Where NY music fanaticism and NY Mets fanaticism need not be mutually exclusive. Next year is now, bitches!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Poor Kids.....

You think that Kris Benson was throwing batting practice the other day....the starter from Iowa in the Little League World series just gave up three jimmy jacks and was pulled from the game without getting a single out. Sometimes it sucks to be a kid.

The coaching conferences on the mound are miked too.....so all we ever hear are words of encouragement, when one can guess what coach really wants to say after he pulls his #1 starter after 5 runs and no outs.....

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Feast to Famine.

It's not like rooting for the Mets is ever anything other than a thankless task, but seldom is there a game that instantly subtracts five years from your life. This is such a game. It's times like this that I wish my Dad didn't force me to watch every one of Dwight Gooden's starts when I was six years old. Never has an episode of Six Feet Under seemed so much like Sesame Street in comparison. Fuck all!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ten Years Ago Today.....

....I was 15 years old, and being a young, suburban Jew, had just witnessed my first two Phish concerts a few weeks ago. I was preparing to embark with the 'fam on a trip to Cape Cod, and had stocked my CD case with several Phish, and more importantly, Grateful Dead albums. In fact, I needed to make a quick stop off at my buddy Aaron's place to pick up a Dead bootleg on compact disc that I had lent to him last week.

I walk into his bedroom and turn on the radio, which was playing the Dead's hit single, "Touch of Grey." BFD, the radio always plays "Touch of Grey." Change the station, and I hear a version of "China Cat Sunflower" from the Europe '72 disc. Umm....considerably more random, but okay.

At which point Aaron blurts out, "HE'S DEAD!" Who's dead? Says I. "JERRY GARCIA!" Jigga what? After changing the radio dial to Connecticut's third and final (at that time....now there's only one) classic rock station and hearing another obscure Dead song, I realized it was true. Now I felt especially stupid for turning down the opportunity to see what would have been my one and only Dead show in Albany, NY a few weeks prior. Jerry Garcia was dead at the age of 53; not surprising in light of what homeboy did to his body coupled by his insane tour schedule, but too soon nevertheless, and still not a heck of a lot different than Keith Richards.

Despite being loaded with Dead tunes, the four-hour drive to Cape Cod sucked. Mike Lapatino from Connecticut rock station 99.1 WPLR was urging temperance among Deadheads, encouraging them to be thoughtful and listen to the tunes as opposed to "doing a big bag." The Dead classic "Eyes of the World" came on the radio, and my mom said, 'hey, this song is really good.' Damn right. The scene at Chatam, Cape Cod head shop "The Dead Zone" the next day was especially eerie....no music was playing, and all of the employees were silent and staring into space (probably just really stoned, actually).

So yeah...today was the 10th Anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death, and while Phil Lesh is still my favorite member of the Dead, losing Jerry still completely sucked. None of the post-Jerry incarnations of the Dead (e.g. "The Other Ones", Bob Weir's "Ratdog", "Phil Lesh and Friends", and all of the members minus Jerry known simply as "The Dead") have come close to capturing the feel of the real thing, although the uber-Dead cover band (e.g. they cover whole shows with the proper equipment setup) "Dark Star Orchestra" is lots of fun. Like Ryan Adams, I feel no shame in listening to the Grateful Dead with much fervor, and plan on listening to "That's It For the Other One" from 2/13/70 in full before heading off to sleep. R.I.P. dude!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Five Reasons why TigerBearWolf kick ass....

5. Shirtless drummer
4. Vintage "Orange" stacks like Dead Meadow use
3. No nonsense guitars - Gibson SG in one stack, Les Paul in the other
2. Play to 18 people at the Lit Lounge (16 of which are friends of the band) like it's 30,000 at MSG
1. Uncanny ability to simply bring it in a live setting; proving that they actually have the chops to back up the guitar pyrotechnics on their debut record.

The next time they're going to be in town is for a Hello Sir! Records label showcase at CMJ. If you like the RAWK, you must go. That gig will also feature We Versus the Shark and Maserati, both of whom also kick ass. Hello Sir is a label to watch, and TBW's album is still the best rock album I've heard this year next to The Woods.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sweep-age

So after a dis-heartening (if offense heavy) series with the Brew Crew, the Amazins' turn around and sweep the increasingly pathetic Cubs (although not as pathetic as this douche thinks San Francisco is). I was at Saturday's game, sitting in field level seats that the scalper claimed were "right on top of the Cubs dugout man!!!" They were actually about 15 rows behind said dugout, but a good time was had because Jae Seo pitched a hell of a game, and the bullpen didn't choke. Why the former was left to languish in AAA for so long while Kaz Ishii racked up nine losses and an ERA over 5.00 is a mystery, but managing a pitching staff doesn't exactly appear to be Willie's forte (evidenced by the considerable overuse of Bert last week when fresh arms were rearing to go). It was announced at the game yesterday that it was Victor Zambrano's birthday. Mets fans didn't so much boo as simply ignore the announcement altogether. One excellent game might not entirely redeem him in the eyes of Mets fans (esp. because he's the ugliest member of the piching staff by a country mile), but it helps. Then again, it just may be a testament to the sheer awfulness of the Cubbies' bats. Did Derek Lee reach base at all these past two games? Me thinks not.

TigerBearWolf are an amazingly kick-ass rock band from Greensboro, NC who are playing the Lit Lounge on 2nd Ave. tomorrow night, August 8th. 5 bucks, and two other probably shitty bands. TigerBearWolf are not one of these. Their debut record is among the most solid pure rock albums I've heard this year, and the live show purports to be extremely intense (for more proof, Amir at CMG posted a fine review of their album a few months back, as did Stylus). If Fugazi crossed with 70's AOR blooze sounds like your thing (and it ought to be), then you should go. I'll be the only guy there who knows any of the lyrics. Trust me on this one. I would not go to the scary, over-hipsterfied dungeon known as the Lit Lounge on a Monday night if I wasn't serious about the talent.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Back from Miami....

I've been updating so infrequently lately that I'd forgive you (all six of you) for thinking that this blog was an orphan. But there were no updates at all last week because (1) a really stressful three days at work put me in a completely awful and paranoid state of mind, (2) I was vacationing in Miami the other two days I would have normally been at work (South Beach, to be specific). Miami is a fun place; it was as oppressively hot there as it is here, but such hotness is easier to take when its accompanied by palm trees, sand, and clear green ocean. July is supposedly 'off-season' because it's so warm, but the bars are still pretty packed in the evening, as are the beaches. Maybe next year I'll return for this. The hotel bar at The Delano reminded me a lot of the one at The Hudson here in NYC, unsurprising as they're both Ian Schrager ventures (even the websites look the same). For some odd reason, my girlfriend and I must have heard The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" at least 14 times in 4 Miami days. Good song as mainstream radio smashes go, but I still liked it better when it was called Placebo's "Special K."

I even managed to get in some reading over the long weekend, poring over Grateful Dead bass man Phil Lesh's autobiography 'Searching For the Sound.' It's not a collaboration; Lesh deserves serious props for writing the entire 331 pages by himself. The majority of the pages are spent describing Lesh's formative years and the Dead throughout the 60's, while Lesh seems to cover the 80's and 90's in about 40 pages (not that 80's and 90's Dead is really worth many more pages than that). I had no idea what an accomplished composer Lesh was until I read the book, nor was I aware of his skills on trumpet....I was always under the somewhat false impression that he just became a musical phenom out of mid-air. The portions of the book in which he describes the Acid Tests and the Dead's earliest rehearsals were (holy shit! Mike Cameron just tied the Mets game in the 9th with a HR!!!) very amusing, utilizing flowery language that could have only come from the pen of a man who did weekly acid in the 60's and just happened to play bass for the Grateful Dead. The parts where he describes his courtship with his current wife Jill were also very touching. The book was very good as rock bios go, and highly reccomended to anyone who thinks they might be into that sort of thing.

And now for another sort of thing...there was a 90 minute gap between the typing of this line and that last one. The Mets just beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-8 on a bases loaded walk in the 11th inning. This after Victor Zambrano left after 1.1 innings, with 6 earned runs off of 4 HRs. The Mets tied it in the 9th after Mike Cameron hit one over the centerfield wall off of uber-hairy Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow. A surefire double play ball also ricocheted off of Milwaukee's shortstop in the 11th inning. Easily one of the more classic Mets matchups I've seen in ages, evidence that this current Mets squad has fight, and further proof that Grateful Dead Concerts are like baseball games. The only lowpoint? Trillion-dollar man Carlos Beltran....0-5 with two double play balls. Quit pullin' it dude! LET'S GO METS!