...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, July 31, 2008

ESPN Radio Pittsburgh Announces New Lineup

Three for Thursday...

The new radio line-up will be:
  • Stan & Guy 10:00 - 1:00. Stan and Guy are back, an obvious and unanimous no-brainer. Stan's insights are a nice addition.
  • Radio Caca w/ Tirico & Van Pelt 1:00 - 3:00. For the ESPN National Soap Opera topic of the day with a plethora of boring NBA talk, tune in here.
  • Scott Paulsen & Eddie Crow from 3:00 - 7:00. I'm not too familiar w/ Paulsen, but Eddie Crow is easily the best personality left in the current line-up. Even if he is a jag-off (insert smiley face).
The real kicker is...during football season, starting (August 29th), we get to hear the self-promoting opinions of Jerome Bettis every Friday from 5:30 - 6:30, live from Bettis Grill 36. So I guess that means, you can go see the show in person, have some less-than-average-but-not-priced-accordingly food...and hear the self-promoting opinions of Jerome Bettis.

Miss Mark Madden? Read his "Madden Monday" column from the Beaver County Times. Still hearing rumors of him joining 105.9 as a possible Penguins pre-game host, but I haven't heard anything official.

Ice Ice Humpal

This just in from Latrobe...

6th Rd draft pick out of Iowa, Mike Humpal, apparently was the best performer amongst the rookies who were forced to sing during lunch. Humpal's version of "Ice Ice Baby" was so much the hit in the lunchroom, that a bunch of fellow Steelers joined in.

Limas Sweed and Tony Hills' performance of the Texas fight song didn't go over as well.

For an "Ask the Steelers" session w/ Humpal straight from the Steelers website...go HERE.

It's tuff...

when the player whose jersey you own, gets injured on the 1st day of camp and will miss the rest of the season.

it's even tuffer when that player is the punter. (yes...we're looking at you DY).

1st person to photoshop a Paul Ernster #? jersey gets a prize.........and, begin....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Robbie the Red!!!!!!!

Liverpool signs Robbie Keane from Tottenham. One of the missing links is inked...

Bleacher Report did a little Q & A with Keane, a childhood fan of Liverpool.

Apparently, Rafa is still trying to find the available financing to complete a deal for Aston Villa's Gareth Barry. If it calls for Xabi Alonso's departure...I say fine. And with Ryan Babel's development, I could probably do w/o Pennant as well. Or Voronin. Either way, if we get Barry to round out our midfield...the Prem will be ours! (bangs chest)

Other footie news...

My beloved TFC dropped another one Monday, losing out on at least a road point when Real Salt Lake's Robbie Findley scored in the 87th minute. I realize we suck on the road, but at least a point would've been nice. Now we're in a 4-way tie for last in the East. These are the bad times...again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Steelers Training Camp Opens

Most important news outta camp...Punter Daniel Sepulveda is OUT for the SEASON. He's got a knee (in my best Wannstedt voice)...an ACL to be exact. Tough break for a good guy, but the GOOD NEWS....

since we don't plan on punting this year, his role was somewhat diminished anyway.

Other news outta camp...
  • Willie Parker is looking fantastic (although some fans will still whine about him not being a "Steeler-type RB")
  • Mendenhall (#34) looks OK
  • Hampton is on the PUP due to bloatedness, but he's working on it.
  • The best CB on the team was held out of practice (and if you need to ask who that may be, you're simply not paying attention).
  • As far as pass protection, FB Carey Davis is looking like a stud....
Backs on Backers (including Davis), Hines making it look easy, plus more video from Day 1 in Latrobe...

So. Pumpt.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Inaction vs. Action

Wanna thank Rando Mango for the following article...which basically sums up with some quantitative data what I've been preaching for awhile.

Your basic NFL games have approximately 12 minutes of "action." At an average of 3 hours, that means there are 168 minutes of "inaction." Or a ratio of 1:14

A larger offender is 9-Man-Stand-Around (often referred to as baseball in some parts). Baseball's ratio: 1:16 action to inaction.

Hockey comes in at 1:4 of action vs. inaction.

Soccer, meanwhile, is the only sport where the action far exceeds the inaction...90+ minutes to @ 25 minutes of inaction, giving it a 1 : .3 ratio of action vs. inaction.

Not sayin. Just sayin.

With that said...I'm SO jackt the Steelers start training camp tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beyond the once red lips...

Thanks to Ned for passing this along. Crazy...speaking of Jason Narducy just a couple of days ago, then this pops up. Partially shot and edited by Jason, and featuring actor Paddy Considine and one of EC's most favoritist of-like-all-time drummers, Jon Wurster. SPEED ON!

Makes me wish we had a camera handy on a certain ride to a certain bar after a certain wedding a couple weeks ago :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

!!! at the Rex (revisited)


Great, great show. My 1st experience at a live !!! gig was a most glorious time.

All ages show, so as always, cocktails needed to be consumed behind the temporarily erected fencing. But other than that...good times.

A couple of highlights...
  • "All My Heroes are Weirdos" rawked my man-boobs.
  • While fidgeting w/ my temporarily defunct camera, I looked up to see Nic Offer dancing and banging on a cowbell right next to me in the crowd.
  • After obtaining a nicely done silkscreen show poster, Jess used her best stalking abilities to secure signatures of the entire band. Confirmation on "entire band was super cool."
No encore...maybe that's a staple of the band, or maybe it was a statement of our relative lameness as an audience (although it appeared to be a happening, albeit smaller, crowd)...who knows. With the amount of energy that Nic and mates leave on the stage, I give them a pass. So this was their last little number of the night...

More PICS here (remember pre-stated defunct-ness of camera)

Oh...and Icy Demons from Chicago were a lot of fun as well. The drummer (unsure of his name), in particular, kicked ass. And we love our friendly kick ass drummers around these parts.

Because someone around here was clammoring for some Nirvana...

I guess the timing fits...

Sub Pop Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. Congrats to Sub Pop, one of the preeminent indie labels around, and thank you for a glorious 20 years. Here's to the next 20 (cheers).

From the '89 album Bleach released on Sub Pop, "Love Buzz" live in Austria...

I believe that is Chad Channing on drums.

And speaking of Sub Pop bands, appears Oxford Collapse is playing the Burgh, Diesel to be exact. They will be opening for We Are Scientists on Monday, August 11th. While we are not big fans of We Are Scientists, we do like us some Oxford Collapse...

(left click to play; right to download)
::Oxford Collapse - Prop Cars::

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Liz Phair (hot) and Exile in Guyville

So Liz Phair released a celebratory 15 year anny reissue of her debut Exile In Guyville last month. I've yet to pick up my copy, but it's on the short list of to-gets. From the sounds of things, there are only 4 extra bonus tracks, but the real kicker is the documentary style DVD that it's packed with, featuring a string of interviews done by Liz herself.

The album (originally on Matador) is being reissued by ATO Records (Dave Matthews' label, cough cough).

The rest of Liz's output may have never lived up to her magnificent debut. Perhaps she's been a little hit-and-miss over the years (critics may say more "miss"). But she gets a pass here on EC, due to hotness (points also awarded for being from Chicago). And Exile is most definitely one of our favorite records of the past 20 years.

Appears she's got 3 more East coast dates in which she'll be performing Exile live, sadly none of which I'll be able to attend. Here's a nicely done vid by taylortsides from YouTube, Phair live at the Hiro Ballroom in New York last month, doing "Divorce Song"...

The original video for "Stratford-On-Guy"...

Not from Exile, but from the follow-up record Whip-Smart, performing on David Letterman in 1995 the single "Supernova" (funny little ode to vinyl by Dave)...

Finally, one must have...

(left click to play; right to download)
:: Liz Phair - Fuck and Run ::

Check out more Liz at her MySpace page HERE.

6 degrees of Bob...

Rawkinly cool dude Jason Narducy, who has played bass for RP's live band in recent years and will be on board for the Boston Spaceships tour this fall (kick-ass!!), played bass and added vocals for some of LP's promotional performances back in 2003.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Funny Games

It's been a while since we threw a film out here on EC...

Rarely can I say I liked a remake better. That said...Michael Haneke's 2007 "Americanized" version of Funny Games is pretty much an exact replica of the original 1997 Austrian version, with some obvious differences in cultural references. But most of the script and shots are exactly the same. The original is great as well...but the latest hits closer to home, for obvious reasons. Top notch acting performances in both, but I give a slight nod to Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet over the original bad guys. And while the late Ulrich Muhe was phenomenal in '97, you can never go wrong with Tim Roth.

Assuming you hadn't seen the original, I'd recommend seeing this one first. Only problem...there are no extras with the current DVD, so if you want a glimpse into Haneke's mind and motives for making the film, then you should check out the 1997 version which has an in depth interview (circa 2005) with the director.

This film is easily my favorite of the year so far. However, I have a difficult time blindly recommending to everyone because many people will probably loathe it. As Haneke says, some people simply "need" this film. And personally, I find it sorta fun to be poked with a stick once and awhile. Morbid, I know.

If you watch Funny Games with a significant other...perhaps someone who likes to watch movies and point out the naivety of the victims...it may be more entertaining for you (as it was for me). Hook. Line. Sinker :)

I won't spoil anything, but I'll just say the way Haneke slowly builds suspense in his films (see Cache) is fresh and creative. No CG stuff, no goofy score, no crazy special effects, no overproduced crap. The other ingredient I found enjoyable was that provocative poking I was mentioning. Funny Games gives you that uncomfortable feeling. You'll see.

The 2007 trailer...

The 1997 trailer...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

!!! at the Rex

Coming this Tuesday...should be a good time.

Gotta like a band whose name you can pronounce anyway you see fit. While the common pronunciation is "Chk Chk Chk," I thinks "Sid Sid Sid" works. Go ahead and try it out yourself. I guess the only rule of thumb is: !!! is "pronounced as any sound repeated three times." Probably complicates things on the Google front...but that's a small sacrifice.

I guess their new drummer, Paul Quattrone, is from the Burgh. So that's cool.

At Grant Park for Lollapalooza in 2007, doing "All My Heroes are Weirdos." Check out the moves from lead singer Nic Offer. We gotta party with this dood...

Check 'em out on MySpace HERE.

(left click to play; right to download)
!!! - Me And Giuliani Down By The School Yard (A True Story)

Friday, July 18, 2008

She & Him

Feelin a bit lazy today. So in lieu of gushing about my favorite film of the year, Funny Games (Haneke '07 version)...which we just saw the other night, thought I'd pass this delightful little tune from She & Him that was released earlier this week...

Fun stuff from M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. Go HERE for more. Or go to Merge Records to buy.

We'll be back later with more on Funny Games.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The new drunk referees...

have hoisted the flag...

Can't figure out if he's boozy, or if he effed up his back. Apparently, they figured something was wrong when he quit running up and down the field, and started calling the game from midfield.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good Riddance Billy Packer

Been away for about a week, only to return to the greatest news that NCAA Hoops has had since...I don't know...the "dunking ban"was lifted in 1976. Billy Packer is d.u.n. at CBS...out as the lead analyst for March Madness. Thank God.

Not to wallow in Packer's misfortunes, but we've loathed the self-important Packer for a long time around these parts. Maybe we've even played a small part here at EC.

Delusional ass bag Jim Nantz had this to say about his former partner...
"He is the ultimate curator protecting the integrity of the sport. Fans don't realize they owe Billy a thank-you."
I'm guessing more of the "thank-you's" will be heading towards CBS brass who finally came to their senses and canned his pompous ass.

Big thanks to EC pal Dan Yost for tipping us on Packer's new job...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bob's Room

Thought I'd pass along...

From the latest issue of Spin...cool little feature called "In My Room" featuring Mr. Robert Pollard, in his room...GO HERE. (Check out the Devo album behind him on the couch...SWEET!)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Screw Hossa. We've got Satan.

Thanks to Pensblog and whomever posted it there for above image

YAY Satan! I've always loved Satan. All the way back to his Buffalo Sabre days. Now only if he can regain some of that scoring touch. I'm assuming he'll be Sid's RW, so I'll also assume he'll score more than the 16 goals he had last year.

We've also got Ruslan Fedotenko. And you can never have enough Ruslan in today's NHL.

F*#k the Marian Hossa. Although Ray Shero didn't come out an exactly say it...I agree...let's worry about players who want to be here. I've never been one to root for injury, but I have to admit...I think it would be pretty funny if Hossa blew a knee next year, missed out on another cup, as well as a huge pay-day due to said injury. My 2nd favorite team will now be whoever plays the Red Wings. Although the schedule hasn't been released yet, if Detroit were to come to the Burgh next year, that's one game I will not miss. Boo this man.

With Crosby, Malkin, Fleury (2nd best G in the world behind Buffon), Whits, Orpik, and soon-to-be Staal locked up for the next 5-6 years...I think we'll be more than OK. Besides, after my assistant GM (Dan Yost) and I sat down last night to crunch the numbers, signing Hossa to $7 million a year would've been the WRONG thing to do. F*^K Hossa. After the Feds / Satan pick-ups, we're only $2.9 million away from the cap. Pay attention...

Here's my forward lines for next year...

Dupuis / Crosby / Satan
Staal / Malkin / Sykora
Fedotenko / Talbot / Kennedy
???? / ???? / Godard

I'd rather have Staal at C, but he almost needs to play LW out of necessity, to fill the void left by Malone. Also...Staal can take the face-offs for Geno on the 2nd line...which would be a plus. Staal will be 5x the player (eventually) that Malone was, so this will soon be an upgrade. And Max Talbot is too valuable to have as your 4th line C.

So sign Hossa, and all of a sudden we're 3 Forwards short instead of two!!! F&%K Hossa. If there's a mistake I've seen from Shero, it was letting Adam Hall and Ruutu go for as cheap as they were ($600,000 and $1.3 million, respectively). Now you need to find two 4th line players just to fill those voids. I assume Ruutu left b/c of Therrien.

Here's another option, and one I'm sure Shero is looking into. We desperately need to unload one of these DEF. F^@K Hossa. If you include Goligoski as NHL ready, we've got 9 (NINE!) Blue-liners under contract. My choice is to deal Sydor. At $2.5 million, he may be tough to unload. Get whatever you can for him, even if it's a draft pick. But that $2.5 could desperately be used on a Forward. Here's my D-pairings...

Gonch / Orpik
Whits / Scuderi (or Eaton)
LeTang / Gill

so you've already got 1 DEF to scratch, leaving Goligoski in WB-S (I assume). Sydor and his bloated contract needs to go (probably one of the few mistakes made by Ray).

So the way I see it...signing the gutless Hossa would've been the WRONG thing to do. FUCK Hossa.

BTW...where's Jeff Taffe??

For the full scoop with figures on the cap as it pertains to the Pens, go to Hockey Buzz.com HERE.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Eric Godard

Ladies and gentlemen...Mr. Eric Godard...

so he beat up a Flyer last October. I like him already.

6'4", 214. 17 fighting majors last year in 74 GP's. Listed as a RW, but can also play some DEF. HERE'S his 07-08 Fight Card from Hockeyfights.com. Had 295 PIM's in the AHL back in 04-05, playing for Bridgeport. Only 171 PIM's in74 games last season, so looks he's becoming more disciplined (insert smiley face). I'll go out on a limb and say this spells the end of the BGL era in Pittsburgh.

My take: he may lack the offensive prowess of BGL (slight chuckle), but he comes much cheaper. Signing approved.

Hey...we may lose Hossa. But at least we'll have an Eric Godard skating around for organization.


is having your Pitcher bat 8th in the line-up. It is equally as STUPID when smart guy Tony LaRussa does it. I don't even follow baseball anymore, but I do know that it is simply a STUPID move by someone wanting to look smart. There's a reason nobody in baseball ever does it. It's STUPID. As a matter of fact...NOTHING says "I want to appear to be smart while I'm really STUPID" better than batting your pitcher 8th in the line-up.

On the brighter side of things, the Pens have inked Pascal DuPuis to a 3-year, $3.5 million dollar deal. YAY! We'll save the YAY! for when/if they sign Hossa.

And Gino Machino is "very close" to signing a deal that looks very similar to Crosby's deal. We will see.


Jim Rome just belted out 61 "Gimme Back My Son!!'s" and I can not stop laughing.