...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, March 31, 2011

Losing to the Flyers sucks

Other things that suck...

The Penguins power play. Holy crap is it bad. Something like 3 PP goals in their last 20+ games?!?

Players who never, ever, ever score. James Neal is now on this list. He joins Mike Rupp, Max Talbot, Craig Adams, Chris Conner, I know I'm forgetting someone. The Kris Letang drought is also starting to glare.

Interference calls on face-offs. When they're called only once every 4 years, and it happens to be called on your team, they suck even more.

High sticks that crack lips open which don't get called. They suck even more when all 4 of the stripes gather, talk, and come up with some reason why it isn't a penalty.

Channeling bad Geno Malkin. Kovalev comes down the right wing, 2-on-1, and scores a beauty of a goal. Happy times! Later, an errant drop pass by Kovy turns into a goal the other way...the GWG as it would turn out to be. I hate the drop pass at the blue line. The Russians seem to love it. Matter of fact: it has been scientifically proven that the drop pass results in 2 times as many goals for the other team than it does for your own. Someone needs to relay this to the Russians on the Penguins. The drop pass indeed sucks.

Bad bounces.

The fact that the NHL has a place for a pud puller like Dan Carcillo.

Things that didn't suck:

The return of Mark Letestu. Test tube was money all night on the draws...something this team needs badly.

TK continues to impress. His head is very puffy and swollen right now. So much so, he thought he could toe drag one across the width of the rink and thru 3 defenders. "Shoot the puck" was heard from some dope in the crowd. Kennedy's been a stud since January. Watching him make a fool of Kimmo Turnstilemen was fun to watch.

Kuni's mustache. Pure gold.

Go Pens. Big game tonight vs Tampa.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gentlemen, start your...


Sidney Crosby has been cleared for game day skates, and will be traveling with the team to Florida. Erroneous reports said Ray Shero put a "2-3 week" timetable on his return. That timetable does NOT appear to be exactly true.  Rob Rossi said earlier that he was cleared to "practice with teammates."

But any baby step forward for #87 is good news the morning after you lose to the fricking Flyers (sucky recap of that sucky game coming shortly).

Funny how big this story is in the Burgh.  OJ could be driving the white Bronco through the Fort Pitt Tunnels waving an axe in one hand out the window, and no one would give a shit.  Release Sid!!! 

thanks again to RandoMango whose always on top of it, and is my inspiration for joining Twitter...which I'll be doing soon I think :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wanted: an elbow to the head of Colin Campbell

The look of an ignorant, clueless, and often childish man.

Suspended 2 games. OK.

Suspended 2 games. OK.  (Mike Murphy held Colin's hand on this one, since it involved Campbell's son's team.  NHL rules state that Murphy and Campbell must discuss Bruins' suspensions together over a Slurpee).

Suspended 14-17 games. BRAVO!

Completely ignored. You had me.  Then you lost me.

If you would like to ask the NHL exactly how to elbow someone in the head, contact Colin Campbell at the following address.  Who knows?  Maybe if you're lucky, he'll let you elbow him in the head.  Just make sure you get video of it, and send it to EC.  We will then review it, and personally dish out your suspension.

c/o Colin Campbell

National Hockey League - League Operations
1185 Avenue Of The Americas
New York, New York

Shootouts; Big Game in the Burgh

Shootouts suck, yes.  But when you've got your wallet backing your heart, you want the 2 points any way possible.  This is why I was praying for the SO on Sunday.  The Pens got outplayed most of the day against Florida.  So the last thing I wanted was some fluke bounce, or drop-pass-turned-turnover with more open ice leading to the big L.  And at -270 odds, it would've been a big L.

As soon as the shootout started, the confidence meter went code red.  No way MAF would be defeated by some jobber who was sitting on the bench throughout regulation.  Kovalev sent Clemmentine's jock over the boards before scoring the first, 1-nil.  Fleury poke check.  Neal buries another SO goal.  WINNER.

my Stars:
#1 Fleury.  Impossible to think, but this game could've been over in the 1st period if not for Fleury.  He seemed to be the only Pen awake at puck drop.
#2 Ben Lovejoy.  Lovejoy rewarded Coach Disco's confidence in him by getting the crucial tying goal after the Beloved went down in the 2nd.  We've ripped Benny in the past, but he's playing with a ton of confidence right now.  You would've thought he'd have been the odd man out when Orpik returned.  Instead, Bylsma scratched Engelland.  Testament to how deep this team is.  This is a beautiful problem with the playoffs approaching.
#3 Kovalev.  No, he's not lighting the world on fire.  And anyone expecting he was going to provide 1st line #'s when we only gave up a 7th rder for him was mistaking.  But he got the key assist on Lovejoy's goal, and the SO Winner was a beaut.

Kovy is 3/5 in the SO's.  James Neal is 3/4.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), there's no shootouts in the playoffs.  We need more production from these two in regulation.  I think it's coming...at least from Neal.

Welcome back Brooks!

Team awards were handed out prior to the game.  Most notably, MAF got the team's MVP.  We love Marc-Andre Fleury.  He won't get the NHL's MVP, so people should quit begging for it.  Not saying he's not deserving, just quit getting your hopes up.  Who cares.  We want the Cup.

Later Sunday night, Philadelphia would lose (in regulation...yay!!!!) to Boston.  Mike Richards (leadership) got sent off for a high-stick on Tomas Kaberle late in the 3rd, and Boston got the GW PPG as a result.  Of course Richards would cry dive, embellishment, whatever.  Richards needs to seriously let go of the Ken Hitchcock mantra...everyone dives, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Flyers, LOSER.  Setting up...

TONIGHT. Philly at Pittsburgh
With a win, the Pens could tie Philly atop the East (Flyers would have 1 game in hand).  Some are calling this the biggest game of the regular season, and I concur.  Maybe not for the same reasons, but I concur...

Winning a #1 Seed in the East would be nice...don't get me wrong.  But I firmly believe the Pens could do the same damage coming out of the 4 spot in the East, with Tampa Bay being the likely opponent.  A win tonight is more important because of this: it would send the Flyers, a team who was flying with confidence all season long with the "experts" backing them, into a tailspin.  I can hear the clenching holes now.  Their goal scorers are having a tough time finding the net.  If they drop this one tonight in the CEC, they'll go into full blown pucker mode, with a rookie G in Bobpoopsy who hasn't been playing well the 2nd half of the year (last Thur, excluded).

Appears Test Tube will be back tonight, centering the Kovy and Neal line.  Should help, at least in the face-off department where the Pens have been getting scorched of late.

Also just heard Engo is a healthy scratch again, leaving the same D pairings from Sunday.  Conventional wisdom said the tough guy would be back in the line-up against the Flyers.  But as mentioned in the last Flyers post, these games don't take on the same tone they used to.  I like the call.  Lovejoy is playing great right now.

For the Flyers, Chris Pronger is still out.  This simply means there will be less free cross checks post whistle.

If you have any trouble getting up for tonight's game, the only prescription is...


possibly more bums puckering soon...

ps: who wants to bet that Colin Campbell and the NHL gets it wrong with the Bertuzzi elbow from last night?

Hearing the hypocracy of some "experts" last night already had me laughing to tears.

Big School


posted by some dude pjbaldes over on YouTube. Appears like he did about 4-5 of these things, and from first glance, this one appeared to be the best.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hey Boss...get ready to be happy

Sidney Crosby could be back soon.

"A teammate marveled at his timing during individual on-ice workouts. An assistant coach noted the confidence with which he carried himself in the dressing room. A member of management mentioned the return of familiar steely focus to his eyes."

Mars Classroom - Wish You Were Young

This deserves more mention. Robert Pollard's latest...Mars Classroom ~ The New Theory of Everything will be released this week. Go to The Factory of Raw Essentials and get yours. From what we've heard so far, more bliss from the King of Pop...

What a tune!!!  Bob wrote that gem while you were taking a crap one morning.

thanks to gbvh for the fwd. thanks to pal lwirbel for putting this out there.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marc-Andre Fluery, bitches

MAF owns you. Even the haters and the bashers want back on the Fleury wagon. It's cool. #29 will welcome you back, hoist you on his shoulders, and probably smile the entire time he's carrying you.

Go ahead and fall in love with your goalie. It's OK. Do it. I know it's hard. You may not watch hockey as intensely as we do. So just like when you blame the QB every time your football team loses, you feel like you should blame the goalie every time a goal gets past him. So for normal folk, goalies are hard to cheer for.  We at EC are here to tell you that it's OK to get behind your goalie with confidence.

btw: The Versus brain trust does not want to consider MAF a Vezina contender. But don't pull a Hines Ward. Don't be that guy. It's all good. Don't whine about it. Just let Mr. Fleury bring you another Stanley Cup.

So we go into this 4 game stretch (Rags, Wings, Pumpkin Suits, Trap City) thinking it will be pretty tough. Matt Cooke gets banned from the NHL and single handily loses the first one.  Oh nooooo!  Doom City. But no problem...we dominate the Wings in Detroit (and don't kid yourself...if MAF plays that game, it's 4-1).

Then we go to Philly to play the team that everyone has coming out of the East (this middle finger is for you Keith Jones).  Mike Richards (leadership) scores some fluky goal that ricochets off the scoreboard and past MAF.  Without Bobpoopsy standing on his head for the Flyers, that game could've easily been another 4-1.  So we win in the SO.  1 point lost in the standings, and that sucks.  Kunitz is the hero.

Then we take down the New Jersey Devils at their own little BS game of non-hockey.  2011: Fleury > Brodeur.  James Neal buries it along with Marty's Gatorade bottle.  Boobies!! Season over for Kovalpuke and the Devils.  6 outta 8 points.  FCKYA!!!  I love my hockey team!!!!!!!

Misc thoughts on the Flyers game:
Do these Flyers / Pens games look different to you now? All year long, they've not been the same.  Unfortunately for Pens fans, it appears the Flyers are focused on actual hockey now...which is probably why they are in first place. I can't wait until Peter Laviolette ("Petey" as he's known to Pierre McGuire) is no longer there. Surely, Flyers management can screw this up and find a way to get rid of this guy. As a Pens fan, I liked it better when the Pumpkin Suits were gooning it up, and being a mockery to the league (which was for most of the past 30+ years).

Will Bobpoopsy hold up in the playoffs? I thought I'd heard he's been terrible of late (he got pulled against the Craps), but he looked pretty stellar Thursday night. Here's betting he will fold up shop come playoff time.

On the Pens front: the line of Staal-Kennedy-Kunitz is flying right now. God I love my Kunitz. And props to TK, whose been amazing for an extended period now.

James Neal will score. Eventually. He's too good not to. And he's eating up a lot of space right now, and attracting a lot of attention. With Sid as his center, this guy will score 30+ without a fart sneeze.

my stars in no particular order: Fleury, Kuni, TK.

Misc thoughts on the New Jersey game:
5 shots in the entire 1st period by both teams combined.  Jesus what a snoozefest.  But that's what the NJ games always seem like.  The big difference Friday night: instead of getting frustrated with their methods and eventually turning the puck over, the Pens held onto the puck (for the most part), and relied on MAF (as they should) to turn away any BS chances the Devils might trip across.  We beat NJ at their own lame ass game.

my 3 stars: Fleury, Fleury, Fleury.

ADIOS New Jersey.  Even Puddy knows the Devils are dead now.

Sunday: let's not let FLA hang around. Pound 'em early and often. Then it's on to Round 2 against Philly. The CEC should be in frenzy on Tuesday. "Should" being the key word.

editor's note: we are aware that the last 3 W's have come in the SO. Now back off :)

1-Nil TFC at Half!!!!

Goal by Javier Martina in the 14th! We love that dude! Portland pressuring at the end of the half. The Beloved is clinging.

thanks to jables for the live pic from BMO!! thanks to Yast for the killer feed.

Editor's update: WINNER.


play loud...

right about now, you're probably thinking a few things:

a) Chavez fucking rawks
b) that video is hilarious
c) what the crap does this video / song have to do with the Penguins?
d) where's the Mars Classroom coverage?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday

The Screamers. FCKYA. Synthpunk rules. Flyers suck. RIP Tomata du Plenty.

It's a good day. Kinda cold. But the sun is out. Pens beat the Flyers. It's Friday. Another game tonight. Let's go Pens!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now let's you just drop them pants

Ned Beatty as Dez Bryant
Hillbillies as Mall Security
Jon Voight as Jerry Jones

squeal louder. louder! squeal louder

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


and you thought Martyrs was a rough ride?  Actually, we thought Frontier(s) was directed by the same guy (Pascal Laugier), but turns out it's some other French sicko (and we say "sicko" with the utmost affection), Xavier Gens. After seeing it, you might see some similarities.  Anyway, must see...

The film was banned in Thailand for its violence. And after being slated for 2007's After Dark Horrorfest, it was booted for its NC-17 rating (really?!).  Instead, it premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Fest, and received its own theatrical release.

"The French answer to Saw and Hostel." ~ John Anderson, Variety
I'm not a big Saw fan. I was thinking more along the lines: Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Martyrs, and sprinkle in some neo-Nazism. Anyway...I guess I dare you to watch it. Just don't tell anyone I recommended it. I blame jables :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cookie done. Let's move on.

Matt Cooke is done for the regular season + 1 round, meaning he may have played his last game in a Penguin uniform. Let's pretend for a second the Pens get completely healthy (including 87), and they get through the 1st round.  You would have to assume they'd be playing good hockey at that point, and consequently, may decide to move on w/o a guy who's been out of the line-up for more than a month. It's not a stretch.

And I've got to think Mario and Shero will try to move Cookie in the offseason, and possibly waive him if they can't do that.  #66 does not like to be embarrassed.  And that's exactly what Cooke has done here.  Buying out his contract would be a stiff price, with a $900,000 cap hit for the next 4 years.  They won't do that.  But here's predicting that people will get a glimpse of the hypocracy among NHL organizations when they see that dealing Matt Cooke (or seeing him picked up off waivers) will not be as hard as it appears.  Do you doubt Ray Shero can get a deal done?  Not me.

When he's not being a moron, there is value to Cooke's game.  He's gotten 10+ goals in 9 of his past 10 seasons, and has been a +31 over his past 2 years in Pittsburgh.  Without 2010 Selke finalist Jordan Staal in the lineup for 1/2 the year, he's been one of the main reasons the Penguins lead the NHL in PKilling.  You can guarantee that at least one GM in the league will believe they can straighten out his stupid antics.

Appears Cooke has just apologized HERE.  Moving on from Matt Cooke...

Eff him.  We've got Pascal Dupuis!!!  I love my Pascal.  And maybe the best part of losing Cooke would be the opportunity to resign Duper (UFA).  Another phenomenal PKer, Dupuis had a hand in the first 3 goals of the night.  The first one was meh...a backhander that somehow got through Jimmy Howard's pads.  Then after assisting on Chris Kunitz's 22nd, he got the back breaker with an SHG. After TK made it 4-Nil, it was happy times.

Then Brent Johnson decided to suck.  Zetterturd made it 4-1 late 2nd.  Early 3rd, Filppula makes it 4-2.  Sphincters clinch.  PK goes to shit.  4-3 and clinching.  4-4 barf.  We're still trying to figure out what Brent Johnson was looking at when Mike Modano's wrister was buzzing by his left ear.  I start calling for Fleury to the rescue.  These are the bad times.

Somehow, the Penguins hold on for 1 point.  Pierre McGuire continues to give the Red Wings hand jobs throughout the OT.  Nothing.

Shootout...Brent Johnson, who I've been ripping for the entire 3rd period, comes up huge.  For the record, Johny played great for the 1st half of the game.  Based on the 2nd half, maybe you could conclude there was some luck involved there (we recall a "GREAT SAVE" per Pierre, where Johny was sprawled across the crease, and with the entire upper 75% of the net open, Darren Helm shot one into his pads).

Anyway...zero G's through the first 5 SO attempts. We thought Kunitz would be the 3rd shooter for the Penguin. Disco Dan is smarter than you (and me). James Neal is sent out. BURIES IT.

HUGE 2 points with Philly and NJ on tap. Gutty effort. Had to feel a chubby for Neal. He hasn't been awful, but he hasn't been burying the puck, either. What a call by Disco!! If Neal goes on a tear...look back at this decision from Bylsma.

my personal 3 Stars from the Pens:

#1 Star - Duper.  2 G, 1 A, +3.
#2 Star - Kunitz. G (22nd), A, +2.  Dude is having a great season, even w/o 87 centering his line.
#3 Star - Neal. Not much of a game, but the SO winner was huge. Interestingly, the official 3 Stars had him listed as the #1 guy. He was a -1 with 1 SOG, and curiously passed up a few shots.  Not his greatest game.

Hopefully, the PK collapse (2-4) was just a blip.  I don't want to miss Matt Cooke.

Power Play is still dreadful.  James Neal played the point for the brief amount of time that the Pens could even manage the puck into Detroit's zone.

Can we win a fricking face-off please?  Letestu is missed.

I'm not expecting the world out of Alex Kovalev.  I am expecting a little bit more, though.  Just a bit.

Letang looks exhausted.  I doubt we'll have our playoff position wrapped with any time to spare, but when Orpik comes back, does Bylsma pull a Boudreau and rest Letang before the playoffs?  Just a thought.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fire Matt Cooke; selfish dicks

A couple of weeks ago, we looked ahead to a 4 game stretch which included Ottawa, Edmonton, and Buffalo, and said the Pens could easily pick up 6 points.  They did.  Going into Sunday, our next 4 games included the Rags, at Detroit, at Philly, and NJ (the hottest team in the NHL).  Tough stretch.  So with a 1-1 game in the 3rd period yesterday, Matt Cooke (selfish dick) decided it was more important to elbow some dude in the head than pick up valuable points in the standings.  5 minute major, game misconduct, game over.  The Pens stand 1 point ahead of Tampa for home ice in the 4/5 match-up, and by week's end, could be looking up at the Lightning.  Thanks, Cookie (selfish dick).

In a season where the Pens have had to scratch and claw their way through a MASH unit of injuries and adversity, Matt Cooke (selfish dick) decided his personal agenda was more important.  I'm done with Matt Cooke (selfish dick).  And from the sound of Dan Bylsma's comments post-game, sounds like he's getting close to fed up as well.

Word on the streets is Matt Cooke (selfish dick) is heading to Toronto today for a hearing, which means a suspension is imminent.  How long, who knows?  Surely, Colin Campbell will do another poor job.  We hope he's done for the season, which would mean 10 games.  If you apply the Trevor Gillies principle, he'll get 5 games (1 more than he got last time).  Personally, I don't care if he ever comes back.  It's a shame, too, because Cooke (selfish dick) actually has some hockey skills.  His presence on the PK, and fore checking presence would be missed.  He's already on Ray Shero's books for the next 2 years at $1.8m/yr guaranteed, so dumping him is tricky.  Personally, I'd rather have Pascal Dupuis at $1.4 and Max Talbot at $1...two UFA's who would become more important to sign without Cooke (selfish dick).

The fact that he's wearing an 'A' is embarrassing...

Curious that Cooke didn't even try his patented "what did I do?" innocent routine as he skated off the ice. Also curious as to what Sid thought when he saw this.

This is certain: There will be a massive run on Mario Hateraid this week.

game side note: Why don't you guys get the Power Play going?

game side note 2: Eddie Olczyk still sounds like a bitter little girl when doing Pens games.  DUDE!  Mario fired you like 6 effing years ago.  GET OVER IT, bitch!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don Thrasher interviews Bob

This came out over a week ago...really nice little 5-part piece over at the Buddha Den, where former GBV drummer and Dayton writer Don Thrasher interviews RP.

Fire Jamie Dixon; dumb asses

Nothing new here. Another year where Pitt doesn't play up to their seed in the NCAA Tournament. Another year where they choke. Jamie Dixon would like for you to believe that they were outplayed for most of the night. They were. Also nothing new.

The major problem with Dixon, however, is the complete incompetence displayed in the final 1.4 seconds. Tie game...you had to have seen the missed free throw coming from Gilbert Brown (they're Pitt, remember that they always choke). What in the world is Dixon trying to accomplish by putting anyone in a Pitt uniform in the lane with 1.4 seconds left?! Jamie Dixon would like you to believe there was a chance for a tip in off the missed free throw (which we knew was coming...remember, Pitt always chokes). But a tip-in off a missed FT happens about 100 times less than what actually did happen.  A foul.

Every team has a dumb ass low IQ person or two, or 3 or 4 or 5.  This is the NCAA Tournament, so this is normal.  Nasir Robinson is a dumb ass low IQ person.  Everybody knows this.  For some reason, Robinson (dumb ass low IQ person) thought that hacking a dude on the rebound with less than a second left was going to accomplish something other than doom for Pitt.  So dumb ass low IQ person is a major player in the choke job as well.  But where Dixon fails is this: You don't put your dumb asses low IQ people in a position to make them fail.  Nasir Robinson (dumb ass low IQ person) should have never been in the lane in the first place.  Surely, one of the 17 assistant coaches sitting on the Pitt bench could have instructed the Pitt players with 2 simple words: NO FOULS.  But maybe the entire coaching staff is as incompetent as Dixon.  Either way, Dixon is responsible.  Dixon must go.

Whiners will point out that the referees should swallow the whistle, and not decide the game in that situation.  Those same whiners have too short a memory to remember that less than 1 second prior, it was Butler being called for a foul that sent Pitt to the line in first place.

Dixon apologists will point to Pitt's stellar regular season record under the current regime.  Bravo.  Have fun with it, because that is the only thing Pitt will ever accomplish under the deer in headlights that is Jamie Dixon.

This kid > Charles Barkley...

* editor's note: I was told the term "dumb ass" is a tad harsh. These are kids, after all. Just some kids are dumber have a lower IQ than others.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Play Gleemer!!

Cymbals Eat Guitars covers the GBV. Everyone loves the GBV.

Friday, March 18, 2011

this will change your life...

Impossible to play only once. Play it again. You know you wanna!

thanks Weldy!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Burning Bright

A prick stepfather, a hot college chic, an autistic kid, Meat Loaf, and a tiger. All the ingredients of the perfect horror flick. FCKYA!

**** SPOILER (not so much) ALERT ****

After a bit of a slow start (and not knowing the synopsis of the story), my better half comments: "Something's gotta happen here." My response was, "well, jables recommended it, so what do you think?"


EC's official Final 4 Selections:

The Buckeye
The Blue Devil
The Fighting Irishman
The Panther

And we're gonna roll with the Buckeye over the Panther in the championship.

Buyer beware: we've watched less hoops this year than forever since I can remember.

Funny...I remember not too long ago, doing a certain Bracket show...with a viewership of about 5...where we'd break down all 64 teams.  I'd have a binder filled with notes on every team in the field.  But prior to this week, I couldn't tell you one single player on Ohio St. 

That's how disinterested I've become. I don't know why.  Maybe it's because all these guys look so pissed off all the time.  You score, you get angry.  I'm not sure I get that mentality.  Be happy.  It's so much easier.

But anyway...once the Madness hits, it's hard not to fill out a bracket pool or five.

**** Saw a tidbit on how Grant Hill objected to Jalen Rose calling him an "Uncle Tom" in the new Fab Five documentary. Then saw Jalen try to explain that it wasn't how he felt NOW...more or less that's how he felt THEN. Understandable...but no mention to how sad it was that he or his teammates once felt that way. Pretty unfortunate. I have yet to see the Fab Five thingy, but I am curious if they mention one thing: Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson never won a single thing at Michigan. Or is that just a footnote?

**** This is old news (a couple years, maybe?)...but no more Billy Packer.  And that is awesome.

**** VCU Head Coach Chaka Kahn called out Jay Bilas after his squad ousted USC in the play-in game last night. (note: we refuse to call this the 1st round, it's officially the play-in round to us). Bilas was pretty adimant Sunday that VCU was not deserving of a bid into the dance. He also explained that just because they got in....doesn't mean they can't win a game or two. So "not deserving" and "not being capable" are two different things, and we can see the distinction. So I guess Chaka is going to use the overused "us against the world" thingy.

get yer GBV Grand Rapids tix!

EC advises that you get tickets for this immediately. They go on sale THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 18th at noon via Ticket WEB. Rumor has it the capacity is only 430, and this will be the Grand Opening of the Pyramid Scheme, a new venue in downtown GR.  Do it.

Coincidentally, one of the co-owners is Mark Sellers, brother of John...who authored one of our favorite reads Perfect From Now On.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Moodswingers at Lava Lounge

one of our favorite local bands is back at the Lava Lounge on the South Side...THURSDAY.  As in this Thursday (tomorrow) - St Patty's day.  Join me for a Guinness and some local rock.

Their new album A World to Save is out, and we highly recommend it.  A few of our favs include "Thrill", "I'll Wait", and the final track on the album, "Hope You're All Right."  You can pick yours up for $10 cheap (support local artists!!!) at the show or at local record stores, or e-mail drummer Dennis Childers at dennisdc30@hotmail.com for a copy.

They've also got a free download of the album on their website, with a mere option of donating your choice of loot.  Do it.  Donate.  And be happy.

But we highly recommend you coming out Thursday to witness the raw power of Moodswingers.  It may not change your life, but it could make your night.  Mud City Manglers will also be playing, and they kick ass as well.  Check 'em out HERE.

From their last show at Gooski's last month, here's the title track "A World to Save", shot by our very own Tripod...

Moodswingers - A World to Save from Almost Human on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

beautiful week for the beautiful game

Four more teams will punch tickets to the Champions League quarterfinals over the next 2 days.

I'm not too optimistic about my Beloved Inter's chances to advance.  Chasing a 1-nil home loss back on Bayern Munich's turf is a tall task.  It's even taller considering Lucio should miss.  Eto'o has been playing well of late, but much of Inter's success over the past month has been due to Giampaolo Pazzini...who is cup-tied and can not play.  Bayern is coming off a massive 6-nil W over Hamburg, Ribery is a stud, and even Robben (while not flopping all over the place) is in top form.  My official stance is I'm abstaining and rooting from the heart with a little bit of hope.

Hopefully, the return leg of this Man U / Marseille fixture offers a bit more.  The nil-nil draw back in France was a dud.  Marseille hasn't conceded a goal in 512 minutes.  Man U is undefeated in their last 11 knockout stage games at Old Trafford.  1-1 would get it done, but we don't see it that way.  I've already laid the 4-1 odds for the Red Devils to advance, so we'll abstain from the game and pray for our rivals to move on.

Chelsea won pretty easily at Copenhagen in the 1st leg, 2-nil. It felt more like 5-nil. The only thing amusing about this match was watching Fernando Torres fail time and time again to score. Admittedly, we're not that up Copenhagen. But it left us wondering how the fuck they got this far. The only hope they have is if Chelsea somehow looks past them, looking ahead to their big game against Man Shitty this weekend. Probably won't happen. Not laying the odds, though. Abstain.

A late goal by Lyon in the first leg (1-1) gives them a puncher's chance. And while Real Madrid gained 2 points on Barcelona over the weekend, we gotta think Jose has the full focus on this competition. While a nil-nil draw would get Madrid through (and one could argue Mourinho is no stranger to that tactic), we're gonna back the Special One, and lay the odds.

Officially 7-6 in the Knockouts, with a slight plus. A loss here would suck...two would be ugly.

Europa League: 4:00pm on GOLTV. Liverpool chasing a 1-nil L at Braga in the return leg back at Anfield. Our last chance for hardware. C'mon Boys!!

MLS Opening Weekend
The beloved TFC kicks off this Saturday at Vancouver at 6:30 est!  A recent look at Sports Illustrated has them predicting TFC to finish a dismal 7th place in the East.  They've got "Sporting" Kansas City playing (surprise) the LA Galaxy in the Final.

Hopefully, Dutch dude Aron Winter can get us into the playoffs for the first time since forever.  We're waiting on Yast to give us a TFC Preview.  But seeing we're still waiting on Part 2 of his 5-part TFC breakdown from the 2009 season, we could be waiting a while :)

The Vanishing

Kiefer Sutherland as Me
Sandra Bullock as Sidney Crosby
Jeff Bridges as Concussion Symptoms
Nancy Travis as Alexei Kovalev?

the worst part about the whole Sid thing is / was the unknown.  Ask Kiefer.

So Sid skating doesn't guarantee he'll be back this season.  I'm fine with that.  Maybe he'll come back after the 1st round of the playoffs...maybe the Conference Semis. That would be swell. But the important thing here is that it's a start.  The unknown was the worst.  Retire?!?!  Sheesh.  He's Sidney Crosby for chrissakes.  And for now...this little blip of lacing up the skates and putting the gear on is good enough.

my eyes get a little moist watching this...

in other news: Aaron Asham appears set for a return Sunday. The "who sits" is an exciting and new problem with this team.

Monday, March 14, 2011

we interrupt this regularly scheduled blog...

to tell you that:

SID SKATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

once again, we get word first from our #1 source of late breaking hockey info from Canada's Rando Mango. You would think we might get word first from a certain person who works for a certain organization, but nooooooo! Thus, we rely on our friends from north of the border :)

A Miracle Cure for my Sorrow

Tom Renney (puke) has one of the youngest teams in the NHL. They were also eliminated from playoff contention in December. So what better way to groom his young club (with nothing to play for) than to implement the neutral zone trap. Don't play hockey. That would be the wrong thing to do. Teach them how to dumb down the game.

Yesterday's Pens game against Edmonton was pretty much the mirror opposite of Saturday's loss to Montreal. The main difference being the Pens scored first, forcing the Oilers to play the game. Edmonton had a whopping 2 SOG's in the 1st period.  From that point on...game over.

The Pens stay 3 pts back of Philly (2 games in hand), so that's still a steep hill.  But staying ahead of Tampa Bay for home ice in the 4 vs. 5 match-up would be nice.  They're currently +3 on Tampa, and the Bolts have a game in hand.

Great team effort.  Even Chris Conner, who was a healthy scratch the last 2 was buzzing all over the ice. Kris Letang looked better, but that dude is a tired man.  PK was phenomenal again, killing a 5-on-3 for almost 2 minutes without conceeded 1 SOG.  PP was pretty miserable for most of the day, again, at least until James Neal fed Kunitz with his 2nd of the game.  Hopefully, that's a sign they're jelling.

#1 Star - Kuni. 2 goals. I love my Kuni.
#2 Star - Staal. 1 and 1, +2.
#3 MR. KENNEDY. Kennedy. 3 helpers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

C'est merde de chien

my French isn't the greatest, so piss off.  What we're trying to say is...that was the worst Pens effort of the year.  Yeah, it was Montreal.  And yeah, we sucked again.  The Habs get the early goal, go into their little shitty trap...and it was a puke fest for the entire 60 minutes.

Kris Letang may have played the worst game of his season.  He should be forgiven, though.  He was getting hammered over at our place Friday night, spinning records, rocking out all night.  Clearly he was hung over.  Turns out he's a huge Devo fan, though.  So that's cool.  He also says UTBUTS is a better album than Universal Truths and Cycles.

other notes:

PK Subban is still a douche.

this video makes me really happy

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Thermals - "Not Like Any Other Feeling"

More Thermals. hot off the presses...

The Thermals - "Not Like Any Other Feeling" from stereogum on Vimeo.

the limited edition 7" is available through Kill Rock Stars HERE. Also...after finishing their Euro tour with the Coathangers (Yast's favorite), they will be hitting the road in June with Matt & Kim. No Pittsburgh date...sigh.

per KRS:

The video for The Thermals' latest single, "Not Like Any Other Feeling", was filmed over the course of 6 months in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington.

Primarily animating in chalk on a 20x40 foot portion of the wall surrounding the Sound Transit Construction Site at Cal Anderson Park, a team of over 50 volunteers worked with the members of the Seattle Experimental Animation Team (SEAT) under the direction of animator Clyde Petersen.

Frame by frame, on the wall and the command modules in the park, the team animated both their bodies and control panels to create a historic revision of the famous first visit to the moon. It was shot both in digital stills and Super 8 film, and later composited into an edit that Petersen then rotoscoped stars, the moon and space barf on top of for the final results.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Grand Rapids Rules

especially when GBV plays there. APRIL 29-30th. TWO of the greatest nights of our lives. TWO back-to-back nights of Guided by Voices sans travel. This is going to be pretty not bad. TIX go on sale next Friday, March 18th.

Kinda tough finding info on the venue...called the Pyramid Scheme...but apparently it's pretty new.

Reservoir Dogs Screeing at Regent Square

SUNDAY!!  8:00pm.

Part 2 of the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" Sunday Series...

i think i watched this about 20 times when it first came out. never saw it on the big screen, though. here's our chance.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flip a coin

I don't watch nearly as much college hoops as I used to. But one thing hasn't changed. I still have no idea what is and what isn't a foul. No wonder all these hoops coaches look like nut jobs.

Had to feel for former Bobby Mo guy Mike Rice yesterday. Rice was too busy going crazy over the plethora of missed calls (justifiably so) to realize the real blunder with 1.7 seconds left. After gaining possession on the Rutgers inbound, some Johnnies player took a sprint with the rock out of bounds, and basically, all 3 refs looked like deer in headlights. Game and season over for Rice.

Hockey and footie refs get a lot of razzing for missed calls, but imho, the basketball zebras are the absolute worst.

In other hoops news, our beloved Bob fell to Long Island last night. It was a great free throw contest that went to OT, but in the end, our Colonials couldn't shoot as many free throws as LIU. Nice rookie season for HC Andy Toole. The Bob is young...they'll be back.

Gratification to Pavement

In September, I spent one of the best weeks of my life in NYC with a crew of great friends...sipping brew, eating pizza, and rawking Central Park with my 2nd favorite band for 4 straight nights. This is a sneak snippet from the upcoming Ragman Production Gratification to Pavement. So jackt for this...

Gratification To Pavement [HiFi Excerpt] from Ragman Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Tonight at 7:00 on ESPN2.  Your Robert Morris Colonials look to become the first team in NEC history to win 3 straight trips to the Big Dance!!  This will be their toughest task.  Long Island is at home, and have won 21 of their last 22 games.  Meanwhile, RMU has been playing without their leading scorer Karon Abraham, who was lost back in February.

But super soph Velton Jones (below) and frosh Coron Williams have been stepping up big time, and while this team is pretty young (HC Andrew Toole, at 29, is the youngest in the country), I think they're crazy enough to win this thing.


remember this...


MONSTER game from James Neal last night. The consensus was that Neal played his best game Saturday night against Boston. He bested that against Buffalo, and had a hand in all 3 Pens goals. The 1st one was a beaut, and Neal's first G as a Pen. You could see the weight lifted off his shoulders as his new teammates were all smiles around him. Neal then assists on Zyb Michalek's 1st goal in 337 games (and 1st as a Pen). He then aids on the clincher with a great hustle play, keeps the puck in the zone, before Michalek let another one fly on net...this one getting deflected by Test Tube. 1 goal, 1 assist, +3 on the night. #1 Star.

#2 Star goes to Michalek.  What a stud of an off-season signing from Ray Shero.  Michalek is like having a second goalie on the ice, and isn't counted on for much O.  But he's got a great head up ice, and is exceptional at getting the puck out of the zone, and into the forwards' hands.  He's the perfect fit for Bylsma's system, and makes us all forget about Rob Scuderi.  1 goal, 1 assist.

#3 Star for Fleury.  What a human being.  Dude needs serious Vezina Trophy consideration. The Hart is also a possibility. Fleury's heroics with all of the man games lost is the definition of MVP. If teh Pens surpass Philly for Eastern Conference supremacy, the argument gets even stronger.


welcome back Chris Kunitz.  Solid game.  We missed ya.

Power Play was 0-for-23.  That needs to change, otherwise, teams will take liberties.  And you never want your opponents to take liberties.

3-0 Footie Day!! bury your man!

As I mentioned elsewhere, if there's been a better futbol player than Lionel Messi, I need to see it. The Barcelona attack is pure joy to watch. Arsenal is not a shabby team, yet they spent the majority of the match (I think the possession was something like 95/5 in favor of Barca) on their heels, holding on for dear life.


one of my favorite images of the day, seeing Pep Guardiola getting all jackt after that goal. I guess Pep had a laugh at Arsene Wenger's expense post match, when asked what Wenger said to him:
"Wenger told me to congratulate the referee"
Sorry, but that's just sour grapes.  Barcelona scored all 4 goals of the 3-1 win (just 1 was in the wrong net).  They were the better team, and in a big way.  I guess I didn't realize it, but Arsenal had 0 (ZERO!) shots on goal.  Tough way to win.  And if you don't want to leave a second yellow in the ref's hands (V Persie), don't be an ass bag and take your first yellow.

Must admit, as much as Barcelona dominated the statistics, being only one mistake away from being ousted (and out 4-1 odds) had me sweating a bit. But they advance, WINNER.

I love watching my Barcelona.

The Shak put Roma out of its misery, 3-Nil. (WINNER). The biggest moment for me came in the 87th when Eduardo slipped the 3rd goal past that powder puff Doni. OVER! (WINNER). Actually, it should've went over a while back, but Borriello choked all over his PK attempt. Roma was cooked at that moment. And Shakhtar Donetsk will be an underestimated but tough draw for anybody in the next round.


I've already got Valencia to advance, and while Raul's 1-1 tying goal gives Schalke the advantage coming back home, I'm gonna let this ride. No attempt to hedge, no great feel for this...Abstain.

Tottenham. WINNER. I've got the Spurs with the odds to advance, and I'll take the small odds here on the WIN as well. AC Milan looked like a defeated squad last time out, with Gattuso going all berzerker and stuff. When's the last time that ponce Ibra did anything in this competition? Never? Tough times for Serie A in the CL this week.

standing at 5-5 currently (with a small minus after odds). Today...back in black.

Mars Classroom - The New Theory of Everything

It's another month, which means it's time for another Robert Pollard album.  Uncle Bob's 3rd release of 2011, and it's not even porch time yet. Mars Classroom combines Bob, Gary Waleik of Big Dipper, and Robert Beerman of Pell Mell.

You can pre-order (3/29 release date) The New Theory of Everything at the Factory of Raw Essentials. It's probably going to kick your ass.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Champions League 2nd Legs

2nd legs start up today, and the match everyone will be eying is Arsenal taking on my Barcelona back at the Camp Nou.  Arsenal made this return leg very interesting with their shocking come from behind 2-1 win.  Getting the W was a must...and puts them in much better shape to advance than last year's home draw did.

Sounds like Spaniard Cesc Fabregas will be back in the starting 11 for the Gunners.  That'll help.  But the absence of Van Persie (doubtful) and Walcott will not.  My heart says Barca gets it done today.  My money says I'm abstaining from the game's action.  Besides...having laid the 4-1 odds for Barca to advance will have me sweating enough in my Xavi jersey.  I may even break out the old Deco shorts for this one and sport the entire home kit :)

The Over 3 at a whopping -155 says the experts call for a lot of goals.  I concur.  Not enough to play it, but I concur.  Without center backs Pique and Puyol on Barca's back line...I'm worried even more.

In the "other" match of the day, with Shakhtar Donetsk leading 3-2 against Roma and heading back home, I'm gonna call the Over 2.5.  Roma needs to open it up and score (at least 2 goals to advance).  This will most likely make their suspect defense even more suspect.  Shakhtar playmaker Fernandinho will return, and they will miss defender Olexandr Kucher...both good factors for the Over.  While Roma will be without the suspended Jeremy Menez (lazy), Italian striker Marco Borriello should return to his starter's role.  And with 4 G's in 7 GP's...that's a good thing.  And if all of the above doesn't spell Over...there is the John Arne-Riise factor, who is always good for at least one OG.

I've already got Shaktar to advance, so I'm gonna abstain on the side.

2-5 heading in, but today turns it all around.

Jonathan Richman at Mr Smalls

TONIGHT! Just a heads up if you plan on going to this...get there EARLY. Last time he was in town, we headed over to Mr Smalls at the regular time, @ 8:30-ish. We walked in, and saw JR do his last two songs.  Oops.

kind of a cool video to the Modern Lovers "She Cracked"...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Their Biggest Win II

Due to the hangover from the previous night's Pens celebration, I decided to skip Pipers, sleep in, and DVR the 8:30am Liverpool / Manchester Utd game.  Watching it "live," a few hours afterwards, and clear of Jagerbomb head seemed more appropriate for this Sunday morning.


Dirk Kuyt gets the hat trick.  I love that guy.  Luis Suarez provided some magic.  Liverpool legend Phil Thompson was pumpt...

The Kop was amped.  Andy Carroll made his debut.  And there was a great moment late in the game, when the Kop could be heard singing happy birthday to Kenny Dalglish.  The King responded with a big smile and wave to the crowd.  It was bitter sweet.

When the household is divided in its support of this fixture, there is added excitement.  And there is extra gratification when your team embarrasses their team.  From what I was hearing on the other side of the living room, I doubt Jess will be getting a Nani jersey any time soon.

Watching Nani roll around on the pitch, crying...was humorous at the time.  Sure...Jamie Carragher's tackle was pretty vicious and could have been a red.  But seeing Nani get up, sprint to the ref, and then tumble again...sorta detracts from the sympathy.  Our official standpoint is he felt shame.  Combined with the gash, the shame from assisting on Liverpool's second goal...

led to tears...

Upon further review...appears the Nani injury is pretty substantial, as these brutal pics will verify (thanks to RandoMango for the link).  I probably would've cried.  That said, footie haters will have a laugh at this, and again point to the flailing and embellishing of prima donna players.

Odds are against my Reds getting higher than 6th in the Prem.  They're 6 points back of both Tottenham (1 game in hand) and Chelsea (2 games in hand).  But this win was huge for the confidence and the future.  Man Utd was flat, but the Liverpool attack was very impressive.  For at least one day...we rejoice with a massive W over our biggest rival.  While they remain stunned...

Their Biggest Win

Due to the conflicting RMU Playoff game across the river at the Island Sports Complex (they lost), we decided to DVR the Pens / Bruins game Saturday night and watch it "live" 3 hours afterwards.  Tough to stay misinformed about a Pens game in Pittsburgh, at a hockey game...but with some tactical hands plugging ears, eyes straight forward (the ISC has TVs airing the Pens game), and cell phones off...WE DID IT!

The mission was rewarding: booze, pizza, and maybe the best Pens game all year.  Fleury was back in form.  The hitting was hard, clean and all over the place.  Shawn Thornton got his ass kicked.  And James Neal, although remaining goal-less in a Penguin sweater, absolutely creamed big Z.  Somewhere, Don Cherry was creaming, too...as Milan Lucic was also dishing out the physicalities. (I'm on record as saying I'd like that guy on my team...despite Cherry's man crush on him).

After a great 1st period from our Beloved, the B's strike first and everything in our world sucks again.  3 minutes later, Staalsy!!!...remain calm!  1-1.  Tough to tell who took the bigger spill: Staal, who got cheapshotted into the cross bar after the goal...or Yast, who went flying across the living room as he raced for the goal lamp.  For the record: Yast blamed "new socks" on the slippery wooden floor.

1 minute later, Dustin Jeffrey puts in his 6th of the season, and all of a sudden, we're going back to the Stanley Cup Finals. The energy inside 1512 Center was crazy. Up 2-1 against one of the best teams in the East in their house. We were flying high.

Of course Boston would pull Tim Thomas and get the tying goal with @ 30 seconds left to play. Of course.

OT again, what else is new. 1 point, and it felt like pending doom again. No fear, Dustin Jeffrey is here. WINNER.  FCKYA!!!

DJ is nowhere to be found on the 3 stars list, but he gets our #1 Star. Fleury was a beast all game long...he's our #2 Star. And because I was boozy, I can't decide who was better...Michalek or Paul Martin, so they split my #3 Star. Even more impressive, noting Martin logged 35 minutes of ice time the night prior in New Jersey.

James Neal played a great game...and his goals will come.  Niskanen continues to impress.

What a huge W. And if they go on to do anything in the playoffs, we can go back and point to this one. On the road for a 2nd straight night, and they outwork the Bruins for much of the night. Shots aren't everything, but 29 SOG thru the first 2 periods was pretty massive.

Making it even bigger, the Flyers have some sorta flu bug going through the locker room and have now lost 4 in a row. A look at the standings shows the Pens a mere 2 points back of a possible #1 seed (albeit, 2 games in hand for Philly).  We've got 2 games left against Philly (3/24 away, 3/29 home)...circle them.  A look at the next 4 shows very winnable games: Buffalo, Montreal (hot), and Edmonton at home...followed by a mailed-it-in-early Senator squad on the road.  Somebody's pumpt.

full highlights...

Pensblog has a much better recap, along with a beauty of a "stunned" gif of the the GWG.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

i'm sick of these dumb ass 3 point games

Four minutes into last night's game, Kris Letang gets a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down. Great. Early second, Travis Zajac puts a backhanded floater through Brent Johnson's armpit. Eff me.

Then Penguins all-world superstar Tyler Kennedy ties it at 1's.

With Brent Johnson flopping all over the ice like a handicapped salmon, and our 5 remaining D-men logging lofty minutes (Paul Martin had over 35 TOI?!?!), it still felt like pending doom.

So at about the 15 minute mark of the 3rd, I felt myself praying for 1 point. Yeah, I said it. Made me feel like a cheap whore. HOLD ON, BOYS!!! With one point in the hoppers, Johny did his best wounded fish impersonation, and I didn't really care about that dick Kovalpuke celebrating in my face. It was inevitable.  I sold out for 1 point, and was happy to take it.

Bottom line: the NHL needs to do something about this lame system.
  • 3 points for a regulation win
  • 2 points for an OT or shootout win
  • 1 point for an OT or shootout loss
THERE!  SOLVED!  Who gives a rat's turd if it messes up the record books.  If it means that much to you, go back, do the math, and recalculate the fucking standings based on the above.  Let Colin Campbell do it.  He's certainly not doing anything worthwhile in his current position.

Certainly everyone has seen this...

Garth Snow is still clueless:
“I know Trevor as a person and I know there was no malicious intent when he was finishing the check.”
What a dope.

So the Colin Campbell decision process was like this:

9 games suspended, repeat offender takes a whole 3 minutes to repeat his actions.  That calls for an 11% increase in punishment...10 games this time!!  At that rate, we'll have another injured player in 11 games, and the next suspension will be 11 more games for Gillies.  For chrissakes charlie, someone save the NHL.

Go Pens.

My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow


20 years ago. hot damn.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Mass Solo Revolt does "Gold Star For Robot Boy"

another from the to be released Sing For Your Meat tribute album...

different, obviously. but i kinda dig it.

Mass Solo Revolt is from Athens, GA. Per NPR, they appear to be influenced by the likes of Pavement, Built to Spill, and duh...GBV. They are on No More Fake Labels, who is also putting out the SFYM thingy.

Check 'em out on MySpace. We like it.

Thurston Moore Covers Guided By Voices | SPIN.com

"Stabbing a Star." FCKYA!!! go to the article below and listen now you fuckers.  Free mp3.

Premiere: Thurston Moore Covers Guided By Voices | SPIN.com
"the Sonic Youth guitarist conjures deranged riffage and squealing amp death over an awesomely ramshackle beat that sounds like it's getting banged out on dented garbage cans."

the GBV tribute album, Sing For Your Meat, should be out soon, kids. stay tuned.

thanks again to gbvh, who always provides the best and most important stuff to these pages.