Walking in Battery Park is quite scary, and not very sensible either.....
My job is located about a 30-second walk from Battery Park, and 9 times out of 10, I'm not there on a Saturday. But when the workload gets heavy, I'll squirrel myself away at 26 Broadway, listen to the Mets lose one-run ballgames, and do some legal stuff. The Financial District is generally a ghost town on the weekends, but when the weather's nice, throngs of tourists hop the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island and whatnot. These folks buy fistfuls of tiny Statute replicas, crappy pro-NYC t-shirts, and faux-Yankees caps; all of which are sold by numerous vendors in the area. Actually witnessing live humans buy this stuff gives me the creeps for some reason.
If one were to view the boxscores for last night's and this afternoon's Mets/Cards matchups without actually knowing who was pitching, they'd be forgiven for simply assuming that Tom Glavine was behind today's 7-6 loss, and Pedro Martinez hurled last night's 2-0 gem. T'was actually the other way around, and for once I feel fortunate to have had tickets to a Glavine game. Despite giving up five runs, two HRs, and being essentially without his trademark command for the majority of his 6 innings, Martinez still only picked up a no decision because Scott Speedman-lookalike Mark Mulder was equally ineffective. Martinez actually had a chance for the win, until the usually rock-solid Roberto Hernandez uncharacteriscally coughed up two runs in the eighth. Eh. He's human. Also human is the otherwise 'red hot' Mike Cameron, who struck out with men on 2nd and 1st to end the game (off Jason Isringhausen no less....famous for being perhaps the only Met in history to call front-office man Jay Horowitz a 'Jewboy' and contract tuberculosis). Hopefully Kaz Matsui's base-clearing triple is a sign of better things to come.
The online publication I scribe for is completely enamored with Spoon's new Gimme Fiction, as is just about every other reputable publication you can name. So why do I find it so dull? The first track, "Sister Jack", and "I Summon You" are all pretty excellent, but the rest of it just strikes me as overly simplistic and a little stale. Mind you, I didn't have this problem with Kill the Moonlight or Girls Can Tell. Call it "minmalist rock" if you will, but I just hear a lack of ideas and repetitive riffs. "I Turn My Camera On" is the one track everyone seems to adore, and even after forcing repeated listens, I still think it's one of the album's weakest songs; a lame take on the falsetto vocals employed in the Stones' "Emotional Rescue" made no better by a two note bassline repeated to the point of annoyance. It's just not funky. It should be noted that the whole of Gimme Fiction still sounds like Abbey Road compared to the new Weezer, which Pitchfork rated about .4 too highly.
Of similar concern is Separation Sunday from The Hold Steady, heralded by The Village Voice as a front-runner for Album of the Year, and single-handedly responsible for resurrecting classic rock (?). It's a decent record, but let's not be afraid to call it what it is; spoken word rants over faceless bar-band rock n' roll, okay in small doses, excruciating for more than 25 minutes.
The new Caribou record The Milk of Human Kindness is fantastic, and I eased my guilty conscience by purchasing a bona fide copy of it this afternoon from Other. While listening to the excellent, build-up, tension and release tactics employed on "A Final Warning," it dawned on me that I had heard this track somewhere before. Something by Neu!? Can? Oh yeah....the hot jam flowing out of "Piper" from the Phish show on 12/12/97 in Albany, NY. Dan Snaith is a closet hippie. It's ok; Phish shows never got better than they did in December of 1997. TMOHK is all about crazy drums fills and misty-eyed keyboard grooves. One of the best things I've heard this year.
I also felt bad for playing the crap out of the new Sufjan Stevens before it's July release, so I picked up his Greetings From Michigan record too.
And wouldn't cha know, but the new Nine Inch Nails is far better than anyone would have a right to expect it to be. But Reznor already makes about 15 times as much money as I could hope to see in my lifetime, and I'm paying through the nose to see him on Monday, so I can live without giving him my 15 bucks. I'm assuming he feels differently though....
Brooklynvegan drew my attention to what is apparently a questionably funny joke from Brooklyn based doom metallers Type O Negative. A link in the comments section on BV's site seems to establish that it's not 4 Real; fortunate considering how much the Bloody Kisses record kicks ass. Kinda tasteless, even for them, and especially in light of Dimebag Darrell's passing.