Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ah Well

Alas that same old Middle Earth magic won't be recreated again after all. I proudly stand apart from the throng getting atwitter over the prospect of Guillermo del Toro directing 2 Hobbit movies with Peter Jackson "overseeing" it. Why? Come on now. 1) The serendipity just ain't gonna be there. 2) 2 movies is 1 too many. The Hobbit is short sweet- a gentle children's tale that serves to be a perfect prelude to the meatier Lord of the Rings, and 2 movies just doesn't seem right. 3) Fran and Phillipa ain't writing it. Sure all of the nuts who worked on the LOTR films will be back, and yes it's going to be nifty, but I don't know if this is going to work.

Ah well.

That 90's Show

From this week's Simpsons, in which we learned about Marge's Howard Zinn reading college years and Homer's days as a grunge rocker:

Marge: Homie, I got caught up in the world of college so much that I forgot how important you love was. Can you find it in your heart to take me back?

Homer: Of course. The thing that stood between us, the 90’s, are almost over.

Marge: You’re right, but I’m worried about what’s on the horizon. Reality shows, Britney Spears, the suspicious number of homeruns being hit.

Homer: At least we know there will never be a President worse than Bill Clinton. Imagine, lying in a deposition in a civil lawsuit. That’s the worst sin a President could commit.

Marge: There will never be a worse President. Never.

Homer: Never!

Homer voiceover: With the 90’s drawing to a close and the Sydney Olympics to look forward to our love rekindled.

Hope is Alive

OK, I know I posted "hope is dead" on BFLOBlog a few weeks back, and you know what? I stand by it. Hope was dead a few weeks back. The Sabes were the pits. The funny thing about hope is that it comes back to life... like a phoenix if you will. And yes, playoff hopes are alive for the Sabres with our mini streak going. We've got a tremendous way to go, but this is definitely a start.

Special thanks are also in order for the Sabres fans text messaging team for keeping me in the know during my mid state sojourn. I salute and thank them profusely.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Zepp Watch

I've said it once and I will say it again: Pagey wants Zeppelin to tour. He wants to weild that hammer of the gods again- this time clobbering multiple generations of fans. The man is positively agitating for it. And it looks like we're getting there people. The word on the global street from Pagey: not until the fall at the earliest.

I can live with that.

Hat Trick

Tonight the Todd Rundgren hat trick was achieved at the nifty German House Theatre in Rochacha. An excellent show, more rock... some might even say that Todd rocked even harder this time out. Rundgren is forever on the elite list of rockers who I will see whenever they pass through our neck of the woods, without fail.*

Good times people. Good times.

* Of course that means that I will fail eventually. Whoops.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cheers and Jeers


The January 14, 2008 issue of New York magazine's Approval Matrix placed our Sabres/Penguins Winter Classic in the LOWBROW/BRILLIANT quadrant.


The January 21, 2008 issue of New York magazine's Approval Matrix placed the
"Che Guevara inspired Rambo posters also in the LOWBROW/BRILLIANT quadrant.

Slicker, Faster, Crazier

Not that there's anything wrong with that of course. But those are the words that popped into my head when Captain Jack snogged Spike (James Marsters, of Buffy, Angel, and Smallville fame) 20 minutes into the first episode of the second season of BBC America's Torchwood- right before they started beating the shit out of each other and all the other crazy shit that transpired before the show was over. Great stuff kids. You felt like an adult when you watched the first season of Torchwood (even moreso when you watch it on DVD with all the cussing left in)- it's frank, violent, sexy*, dark, a little bloody.... a real heady mix that ends up giving you a little charge, a kick up the slacks- and the second season looks even better.

Also, for the record, I could totally gaze into Eve Myles's eyes all day long. All day long. Yes, Torchwood is also easy on the eyes.
Seriously, I hate talking about politics on this here pop culture blog. I did want to try to limit any politics to any pop cultural tidbits coming out of the 2008 campaign, but I can't even do that right now. I just want the Clintons to go away. Not totally away- I'll gladly vote for Hillary for Senate forever, and I am proud that they are adopted New Yorkers. But Billary has to go, and their dirty shenangans * with them. Watching Pat Buchanan prop up and give props to Billary on MSNBC alone is proof positive that theirs is the road to ruin in 2008, and there is just too much at stake to go there.

* And it's not the negativity- it's the dirty shenanigans being employed against a fellow Democrat in the primaries that's not doing it for me (and apparently many others). And yes, the Lee Atwater shoe does fit on this one. Sorry.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fucking hell. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome the new Black Mountain album is. Face melting awesome. God it's so heavy and satisfying.

When I was 17 this album would have blown all of our minds, my buddies and me. The non scary Sabbath heaviness* with the fucked upness of Pink Floyd, from a band whose new album came out THE OTHER DAY- that totally would have done it for the old high school gang I misspent some of my youth with... and you get a groovy chick who sounds like that chick who sang with Plant on "Battle of Evermore" off of IV. Fuck, this album gives me shivers. The 16 minute "Bright Lights" is harrowing, spacey, heavy, and utterly magnificent. And they are a band that is totally alive and seemingly ready for the long haul. Listening to In The Future will make you glad to be alive. Trust me.

* I will admit that Black Sabbath wasn't always my bag. Now, it's totally my bag. Life is funny like that sometimes.
And for the record The Dude was not one of those freshmen who talked shit about being "hardcore" before wrapping up their first rush party puking over the back of some guy's moving pick up truck at the end of the night.

The Dude did his homework while in high school, so well in fact that when he went to rush parties (never once contemplating actually pledging of course) it was he who taught them a few of our (West Side) Buffalo rules for Three Man at the Three Man table before later being pressed into action to keep those puking guys who talked shit from falling out of the moving pick up truck at the end of the night. The Dude's first few week's at college in upstate NY were AWESOME.

Amy Winehouse SMOKE CRACK 18.1.2008

The best part is that she looks at the videocamera... repeatedly... before and during the act of smoking her crack rock (or is that crackrock? crack-rock?). This is actually more pathetic than I thought.

Ordinarily I'd say "maybe if we ignore her obvious pleas for attention she'll leave us alone" but frankly Amy Winehouse is too hilarious for that. And a lightweight to boot. I mean... come on now... she really hasn't been on the scene all that long and already she's in full MELTDOWN / PLEASE ARREST ME NOW mode. It's like she's one of those college freshmen who talks a bunch of shit before the first big college party of the year about being all "hardcore" but ends up puking their guts up over the back of a moving pick up truck at the end of the night. Pathetic.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A win is a win is a win. Tomorrow I have to call Great Skate to inquire about the cost and turnaround time for getting my jersey numbered and lettered. Should I go with LaFontaine? Schoenfeld? Korab? Connolly? It's a tough call.

Harry Neale

I think Harry Neale is a total genius. His years with Bob Cole on Hockey Night in Canada are legendary, it didn't matter what game it was: a standard Leafs game, Leafs vs Habs, Sabres vs Leafs, or an Olympic medal game- they were always called as if they were they were being played at the center of the universe, and maybe they were. But now he's calling our games, he's the peanut butter to Rick Jeanneret's jelly, and for the last two games he's kept me from killing myself- having been made to listen to Kevin Slyvester's... rough game call. Thank God for Harry Neale.

Hot Shit

Black Mountain's new disc In The Future is face meltingly brilliant, a psychedelic prog rock masterpiece the likes of which we haven't seen in AGES. Sabbath flavoured guitars over early Floyd synths rocking under a dude who sings like Neil Young and vocalist Amy Webber, who sings like Sandy Denny on Zepp's "Battle of Evermore." It's dark, it's light, it's tight at times and a total jam out at others, classic, modern.... it's just awesome. God bless Canada (Vancouver in particular) for gifting us with such an amazing band.

This is truly the first must have album of 2008. I can't wait to listen to it around a bonfire this summer.

The Flaming Lips - My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion

Yes it's the dead of fucking winter, and I'm so tired I don't have a clue as to what I'm rebelling against, but who gives a shit? It's the Lips, this thing rocks, and it's sort of uplifting.

Just let Steve Drozd's guitar melt your face and pierce your soul and everything will be all right. For a while.

Hockeytown Chronicles

Around the web:

  • I'm not a giant Jerry Sullivan fan but he hits the nail on the head repeatedly in today's BFLO News. It's a titanic fiasco and it's all Tom and Larry. While I disagree with Jerry on Darcy's level culpability, he ain't wrong about absentee owner Golisano or the wrongheadedness of Larry Quinn.
  • Kevin over at BFLO Blog seems hellbent on making BFLO Blog an essential Hockeytown community resource and I salute him for it. Check out today's posts about our Sabres- he too seems to have his finger on the pulse of the Sabres situation.

On the streets:

  • All of the dudes I've talked to today seem hellbent on watching the Sabres despite their shitty play. We haven't given up on Sabres hockey. We might have given up on the season but not on Sabres hockey. The result? Angry fucking fans folks... angry fucking fans.
  • Best crazy theory of the day: Lindy's about to get sacked and will be replaced by Harry Neale. It's crazy but I love it.

Gametime is 8:30 PM in Dallas.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Also coming out in April- a new disc from Gnarls Barkley. With that and new Portishead April is definitely going to be about getting fonky.

The Joys of the Global Village

Or is it the infantilization of the American public at the hands of the American media in our glorious media cocoon? Following the positively breathless media coverage on TV and the bold headlines of the online print media you'd think everything was bloody awesome. Maybe it is and I have it totally wrong. Maybe the mainstream corporate media is awesome.

Or not.

* And this is coming from the Dude who blogs about bullshit.

Portishead - Sour Times

Live in NYC. Get your groove on.

Additional Signs of America in Decline

The lead story this morning on CNN at 7 AM.... for 6 minutes: the death of Heath Ledger and the public's mourning. They even rolled Sanjay Gupta out of bed to weigh in on the dangers of taking over the counter sleep medication and dying famous.

Apparently in addition to sheltered lives we Americans also live charmed lives if CNN can devote 6 minutes to the death of an Australian actor.

America in Decline

Forget about the US economy in decline and the monied classes running around telling us (self servingly) that everything is "A-OK!".... the real indicators pointing to America's decline: the Williams sisters are OUT of the Australian Open. Crashed out in fact.

NOW is the time to adjust those 401 (k)'s people. The US has hit the skids.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Notes

  • I am tired of the local media hyping BIG BAD SNOW that never comes. I am also tired of drivers driving like there's BIG BAD SNOW happening when there ain't shit happening. Everybody knows that there are 5 types of road encountered in a Buffalo Winter: dry, wet, greasy, shitty, and ice rink... and guess what folks- today alternated between dry and wet. It did get a little shabby later but I was in for the night and didn't care.
  • Heath Ledger is dead. Boy, that is gonna make going to see Dark Knight Returns or whatever it's called sort of weird.
  • I won't be getting to the Coachella festival but I will be getting Portishead's next album- their first in what... 10 years? 11 if you don't count the live album? Ah well. Those three albums do qualify as classics- widescreen, titanic soundtracks to movies that couldn't be possibly exist or be as cool as their soundtracks. Trip hop was sort of a tired, derivative genre but Portishead... Portishead transcended their genre and operated on a whole different level thanks to the sci-fi hip hop jazz of Adrian Utley and Geoff Barrow and the spooky, sinister, sexy and cinematic vocals of Beth Gibbons. I can't wait.
  • We live sheltered lives as Americans. The uncensored DVDs of Torchwood, with the shagging and cussing left in, are brilliantly exhilirating. There is a virtue to watching weekly television on a weekly basis sometimes because I could only get through 4 episodes thanks to the dense, ambitious, and intense tone of the show... and I haven't even gotten to the real meat of Torchwood's excellent first season.
  • The second season of Torchwood begins this Saturday on BBC America. Have I mentioned that? I think I might have mentioned that. My TIVO will be humming.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No Shame

You really have to hope this shit is total hype. Really.

That said- it is kind of funny. And totally believable.

The Automatic Automatic

This ditty's been rattling around my head all day long. That chorus is a killer.


Let's face it people. The Sabres suck. They've got nothing. They have no answers, no spark, no shit. Right on schedule the Sabres have become gormless and piss poor and it's time for some people to own up to their shit and bite the big one. I'm talking about the front office that's been coasting on near glory instead of taking steps to keep the team competitive, and in the end there is no excuse. I bought the line "we're not making any changes" after that magical season coming out of the lockout, but after losing Drury and Briere to... to not shore up a glaringly suspect defence, well, that's just shit. At this point Tommy Boy and Larry* ought to schedule that press conference where they get up and say "whoops! We're sorry! We'll do better for next season... promise."

Face it boys, you took your eyes off of the ball and this season we are sucking as a result of it. Suck it up, fess up, and get your shit together. Let's go Sabres.

* Message to a not entirely blameless Darcy Regier: Darcy, you're starting to coast dude. Ditch the rose colored glasses. Your defence totally sucks.


BFLO Blog reports that it is statistically proven that Buffalo is absolutely the new Hockeytown.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bitter Sweet Symphony

It's Hoth cold. The Sabres are cold. The New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl. The wolves are at the door. It's definitely a bittersweet symphony these days.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Additional Notes on Cloverfield

  • That movie kicked my ass so hard that the trailers seem like they were viewed a lifetime ago. The only trailers that stand out at this point are the one for that atrocious looking teen dance movie ("let's form a crew and take it to the street!"), Iron Man, and the one for Star Trek.
  • The trailer I posted for Star Trek a few days ago is NOT the actual trailer for Star Trek. The actual trailer is WAAAAY cooler than that bullshit. The footage of the Enterprise under construction, with those tiny computer animated people welding it together like in a WWII newsreel is awe inspiring. Shame on me for posting that other happy horseshit.
  • Further kudos to the filmmakers of Cloverfield for their use of Kings of Leon, Gorillaz, and Spoon during the hipster shindig that kicks off the movie before the shit hits the fan.
  • The popcorn at the Elmwood Regal is officially shit. And the pop is always flat.
  • That big banner for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is pretty cool, but seeing a trailer for said movie would've been even cooler.

It Came From Outer Space

Cloverfield is jim dandy. Ever since I convalesced to a Godzilla marathon when I got chicken pox when I was 7 I've loved monster movies. One of my favorite comic books ever was Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot, an oversized humdinger from Frank (Sin City, Dark Knight Returns, 300) Miller and Geoff (Hard Boiled, Shaolin Cowboy, conceptual artist for The Matrix movies) Darrow that featured the titular heroes battling a mutant Godzillasaur (or somesuch thing, they never named the thing) while it gleefully laid waste to Tokyo. The thing took hours to read because of Darrow's highly detailed line art, especially the first issue when the beast destroyed Tokyo when Darrow gleefully depicted in hyper detail said destruction. I enjoyed looking at the tiny people getting utterly annihilated in the carnage, and thrilled to sick humor deployed by Miller and Darrow in depicting it. They got it right, and the sickos who made Cloverfield get it right in spades. Sure they didn't reinvent the wheel, but there was something absolutely exhilirating seeing a monster movie from street level, and they pull it off completely. Special kudos to the unknown actors and actresses who make you connect with their characters before they eventually bite the big one; these kids really sell the movie in a way recent disaster / monster movies have not. It's a great thrill ride, and one hell of a cinematic experience.


Word reached me yesterday that New World Records is closing and that news totally bums me out. I've loved shopping at New World for years. It became my primary music store in the late 90's when I lived in the West Side and never stopped. I got into Wilco, Bloc Party and Interpol with the help of New World's listening stations, and I always loved the swag and kitchy knick-knacks they sold- especially the Jesus action figures (the black Jesus was my personal favorite). Plus the employees were nice, knowledgeble, and they didn't stink... unlike the folks who work over at Record Theater. I love RT's selection, and the prices are competitive with the big boxes, but the employees occasionally wreak of something (for the ladies it's BO, the dudes it's mostly like they've got a load in their trousers), and that gets in the way of a good consumer experience. I'll start getting my goodbye to New World in order. We've still got a few months.

The Virtue of Golf

No, I cannot give up on golf. I've spent too much money on golf to give up on golf. And besides, it is truly a wonderful pasttime. You get to enjoy the outdoors in a truly constructive manner (none of that walking or jogging nonsense). Engage all of your senses. If you're an intelligent golfer you can fantasize that you actually know what you are doing, and occasionally follow through on it. There's that pursuit of unattainable perfection, or the Zen Buddhist quest for calm and finding your center. The joy of success and victory and the agony of defeat and failure. Drinking beer in the course of a round is generally encouraged. It's all there.

I can't give up on golf.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Silly Fucking Crackers

Golf is a wonderful game, don't get me wrong, but you gotta wonder about some of the idiots who represent it. Take for example Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman, who jokingly suggested that up and coming golfers take on Tiger Woods by taking him out and"lynch him in a back alley." Nice. Now I would have gone with "jack him with a sock full of doorknobs," but hey, that's just me. I'm not a fucking idiot. But even better, the folks at Golfweek Magazine decided to grace the cover of their latest issue with a big fat fucking noose. Thanks assholes. Are you trying to ruin golf for me? Is that who've I've been golfing with these last 9 years? Racist nimrods? The United States Chucklehead Association?

A great big cracker-a-rama?!?

Shit people, I'm too progressive and forward thinking for that shit. Damn.

Praise Jebus!

It's over! The Sabres winless streak is over! The goal drought is also kaput! What a night for the Sabres and their fans. 10-1! A hat trick for Stafford! 2 goals for a newly healthy Derek Roy! A confident Miller between the pipes! It's too soon to call this the start of something, but it is something, and I for one am happy. What a great game to be at.

There is joy in mudville tonight.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stark Trek Teaser Trailer (2008)

It does little to genuinely excite me for the movie itself; instead of focuses on fanning that flame of total geekhood that once loved all things Trek- a flame that Paramount allowed to go out.

We'll see.

I Like Black Mountain

One band that has been jostling for space has been Black Mountain, who's heavy Sabbath flavored Floy-esque psychedelia has been kicking my ass lately. Turn up the speakers, turn on your black lights, and enjoy.

Random Notes on Stuff

  • VH1 really has done the clip show thing to death with the scrubby talking heads struggling to be funny. Having spotty looking non-funny people riffing on beautiful women just doesn't work, and the dude talking heads are starting to look spotty and pervy.
  • Why don't the entertainment companies get it right and put out DVDs of their TV shows at least a month (I'd even take 3 weeks) before they start showing new seasons of those shows? I just don't get it.
  • I'm jealous of Buffalo Bruce Springsteen fans who get 3 chances to see the Boss in one week at the beginning of March. I'm a punter and thus only going to the Friday March 7 show at the HSBC, but the die hards get a show in Hamilton (1 hour north) on Monday and Rochester (1 hour east) on Thursday, and that's pretty fucking awesome for them.
  • Netflix is still the best, but there's no availability date for those Carl Sagan Cosmos DVDs and that sucks. Work with me here.
  • I still cannot get Radiohead's In Rainbows out of the cd player for long two weeks after it's release. According to reports the band is playing both Toronto and Cleveland this spring, which means I'll be trucking up to the TO in the middle of the week some week in a few months. Ah well.

Notes... on Jools Holland

  • Interpol really represents us well internationally as a nation.
  • Jools really screwed over Paul Weller and Sigur Ros in favor of Santana the other day. Santana was good, but his three songs (plus chat!) was excessive considering Paul Weller was really cranking and Sigur Ros brought all those people from Iceland to play on the show.
  • Sigur Ros was also totally amazing, and blew everybody away with their one song on the show. I definitely need to see them live. ASAP.
  • Coldplay kind of sucks. They're trying hard, and the go through the motions well enough, but their songs are largely shite. They had two good songs on the first album, and two good songs on the second album. The rest are all garbage.
  • Sheryl Crow is boring.
  • I still really cannot believe that FUSE is showing Later... With Jools Holland. It can't possibly last.

Nice Try

Oh you clever Buffalo Sabres webmasters... trying to hoodwink the fans with that "When Is A Losing Streak Not A Losing Streak" harggle barggle. The only confusion I see is who we get to blame for this sorry fiasco as we watch the playoffs starting to get further and further away from, and that's starting to clear up the more we talk it up here in Hockeytown. The fact is our defense sucks ass, has sucked for a few years, and our front office has not been quick or responsive about fixing this glaring fact. This wasn't an issue when the Sabres played well and scored a shitload of goals, but because our front office pissed away our leadership core we don't have that this year and it's all showing BIG TIME. And now we have the Flying Tomato putting the kibosh on further negotiations until after the season to look at, and the fact that nobody seems to have an answers for halting this helacious skid and righting the ship. At first I thought it might be Regier, but when it becomes more and more apparent that the front office has been coasting on their post lockout (near) succeses you have to look further up at who's paying the bills and who's making the hockey decisions. Hockeytown doesn't need statisticians telling us that this not that bad when the playoffs are slipping away. Hockeytown wants good hockey. Good Sabres hockey.

Don't fuck with Hockeytown.


That was supposed to be saved as a DRAFT but got published anyway. Whoops.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Height of Rudeness

Some longtime readers might have noticed that I have a minor obsession with rudeness and manners.* This probably comes from being told by my grandparents and parents that whenever I ate over at Grandma and Grandpa's house their neighbor Mrs. Quill was watching and taking note of my manners. We'd (my brothers and I) frequently hear "Mrs. Quill is watching" and "what would Mrs. Quill think?" and wow did that put the whammy on us. Now I never saw any of these reports, and to be honest I never actually saw Mrs. Quill spying on us while we ate, but hey, if you hear that enough times it's bound to damage you eventually. That's why I almost had a heart attack from laughter when Jermain Clement referred to his abandonment to his fate at the hands of street toughs by his fleeting buddy Brett McKenzie in one episode of Flight of the Conchords as "the height of rudeness." The whole set up and exchange was brilliant, with those brilliant New Zealand deadpans. Goddamn that hurt.

I wanted to wait to weigh in on Flight of the Conchords until I'd finished the DVDs but that near death experience deserved mention now. The show is fucking hilarious. Those dudes are hilarious. Their funny songs are hilarious and well done, and I love pretty much everything about the show.

More to come later.

* This is not that shitty pointing out of other people's transgressions (although that's fun too sometimes). That's shit. I'm talking about the "please's" and the "thank you's," using the right utensils and waiting for everybody to be served before dogging that dessert. Following (almost) every burp or fart with a sincere "excuse me." Those sort of things.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Path to Destruction

This is truly the heart of darkness for Sabres fans. The team is moribund. Nobody sees a trade anywhere and the free agency market doesn't look like it holds any hope for the Sabres. The fans are depressed and nobody seems to see any way out of this death spiral. And now the Flying Tomato has called an end to negotiations until after the season (and we know what that means). Who do we blame for this sorry situation? I'm not sure it's Lindy. Maybe it's the low profile of late Tom Golisano, who's got his money and is running. The question that I've been hearing posed lately in a variety of circles has been "is Larry Quinn on his path to destruction AGAIN?"

That's a damn good question considering Quinn does have a pedigree for this sort of thing. One thing's for sure- answers are in short supply in Hockeytown, and Hockeytown ain't gonna be amused for much longer.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

CLOVERFIELD, New Theatrical trailer! (From HD source)

OK, the marketing campaign worked perfectly. I give up. I really do want to see this movie. Wow.

One Nation


Frank Rich hits the nail on the head as to why I am completely unthrilled by Hillary's campaign strategy:

Every politician employs pollsters, but Mrs. Clinton, tellingly, has one, Mark
, as her top campaign strategist. As Sally Bedell Smith reminds us in
her book about the Clintons, “For Love of Politics,” it was Mr. Penn who helped
shape the 1996 Bill Clinton campaign in which “soccer moms” were identified and
wooed with such Cracker Jack prizes as school uniforms and V-chips to monitor TV
violence. For Mrs. Clinton’s Senate campaign four years later, it was also Mr.
Penn’s market testing that, in Ms. Smith’s telling, “crafted anodyne, bite-sized
messages for Hillary.” The overall message uniting the small-bore promises, such
as it was, remains unchanged today: competence, experience, wonky proficiency.

Now folks, how different is this strategy from the Rovian 50+1 strategy, which utilizes wedge issues to divy up and pit the electorate against itself to dig out victory for unpopular candidates or policies?

As a theory for marketing Burson-Marsteller corporate clients like
Microsoft and AT&T — or for selling a third Clinton term — Mr. Penn’s
vision may make sense. What Mr. Obama is betting on instead is a hunger, however
dreamy, for one America, not hundreds of niches, aspiring to the big, grandiose
scheme of finding a common good. The defining question of his campaign is not
just whether he can make this vision real but whether he has the ability as a
leader to give it intellectual heft and to carry it out. We’ll find out soon
enough. Either way, the national yearning for a more perfect union is
unmistakable. Such is the decisive backlash against these divisive years in
which anyone who fails to agree with the White House has been portrayed as
un-American, if not with the terrorists.

That's it in a nutshell. What sort of country do we want to live in? But the best part if Frank's parting invocation of the spector of DIRTY POLITICS...

In Mrs. Clinton’s down-to-earth micropolitics, polls often seem to play the
leadership role. That leaves her indecisive when one potential market is pitched
against another. Witness her equivocation over Iraq, driver’s licenses for
illegal immigrants and even Cubs vs. Yankees. Add to this habitual triangulation
the ugly campaigning of the men around her — Mr. Penn’s sleazy
of “cocaine” on MSNBC, Bill Clinton’s “fairy tale” rant
falsifying Mr. Obama’s record on Iraq — and you don’t have change. You have the acrimonious 1990s that the Republicans are dying to refight, because that’s the only real tactic they have.

And down this path lies defeat and darkness. Is there a fight brewing for the soul of the Democratic Party? God I hope so.

Apparently I Am Rude

According to Samara O'Shea over at the Huffington Post I am not holding up my end of the bargain in bringing warmth and niceness to the world via my e-mails, which apparently might be "cold and aburpt" do to a lack of any closing. To everybody I've ever sent an e-mail without a proper and nice closing I apologize profusely. Unfortunately Samara O'Shea offers no real solutions or tips for formulating said "warm" closings and has left me to my own devices. Let's see how that goes.

Possible E-Mail Closings for The Dude:

1. Yours in Christ,

The Dude

2. Don't don't don't don't don't don't don't believe the hype,

The Dude

3. Booyah,

The Dude

4. Until the end of the world,

The Dude

5. Jolly good show,

The Dude

6. Praise Jebus,

The Dude

7. Over and out,

The Dude

8. Trust no one,

The Dude

Boy is that tough! This must be what a Madison Avenue ad man feels like.


Last night's Sabres game was a journey into light and then into darkness. I knew that our 2 goal lead was nothing and that it could all go sour on us if the Sabres let up but Jebus H. Christmas I did not expect Ryan Miller to step into the role of Uncle Shitty and cost us the game. Where the Sabres go next nobody knows.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What It Is All About

Kudos to Channel 2's coverage of tonight's Sabres game that accentuated the positive (2 points of out a playoff spot) and seemed to encourage fans to get behind the team in this time of need. Goddamn! That's what being a Hockeytown is all about. Sure the media gives the team a lot of stick, sometimes deserved and sometimes totally not; that's exactly what the media is supposed to do in a Hockeytown. But the media in a Hockeytown also gets the fans riled up for the team by stoking the fires and focusing some of our community mojo on the team, and Channel 2 did that nicely. Tonight is a big game. It's a big game for the team but it's also a big game for the fans and we've got to do our part. Watch. Root. Pray to whatever diety to pray to. And hope that the Sabres can snap this streak before a hungry home crowd. Let's go Sabres.

More Thoughts on "Wife Swap: Williamsville Edition"

  • I really hope Channel 7 reruns that episode again.
  • I can't get over the fact that those John Waters movie rejects reside not in depraved (yet fun) Baltimore or the Hillbilly country of Maryland but instead in WILLIAMSVILLE NY. It's genuinely mind blowing the more I ponder it. I wonder if property values have already started dropping.
  • And let's take a moment to ponder what sort of girls are losing those pagaents to a Little Princess who can neither read, write, or speak properly. Yikes!
  • The total lack of self awareness on display is still boggling my mind. There were times when I thought that I was watching a wife swap not across philosophical, sociological and intellectual divides but between Bizarro World and our world.
  • It was obvious to me that Momma Cruella was hating on that seemingly well adjusted and extremely intelligent teenage daughter because the kid was clearly prettier than hers without even trying and without a family whose sole mission is to make her pretty. That must have been a mighty kick in the teeth for Momma Cruella.
  • My first instinct was to label the Williamsville Three an example of all that is wrong with America but frankly I don't think America is that fucked up.

Zepp Watch

According to JPJ the band is meeting this month, and “it could be fun to do more stuff.”


Friday, January 11, 2008

Talking Out My Rear

I was totally talking out of my rear with that Lindy is doomed talk the other day. We're only 2 points out of 8th place and we are on the verge of snapping this bad juju- you can feel it. Tomorrow night is going to be big.

Obi Wan Ruff ain't going anywhere, and I was talking out of my ass. Go Sabres.

10 Things I Learned From "Wife Swap:" Williamsville Edition"

  1. The Williamsville School District has a lot to answer for. What the fuck do those kids do all day if a non functional barely functional space cadet who can barely speak or hold a pencil doesn't stand out? Somebody needs to do an intervention because that kid is doomed.
  2. Watching a father air brushing on his daughter's tan makes me queasy.
  3. That woman from Williamsville looked like an evil orphanage owner from an old "Little Rascals" short. I especially liked her Cruella DeVille posing, immature name calling, and the fact that she was demonstrably less intelligent than the homeskilled teenager she tried to school in the real ways of the world. What a great villain.
  4. Irony is dead in Williamsville.
  5. I wouldn't pay that douchebag to carry a bag of dogshit let alone tint my windows.
  6. I will bet you five bucks that Little Princess will crash into you with her SUV eventually.
  7. After that sicko child beauty pagaent that poor toddler from Indiana is in serious danger of succumbing to the dark side.
  8. How dumb do you gotta be to actually broadcast your total lack of self awareness or any awareness at all to the entire country? What the fuck.
  9. We should all some sparkle to our day, every day.
  10. The most vile people in America live 10 minutes from me.

I'm glad that Howard Stern tore them apart on his show. I'm really glad my peeps brought this to my attention. That really was better than a John Waters movie... and it took place in Williamsville.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Spoon - The Underdog (Live)

This one has to go out to Barack Obama, and to the Buffalo Sabres- who are definitely staring the heart of darkness in the face.

Keep the faith.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

To Hell with the Ya Ya Sisterhood

Women voters in NH gave Hillary a sympathy vote that put her over the top, the HRC campaign is actually making hay out of this fact, and The Dude is AGHAST. What's the theory here folks? That Hillary is just a handful of "emotional moments" from capturing the White House?!? This is craziness... pure craziness.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Sunday my 5 year old neice and I watched the latest Doctor Who Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned" on YouTube in seven parts (amazingly- the kid liked it a lot. She had to see the end). Good times good times. Anyway, tonight I went back to to watch the last part again to rewatch the coming attractions to this spring's season 4 and wouldn't you know it's gone. Gone gone gone. I think the BBC yanked all of the Doctor Who stuff... and part of me has to wonder if it's my fault. Maybe I was one American too many to watch it before it broadcasts legally... and WHAM the BBC cracked down. And I almost feel bad. Almost. But I had to see Kylie Minogue guest star on DW (her boots alone were worth it). I had no choice.

Nautical Disaster

The New Hampshire Primary's theme song. A bad dream.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Geek List

January 26: season 2 of Torchwood starts.
April 1: a new R.E.M. cd.
May 2: Iron Man. Just when you think "another fucking comic book movie!" they get Jon Favreau to direct it with Robert Downey as eccentric billionaire inventor alcoholic superheroTony Stark, Terrence Howard as Rhodey, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. This could be awesome.
May 9: Speed Racer+ Wachowski Brothers= movie madness.
May 22: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
July 18: Batman- The Dark Knight. The jury is definitely out on Heth Ledger's Joker but it's Nolan and Bale (with Michael Caine as Alfred) so I have no choice but to go.
Sometime after the Presidential Elections so as to not make waves: a new U2 cd.
November 22: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
December 25: JJ Abrams's attempt at Star Trek, for which I will have my knives sharpened (remember, I've read his script for Superman before Bryan Singer blew it with Superman Returns- and Abrams's was way worse).

The Style Council - Shout To The Top (Live)

This also goes out to Barack Obama, who's got a double digit lead over HRC in New Hampshire.

These sure are interesting times we're living in. At least we have guys like Paul Weller around to provide inspiration and a cool soundtrack.

David Lynch on iPhone

This is hilarious. And absolutely true. So true it makes me want to yell out "HEINEKEN... FUCK HEINEKEN! PABPST BLUE RIBBON!"

Adios Muchacho?

I hate to say it but if the Sabres go 0-3 on their mini roadtrip this week I predict that Lindy is gonna get the sack. It's been a great run but his motivational skills seem to be losing thier potency.

Remember, the coach ain't covered by the salary cap.

Pop Culture Is My Curse But...

... I have nothing really to say about the Britney Spears ubermeltdown other than 1) I hope Kenneth Anger is getting all of this down for Hollywood Babylon 3 and 2) maybe we'll get lucky and she'll end dead face first in a toilet Lupe Velez style. And I'm not really rooting for the demise of another human being- think of it more like I've perfectly plotted her trajectory and know exactly how it ends. Or maybe Doctor Phil can save her bacon. What a reality show that would be!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Walls Come Tumbling Down

In honor of Barack.

Music Notes

  • In a 180 degree turn Fuse has agreed to show good music for one hour a day when they broadcast the BBC's legendary Later... With Jools Holland at 1 PM Monday thru Friday. It's an incredible reversal for the cable network, and one that cannot possibly last for long (I mean, can Fuse fans actually stand one hour of good music a day?), but for now my TiVO is humming daily for this excellent program. You can't go wrong with a show that in two broadcasts featured Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, The Bravery, KD Lang, Mc Solaar, and Mercury Rev (Jools also had the Black Eyed Peas on, but I really don't to talk about it)... and the show still waiting for me on the TiVO's got Interpol, Bloc Party, and a chat with (Pink Floyd's) Nick Mason. Booyah. Enjoy it while you can.
  • Maybe when it gets axed by Fuse BBCAmerica will pick it up? Come on BBCAmerica!
  • I was talking with the man JV and we are both in agreement: we will buy tickets if Todd Rundgren swings back through town as rumor has it he will.
  • And speaking of rumors, Zeppelin tour rumors are abounding, with the current talk being that Plant has finally relented and agreed to do it, and that it will happen.
  • Interpol's nifty 6 song Interpol Live ep is excellent stuff. No old stuff, but the stuff from their latest albums really crank and sparkle with evil delight. I gotta say that I'm a big fan of these "Support Your Indy Record Store" ep's that bands like Interpol and TV on the Radio have put out recently. Not only do I get to SUPPORT MY LOCAL INDY RECORD STORE but I get some spiffy live recordings that I wouldn't have otherwise. Everybody wins.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sigur Rós

The fun thing about Sigur Ros is that there's always something new in the Sigur Ros bin at the record store, and being something from Sigur Ros it's usually inscrutable and weird and fun. This particular ditty came to my attention as a video on another SR DVD/EP CD combo, and as usual it doesn't disappoint- I love the vintage Sigur Ros fucked up imagery. I can't get enough of it to be honest with you.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I know I sort of already posted this but it really deserves this solo shot. What a great song- what a great freaky video. It even gets a little Flaming Lipsesque at the end.

Very nice.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

  • Edwards gets props for the vintage U2 music intro music at his Caucus night rally. "Pride In The Name Of Love" is always nice, as was the Bruce Springsteen "The Rising" outro. All very symbolic and earnest. Very nice. But Barack Obama gets bigger props for using newer U2 at his wingding. I'd almost say "City of Blinding Lights almost soared. Very tasteful.
  • How about all of those luminaries they corralled for the Hillary third place speech? Yikes. I also loved how the Clinton camp recalibrated so sharply in the span of a couple of hours. You gotta love that shit, and I wish I could have been a fly on that wall for those discussions.
  • But Hillary overplayed the "Republicans who've seen the light" crack. We know we've got that card in our pocket, but we have to save that shit for the right time, and this isn't it.
  • I have to Netflix Primary Colors.
  • Chuck Norris onstage right behind Mike Huckabee is classic. That just about sums it up right there. History was made tonight in more ways than one.

Odds and Sods

  • I still don't think I've fully recovered from The Winter Classic. It was OFF THE HOOK, I'm telling you. Anyway, I highly recommend BFLO Blog's excellent and comprehensive WC coverage for the real man on the street (or should I say parking lot and bleachers) shit that provide a fresh and honest appraisal of the event. Essential stuff.
  • Letterman was great last night, and yes, he did look like Yosemite Sam. All of that WGA solidarity shit was much appreciated (the striking writer Top Ten List was jim dandy), and I stand by my declaration that Dave is a MAN OF THE PEOPLE. A HERO OF THE PROLETARIAT.
  • I really hope MSNBC keeps that foxy Kelly O'Donnell on the Huckabee beat.
  • Guiliani is OUT. He's bailing. Kaput. He knows he is doomed and he's throwing the game with that cockamamie no Iowa/New Hampshire strategy so he can get OUT while the getting is ok.. just like in 2000 when he faced certain doom at the hands of Hillary Clinton. Ah well Rudy... ADIOS MUCHACHO!
  • Obama just clobbered Hillary Clinton in Iowa. I think I'm going to sleep like the dead... the sleep of the just... knowing that inevitability is dead tonight in Iowa. Still, it is entirely too soon to say ADIOS MUCHACHA.
  • Huckabee just clobbered Mitt Romney by double digits.* If you outspend your opponent 20 to 1 and lose by double digits you sir are TOAST. DONE. ADIOS MUCHACHO!

* OK, so it ended up being 9 points. Still... ADIOS MUCHACHO.


Yeah I know I already plunked some loot down for the digital download of Radiohead's In Rainbows a few months ago, but you know I had to pick up a REAL copy when it came out and of course I got it Wednesday at my earliest opportunity (Tuesday was out of the question) and hot damn was it worth it all. It's what I said to the New World Records guy when I got it... "I gotta have my HI-FI because that mp3 shit just doesn't cut it" you have to have those highs and lows and that clarity and depth. You gotta feel it in your gut! My cheesy cdr of the album that got me by was ok, but this album is much much better now that there's something tangible involved- from the band to me via the exchange of commerce and luchre. The New World Records guy suggested that it's perhaps because we're programmed to want to have the thing, and there's a good chance that he's right, but I also like that classic transaction of the band selling me their art and me taking it home to enjoy (or not, but that was not the case here) as is my wont. Remember folks, all those bits and bytes aren't REAL. Mp3's are just files... shit... files... my computer has files... shit... it's all shit. It's not art. It's not a cool piece of art like a cool cd. But I digress. In Rainbows is an amazing album. And certainly the Radiohead album I have enjoyed the most. Beautiful and sharp, a real piece of musicmanship and earnestness. I've always valued Yorke's presence, voice and lyrics and the prodigious talent of Jonny Greenwood... but on In Rainbows it's all about Phil Selway's jazzy drumming, Colin Greenwood's funky and spacious bass work, and Ed O'Brien's assured backing vocals that really bring it all together- I think for the first time since OK Computer.

Man, I can't wait to see Radiohead this spring, or sooner. Hopefully not in Toronto- that exchange rate is a real kick in the trousers (although I will go if I must).

The Iowa Caucuses are Turning Me On

I ain't lying, hitting the reload button (rhythmically) and enjoying the changing returns numbers over at the Politico is HOT HOT HOT, and I'll tell you what- the bigtime turnout means people are hungry... HONGRY for change... for democracy, and that is ultra hot. Goddamn it's all very exciting, and even a bit weird looking at that big GOOSEEGG next to Romney. Intense. Hot damn. YES. And Edwards is looking good tonight... his number I mean. It's early but YES. And with Obama looking alive in third that Edward/Obama dream ticket is still possible. GODDAMN!

Countdown was also HOT HOT HOT tonight. I love how he mocked the whole insane Iowa process while praising it, and I love how he mocked out Lou Dobbs for waltzing into a Hillary Clinton suckerpunch to the tune of U2's "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?". Strong words there Keith. I also have to get that book of his. I also liked how Countdown's campaign pic of Fred Thompson looked like an opening credit shot for Law & Order. And his numbers are sort of freaky. Ah... and there's Romney... alive and well in second at last.

2008 is off and running. Booyah.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Dude is going to bed early tonight, but he will be Tivo-ing Letterman- even though I don't usually watch Letterman as my usual late night poison is The Daily Show/Colbert tandem. The Dude will not be watching Leno, Carson Daly (as if I would ever watch Carson Daly) or The Daily Show/Colbert tandem... until the WGA strike ends satisfactorily. My picket line extends to the television too, and I ain't crossing it.

Special kudos to Dave Letterman for being a man of the people. I smiled from ear to ear when I read that Worldwide Pants gave the union everything they wanted, and I have to reward that show of decency and fairness.

Scotch Mist - A Film With Radiohead In It

Wow. Enjoy.

Winter Classic Thoughts

  • Buffalo has the best fans in the world, especially Buffalo Sabres fans. What we did in those parking lots and at the HSBC yesterday was incredible. Win or lose it was just an amazing experience, and if nothing else at least the NHL got their dream ending with Sid the (fucking) Kid finnagling that puck past Ryan Miller for the picture perfect finish. Ah well.
  • The Winter Classic merchandise was shit. What was up with that? And why didn't the Sabres jerseys have the laces like the jerseys the team was wearing on the ice? That was pretty bogus.
  • Only 18 arrests? We are good people.
  • Kudos to all women fans who wear proper Sabres jerseys, not those godawful pink jerseys- which are affront to both women and hockey in general. Seeing all of those ladies in the Sabres blue and white (with a few red, black thrown in) made me I realize that this was really the last piece of the puzzle...
  • Yesterday proved that we are HOCKEYTOWN USA, hell maybe even HOCKEYTOWN PLANET EARTH. Look at all those WNY boys playing in the NHL. Look at the crowds we assemble to watch games in the plaza or inside on TV. Look at the tailgating and the jerseys and the chanting and the fun. We did that... and we stole HOCKEYTOWN out from under Detroit. Now we just gotta justify and earn that title as Sabres fans and as patrons of the game.
  • I Tivo'd the NBC broadcast and it was rubbish as expected. You folks who went to the HSBC and got the HD and the Rick and Harry experience must have gotten a real treat.
  • If anybody's got a VHS or DVD copy of the CBC broadcast I'd love to get it from you.


Happy belated New Years. I didn't feel like touching this thing yesterday. Sorry.

At least we've got new Radiohead and the Iowa Caucuses this week. Booyah.