...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, April 28, 2011

Pens dun. Day of remorse.

hey...we found Kris Letang...

GBV this weekend. More review on this next week, I think.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Game 7. Do it.

I'll save the soliloquy about how the PP blows, Kovalev needs to be less lazy, Engelland needs to play ahead of Lovejoy, it's not Fleury's fault, Talbot should change his name to Big Game Talbot, Colin Campbell screwed us with the Matt Cooke suspension, Ryan Malone is a useless turd, Guy Boucher needs to quit whining about Orpik, Roloson has been awesome (but still looks crazy), I wish we still had Kris Letang playing for us, CFA has balls bigger than your head, Michalek and Martin need to be better and more physical, James Neal (insert something here)....but you still need to believe in Disco Dan and the heart of this effing team.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Devo - "What We Do"

gotta get the brain off hockey for a day...

for the complete interactive experience, go here:

Click Around & Buy Things in Devo's Interactive Video [PREMIERE]

thanks again to Rando Mango for the forward.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pens Crap the Bed; Free Candy Break Down

I'm not even gonna try to recap Game 5.  And I spent most of the 2nd half burying my face in some tasty chicken fajitas (grilled by yours truly), so any "analysis" on my part would be half-assed.  All I know is this: we better get it done tonight.  I don't want a Game 7.  Not because I don't think we can win a home Game 7 (which would be against the trend), but I really wanna see Mogwai Wednesday night (go sports!).

Illegal (?) and suspendable (?) hits have been the talk of the 1st round. Mike (leadership) Richards'  boarding call which injured Tim Connolly (out for Game 7) was one of the latest. And then there was Bryan Bickell leaving his feet last night in Chicago (but anything behind the net is legal, from what we've learned). Colin Campbell (hey guys!) is not the greatest professor of Legal Hits 101, so this lesson has been pretty confusing to say the least. But from what we can hypothesize, this is the perfect legal hockey check...

Elbow stays down, feet never leave the ice, not in the back, and not to an un-expecting player.  Not boarding, didn't use his stick, and didn't punch him in the face afterward.  Hit took place behind the net.  Didn't trash talk his opponent.  Colin Campbell said, "hey guys, it was a good hit, haven't you ever played hockey?" after watching the replay.  He isn't Matt Cooke, and he doesn't even wear the same # as Matt Cooke.  How could he?  He's on the same team.  The player getting hit is not Marc Savard.  He doesn't propel himself.  He doesn't launch himself.  The player being hit isn't a star player.  He's not a repeat offender.  He doesn't have a reputation for this sorta thing.  It's a hockey play (c'mon guys).  He's on an Original Six team, and he's from Canada.  (c'mon guys). 

Learn the rules, ass clowns.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mr Irrelevant

this is the picture of a man with a rally drum inserted inside him

Let's Go Pens! Finish this. Do it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"My Team" Saturday

It may not get any better than this line-up:

10:00 am: Liverpool vs. Birmingham - FSC.  The day starts out at Anfield.  Nothing more fitting to start out my day with my teams than "You'll Never Walk Alone."

12:00 pm: Game 5 - Pens vs. Bolts - ROOT.  The Beloved looks to close out Tampa Bay.  Seeing I've got a Mogwai show to see on Wednesday (same night as a potential Game 7), let's close this pig and move on!!

2:00 pm Barcelona vs. Osasuna (your Built to Spills of La Liga) - GOL TV.  We'll have to DVR this and start it a little late, most likely.  Barca needs to regain some confidence after being Mourinhoed in the Copa Del Ray Final.  A Wed semi-final clash in another El Clasico looms Wednesday.

4:00 pm Toronto FC v. Columbus - internet viewing.  Hopefully, we can find this on justin.tv as we've seen previous TFC matches this year.  TFC sits in 7th out of 9 in the East, and is looking up at rival Columbus.  Home wins are a must, and 3 points are needed.

8:00 pm Inter Milan v. Lazio - FSC (debut broadcast - delayed).  #3 (good guys) meets #4 (bad guys) in Serie A.  Inter looks to build on their midweek Coppa Italia victory over Roma, but another Scudetto appears to be  along shot at this point (back 8 pts).

Sprinkle in some more NHL playoff action throughout the day (Rags / Caps at 3:00, Bs / Habs at 7:00, and Sharks / Kings at 10:00).  Supposed to be another shitty day outside with rain storms.  My couch is going to hate me.

Andrew Ference doesn't like Habs fans, I guess...

GBV - Watch Me Jumpstart (more from Iowa)


unlike some others we've posted, this one is unedited and raw. brilliantly shot by "Tripod."

GBV - Watch Me Jumpstart from Almost Human on Vimeo.

thanks to mad man mike for the "I'm so damn happy" sound effect :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It just takes one...

that didn't take long.

What if James Neal never scored another goal...

History will be made.  "All it takes is one," Bob Errey.  You effin said it.

And all James Neal does is score HUGE double OT playoff goals. Y'alls thought this guy sucked :)

Check out the kid to the left who just soiled his Underoos.

some dude named brentjohnsonFTW over on the YouTube has the Mike Lange radio call. No image necessary.  Pure GOLD...

Overall, (and, yes, we know it was only a 1 goal OT win) the Pens were pretty dominant for large chunks of that game. 50+ shots on net, so kudos to crazy face Roloson for keeping the Bolts in the game. Official stat you didn't know about: Dominic Moore has gotten kicked out of more face off circles than anyone in league history. He's pretty much a dick and this is his mom...

Again, 1st goal of the game dictated the game. But upon further review, Tampa Bay doesn't play hockey until they are down TWO goals. What a shame. Once the Pens had a 2 goal lead, it was actually a really entertaining hockey game. Then they tied it, and they went back into hibernation mode with their trap. No wonder the Tampa Bay fans suck. They've got nothing to cheer for. I'm assuming Guy Boucher plays that style to mask the deficiencies on the blue line. But still, for all the talent they have up front, what a snooze fest of a style.

my 3 Stars:

#1 James Neal. Welcome to the team. For the first time since he's donned a Penguin sweater, we can say James Neal played great hockey AND scored a goal! (Yeah...we know he scored one other, but can't even remember that one anymore).

#2 Arron Asham. This dude is all over the place. He added his 3rd goal of the Series, and it could've been 4 or 5. The entire 4th line deserves props. Rupp, CFA, and Asham are monsters right now. And Asham has cemented his spot in the lineup, even when 87 eventually comes back. The depth on this team

#3 Orpik, Letang, Michalek, Martin. I have zero fear when one of these 2 tandems is on the ice. Absolutely stifling D, and more importantly against the 1-3-1 happy Lightning, pin point puck possession.

Other props:
TK - playing with a TON of confidence right now. Kennedy is morphing before your very eyes right now.
Fleury - solid, again.
PKers - Talbot, Duper, CFA, Staal - back to being beasts. Killed 4 Tampa PPs, and including a huge kill in OT (somehow, the refs forgot they put their whistles away).
Tangradi - Big Dog made himself big for the first PPG. Wait...did I just say PPG?!? holy shit...we scored on the PP!!! fckya!!!

This is not Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, so let's all not act like Washington Capitals here, and keep things in perspective. But this was a big win. And this brings a baby tear drop to the eye...

Anyone else get nervous watching Geno shoving dudes towards Sid? Imagine when 87 comes back.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Penguins fans applaud the idiocy of Colin Campbell

YES!!! The complete incompetency of Colin Campbell has played in our favor!!  Chris Kunitz only gets 1 game for his brutal and blatant elbow to Simon Gagne's head.  The NHL Wheel of Justice could have easily spun to the 2 or 3 games penalty.

We love Kuni. This is his 1st offense, and we seriously think this was a once-off deal for him. He's a pretty smart player, so this move was kinda weird for us fans. Still, 1 game appears kinda light. But nobody should be surprised by anything Campbell does.  Expecting anything from the NHL was your first mistake.  Maybe Kunitz got off light because Campbell thinks Simon Gagne is a "little fake artist."  Maybe Kunitz is a distant cousin who might play for the Bruins one day?   Maybe Gagne touched his daughter?  Who knows, and who cares at this point.  The Pens will rejoice this "decision" by the NHL "brain trust."

Then there is Steve Downie. Unlike Kunitz, Dildo is a repeat offender. Downie got 20 games a few years ago for this...

That was in the preseason. The NHL has scientific proof that a hit like this in the preseason is more likely to cause injury than the same hit in the post season, so it should be punished more severely.  Reason why this hit in the post season...

resulted in only a 1 game suspension.

But for Pens fans, that is also AWESOME news! Steve Downie is more likely to cost his team a game than he is to win one. We WANT Steve Downie in the Tampa Bay line-up. We NEED him on that wall.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Playoff Rollercoaster and Colin Campbell Coin Flips Continue

The Pens and us fans are back on top of the world. At least until Wednesday night. No more gloom and doom, at least for a couple of days.

Big Game Max Talbot got the ball rolling with a huge goal on a delayed penalty. And in typical series fashion, the first goal led to a 2nd shortly after. All Arron Asham does is score goals in the playoffs. And the Top 2 defensive pairings, led by Kris Letang and Z Michalek logged HUGE minutes last night.

The Penguino had to battle a lot more than the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. Once again, the officiating sucked. Steve Downie, who launched himself into the head of Ben Lovejoy in a blatant attempt to injure, was going to be given a 2 minute minor before Talbo scored. Should have been a 5 minute major. He'll be meeting with Colin Campbell this morning for his coin flip to determine whether he'll be suspended or not.

Upon further review, Downie doesn't appear to leave his feet. It looks like he scales the boards like Spiderman, so we're not sure if that's illegal or not.

Then there was the call that led to Tampa's 1st goal. Alex Kovalev gets cross checked into crazy faced Roloson, as James Neal is praying for a puck to go into the net. But Kovy gets called for goalie interference, and the Bolts would get a St Louis PPG shortly after.

3rd period, Vinny does the center drive thingy, barrels into Paul Martin, and Martin gets called for interference. Questionable. Tampa adds another PPG courtesy of Root Canal. BTW: when the Bolts aren't playing non-hockey with their 1-3-1 trap, and have a 1 man advantage, they actually look pretty entertaining. Shame that Guy Boucher feels the need to strangle all the talent out of that team for the majority of the game.

So the game is tied briefly, thanks to the refs. TK time. Eff the refs. Eff your dumb ass rally drums. Buries it. 30 seconds after St Louis ties it with his 2nd of the game, Mr Kennedy gets the GWG. Eff your "green men" too...


These dorks have nothing on the dudes from Vancouver. If you're going to copycat something, don't half ass it. Go full retard and leave on the face gear. More proof the game needs to get out of the South and back to Canada. I bet they also have cheerleaders.

Speaking of dorks...I used to think Dominic Moore was a quality hockey player. This guy spends more time flopping around on the ice and snapping his head back than the best divers in the game. He's Sean Avery, minus any balls.

And while we're on the subject of players we're growing tired of...simmer down Ryan Malone. Your irrelevance in the series is not forgivable by acting like you're doing something in front of the net. Skating by MAF every time he has the puck so you can smile at him isn't a nuisance. It's a cry from being homesick.

Oh...Chris Kunitz will also have a coin flip this morning in Colin Campbell's office this morning. We love Kunitz, but if we were the NHL, we'd suspend him for his blatant elbow to Gagne. Fortunately, for us Pens fans, it is the NHL and a suspension isn't inevitable. We'll know the results of the coin flip later this morning. Dumb play by Kunitz, nonetheless.

After Raffi Torres escaped suspension yesterday, we looked up Rule 48, which Colin Campbell conveniently used as his explanation for the non-suspension ruling. Per the NHL rule book, Rule 48 reads as follows:

Illegal checks to the head by Matt Cooke, defined as "a lateral or blind side hit to an opponent (other than Marc Savard) where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted," will now be subject to a five-minute major penalty and automatic game misconduct, as well as possible supplemental discipline if deemed appropriate by the father of a son who plays on the Bruins.

So if you read that rule above, by the letter of the law, it is foreseeable that Kunitz could get off here without a suspension.

Our 3 stars:
#1 Kris Letang - led the D, and looked more like 1st half of the season Letang than 2nd half of the season Letang. Logged 24:30 TOI, had 2 assists, with 5 SOGs.

#2 Max Talbot - Max loves to show up in big games. As we've been preaching, the 1st goal will win, and Max provided it. He was also huge on face-offs.

#3 Shared by our 2 goalies on the ice: Marc-Andre Fleury and Michalek Island. The only goals given up by MAF were aided by 2 questionable penalty calls, and were great goals by St Louis. Michalek had 57 blocked shots in the game, and added 5 SOGs. Despite the PP not scoring again, he appears to be getting comfy in his new role at the point on the 1st unit.

Let's Go Pens! In Colin Campbell, we trust! Free Chris Kunitz!

btw: if you would like to play: Will He Not, or Will He Be Suspended, play along with the NHL Wheel of Justice.

thanks to Rando Mango for tipping us on that one.

other notes:
Sidney Crosby is skating with the team this morning.
James Neal will never ever ever score another goal.
PP is now 0 for April.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pens suckiness; Draws

The better team won Friday night in the CEC.  We'll toot our horn again, as we've been saying, the 1st goal wins the game.  The Bolts got it, and they trapped it up the rest of the game.  Also doesn't help that Tampa Bay can seemingly do whatever they feel like defensively, with no fear of taking penalties, because the Pens power play is now 0-for-37 in the series.  Puke.

Whine mode:
(Keeping in mind the first sentence of the post), adding to the frustration was the way the refs got down on their knees for Guy Boucher after Game 1. Boucher cried about the officiating after Game 1. In typical NHL fashion, they got the calls in Game 2. A minute into the game, Max Talbot puts a shoulder into some jag's chest, which sends him flying into the boards. Perfectly legal and clean hit according to everybody but Dominic Moore. Moore goes bitch boy, and starts jousting with Talbot on the face-off, the refs send Max to the box alone. Piss poor.

St Louis takes a penalty shortly after that, 4-on-4, Tampa scores.  GAME OVER.

2nd period, Tampa doesn't care to play hockey so it was all Pens for the majority of the period. Pens buzzing before Craig Fuckin Adams scores. Hope is alive. Then right before the end of the period, the refs give Brooks Orpik a penalty for something. Apparently, this is the first cross checking penalty ever given to a player who wasn't even on the ice. PPG Tampa, GAME OVER (for reals this time).

A look at the box score will show an even amount of penalties on both sides. Bullocks.

MAF did not stand on his head, as he has been.  Someone will surely be calling for Brent Johnson in Game 2.  A look at Fleury's goals against:
  1. 2 on 1 rush by Tampa as the result of a bad decision by Letang.  Forgivable.
  2. PPG by Vinny.  Forgivable.
  3. Not sure what happened.  ROOT Sports was showing a shot of James Neal holding his lip on the bench when Tampa scored.  Questionable.
  4. PPG by Root Canal. Bad goal, but a PPG nonetheless.
  5. empty netter.  who cares.
Fleury was not the blame, but he will need to be better.  He needs to carry us on his back.

Embarrassing moment of the night: Dominic Moore flopping to the ice at 19:17 of the 3rd with his team up 5-1.  Joke city.  Have some pride, dude.  Was even more embarrassing than his no goal celebration from Game 1...

According to reports this morning, James Neal is NOT on the ice this morning with the team.  Not sure what the scoop is.  Without Neal, the Pens will have to do without another goal scoring forward.

Pens need to take 1 of the next 2 in Tampa Bay.  Do it.


Only Jose Mourinho could dumb down El Classico into a defensive stand still.  The 1st of 4 matches between my beloved Barcelona and Real Madrid over the next couple weeks was kind of a dud.  Two PK's, one by Messi, the other by Ronaldo, and we were left with a 1-1 draw.  From a Barcelona standpoint it was a victory.  Playing at home, RM had to get the full 3 if they had any hope of catching them in La Liga.  Fail.  Hopefully, Wednesday's clash in the Copa Del Ray final will offer more excitement.


Liverpool / Arsenal 1-1. Play of the day: Arsene Wenger goes full cry baby after Lucas is taken down in the box by Eboue. The referee makes the correct call, one that was just made at the opposite end minutes prior, and awards Liverpool the PK. Dirk Kuyt buries it. Kenny Dalglish tells Wenger to piss off...


Friday, April 15, 2011

Record Store Day is HERE

There are approximately 1500 independent record stores around the nation participating this year, and there are 3 right here in the Burgh that we will be perusing Saturday afternoon.

Dave's Music Mine - South Side
Dave's will be carrying a few of the limited edition releases that people will be lining up for early in the morning. There are a few nice ones to be found (see the complete list HERE), including a Foo Fighters LP of cover songs (previously unreleased), a Green Day / Husker Du collaboration, a Rolling Stones 7" of "Brown Sugar" (only 5,000 pressed), a Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" single, and a Ramones / Red Hot Chili Peppers 7" of Havana Affair.

Upon the last time I checked, they were supposed to get a New Pornographers release as well, but that no longer appears on the list (sigh). Further more, it sounds like the Dave's people are a little upset over the quantity of these releases that they rec'd. Of the aforementioned releases, this is what they have in stock:
  • Stones - 5 copies
  • Havana Affair - 2 copies
  • Husker Du / Green Day - 1 copy
  • Foo - 9 copies
  • Beach Boys - 10 copies
Dave's will open the store at 9:00am (I imagine the line will form outside prior to this), and sales will start at 10:00am.  Everyone will receive a # upon entry to the store.  The limited edition RSD releases are sold at one copy / person.  From the quantities I've seen, these could be sold out with the first 5-10 customers in the store.  Not Dave's fault, mind you, so please don't go into the store and be all bitchy will store personnel.  Remember, it's a joyous occasion and a day to celebrate records.

editor's note: I have no affiliation with Dave's Music Mine, and don't know a single soul who works there.  we just believe in being nice (until it's time not to be nice, and Dalton will tell you when that is).

So with this unfortunate news, I doubt I'll be one of those ambitious crazies lining up before 9:00.  I'll concede.  However, we will definitely be making our way to Dave's at some point, most likely after a hearty breakfast and the hangover wears off (let's go Pens!!).

Jerry's Records - Murray Ave

Jerry's will be another place who will be receiving some of my hard earned cash tomorrow.  While Jerry's is not participating in the limited release thingy, they are doing something special.  They are giving away 10,000 records tomorrow, in 100/bx quantities.  I'm a long time math guy, so what that says to me is: the first 100 people through the door will get a box of free records.  Now surely, these aren't going to be the greatest records (at least I'm assuming), but a few gems outta your 100 is a possibility, no?  Kudos to Jerry's for this.  So go to Jerry's and adopt some records!  (And buy some, too!!!).

There is also another store somewhere in Pittsburgh called Stedeford's.  However, the word on the streets is that they are taking their limited releases, and selling them on eBay before RSD.  Those bastards.  This is a definite no-no for the stores who agreed to participate, and we can understand RSD for being a little upset about it.  Needless to say, Stedeford's will not be receiving any of our disposable loot for vinyl.  More on this subject in a later post.

And finally, if you'd like to see a rather extensive list of the records being released for this grand occasion, GO HERE.  A lot of great shit on there, and most likely, stuff I won't be able to obtain.  One I would love, obviously, is the Guided by Voices tribute record, Sing For Your Meat, released by No More Fake Labels and curated by Misty Dawn Briggs.  This calls for a time to rely on your friends.  And hopefully (hope, hope), someone can snag me one of these.


Tsunami Benefit at Shadow Lounge

TONIGHT!! So if hockey ain't your bag, go check out on of the city's best jazz artists perform at the Shadow Lounge. Phat Man Dee will be headlining the gig with Miguel Sague III & Carlos Peña of Guaracha Latin Dance Band.

Also playing will be one of our favorite Pittsburgh acts, Amoeba Knievel.

Other artists include: Geña y Peña, Gene Stovall, Onya Grounz, Christina Springer, Ben Shannon, Daryl Fleming, Alba Flamenca with Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Jon Bañuelos and Barb Kress, Lady Elizabeth Couteau of Bridge City Bombshells, Ivivi Mori (Dj Soy Sos & Geña) Christine Andrews of Zafira and Emay and Erin (fire dancers).

8:00 tonight. All proceeds will benefit the International Medical Corps relief efforts in Japan.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Win # 1 of 16

taken from Savage_Beast over at Pensblog.  thank you!

Jesus. Welcome to the NHL Playoffs Mr. Stamkos.  That hit pretty much set the tone. Orpik looked possessed all night, and Stamkos disappeared after that, with only 1 SOG the entire night.  Although the Pens brought the physicalities early and often, The Bolts were actually outshooting the Pens after the 1st period.  But any chances they had were voided by Marc-Andre Fleury.  MAF's play didn't miss a beat, and the Flower's head is swelling with confidence right now.

From the 2nd period on, the Beloved owned the game.  It was apparent that the early hits were taking their toll, and their cute little 1-3-1 trap would only hold up so long.  Besides Ryan Malone skating around like he actually mattered, little was heard from the talented forwards from Tampa.  Vinny had probably their best chance on the night (with a pretty little between the legs manuever), but Fleury was better.

Although the score was Nils after 2 periods, there was a strong sense that the Pens were taking over, and Tampa Bay was wearing down.  It would have been kinda sucky to lose this one.

3rd period, some guy named James Neal shows up in a Penguins sweater.  Not sure where he came from but he looks like a keeper.  He takes the pass from Paul Martin, who made a great play pinching down the left boards before dishing it back to Neal, who makes this nifty little slap pass to Kovalev.  Buries it.

EC isn't the the type of blog to toot its own horn, but someone on these pages said yesterday the 1st goal would be HUGE MAJ (or something like that).  18 seconds later, Arron Effin Asham (not to be confused with Craig Fuckin Adams).  Buries it.  What a beast.  Game.

BTW: what the hell is Dominic Moore celebrating?

I was going to say it was a perfect game.  But then I look at the Power Play stats.  0-6 on 9:32.  If we can ever get that thing going, we will be a very dangerous squad.  Maybe that'll have to wait until 87 puts down the headset and returns from the rafters.  But as long as they play the way they did last night, this Pens team will be a-ok.

My 3 Stars:

#1 Star - Fleury. On top of his game. The Flower's head is so big right now. We're talking Chris Neil big. Again (in Jay Caufield voice), Fleury is going to be difference in this series. Crazy faced Dwayne Roloson simply can not outplay MAF in 7 games. And if the Pens continue to own the majority of shots and chances, we'll get through.

#2 Star - Brooks. The hit on Stamkos set the tone. And Orpik has a history of shutting down the Lightning stud. #44 and the rest of the D-corp are key #2 to winning this series. And along with partner Letang, as well as Michalek / Martin, these guys were studs all night. Orpik also assisted on 2 goals.

#3 Star - tough call. A great team performance, with big ups to Neal (1 A), Kovalev (1 G), Kunitz (EN), Staal (A, 6 SOG). But I'm gonna give it to Arron Asham. The Bolts didn't even have a chance to get out of stunned mode before Asham started flying around the ice. The coast-to-coast effort was an opportunistic effort that my pizza stealing dog would appreciate. He was also part of a great night for the 4th line. Happy 33rd birthday to Arron Asham.

Props to the fans in attendance last night, as well.  As a season ticket holder, I've been pretty disappointed all year with the lack of enthusiasm in the new building.  Last night, I was really impressed.

ROOT Sports.  Just like FSN...will you please tell your director to STAY ON THE GAME CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!! How many scoring chances do we have to miss before you realize the quick takes to all your other ice level cameras SUCK. Use them for replays you F*$*@N DOUCHE NOZZLES. I'm so sick of this shit.  Your 2nd, 3rd, 8th, and 9th cameras are not enhancing the action for us fans during live action. And they are not why people are tuning in.  THEY SUCK. STAY ON THE GAME CAMERA, PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET BABY JESUS CHRIST. STAY ON THE GAME CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally: we preach the sheer awesomeness of the Pensblog here all the time.  We have no affiliation, and I don't even know who these dudes are.  I do know it's great stuff and pretty essential reading for any Pens fans out there.  Another great recap from last night's game.  We highly recommend it.  Bookmark it.  Do it.

Around the rest of the NHL:

The Pens win, along with all other games were meaningless as well.  Apparently, Alexander Semin and the Washington Capitals just won Game 7 of the Finals.  Season is over.

Starring Will Forte as Ryan Malone and Ryan Phillippe as Jordan Staal...

(warning...swear words)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

LET IT BEARD! (NHL Playoff content)

My beard starts today. And I'm doing it for charity (completely serious!). You can too: Raise money for the Mario Lemieux Foundation, which supports cancer research, by growing one for the team. Go HERE, for info on how to join the Pittsburgh Penguins Beard-A-Thon, and start raising money.

Now for the much anticipated NHL Playoff WINNERS from EC:


PENS v. Tampa
Obviously, the heart looms large here. And that's what we're going with. First goals will be huge in this series. If Tampa gets on the board first, they'll go into their stupid little 1-3-1 trap, which could result in a snooze fest. Sans 87, Tampa obviously holds the edge up front with St Louis, Stamkos, Vinny, and a now healthy Gagne. But I've got a lot of faith in our 2 top D-pairings. Orpik / Letang and Michalek (BEAST) / Martin form one of the best blue lines in the NHL. It's weird going into a playoff season saying the Pens will rely on their D. But I think we can. Add in quality defensive forwards like Staal, Duper, Talbot, and I think we have enough to hold Tampa's top 2 lines at Bay.  Everyone pitches in on the offensive end with TK and Kuni leading the way, and I think we'll be alright.

But the main reason I'm going with the Beloved: Fleury. Carey Price and Tim Thomas hand-job givers will tell you different, but no goalie was better in the East the 2nd half of the season. Provided we don't pound Roloson with pucks to the gut the entire series, and maybe pick a couple of corners, I think this is the huge edge that will eventually win the Pens the series.

James Neal. Take a mulligan, my friend. Your account with Pittsburgh opens now. Do it.

Pens in 6. WINNER.

Washington v. Rangers
I will be rooting for New York, simply for a healthy hate of the Caps and their whiny owner Ted Leonsis. Washington will be without Alexander Semin, who never shows up this time of year, but I must admit I like (hate) the additions they made at the end of the year. Arnott and Knuble are veteran studs. If there was another guy on this team I might actually like, it would be Brooks Laich.

I would have given NY a better chance with Ryan Callahan in the line-up, and maybe Queen Henry can stand on his head. The coaching edge is also huge here, with Tortarella over BBQ Bruce. So I would not be surprised if the Rangers won this series, and we'll be pulling for them. But if I have to put $$ on it, I'd say...

Caps in 7. WINNER.

Philly v. Buffalo

There will be upsets in the playoffs, and this is one I'm taking. Sergie Bobturdsky was brutal down the stretch. The Sabres were on fire. And while the Flyers have a lot of depth up front, they have no superstars capable of taking over the game (Giroux may be the closest). Pronger is supposed to return, and that should help. For some reason, he's allowed to interfere and cross check opponents more than other D-men in the NHL, so that also helps. But in the end, we like Ryan Miller over the dingle berries that Philly have in net. Add in the pressure on the Flyers from all the "experts" picking them to win the East, I'm sensing bums puckering.

Buffalo in 6. WINNER.

Boston v. Montreal

While this could be a good series because of the rivalry, I think it's going to be a slaughter. I wish the Pens would've taken a page out of the Bruins book when they faced the Habs last year. Get physical with them and their tails go between their legs. Boston definitely has the muscle to do this, and they will dominate this series. Montreal apparently folds when you get in their face, or take a cheap shot on one of their guys into the turnbuckle.

The Prime Minister of Canada won't be able to help.

Bruins in 5. WINNER.


Vancouver v. Chicago
I think this will be competitive, with all the pressure on the Canucks. I'm not taking anything out of the fact Chicago backed into this. The slate is clean. But while the Hawks have a lot of quality, the salary cap dealt them a serious blow to their depth. Bolland and Brouwer are also questionable, adding to their lack of depth. If the Canucks get by this series, it could launch them into a long Stanley Cup run. I'm apologizing to my Chicago friends, and saying they will...

Canucks in 7. WINNER.

btw: I'd love this dude on my team...

San Jose v. LA
Great spot for the Shark. They're not the favorite. And the loss of Kopitar will be too much to overcome for LA. The Shark finally has a proven G in net with Niemi. I love Patty Marleau (said in Pierre McGuire voice) and Big Joe Thornton. Logan Couture has added even more scoring punch. The Kings will try to make this into a scrap fest early with Ryan Smyth, Dustin Brown, and Wayne Simmonds, but they simply don't have enough. What the hell happened to Drew Doughty this year?!

The Shark in 5. WINNER.

Detroit v. Phoenix

The Red Wings have apparently gotten healthy at the right time. I don't like their G situation with Howard (he sucks), so there's a huge edge with Bryzgalov for Phoenix. Howard will most likely doom them in the end of the playoffs, but not this round. Detroit has too much pedigree and will get by a tough series.

While I don't care for the Swedish SCUBA team of  Zetterturd, Franzen, and Holmstrom...I respect their game.  I'm also a fan of Lidstrom and Datspuke, and appears the latter is healthy.

Detroit in 6. WINNER.

Anaheim v. Nashville
This is the year they get to the chopper. The Predator behind Pekke Rinne finds a way to win a playoff series. They were close last year, but this year it happens. I love Corey Perry and that line with him, Getzlaf, and Ryan is top notch. But too much reliance on them will be their fall (apologies to Teemu).

The Predator in 7. WINNER.

btw: not giving credit to gbvh on this one for the headline. He won't read this anyway, and I would've eventually have thought of that myself :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mountain Goats - TONIGHT at Mr Smalls

Plenty of good seats still available. Bring the whole family.

I've got a few albums from the Mountain Goats, but I've never been able to catch them live. The only time I've seen MG leader John Darnielle perform in person was last fall in Brooklyn when he sang back-up for Superchunk on "Digging for Something." The addition of Jon Wurster to the MG line-up in 2007 is a welcome one for me. Jon is one of my favorite drummers of all-time, so that'll be a special treat for us tonight. Also looking forward to picking up their new record All Eternals Deck, which was released a couple of weeks ago.  It is available through Merge Records (free shipping).  Buy the vinyl and get a free download.  Do it.

Megafun opens at 8:00 (doors at 7).

From 2008's Heretic Pride...

From my favorite MG album that I own, Get Lonely, this is "Woke Up New"...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mike Watt & the Missingmen at the Brillobox (revisited)

I think the Brillobox is my favorite place in Pittsburgh. Missing out on tickets for this show because I'm stupid, we decided to wing it and go anyway. The Plan (keeps coming up again): If we find someone with extras, FCKYA! If not, we enjoy some pints and grub in a great atmosphere on a lovely Sunday evening. So we sat at the bar, and put a sign on my back...

Halfway through our hummus (which, btw, is the most incredible and delightful hummus in the city), along came our pal Mr Tommy Amoeba. Tommy knew the opening band, a local act called Neighbors. One of their friends had an extra, and then another friendly dude from down the bar had another...and WE WERE IN!

btw: we also recommend the shrimp tacos.

I missed out on the first few songs from Neighbors, due to those shrimp tacos, but this is a band you should try to catch around the city.  A lot of fun!  They are playing THIS THURSDAY at Lava Lounge.  Also playing will be local bands Ash Dinosaur (Italian pop) and City Steps (indie pop).  Go.  Support local bands. Do it.

Met a couple of these guys from Neighbors, very friendly chaps. "like" them on FB. Sounds like they have an EP coming out this summer.  Also appears they're going through a minor name change, adding the (u) to Neighbours, so don't let that confuse ya.

The Brillobox is pretty small room for those who've never been there.  sidenote to a few people of interest: we heard the Shit Mayor / Amoeba Knievel show there a few years ago was the last time Shit Mayor has performed.  It was jam packed last night.  But that would not deter from the awesomeness of this show.  MW, Tom Watson, and Raul Morales (the Missingmen) are simply phenomenal live.

Admittedly, I am not that familiar with the first two "operas" from Mike Watt ('97's Contemplating the Engine Room, '04's The Secondman's Middle Stand), outside of a few tracks (or parts as they're referred)...and only heard a couple from the new record Hyphenated-Man (which I am now the proud new owner of).  Watt referred to it as his "rock opera," and I may be mistaken, but I'm fairly certain it was played start to finish, which makes sense.  This rock opera is quite the treat, and we can't wait to give it a few spins at home.

Raul Morales (Killer Dreamer, F.Y.P.) kicks ass on the drums, and we'll be anxiously looking for more of him.  And once Hyphenated-Man was over, and the trio came back for an encore, Tom Watson seemed to be unleashed as he morphed into a thinner version of D. Boon. It was one of those rare shows where everyone in attendance just kinda looks around, stunned...like, holy shit....that was AMAZING.  Absolutely incredible show from start to finish, and we can't thank enough the people who helped get us in.

Mike, Tom, and Raul stuck around to meet people, took pictures, and signed records.  Really nice guys.

Get Hyphenated-Man now, over at Mike Watt's Hoot Page, via his own label Clenched Wrench.

Less than optimistic we'd get into this show, we forgot the flip vid and the "good" camera, so apologies for the lack of visual proof.  Thanks to mcgervey on YouTube for posting this...

try it. it works...

Don't Tase Me Bro

I think gbvh and jables were supposed to visit this weekend, and I believe this was the Pirate game that was on the agenda. Probably the most exciting the thing to happen at a Pirate game since 19-something-and-5.

U-S-and-A! U-S-and-A! U-S-and-A!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mike Watt & the Missingmen - TONIGHT at the Brillobox!!

TONIGHT!!!! SUNDAY NIGHT...at our favorite little room in the Burgh.  Much to my disappointment, this show is sold out (FAAAAAACK!!!!!!)  I don't believe I've ever bought a ticket for the Brillobox in advance.  Maybe Pittsburgh is less lame than we once thought...so that's a good thing.  I think we'll go anyway, and try to score a ticket outside, or in the bar while eating some tasty grub.

Been hearing a lot of great things about this new record from the former Minutemen member.

a couple of Wire covers...

Also gives us a great excuse to pay some Minutemen...

Mike Watt likes Richard Hell and squid, per Thurston Moore. Pretty funny little segment that was left out of the We Jam Econo documentary on the Minutemen...

Hey...speaking of Wire. Bought their new album Red Barked Tree the other day, and it's pretty effin awesome. Get it.

Pens clinch 4th, Suck it Islanders

Remember that stink bug you squashed this morning in your bathroom?  That was the NY Islanders.  You hate seeing them around, and they can make a little noise when they flutter around aimlessly.  But really...what harm do they cause?  They're a nuisance indeed, but only on a very small scale.

The move by Bylsma to insert Godard in the line-up paid off immediately. Godard played along side Adams and Rupp on the 4th line, and assisted on the 1st goal of the game by Rupper. Immediately after, he fought Trevor Gillies on the centre ice face-off. Gillies won (sucks saying that), and I'm sure Godard would've liked a rematch...but Mission Accomplished. He took Gillies off the ice for 15 minutes.  Not a peep from Turd Boy the rest of the game, who had only 2:09 TOI.  He failed in his only responsibility as a player: injuring people.  It's more likely we will never see this joke in an NHL game ever again. Gillies, FAIL.

Another FAIL: some impersonator named Haley. You may never hear his name again in a meaningful NHL game. Haley took a run at Deryk Engelland in the first, trying to take out his knees behind the Pens net. Engelland popped back up, and played the rest of the game unphased. Haley was not heard from again.  Probably never will be.

Then there was Zenon Tonkaturd.  Arron Asham took him off the ice for 17 minutes after their scrap.  A pretty boring fight, and a draw by most people's standards.  But again, Mission Accomplished.  Tonkaturd had 3 times as much time in the box as he did on the ice.  Bag your clubs, dick.

Comedic relief for the night: P.A. Parenteau took a high stick in the face in the 3rd.  Legit call.  The camera then zooms in on Parenturd as he's trying to pick a herpes scab off his lip as he argues with the ref for a double minor.  Hilarious!

The only question left for Garth Snow and the Islanders:

Who will they try to cheap shot at the 1st tee box?

Other than John Tavares drawing a couple of penalties by giving himself whiplash, not too much more involving the side show.  Actually, a pretty entertaining hockey game.  3-3 until the Shootout. 

Kuni Mind Trick time...


My 3 Stars of the Game:

btw: awesome pic of Rupp coming off the ice pre-game (I believe).  should also mention that all of these great photos you see were stolen taken from the official Pens website media line under "photo galleries."  we highly recommend it.

#1 Mike Rupp - Rupper got an ugly, get-to-the-net goal to open the scoring.  He then drove the net on the PP, providing a bit of a screen on Zby's PP tally.  sidenote: Michalek looks very comfortable on the PP.  Rupp also assisted on the 3rd and final goal of the game.  1 G, 1 A, +2, 3 shots in only 7:00 TOI.  Impressive return.

#2 Mark Letestu - Got the go-ahead goal late in the 3rd.  It didn't stand, but Test Tube was money again in the face-off circle.

#3 Eric Godard - just for a lack of other stand-out performances, and more of an appreciation for Godard, who realistically, may have played his last game as a Penguin.  If he doesn't play in Atlanta this afternoon, I'm afraid we've seen the last of EG, who is a UFA at season's end.  You can pretty much bet you won't see him in the playoffs.  Yeah, the guy is an enforcer in most simplest terms, and that job isn't the most glorious.  But his teammates love him, and from what we've heard around the city, a great guy off the ice who is always willing to lend a helping hand.  Props to you, Mr. Godard. We hope you're back. His 1 A, +1, and elimination of Gillies also merits this #3.

So with the Flyers dropping an OT loss to Buffalo on Friday, the Pens still had a chance to finish atop the Atlantic, and get the #2 seed.  That was squashed last night when Philly came back to beat your Isles.  Figures...that would be the team we would rely on help from.  Oh well.  Bring on the Bolts.  The NHL Network will have an announcement show tonight at 10:00 for the 1st round schedule.

Other Penguin notes:
  • PK good.
  • PP sucky.
  • Fleury, beast.
  • James Neal. WTF, dude?
  • Today's game vs. Atlanta is meaningless.  If you're a fan, you still watch.

The best time of the year starts this week. Let's go.