Friday, April 30, 2004

Lester Bangs Night

Tonight I've been drinking beer and vodka (but not cough syrup) and reading Lester Bangs, who died on this day in 1982. A few feeble random notes for any fellow Lester fans out there:

- I love how he rips early-eighties hardcore. ("This stuff sounds a whole lot like much of the heavy metal shit I grew up on, if you forget your guitar-flash Aerosmiths or maybe guitar solos altogether and dig back into some of the really vile metal stuff like Grand Funk, Bloodrock, and Jukin' Bone, or play a Black Sabbath track at twice the speed.")

- The "Bowling For Supergroups: The Beck Years" chapter in the Rod Stewart bio is hilarious. I ended up ordering a Vanilla Fudge album online after I read it. And as I type this I'm enduring/enjoying the Beck, Bogert, and Appice album.

- Current favorite quote in a Bangs piece that isn't by Bangs: (A friend once said when I played the Yardbirds for him that, "It sounds like they just sat down and said, 'Okay, you mothas, here's what you're going to be doing for the next five years!'")

- "Guess Who: Live At The Paramount" is awesome. Still haven't figured out if he truly liked the album or not. Still don't care.

- His about-face on Exile on Main Street (he panned it, then fell in love with it, but still took the Stones to task for their distance-ness on their '72 tour) is honest and timeless. I listened to Exile last night on headphones and it truly is the best album the Stones ever made.

- It's easy to go through life not giving a damn. Reading Bangs reaffirms my need to give a damn. Just don't make me leave my apartment.

- I'm so sorry that he died while listening to a Human League album. Forget the drugs for a second; could it be that shitty, cold, Brit synth-crap music killed Lester Bangs? ... then again, maybe he liked it.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Also A Great Def Leppard Tune

I never did get down with the old name that much. I think it was some sort of attempt at branding, or whatever term the geniuses (cough cough) who used to major in marketing now use.

So now the name of this blog is "Rocks Off." And I promise to keep it for at least thirteen months.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Having Fun With Your Voices From "The Simpsons"

If you can do Waylon Smithers, then you can do MPR Midday host Gary Eichten. Likewise, if you can do Chief Wiggum, then you can do Gopher hockey play-by-play announcer Frank Mazzacco.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Best. Year. Ever.

Pete Scholtes over at Complicated Fun has asked folks to chip in with memories from 1984. My mini-memoir of seeing Michael Jordan at Chicago Stadium was posted yesterday.

But the one you really need to read is G.R. Anderson Jr.'s piece on Van Halen's 1984 album. Awesome.

Monday, April 26, 2004

And Doc, If You're Reading This - I'm Just Joking Around ... You're The Best ... Please Remember The Novocaine

My new dentist is a former Gopher hockey player. The first time I went to him, he took great care of me in an emergency situation, so I continue to go back. But last fall I had a cavity (first one in many years), and this morning he recommended replacing an old filling. When I hear these diagnoses, I wonder what my chart may say, because my first conversation with him comes to mind:

BT: Didn't you used to play for the Gophers?

Dr: Yes I did. Have you followed them over the years?

BT's Brain: Just say you love college hockey! Just say you love college hockey!

BT: I'm actually a huge Sioux fan.

Hygienest: Don't say that around him!

Oh well, at least I get to look forward to another new soon-to-be hip/retro silver filling.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I Do Not Have A Flair For P.R.

My poster and the other Poster Offensive works will be on display at the Conterminous dealy-bop Saturday night. I'm still not quite sure what this event is, but the City Pages description is here. (Ha! Loved the "free" beer cheapshot - sounds like a quip I might come up with.) I won't be there - on Saturday night I will instead be at a rock 'n' roll bar, dueling fiercely with my literary rival.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


An attempt to describe myself writing in the style of Craig Finn:

there was this guy
with a disposable lighter
claimed he was a zine writer
he said “my name is William
people call me Unpaid Bill
because I’m sixty days past due
but the check’s in the mail.”

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Baby Shake My Tower / Get It While It's Hot / Baby Feel My Power / Fifty Thousand Watts

I just blew a fuse in my apartment. I fixed it, which then led to a loud blasting listen of the title track from the only Kix album I own. (A situation that demands correction via escalation.) Up next: Peter Wolf.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I Didn't Need Further Convincing, But Throw College Hockey In ...

John Kerry was at the NCAA hockey championship a week ago. Here at 3400 Harriet we refer to attending the Frozen Four as "looking presidential." Especially when compared to the president, who instead attends NASCAR races.

Speaking of being simple (y'know - simple like watching a bunch of cars driving around in an oval ... "hey - nice downshift!"), when's Bush going to again bring out the "bring them on" taunt or parade around in a flightsuit?

Friday, April 16, 2004

Self-Employment Bliss

The "office" for my business, Street Accounting ("your back alley to financial freedom since 1999",) is located in a corner of my living room; it entails a work table, a computer desk, and a file cabinet. As dutifully reported to the IRS, it takes up 59 square feet.

This afternoon, I swiveled in my chair and rose to stretch. From my living room window, I could see the next-door building's second-floor deck about thirty-five feet away. On that deck was a curly-brown-haired hot chick sunbathing, wearing red shorts and a black sports bra.

You got one of those Successories that can top that?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"These Go To Eleven"

Another gem from last night:

QUESTION: Mr. President, why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9-11 commission? And, Mr. President, who will we be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30th?

BUSH: We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over. And, secondly, because the 9-11 commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.

BUSH: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9-11 commission is looking forward to asking us. And I'm looking forward to answering them.

At which point, I ripped the Sioux hat off my head, threw it across the room, and yelled: "ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!!" Ironically, Bush's bumbling way of not-really-answering the above question answered the question as to why Cheney is accompanying him to the 9-11 commission.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Snake Oil Y'All

Nuggets from tonight's presidential news conference:

"They're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either."

(I'm not sure what that one meant, I just like saying it aloud.)

"And a free Iraq is going to be a major blow for terrorism."

(FOR terrorism, AGAINST terrorism - what's the diff?)

"I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom."

(Ah yes, the "God's On Our Side" card. That's what separates the good ol' USA from extremist Islamics!)

Monday, April 12, 2004

Further Proof Of WCHA Dominance

Four out of the past five national champions have come from the WCHA:

2000 national champions: North Dakota, who finished second in the WCHA
2002 national champions: Minnesota, who finished third in the WCHA
2003 national champions: Minnesota, who finished second in the WCHA
2004 national champions: Denver, who finished fourth in the WCHA and did not advance out of the first round of the WCHA playoffs

Looking at this makes me want to break out my eighties disses of other hockey conferences ... the CCHA (Can't Cut It Hockey Association), the EZAC, and Hockey Least.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Congrats To The Denver Pioneers ... WCHA Still Dominant Despite Eastern Conspiracy

Congratulations to the Denver Pioneers for winning the 2004 Division I College Hockey championship!

My (would-be?) scientific calculations have determined the Top Ten College Hockey Programs Of All Time:

1 - Michigan (3974 points)
2 - North Dakota (3257)
3 - Minnesota (2978)
4 - Denver (2677)
5 - Boston University (2507)
6 - Wisconsin (2249)
7 - Boston College (1624)
8 - Michigan Tech (1561)
9 - Maine (1455)
10 - Lake Superior State (1309)

The calculations used were as follows:

1) Making it only to the NCAA semifinals and not to the title game gives points as follows: 1 point for 1948 semifinalists, 2 points for 1949 semifinalist, 3 points for 1950 semifinalists, and so on through 2004. More points are assigned the closer we get to the present under the What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem.

2) Finishing second in the NCAAs gives points as follows: 114 points for 1948 runners-up, 115 points for 1949 runners-up, 116 points for 1950 runners-up, and so on through 2004. 114 points is given to the 1948 runners-up under the reasoning that finishing second is twice as great as being a semifinalist in 2004 (57 points.) The What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem also applies here.

3) Winning the NCAA championship gives points as follows: 340 points for 1948 champions, 341 points for 1949 champions, 342 points for 1950 champions, and so on through 2004. 340 points is given to the 1948 champions under the reasoning that winning it all is twice as great as finishing second in 2004 (170 points.)The What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem also applies here.

The Excel file I used to make these calculations is available for download here. Please feel free to comment or email me with comments or criticisms on my calculation process.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Gwozdecky To Team At Second Intermission: "Win This One For Doctor Rice!!"

It's the University of Maine Black Bears (noted non-hockey alum: Stephen King) vs. The University of Denver Pioneers (noted non-hockey alum: Condoleezza Rice) for the 2004 NCAA Division I Ice Hockey championship Saturday night. A few random Frozen Four notes:

- UMD stud Evan Schwabe is the nephew of University of North Dakota folk hero Jim Archibald. (540 penalty minutes in 159 games.)

- When DU won, I said something to myself about them "being guided by the ghost of Murray Armstrong." Then during tonight's second semifinal, the announcers said Armstrong is still alive and well at age 88. But no matter where Armstrong is, John Mariucci is probably still to chicken to play his teams.

- Which D.C.-area sports bar did Condi rush to after her testimony to tailgate and catch today's early game (start time noon eastern) between her Denver Pioneers and the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs?

- Isn't it oh-so-nice when Boston College loses? It's almost as fun as eating meat on Good Friday!

- Saturday's championship will be my 18th consecutive viewed and my 23rd out of the past 26. If you ever want to hear the results of all of these title tilts, simply buy or bet me a beer.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

"My Friends Call Me The Silver Surfer"

I love the Internet. Yesterday while driving around, I couldn't get the tune of a late-seventies Lowenbrau jingle out of my mind. But I couldn't remember all the words. So I get home, do one google search, and not only do I get the lyrics, I get audio of a commercial:

here's to good friends
tonight is kind of special
the beer will pour
must say something more, somehow
so tonight (tonight)
let it be Lowenbrau (let it be Lowenbrau)

it's been so long
hey, I'm glad to see ya
raise your glass
here's to health and happiness
so tonight (tonight)
let it be all the best

Thursday, April 01, 2004

It's Time For Dean Blais To Get The Axe

I guess I've won the NCAA hockey pick 'em contest, but it was winning ugly (8-4 record in the regionals to my opponent's 7-5 record, plus my championship winner pick is already out.) I'd brag about beating the Elder, but this morning in the Lund's parking lot I saw a short bus that was transporting senior citizens to the store for grocery shopping. The name on the bus? "Elder Ride." What a great guy!