a hot dog down my face, watched some baseball, and laughed internally at all the supposed "fans" who cheered just as loud for the Pierogi Race as they did when the Bucs got 6 runs in the 2nd.

The other choice you have, as an irate fan who wants winning baseball, is to stop going. It may be difficult, but unless you can convince 20,000 in attendance to give a crap, then you're fighting a losing battle. If people continue to buy tickets to see that joke of an organization, then you're supporting what the Nuttings are selling.

Sorry to be so blunt for the few of you who care, and I support the fact that some of you are at least doing something about it. But your anger is focused at the wrong people. Next protest...take a long look around at your brethren.

My suggestion as an objective viewer w/o any emotional ties (not that it matters), is to aim this Irate Fan Movement more towards the real problem: the people who go to PNC for the amusement factor. Here's some ideas...

Boo the Pierogi Race. Boo the Hot Dog Toss. Throw your Bobbleheads in the garbage can. If you catch a T-Shirt, throw it back on the field. Chant "Sit Down Parrot" when he's in your section. I would show blatant discontent (mind you, without any vulgarities) for everything that has nothing to do with baseball. Show the "fans" around you how un-cool or un-hip "Let's Play Bucco" is. Write letters to the front office, and ask why ushers can't permit fans from entering their seats in the middle of play (after all, other "baseball" parks do this).

Until these "fans" grow tired of the extracurricular stuff at PNC, and care more about baseball, the Nuttings will continue to do what they need to make $$. And as a business owner, they have that right. It's almost pointless, and somewhat ignorant, to blame them entirely. They have simply recognized what the majority of their customers want, and provide it accordingly. That's just smart business.

Pirates fan protest fizzles out

Some Bucs fans, but not too many, leave their seats in protest

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thome's Homies, circa 2007

So it's been about 1 year ago to the day when we started this stupid little blog with a post titled, Thome's Homies. Clarke and crew came to town, and Thome hit the biggest ball I'd ever seen in person.

A few weeks ago, Jim was back in town, perhaps for the last time in his career. And since Jimmy missed out on this year's trip, we actually got a few quality shots after dinner, minus the lean-ins.

Can't go without saying once again...Jim's the man. Coolest, most down-to-earth athlete you'd ever want to meet. Baseball could use a few more like him. More Thomes and less Man-Rams...and I'd be a much bigger fan of the game.

For those pals I'd been promising pictures to, here ya go:

Thome's Homies 07

Misc. notes from the weekend:

Clarke has officially taken over the reigns of the delicate flower, refusing to even try a Primanti's sandwich. I believe the comment was somewhat Bucky-esque, "I don't like cole slaw," and then he said something under his breath about fries on the sandwich being "crazy."

Tony's Cheesesteak, on the other hand, never stood a chance.

Ran into Bob Costas on the way to Bettis' joint. I admit I've never been the biggest fan, but he was about as nice as could be. Very cool dude, at least up to the point where he tried to run off with one of our Bobbleheads...

Oh, and speaking of Bettis, nice little place that Grille 36. The food looked delicious, but we were still a little bloated from beers and nachos to try anything besides the booze. The one-way mirrors that look out onto the bar from the bathrooms are pretty cool, if not unique.

Bicks spent about 5 hours in the Pittsburgh during his visit, and had a little "Jimmy" in him at Fatheads, ordering the entire left side of the menu...

Oh, and thanks to the fine people at Ciao Baby. After a nice little dinner Friday night, we'd tried to find a cab (I'd warned y'all about the cab situation in the Burgh). Anyways, after cooking us dinner, the chef gave us a ride back to the Westin.

And I don't want to sound like I'm picking on anyone, so I won't mention any names, but somebody likes to get a little girl drink drunk off the cosmos at Bosonova.